You are here:

Mice/super lively mouse need help!

Advertisement


Question
Hi Natasha

Ok so last night I thought that maybe I should start handling my new mice so I got out the playpen and put some toys in for them and I brought down the cage. I started by leaving my hand in the cage for them crawl on because I heard that thats what your supposed to do when you first handle them but nobody went anywhere near it and Lunar was the only one awake and she looked quite scared of it so I just decided to pick her up because I was quite nervous about handling them and I just wanted to get on with but thinking about it now this was probably a really stupid and selfish decision. After many attempts to try and grab her, I finally got her and I had her in my hands and she was ok, she was crawling in my hands and she didn't bite and I handled her for quite a while and she was fine. Eventually I put her in the playpen (which isn't a very good playpen because it isn't very hard for them to get out, not only is the bar spacing way too far apart but I didn't realise that mice can climb vertical bars but luckily no one escaped). After that I got Misty, who is easily the most docile of the three and was really easy to handle, she just sat in my hand most of the time and barely even moved so I put her in the playpen with Lunar.

Then we had a problem,it's Bambi again! She was almost impossible to pick up and even when I did manage to get her, it was like trying to hold soap that jumps. She was basically impossible to handle both my parents were there and my dad tried to pick her up and she jumped out of his hands, lukily my mum caught her but she jumped like a grasshopper again and landed on my knee, I was really scared because she was just moments away from running off my knee and onto my bedroom floor, which has so many cracks and holes she could easily run through and she is sooooo fast that we would never catch her. The thought of that happening makes me feel sick with worry but luckily I managed to pick her up and put her in the playpen with the others. I had to pick her by her tail which I felt bad about becuse I know this can be uncomfortable for the mouse and I didn't want to hurt her but it was the only way to control her.

I watched them play in the pen for a little while and we had to keep an eye on them because there were several times that they nearly escaped. I managed to get Lunar and Misty back in the cage easily but then I had to get Bambi. I tried to grab her but she was soooooo fast, my mum grabbed and had to cup her other had over her but she still nearly got away and we had to just sort of drop her back in but she seemed fine and now all three of them are back in their cage.

So what should I do about Bambi I spent most of the night worrying about what might happen if I tried to handle her again because I almost completely lost her forever last night. I'll probably use the bath tub instead of the playpen.

Do you have any tips on how to handle super lively mice or should I just not handle her in case I lose her?

Well thanks for answering :)

From Verity (and Misty, Lunar and Bambi hehe!):)

Answer
Dear Verity,

This was a private breeder? That is unconscionable. How could a breeder not socialize their mice? I am truly shocked. Well, unless you are going to return her, there's not a lot you can do about it- except start looking now for the next breeder. Did I try to help you with that? I can ask around if I haven't already. I think  I told you to watch my My First Mouse video (the addy is in my profile) and you may have been deceived as to how calm mice are...

Anyway...

Yes, to the bathtub. A pity about the pen. Did you send me a photo and I okayed that? If so, shame on me for not asking about the spacing. Actually for a mouse I would only use a pen with solid sides. There is a pen available here called the Grrreat Wall, but I suppose even if they would mail it, it would be incredibly expensive. It is the pen in my Meet the Rodents videos. If I didn't send you that link, I will. You can recreate it by buying the plastic sheeting at a hardware store. Or even make your own with large pieces of cardboard. Make it at least 50 cm tall.

Never chase a mouse with your hands. That is terrifying. She will feel like she is being hunted. Especially because you are probably reaching from the top- you could easily be an owl.  You always must be gentle, even when she is scared and fast. First, take everything out of the cage. Now you don't have to find her. Second, gently usher her into into one of the toilet paper tunes that you have in there. If there aren't any in there then you didn't watch my video very carefully. It also shows how to pick up a mouse. The addy is in my profile. You have to cut and paste it into your browser window. Once you have convinced her to go into the toilet paper roll, you quickly put both of your hands on the two sides and you can pick her up. Without the TP roll, you have to get her into a corner- not hard to do- and come at her slowly with both hands, blocking her escape as best you can. The tail is the absolutely last option: you grab by the very, very base of the tail by her rump, and the instant you have her, your other hand goes under her. That hand can stay holding the base of that tail as you transfer her to the tub. There should be places to hide including paper towel and toilet paper rolls and a box or house. And definitely a wheel.

Some other hints about using the tub. Look around carefully for holes in the bathroom she could escape through if she gets out of the tub (she may get out because you are going to get into it with her and she may launch herself from your shoulder). Stuff cracks with newspaper or, if you want to permanently seal them, caulk. Bring the cage into the bathroom. Roll up a towel and block the bottom of the door with it.

Next... Well I am going to give you a link with lots and lots of hints in it, instead of giving you bits and pieces. It includes a step by step process for getting to know her. It is fine to use the toilet paper roll to get her into and out of the bathtub, especially since she will have contact with you. But you should also be training her to trust you. The steps may be fast or slow; be patient.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Mice-3824/2011/7/frightened-mouse.htm

Everything is really in that link, so I am going to leave it here. And don't lose sleep over it. Though you might want to find a live trap just in case she does get lost (if she does, block the door like in the bathroom right away).

Best of luck with them. Keep me informed :)

Squeaks n giggles,

Natasha  

Mice

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Natasha

Expertise

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): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

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.

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

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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.