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Mice/young mouse found


new little friend
new little friend  

mouse and toy
mouse and toy  
Sliding into my slippers after taking a shower last night, a sqeak sound came from them. Upon closer inspeciion, a young mouse had taken up refuge in the toe of my slipper! We have 4 cats and two similar aged/sized little mice had been found deceased. This one we have in a small conatiner with a capful of water and some seeds from our gerbil's stash. This morning there seemed to be some seed eaten. Who knows how long this poor little one was hiding in my slipper! I did also put in a small stuffed bunny for added warmth. It's eyes are open and in the photos you can judge the size. It did crawl up into my hand and snuggled for awhile, not it's resting curled up against the bunny toy. I can't release it into the basement or outside right now, seems too young. Any other thoughts on food or helpful hints. It seems happy to have a safe/warm place to be for now.I live in MA. Thanks for any advice!

Hi Tracy,

One great option would be to find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area who works with small mammals like rodents, preferably with experience in mice.  Your state has a great network of them and phone numbers for contact here:  Just select your area from the right, look for M for mammal next to their name, and see if any of them can help you out.  A rehabilitator can confirm the mouse's age, as well as look for signs of injury or illness that may not be immediately evident.

If you decide to release him or her in the future, the best choice would be to do so very far from your house, in an area with some kind of cover to protect from aerial predators.  Releasing into your basement would virtually guarantee run-ins with the kitties, which would be no good (as well as contributing to your house's population).

In the meantime, you can feed the little fellow mouse or rat food from the store, or even gerbil food in a pinch (though it's not good for a longterm mouse diet).  You can also supply him or her with small pieces of stale bread, even soaked in water if they seem dehydrated, but you should remove moist foods that don't get eaten to prevent molding.  Be cautious with the water in the cap - if the bedding is absorbent and thin, spilled water can lead to chills very quickly.  Check the bedding for poops and spots of pee to be sure he or she is eliminating waste on their own, which is another good indicator of age (very young mice cannot go to the bathroom on their own and need to be helped at every feeding).  Mice that are not old enough to eat their full diet in solids, or who cannot yet hydrate themselves, need to be supplied with kitten or puppy milk replacement.  Because that would be an emergency situation, rather than have you write me back for instructions I'm going to provide a link that can explain how to prepare and provide it:  This is another reason I would suggest visiting an experienced wildlife rehabilitator or even a veterinarian - I cannot accurately determine age from the pictures, and baby mice can decline in health pretty quickly.  Watch for signs of dehydration or illness - lack of appetite or inability to eat, loss of energy, sudden trouble walking or wobbling, hunching or gasping, or decrease in weight are all signs of an emergency and means they need to be seen by a veterinarian who works with mice immediately.

Assuming the mouse is eating on its own, drinking or keeping hydrated from moist foods, is active and alert, and is showing no signs of injury or illness, you can actually assume it probably is old enough to release.  Most mice are able to care for themselves by about 5 weeks of age.  Again, if less than that however, you may need to start helping with feedings and providing a formula in addition to offering solid foods to try.

If you have any questions or need any further help please let me know!  I'm sorry for the long response.  Your question was a little broad and I wanted to cover as much as I could.  :)



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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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