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Mice/Pet mouse started acting scared and less friendly


My mouse is around 15 weeks old and I have had her as my pet for about 4 weeks. When We first got her she settled in really well and was really friendly, then about 3 weeks later she gave birth to an unexpected litter of 3, who are now around 1 week and a half old. The mother was very playful and friendly after the birth and she cares for the babies very well but still came out to see us and play with us, but recently in the past 3 days she has been acting very strange. She cowers in corners and will no longer let us touch her and she seems very scared for no reason. She has become a lot less friendly as she used to run to us when she saw us and now spends a lot of time in her nest. There has been no other issues with her in the time she has been with us and this is why we are so confused as to why she has had this sudden change.

Appreciate the help, thanks!

Hi Charlotte,

Your mouse is a first time mom and still young, plus she recently had a lot change in her life.  It's completely normal for her to still be adjusting.  As long as nothing is wrong with her or the pup's development, she may just need some space and to figure out the best way to be a mum.

The best thing you can do for her while she is nursing is to reduce all stress.  Keep her food and water filled 24/7, only spot clean her cage bedding as needed, and give her some room until the little ones are weaned.  I'm betting that as they start venturing out and needing her less you'll see her come back out of her shell and show more of an interest in you.

The only thing I would caution is to watch her for signs of weight loss, lethargy, or illness.  If she starts to look unwell in addition to her sudden behavior change, she may need a vet visit.  In the meantime, double check everything around her cage including drafts and other animals/foot traffic to be sure nothing is setting her off that she may have noticed first.  Best of luck, and let me know if you need anything else!



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I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

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