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Mice/where to buy a mouse in Chicago

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Question
Hi. From reading in various forums it seems like it's best to buy a mouse from a breeder rather than a pet store. And so, I am following on a recent question posed by Katie in March of this year. Katie was in Aurora, Illinois, and was looking for a breeder near her. You found someone and responded in a private message.  I am in Chicago, which is about 1 hour away from Aurora. I am interested in getting a fancy  mouse for my 2nd grader. So, two questions: 1) where to get a mouse and 2) is a good pet for an 8 year old?
Thank you for your help.
Grace

Answer
Hi Grace,

If there is a breeder, in Aurora, and I gave the information, that is likely the closest breeder to you. Hm. But if you say I responded in a private message, I wrote that I would do so, and did not put the information in the text? I can try to find that post.

I will also put out your question in a mouse group I know. If I get an answer, I will amend this answer, and you will get a notification that I have done so, within a few days. If I don't write back, assume I couldn't find anyone.

Is a mouse a good pet for an 8 year old? It depends a few things. Is she mature, careful, and graceful, for her age? Is she careful with objects? And, will you assume full responsibility for making sure the mouse has food, water, a clean cage, and gets handled; and will you be in the room when she handles the mouse for the first few times? Here are some mouse handling hints. NEVER pick up a mouse by the tail. If you absolutely can't catch it by any other part, grab the very base of the tail by its rump, and immediately put your other hand under it. Although it may not look like it, tails are not handles. They can break, and they can deglove- that is when the fur and skin are pulled off of the tail. The easiest way to catch a skittish mouse is to coax it into a toilet paper roll ( which are as necessary as a wheel in a cage!) and pick the roll up with both hand on the two ends. Then, always hold the mouse over a couch or bed. Never, ever drop the mouse. When you are carrying it over the floor, TWO hands please!

In my profile, there is an address for a video on youtube that I made called Your First Mouse. Do watch this with your daughter.

What I have not mentioned (and, stupidly, did not mention in the video!) is that if you want a single mouse you must get a male; if you want several mice they must be female; and vice versa (males have to live alone, and females must have friends). If you get girls, the best is to get three. That way, when one dies, you are not left with one mouse who is not only devastated at the loss, but also lonely, both of which conditions can lead to depression, illness, or mites. Then you have time to replace the third mouse. If you get a male, he needs a lot of attention.

If you do decide to get a mouse or mice, best of luck and have fun! When you choose the mice, look at them to makes sure their coats are immaculate, their eyes are bright, they are not lethargic, their bodies are not hunched, and that this is true of every mouse in the cage.

Squeaks n giggles,

Natasha  

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Natasha

Expertise

I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

Organizations
I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

Education/Credentials
B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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