Mice/found baby mouse
QUESTION: Hi Natasha! Found your site researching what to do with a found baby mouse. Two of my cats had it in the bathroom, most likely it came up with them from our basement. It's eyes are open and it's moving around. So far I put it in a critter keeper lined with paper towels and tissues. I put a small bunny stuffed toy in. I have offered it warm water on a q-tip which it willingly licked and also crushed some plain cracker in warm water and dipped the q-tip in that, also accepted and licked off. That's where I am now stumped, do I go buy KMR or is what I am doing enough. I don't have a heating pad but do have those bean filled things you can microwave, will that do for extra warmth? I also am soaking plain oats in water for some oat milk to offer later, read that somewhere too. Would greatly appreciate any other suggestions! Thank you ~Tracy
ANSWER: Dear Tracy,
What a little sweetie!
Yes, do get it some KMR. It's hard to tell how old it is, but I think it still has a few days of nursing to do. If it were much over 14 days it would be hopping. But I don't recommend a Q-Tip because I am afraid the cotton fibers could choke it. A watercolor paintbrush is good; an eyedropper might work; even the corner of a paper towel or clean rag. Maybe a very clean sponge. Some people end up having it lick from their fingers or palm.
Luckily this tyke is close to being able to keep itself warm so the temperature does not have to be as even as with a pinky. Most important is that you don't overheat it. I don't know how large your bean thing is. What about sacrificing the bunny to put the bean thing inside it from the back? Otherwise you may be able to put it against the outside of the critter keeper, and put the little nest there.
Expect a very hoppy stage in a day or two. Even the ones raised from very small can go a little nuts for a few days. The more physical time you spend with it now feeling safe in your hand or against your chest, the better, so it remembers that your scent is good. Give it something that smells like you in its cage. You may want to do feedings in the bathroom with all the holes stuffed up (it can get through a hole the size of a dime at this point) and a towel rolled up against the door. Bring the cage in and sit in the dry tub with the mouse. Have an empty toilet paper roll handy in case you lose the mouse. Then you will gently try to usher the mouse into the roll and put your hands on both sides to pick it up. A paper towel roll may work better if it takes off when you get too close.
Within the next few weeks you will need to decide whether you want a pet, and it will need to decide whether it wants to be a pet. if it spends its cage time either hiding or trying to escape, and doesn't want to be held and petted, it wants to be a wild mouse. Then you will want to set it loose in a couple of weeks where your cats can't get it.
I am not a believer in the take no prisoners philosophy 'a wild animal must stay in the wild.' I find that silly. It is the individual animal that matters, not a philosophy. If it is happy as a pet, there is nothing wrong with that. But only if it is happy.
Enjoy your little tyke. I hope it and you have matching wishes about pet-hood.
Squeaks n giggles,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi again Natasha! First and foremost a HUGE thank you for your quick response! Time is always of the essence when you have a baby to save! My little one is doing well as far as I can tell. Poops are brown and normal looking, can't tell if she pee'd or not. I did go out today and picked up a packet of powdered goat's milk which I read can also be used like KMR. I mixed some up and used a new paint brush, she (I'm guessing, the back end 'parts' are seemingly close together so I'm going with a female) didn't care for the brush but will lick/lap on my fingers and definitely loves a piece of plain cracker soaked. She lapped up the milk on it and ate a small piece then sat down to 'clean' herself. I put in a small cap of milk/cracker mix and a small cap of water. Does this sound right? We rescued a baby mouse years ago and he lived to over 5 years! But was a bit older than her when we found him so this tiny of a mouse is new. She seems to move around good as well. I am home for the next 5 days till I start a new job. I will continue to check on her every so often and offer the milk/cracker option. What else should I be offering or doing now and in the next few days should she continue to survive? If she does and still likes me, we will keep her and offer her a very loving home : )
Sounds great. And congratulations on your success with the last one!
These videos are very useful with orphans (watch from 1/10 to 10/10)
And I have a message thread with about 8-10 people who have raised orphans, on Facebook. It wouldl be great to have you as a questioner and an answerer :). Aud, Fischer, the person who made those videos, is there too :)
Friend me in Facebook and tell me who you are, and I will add you. You can also join my group Rats and Mice are Awesome.
Squeaks n giggles,