This article is from the Spring 2000 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Kids Q & A
By Helen Pembrook
Chris Graves, Buffalo, LA
QWhat kind of cage would be better for a mouse, a clear plastic cage or a metal cage? If you get a mouse at a young age would you be able to train it not to bite?
AFor mice a clear plastic cage or a small aquarium is the best choice. They are easy to keep clean and present less risk of injury to the animal when you are trying to catch it.
The best time to buy a mouse is at about 5 weeks of age. If you can, buy one directly from a breeder because it is more likely to have been handled. You might be able to talk to your local pet store manager and see if they raise mice for pinkies (snake food) and see if they will let you pick one out and save it for you till it is ready to go home. Maybe you can get them to handle it daily for you or let you come in and play with it. If you can’t do that, then pick carefully through the mice you do have to chose from and find the ones with the calmest personality. They will normally run when you try to pick them up so pick them up by the base of the tail, set them on your hand or shirt sleeve (still holding onto the tail), and see if they try to jump off. If they squeak or jump, then these are most likely going to be the biters and you should keep looking. Biters tend to stay biters no matter what you do, so it is best to start with one that does not bite at all. Also, male mice will have a natural musky odor which most people find objectionable. You can only have one male in a cage for a pet as two males will fight and one may kill the other one. Female mice make the best pets as they don’t have that musky smell and two or more in a cage is the best as they prefer company and get lonely if housed by themselves.