Mice need as large a cage as possible. The more mice you have, the more space they’ll need to be given. It’s also really important to provide lots of toys, tunnels, ladders and other activities. This will help keep them active and stop them from getting bored.
Mice spend most of the day asleep so you’ll need to give them a cosy nest box to curl up in. Think about setting up a few nest boxes for your mice so they have a choice of sleeping together or separately.
The right cage for your mice
A large, barred cage is the best home for your mice. There should be narrow spacing between the bars (no more than 9mm) so your mice can’t squeeze through the gaps.
Glass enclosures or plastic ‘rotastak’ style aren’t suitable for mice because they don’t have very good ventilation. This can cause breathing problems in mice.
The ideal enclosure will be:
- As large as possible so your mice can get plenty of exercise.
- Fun for your mice. Give them lots of different levels to climb on and activities such as ladders, ropes and tunnels.
- Lined with mouse bedding such as wood pulp or paper-based materials. Some mice are prone to getting breathing problems so choose bedding that’s is dust-free. Check it’s safe for small pets, as cedar and pine woodchips are toxic. You can buy suitable bedding from pet shops or from our online pet store.
- Kept indoors, out of draughts and direct sunlight.
- In a quiet area of your house, away from TVs and music systems. The noise and vibrations from these are stressful for small pets like mice.
- Kept between 18 and 22°C so your mice don’t overheat or get too cold.
- Secure so your mice can’t escape and they’re safe from other pets, like the family cat or dog.
Nest boxes: a place to hide and sleep
Mice sleep for most of the day so they need a quiet, comfy nest box to curl up in. It should be:
- Lined with clean, shredded paper. White kitchen roll or cloth-based materials are ideal. Your mice will enjoy shredding their own bedding if you give them whole sheets of kitchen roll.
- Don’t use newspaper as the ink can be toxic to small pets.
- Don’t use cotton wool – if your mice eat any it could cause a dangerous blockage in their gut. Cotton wool can also get wrapped around their legs and stop them from moving properly.
Keeping your mice clean
You’ll need to clean out your mice once a week to make sure their home is healthy and hygienic:
- Clean out their cage thoroughly once a week using a pet-safe cleaner. You can buy these at pet shops or on our online pet store.
- Keep back a handful of bedding that’s been used but isn’t wet or dirty. Once the cage is clean, put this bedding back in so the cage will still smell like home to your mice.
- Don’t let you mice back into their cage until everything is completely dry.