Is a mouse the right pet for you?

Mice can be fascinating pets for people who like to watch their natural behaviour, like building nests and rummaging around for food. They usually sleep during the day and are more active in the evening and at night but can adapt to a new routine.

Mice are small, fast moving and can bite when handled roughly or frightened. They prefer to explore by themselves rather than being picked up. For all these reasons, mice generally aren’t good pets for young children. If you’re looking for a pet who enjoys cuddles and are good pets for people of all ages, think about getting rats or ferrets instead.

Friends for your mouse

Mice are really sociable animals and in the wild they would live in groups. It’s really important for your mouse to have the company of other mice. They can live in pairs or larger groups but always make sure they have enough space in their cage.

It’s best to keep mice in groups of the same sex – girls with girls and boys with boys – or you could end up with lots of baby mice! Female mice are usually happy to live with any other female mice. Adult males are unlikely to accept new mice to the group so your boys will need to be related or grow up together.

Things to consider

Before you commit to getting a mouse, read our vets' advice on:

  • The five welfare needs – make sure you understand the legal responsibility you take on when you own a pet.
  • Giving your mouse the ideal home – advice on the type of enclosure they need.
  • Mouse health – find out how to stop your mice getting bored as well as signs of illness to look out for.
  • Feeding your mice – read about the kind of food your mice should be eating and how to keep them in shape.
  • How to hold a mouse safely – a guide to how adults and children should hold mice.