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Mice/My mouse cant be pregnant.


My mouse is approximately 1 now. I have had her from a few weeks old along with her sister that died a few months back.
2 days ago i realized as i bent down to the cage my mouse didn't come out. She knows i either get her out of give her a quick treat here and there so is always there straight away. I immediately assumed the worse grabbed her out her cage and took her to a vet.
She was FAT but you could feel her spine, like it was all sort of sagging off the bottom of her. she was making a noise that at first sounded like a clock then had gone on to sound higher pitch.

He gave her some lotion as i found a few mites on her. Today she is looking great, her ears are pricked back up as normal and her fur is looking shinier but she has a massive bulge in her belly area. as she stands up you can see it is not her whole body swelled. She genuinely looks like she has eaten a plum whole. as she has been living on her own for some time there is no way she is pregnant.

Having changed all the bedding and scrubbed her cage due to the mites it was all tidy and because for the first time ever she is not coming out of her bed i am having to open the lid of her little house to check to see if she is ok. If i drop a little bit of her bedding she will go and get it and take it back in. she is still coming out for food water and she is toileting. she is not aggressive at all.

I'm sorry for essaying you I'm just so worried.
Do you have any idea what this could be?

Dear Nikki,

Congratulations! You are going to be a mouse grandmother! Impossible? Nope.

The father is the same naughty boy who gave her the bug(s) you saw on her. Mites are not visible to humans. Well, you can see the tiny specks by putting a piece of Scotch tape on an infested mouse's fur, but you aren't going to see them on the mouse.

How? Well, either her cage is wire, or the lid is not always secure. Wild mice are half the size of fancy mice, and youthful wild mice are very small; and any mouse, if not fat, can fit through any opening its head can fit through.

If it is wire, you have to change it right away. It would be best to do so today, before those babies are born. Even if you can't get a real cage today, she must be in something impenetrable until she gets one- though you will not want to move the babies right away. But don't make the mistake of just poking a few holes in the lid of something- although a plastic container is great, you have to cut a large section out of the lid and cover it with metal screening - if this is to be permanent, hardware cloth (1/4" galvanized steel mesh). You will want the hardware cloth anyway, if you are going to want to reuse the wire cage:  to keep the wild boy out for good, you will need to cover the cage with it. I recommend just getting a big enough cage for life- 20 gallons or more is fine for any number of babies and a few adults; or up to 8 adults.

If the cage is not wire, you need to figure out what happened, and never let it happen again.

This is an emergency because she sounds like she is about to pop... And she can get pregnant immediately after birth! Believe me, one litter is going to be enough to handle.

And you are going to have to handle them a lot, once they are old enough. If possible, you don't want to touch or move them until they are a week old. You always take her out (only when she is out of the nest) and keep her someplace else while you handle them.

If you do have to handle them beforehand; say, the babies have arrived by the time you read this, you must do the following. Take her out when she is out of the nest. Rub your hands in her dirty bedding. You will have the cage completely ready. Depending on what works, it would be great not to touch the babies at all- if you can pick up the whole nest and put it in the new cage. Otherwise you have to be so gentle, perhaps even using a warm spoon. Whatever works that the babies do not get hurt. Save as much of the nest as possible, and put it safely into the new container in a nice, dark setting, whether under some soft cloth, or in a box or house if she is used to that. Then put her gently back on top of the babies. If she begins to move the babies, prepare both your hands and the spoon as before, and take each baby from the more dangerous spot she has brought them to, and put them back in the nest. This is all pretty dangerous- if she gets nervous and feels unsafe, that is when she may kill the babies (and eat them).

Once they are seven days old and have some fur you are going to handle them. Again, take her out and rub your hands in the litter. Take them all out together and hold them together. Feel free to talk gently to them and kiss them. This is also the moment to sex them. After a few days of this, while you have them out you will also take each one individually and examine it gently, counting the number of boys and girls:

You can handle each mouse individually for only  a minute or two. As time goes on, you will increase this time per mouse, never having the bunch out for more than 20 minutes for the first 12 days. Soon after 14 days of age, their eyes will begin to open. Within a day or so they will go a little nuts because the world of vision is terrifying at first. They can jump straight up two feet into the air, and are easy to lose. The way to handle a jumpy mouse is to hold it on your right palm, gently but firmly holding the base of its tail right by its rear, with your left hand. Keep your right hand closed until the mouse is pretty calm, then open just a little at a time, until the mouse is on your open palm, still anchored by its tail. Don't trust it right away. In fact, you might want to do this in the bathroom, with all holes in the wall and floor (and radiator) stuffed, and a rolled up towel at the base of the door.

It is best to handle them twice a day.

The bad news is, all of this handling might not be enough to tame them once they are older. First generation hybrid mice are notably crazy. Of the ten I had (yes, it happened to me! New cage, converted by someone else, with an area that was not visible except to a wild mouse desperate to get in)--partly because I didn't have the time to handle them because I was bottle feeding an infant kitten -- only one ended up being a sweet pet-- and she was a little doll. The other nine became wilder. I had only kept two, and the other one decided it was not happy at about 5 weeks and started nipping me harder and harder. On a beautiful Spring day I let her out in the country. She looked back once, and then went off happily. Her life was undoubtedly a lot shorter out there, but it was a happy one. Out of the six who I gave away, I kept track: three lived in an aquarium not being handled, and three escaped and last I heard were having babies in a suitcase under the bed. Bad idea! Oh, and two escaped into my apartment :( .

Last week I received a letter from someone who had been in your situation a while ago, and out of about ten again, I think 7-8 ended up tame. She insists it could not be second generation, but I think she was wrong, since their coloring was also not identical. If she was right, your chances are a lot better than I thought. In any case, you will know by six weeks of age. If the mice are nuts and don't want to be in a cage, once it is warm enough let them out someplace nice like a forest or meadow.

If you get second generation babies because you keep them until it is warmer in Spring, I would love to know about them. Of course, I want to know how these guys do too. Keep me informed :).

Enjoy the babies, however they turn out. Any that stay tame will be wonderful little pets.

Squeaks n giggles,



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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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