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Mice/What kind of mouse is this?


What kind of mouse?
What kind of mouse?  
He was found in Acton, California. Is it possible to keep him as a pet? Or could he possible be carrying a disease like the hantavirus? We rescued him because he was in someone's house and they were going to kill him. I did not want that to happen, but now what? I cannot find what kind of mouse he is so I do not know how to care or feed for him.

Hi Amanda,

I can't ID your species of mouse from this photo. I can, however, link you to this site which can help you look for clues, such as a white belly or feet:

While deer mice are the primary carriers of hantavirus, it is not impossible that others may spread it, so caution must be exercised. Please think twice about keeping a found, wild mouse as a pet, as they usually do not make for happy or friendly pets and it's always best to know how to care for a pet before actually having it.

Mice need to eat a mouse food, specifically labeled for mice or mice and rats. Of course, this isn't what your mouse will have been eating, so they may not be very interested. A good snack until you decide what to do is stale bread soaked in water (to provide hydration), and a cereal like cheerios.

While deciding whether or not to keep your new friend is a decision only you can make, let me explain why I personally would not recommend it. First, there is the risk of hantavirus or other diseases, which only a vet or laboratory could help you rule out. Second, wild mice are actually genetically predisposed to that wild behavior - it helps them survive. It takes several generations to "tame" wild mice, meaning they will be restless, jumpy, more anxious, and may bite. You should ask yourself if you think your new buddy can be happy in a cage, or if they might be more at home roaming?

If you decide to release him or her, consider doing so far away from your home and in an area with cover from flying predators. I promise - he or she will adjust very quickly!  If you decide to keep him or her, please consider a visit to your local vet who works with pocket pets like mice to ask questions regarding species, health, feeding, and care. I would also recommend checking out this site for loads of information:

Best of luck, and please let me know if I can help with 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!

East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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