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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Fancy Mouse

Fancy Mouse


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Traits & behavior

Fancy mice can live together in pairs. It's best to house two females together, as two males may become territorial and aggressive. They also enjoy human interaction.

Fancy mice are trainable and fun to watch.

You'll notice your mouse grooming herself a lot while she's awake.

Things to remember

Lifting & handling
It's very important to handle your mouse gently. To pick her up, stop her forward motion by lightly holding her tail, then slide your other hand under her body for support as you lift her. Never lift her by her tail. Take care to not hold her too tightly.

Fancy mice have limited vision, and rely on their keen senses of smell and hearing to perceive their world.

Special needs
Fancy mice have front teeth that never stop growing -- so they need lots of healthy things to chew on like treat sticks.


Your mouse will run on a wheel in her habitat. To protect her tail, make sure it's a solid surface wheel. She will also enjoy running in an exercise ball.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.


Staple diet
Choose a fortified diet appropriate for mice. Fill the bowl approximately 3/4 full.

Offer about one teaspoon of chopped carrots, dark green lettuce, squash, Brussels sprouts or kale daily. Take care not to overfeed these fresh foods. They have a high moisture content and too much can cause an upset stomach.

Treat your mouse to finely chopped pieces (about one teaspoon) of pears, strawberries or grapes twice a week.

Treat sticks & chews
These hard and crunchy treats keep your pet's front teeth trimmed -- always keep one in the habitat.

Change and fill your pet's water bottle with clean water every day.

*Remember that fresh food items require their own dish and should be removed from the habitat after four hours to prevent spoilage. Treats should be less than 10% of total food intake.


Signs of a healthy fancy mouse:

  • Clean, bright eyes
  • Smooth coat with no bare patches
  • Sleek, smooth body
  • Eats and drinks normally
  • Normal, well-formed droppings

Things to watch for:

  • Cloudy, sunken or swollen eyes
  • Overgrown front teeth
  • Bare patches in the fur
  • Diarrhea or discolored droppings for more than two days
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Weight loss; not eating or drinking normally
  • Sneezing; discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs described above, please consult a Small Animal Veterinarian as soon as possible.


Your fancy mouse needs a wire, plastic or glass home with a snug-fitting lid (mice are good climbers and could find a way out). It should be large enough for a food dish and water bottle, a small house for sleeping and an exercise wheel. Minimum cage size is 12"L x 12"W x 12"H (31 cm x 31 cm x 31 cm) with wire spacing no larger than 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) apart.

Fancy mice love to hide and burrow, so lots of clean aspen or other appropriate bedding is a must. Line the home with 1"-2" (3-5 cm) of bedding, and change it once a week or more often if needed.

Cage placement
Place the habitat in a cool, low humidity area, out of direct sunlight.

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