How to hold a mouse safely

Mice can be fascinating to watch as they explore their cage, especially if you give them plenty to do. However, they’ll usually prefer to be petted or given treats inside their cage instead of being picked up.

If you’re looking for a small pet who’ll enjoy being picked up, think about rats or ferrets instead.

Why are mice nervous of being held?

In the wild, mice are hunted by other animals. It’s natural for them to be nervous when they see a bigger animal, like us humans, coming towards them. Mice can bite if they’re frightened or handled roughly.

How to pick up a mouse

Mice are small, fast moving and fragile. They can easily be injured by rough handling or by jumping out of your hands. If you do handle them, it’s important to pick them up carefully so they don’t get frightened.

Adults and older children can pick mice up by:

  • Forming a cup with both hands on either side of the mouse.
  • Scooping up your mouse securely on both palms.
  • Be careful that the mouse doesn’t jump out of your hands. It’s best to hold them low down over a flat surface so that if they do jump they don’t fall far.
  • Bigger mice can also be picked up with one hand around their chest area and the other supporting their hind legs.

Young children and mice

We recommend young children don’t pick mice up. Mice need to be handled carefully and can bite.