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Mice/new mouse nibbling


Hi! I am a first time mouse owner. I have two new female mice that I bought 5 days ago that I am trying to socialize. One of them has warmed up enough to eat treats out of my hand. However, she has now started nibbling on my finger when she comes up to my hand. While she has not hurt me yet and it doesn't seem aggressive toward me, it is making me nervous because it started out as licking and has become progressively closer to a bite. Should I be concerned that she might bite me? Does she think that I potentially food? Thank you for your assistance!

Hi Mahriah,

Mice have really sensitive noses, so even though they can usually tell the difference between your fingers and food, sometimes after dipping your hand into a treat bag you may smell kind of delicious!  Some mice will groom you to show affection, but a nip is usually a sign you should go ahead and pull your hand away to prevent her from learning the habit.  You may wish to stick to treats that can be "passed" to her, such as millet sprays or pumpkin seeds, so she can take them from your hand without reaching your fingers first.

I don't know that it would actually progress to her biting you, since she is clearly figuring out what is food and what isn't, but it would be better to play it safe than to frighten the both of you if she did accidentally bite down on you.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with - and welcome to the awesome world of mouse ownership!  :)


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I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

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