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Mice/Mouse diet


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Scattered Food
Scattered Food  
QUESTION: Hi there,
I have got 3 beautiful pet mice, I love them dearly & have had them 3 months & are doing well. The problem I have is finding the right food for them. They eat well on bought mouse food & treats but I have noticed that they tend to have a lot of food scattered all over the area their food bowl is. Does this mean that they don't like that particular food ? They also have this funny trick of picking some food up & carefully but deliberately tossing it out of their cage. Just wondering if I am over feeding ?

many thanks   Malcolm

ANSWER: Dear Malcolm,

Let me tell you about my mice. They sit up on their food dish and throw their food around. They throw it out of the cage. It bounces down the stairs, making lots of noise, and covering the stairs with seeds under our feet.

Mice scatter their food. I don't think my mice are actually trying to throw their food out of the cage-- I think they are too stupid for that (I have show mice). But I have had mice who were smart enough for that. At one point I was giving the mice Timothy hay. It included seed heads. One clever mouse was simply throwing the heads out of the cage. She liked the stalk but not the heads, (I also had a mouse who disdainfully removed the poops an elderly mouse was leaving in the food dish, and deliberately and disgustedly threw them out of the cage)

If they always throw the same seeds out, you have smart mice with delicate palates.

Don't worry about over feeding. Mice should always be free fed their seed mix.

Rose is beautiful. Why doesn't she have any litter in her cage? They need it.

Squeaks n giggles,


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

QUESTION: Hi Natasha
Just wanted to say many thanks for your comments, much appreciated. Incidentally they do have litter in their cage, there are 3 levels to the cage, the base has some sawdust & lots of bedding & old newspaper which they love to tear up. The level which has their food dish doesn't have litter but then there is the top level which does & also has a little house where they sometimes sleep.
Do you buy ready made mouse food or your own made up recipe, if so what do you advise to give them. I give them bought in food with treats like cucumber, banana, stale bread, boiled egg & peanut butter.

Thank you Natasha

Hi Malcolm,

I am glad they have litter; however, sawdust is no good for those wee little noses. With mice and rats one always has to think about respiratory issues, because it is so easy to upset the delicate balance which is their constant fight with a bacteria called myco, always present to a low degree. So anything that irritates the nose, whether small particles, or smoke, or other air additives, or urine in a dirty cage... All of those things lead them into illness.

You can use aspen chips-- NOT cedar or pine-- a paper litter like Carefresh-- or any of several other litters you find in a pet store (nothing hard to walk on and nothing that you would freak out if an infant put it into their mouth).

I use a seed mix -- not KayTee, because their quality is terrible-- because it is hard to make a home mix which really covers all of the nutrients. That is why they have the icky green pellets that the mice don't like-- those are their vitamins, minerals, whatever the scientists couldn't figure out a natural source for a dry mix. Remove peanuts. To be super careful, remove corn. Then they can have healthy treats. They will go nuts over a little scrambled egg, avocado, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, light greens, itsy bits of cheese such as cheddar, popcorn, pretzels, tortilla chips...

But the peanut butter must be *liquid.* Let me tell you how, so you don't drive yourself nuts. Take a blob of peanut butter in a bowl. Add one drop of the liquid you are using. I use rice milk; it keeps very well. Mix. Add two drops. Mix. Keep adding just a little bit more until you have something you can pour. Mice choke to death on peanut butter :(. Mice don't choke a lot (unlike rats), but peanut butter will get anyone (humans of all ages too).

Have fun :) with your lovely Rose and her two friends.

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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