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Mice/Depressed Mouse?

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Question
Hi Natasha,

I think my Girlfriends mouse 'Fatty' (female 1 and 1/2 yrs old) is depressed :( Fatty recently lost a friend 'Ms Tarly' (From previous question) and seems to be less responsive and less 'explorative', I haven't seen her moving around the cage much and she spends most of her time sleeping. Fatty's never been that much of an active mouse but she seems to be less active than usual ever since Ms Tarly died.

Originally Fatty was housed with 6 other female mice (all of the same age) for about 8 months, and they'd all got along very well with no squabbles or problems. However as must always happen, 2 of them passed away, and seeing how our cages (we've got two cages connected) seemed very empty, we decided to get three new young ones (Grumbles, Luna and Siamesy all females) which we introduced to the older mice with a few squabbles here and there.

After settling in for a few months the mice were all getting along well (apart from Grumbles who squabbled with everyone), until the old mice started passing away (due to old age, tumors etc). Basically after Ms Tarly passed away (Fatty's best friend), Fatty has been the only mouse left from the original group.

She doesn't get along as well with the new mice and is constantly 'bullied' (tail-chasing, squeaking and 'slapping' fights) by Grumbles and Luna, (but with no bites or wounds). The only mouse that doesn't bully her is Siamesy. However we've noticed that since Ms Tarly's death, Fatty has been spending more and more time in the 'nest' and less time exploring/moving around the cage. Unfortunately Fatty isn't so fond of being handled either (poops like crazy and shakes on our hands).

Would you have any suggestions as to what we can do with her or how we could cheer her up?
Also how could we tell that she's definitely depressed? Is getting more mice a possible solution?
(All the mice are females and all currently sleep together)

Sorry for such a long winded question and hope you can help us out!

Thanks :)
Indra

Answer
Dear Indra;

Yes, Fatty is depressed.

I recommend putting Fatty and Siamsey in their own cage.

If that doesn't cheer her up, get her 2-3 nice little baby girls.  Then Siamsey can go back with the others.

Best of luck.

Squeaks n giggles,

Natasha

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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

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