You are here:

Mice/Mouse suddenly jumpy and nervous


Hi Natasha,
I have had 2 mice for 3 weeks now they were very well behaved but now my mice Beyloir is Jumping around  the cage and doesn't want to be held what does this mean?

Dear Meagan,

It isn't a good sign for a mouse to have a sudden behavioral change, especially to become unfriendly.  

There could be a lot of reasons, but what I am worried about is if she is in pain, or if she is suffocating (and panicking) with pneumonia.

She really needs to go to the vet asap. If it is pneumonia you have very little time to get antibiotics into her. If she is in pain, she needs pain medication, and of course a diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause.

While you are waiting to get her to the vet, it can help to give her a steam bath to see if it helps. If it helps it means she has pneumonia. This does NOT mean she has to die. Many mice have been saved this way.

Unless you are sure you can hold her gently but firmly even if she tries to jump, you will have to put her into a small cage of some sort. In my experience mice HATE steam baths. However, if you can hold her, she may feel less scared. Of course you must talk to her in soothing tones the whole time.

Go into the bathroom with her and close the door. Turn on the shower on hot and wait for the room or at least the shower to fill with hot steam. You want to get her as close to the steam as possible without getting too hot and absolutely NOT getting wet at all. Keep her here for ten minutes if you are able.

Now you have to be sooooo careful not to get her cold. I take her in my hands, with a towel wrapped loosely around them, and go under the covers of my bed with her! Then you let in a little air and let her cool down to room temperature very slowly. If she responds well, you know what the problem probably is.

The other thing to do, if you really can't get her to a vet right away, is to try some pain medication. You can water down some children's tylenol or ibuprofen by half, and give her a drop.


Another reason for her behavior could be if something traumatic has happened or is happening-- loud construction, new loud pet, etc. But unless this cause is obvious to you, it is important to rule out the dangerous causes.  

Best of luck to her. Please let me know what happens. It really helps me to help others.




All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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

©2016 All rights reserved.