The Pros and Cons of Pet Mice
There are a few distinct benefits and also some definite downsides to keeping mice as pets. They are easy to care for, do not last long, and are easily stored in a small space. However, they are also nervous, do not last long, and in many cases, they are not very interactive.
Mice can live quite content in a 10-gallon aquarium with a mesh lid or a cage of similar size. They need a plate of food, a bottle of water, a place to hide, and maybe a wheel to run and / or a block to chew on. Some kind of sand should be placed in the bottom of the cage to absorb urine and usually only needs to be changed once a week.
The urine of mice is quite itchy, especially that of mature males. This can be mitigated a bit by keeping only the females or by cleaning the stains from the cage daily or every other day. But mice generally smell something, so if you hate the smell, maybe another pet or no pets would be better for you.
The lifespan of a mouse is not very long, usually only between a year and a year and a half. This can be difficult if they become beloved pets, but it also means they have less commitment. This makes them good pets for children who are old enough to be responsible but may lose interest in a year or so.
Food and sand for a mouse or two are not very expensive. They are small and don’t eat much, and they don’t need a lot of sand for their cages either. However, veterinary care for your mouse will not be much less expensive than for a cat or small dog, especially since you would need to seek out an exotics specialist.
A lonely mouse is not likely to be happy, because they are deeply social creatures. However, they are shy enough that it is difficult to get a mouse with a companion to bond with you. In general, the best are two babies or adults who are already friends, because they will bond with you and yet appreciate each other’s company. Always choose two of the same sex.
Interaction with a mouse is limited. People can hold them and sometimes let them run around desks or other secure areas, but care must be taken that they do not leak. And older mice that are not yet domesticated can be difficult to handle. However, people who primarily enjoy watching their pets run and play will greatly enjoy having a mouse or two.