Unfortunately mice cannot be house trained and will often defecate and urinate while first being handled, especially if they are nervous. The feces of a healthy mouse consist of a relatively innocuous solid pellet a few millimeters long. However their urine is often pungent, particularly with males, and could stain fabric.
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SensesFancy mice have limited vision, and rely on their keen senses of smell and hearing to perceive their world.
A fancy mouse (“fancy” means “hobby” in this context) is a domesticated form of the house mouse (Mus musculus), usually bred as a pet. Fancy mice are also called "feeder mice" when they are sold as live or frozen food for carnivorous pet animals such as snakes. Fancy mice have also been specially bred for exhibiting, with shows being held internationally.
Human-directed artificial selection in fancy mice has created a variety of colors and patterns. These include black, chocolate, blue, white, cream, lilac, red, fawn, champagne, cinnamon, golden agouti, silver agouti, silver and dove. Depending on the club the standards may differ slightly.
HabitatYour 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.
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Fancy mice enjoy living together in pairs. It is best to house two females together, as two males may become territorial. They have limited vision, and rely on their keen senses of smell and hearing to perceive their world.
There are several clubs all over the world who host shows for mice, similar to rat shows. Shows are held in the US, the UK, and Australia most commonly. Clubs include AFRMA (American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association, US), ECMA (East Coast Mouse Association, US), RMCC (Rat and Mouse Club of China, US), NMC (National Mouse Club, UK), and more.
Glass terrariums or cages with wire bars and plastic flooring, are the most common types of housing. A span between cage bars of less than 9 mm (0.35 in) prevents young mice from attempting to escape by forcing themselves through the bars, where they may get stuck. This can also help prevent predatory pets such as cats, dogs, arthropods, snakes, and other carnivores from killing and eating the mice.
Fancy mice are inexpensive compared to other larger pets, but they are also short-lived compared to other animals.
Mice are great pets for people of all ages and, though high maintenance, are fun to watch and play with. They're friendlier than other small pets and are very clean. Read more about taking care of your new mouse friends below.
Lifting & handlingIt'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. Avoid lifting her by her tail.
Mice self-groom and do not need to be bathed, unless they have a skin condition which requires special treatment.
The term 'fancy mouse' is used to describe mice that have been selectively bred for exhibition. They can vary greatly in size, from small pet mice that are approximately 15–17.5 cm (6–7 in) long from nose to the tip of the tail, to show mice that measure 30 cm (12 in) nose to tail. Pet mice weigh about 29–44 g (1.0–1.6 oz) but large show mice can weigh up to 130 g (4.6 oz).
Also, like people, mice can get diarrhea. For humans in developed countries with access to clean water, this is usually not a life-threatening condition. For mice though, it can be. Once a mouse gets diarrhea, since it is so small, it can very easily lose too much liquid, dehydrate, and die.
Special needsFancy mice have front teeth that never stop growing -- so they need lots of healthy things to chew on like treat sticks.
They have tons of energy and are really fun to watch. Fancy mice enjoy running on wheels and in exercise balls. They enjoy interacting with their Pet Parents and can even be trained the learn tricks!