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Mice/cat brought in injured wild mouse


My name is Alexandria and tonight my cat had a mouse in his mouth. Thinking it was dead I took it out and found out it is actually alive. Well, it has no use of his back legs and it is breathing and moving around with his front legs fine. I don't want to just leave him because he would die and I feel awful that my cat did this. If you could please help me by telling me what I should feed it and what I should do with it that would be great. Also can you tell me how old he is?

Dear Alexandria,

Poor little thing. Let me start by saying that she doesn't have a very good chance of surviving. But that doesn't mean no chance.

First, mouse must be kept warm. If you are not holding her, put her in a box or something and put it 1/2 on a heating pad, on low, with a towel in between. It is only 1/2 because she needs to be able to escape the heat.

Next, there are two major dangers for this mouse. The first is possible internal injuries. You can do nothing about this but hope.

The second is internal infection. Cat saliva is very toxic. To humans too! Ever heard of cat scratch fever? It's cat bite fever too. My kitten sent my mom to the emergency room with a little bite...

Anyway, even if the mouse seems 100% healthy tomorrow, the chances of her dying of internal infection are high-- UNLESS you treat her now. I am quite sure that you do not want to bring her to the vet (of course if it is important to you, do so; the vet has the best antibiotics and can give her a shot).

The fastest thing to do is get to an aquarium or fish store right away (I hope you are somewhere where it is not too late right now). Get tetracycline made for fish, often marketed as Fish Cycline. Get capsules or powder if possible. Also get an eyedropper or small syringe without the needle.  

If it is late, go now! That's all you need.


OK, now you have the tetracycline. If you have the tablets, crush them between two spoons absolutely finely until it looks like powdered sugar.  Measure 1/4 flat teaspoon of powder. If you have the capsules, this is equal to one capsule. Put this in two cups of water and shake really well.  There should be no sediment.

This will be her source of liquid, which you will give her every few hours with the eyedropper.

Putting it in something tasty may help to get it in her. It will also help her gain energy. Probably the very most delicious and mouse-friendly thing to mix it with is commercial (Jif, Skippy, whatever) peanut butter-- watered down to a liquid. This is a pain in the tuckus to do, so read carefully. Put a spoonful of peanut butter in something small. Now take your medicated liquid. Pour one drop in! Mix it well. Then a few drops more. Again mix well. Then a little bit more. If you try to mix it all in at once, you will get a soup with peanut butter chunks in it, and it will be next to impossible to mix it well. Make this mix into a liquid you can feed her with the syringe.

You will, however, want to start with a stronger, initial dose. Mix up another batch of medicine but use one capsule with only a few drops of water.If you like, mix it into a half teaspoon of the peanut butter (it does have to be pretty close to liquid though). Try to get some in her mouth. If she is able to wash herself at all, smear a little on wherever she can reach.

If you are not using the peanut butter, she does need something to eat. Try a few cracker crumbs, soft cheese, bit of cooked bacon, scrambled egg with butter.


If she doesn't make it, it is not your fault. If she does, you now have an interesting pet. She must continue with the tetracycline for 10 days. Assuming she is paralyzed, she is going to depend on you for everything. You will have to bring her food and water, and keep her bed clean, even washing her underside gently if it gets messy with mouse pee. But I would be very surprised if she doesn't turn out to be incredibly loving. Mice know when someone took care of them through illness. Maybe she will even be happy in your shirt pocket!

If she is not paralyzed, you still have a great pet. If you don't want to keep her, you have to make sure she is very, very healthy before letting her go. But wild mice, as long as they are happy, make great pets. She will let you know if she wants to escape!


To her age: I believe she is half grown. I don't know how long it takes field mice to get half grown, but she is not a baby; and yet her ears and eyes are big enough that I'm pretty sure she has some growing to do.

I certainly hope you can save her. Do let me know what happens. Best of luck and health to her.




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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): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


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.

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

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

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