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Mice/Can previous mouse enemies become friends?


Hi there,
I have two mice, both male. First got Meep about a month and a half ago. He was the last one in the pet store, and seemed to be extremely shy, and didn't like us humans at all. We thought he was lonely, and would respond better to having a mouse friend, since mice are so social.
We got Narm a couple weeks ago, who is younger, from a different litter, and VERY social and friendly with us. We introduced the two on neutral ground, and masked their scents with vanilla. Meep attacked Narm, and drew blood.. twice. I'm very protective of Narm because he's small, and was obviously bullied in the store, so I got another cage set-up, and have kept them in separate cages, but the the cages are side-by-side on a shelf.
I wasn't sure about keeping them side by side at first, and now, they're very curious about each other.  Meep, the bigger, meaner mouse often climbs on the side of the cage next to Narm, and sprays all over the place on that side of his cage.  Narm will climb up on his cage when Meep does this, but isn't as aggressive. They both chew the bars a bit when facing each other. I've given them both toys, things to chew on, and anything I can to keep them entertained. I can take Narm out and play with him, and that often calms him down, but Meep only runs from us humans - we can't even so much as touch him.

Does this mean they want to be closer to each other? Will they be friendly?  I kind of want to try introducing them again, but not if it means Meep will attack and make Narm bleed again. Narm is still significantly smaller than Meep.  Or should I move the cages further apart?

Thank you for your help!

Hi Jackie,

While female mice are very social creatures, males are not.  In the wild they have to fight and compete with other males for territory and for females, and it is no different as pets.  Once two males have decided they are enemies, there is no changing their minds, and putting them together can end in death very quickly.

What you suggested about moving the cages further apart is an excellent idea - being near other males tends to put those boy mice on edge, so interactions with you will be stunted by that constant stress of living right next to a threat.  I think once you separate them and focus instead on one-on-one time with them, you will see a drastic improvement in their attitude toward you, even Meep, though it may take a little time and patience.

Please let me know if I can help out with anything else, and best of luck!


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I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


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!

East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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