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Mice/Keeping baby wild mouse in a cage


QUESTION: Dear Natasha,

I too have recently found a small, baby field mouse running along a sidewalk in down town south Florida. I have been reading your posts about those who have found baby mice. Mine is very young, though not young enough to be with his mother. I took him to a pet shop, where they told me that he was a normal little field mice and should be ok for me to keep. They were also the ones to tell me that he was still very young.

I know the site you provided on one post says florida had one case of that ray disease... I fell in love with this little guy and want to keep him... But i also have an acre yard i can release him in(though is infested with snakes and i recentely found a hatched snake nest).... I can release him if his risk of disease is high and if he is too old to be domesticated...

I asked differet pet shops and got mixed reviews, same with the internet. If you can please help me with advise i will greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

ANSWER: Dear Nck,

The risk of hantavirus is extremely, extremely low. But not impossible.

I can't say zero chance because of course I would be open to getting sued, but I would definitely keep the mouse myself. If it is happy in captivity.

Squeaks n giggles,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Now what would mean for the mouse to be "happy in captivity"... I put him in a cage (one that was used in the past for a rat). This morning he was walking around/exploring the cage for a while. I saw him eat and drink and clean himself three times this morning, and he took about two naps it seems, and seems to move around the papertowels I tore up and put in the bottom.

Dear Nick,

Your mouse is happy. An unhappy mouse would spend its awake time trying to escape; and otherwise sleep in a hiding place. It would not allow itself to be handled.

If it is a wire cage, my guess is he can escape. Little wild mice can get through even cage bars intended for mice. Only a 3/16" spacing can keep a little guy like that in.

Have fun with him :)

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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