The House Mouse
Species: mus musculus
This species is righteously called global – they are found all over the world except for the Antarctic and very high altitudes. If we look at Russia, house mice are found everywhere except for certain places in Eastern Siberia, in Taimur, due to unfavorable climate conditions.
House mice most probably originated from northern parts of India, Africa or Asia; their fossils have been found there. As their name suggests, this species always lives near people – it builds nests in basements, sheds or attics.
Everyone has seen this small rodent at some point. An adult mice is 7-10 cm long, and the tails measures further 5-10 cm. The weight is usually between 15 and 30 g. The color varies from gray to dark brown. Males look similar to females. House mice are nocturnal animals, they are active at nights.
House mice can move with the speed up to 12 km an hour. They are good jumpers, climbers and even swimmers.
House mice are nocturnal animals; they feel best in the dark. If they get in the light areas, they become stressed and try to leave the place as soon as possible.
They are not very easily trained, especially if they get punished for the wrong type of behavior. But once they have realized what they have to do, they can demonstrate good results. Mice can learn to respond on their names and even do some tricks.
A house mouse quickly becomes a sociable and friendly pet. Specialists recommend keeping it in a metal cage or a glass tank: then the mouse won’t be able to disrupt its house with sharp teeth. Don’t forget that mice are very active and need to get out their energy. So its enclosure should be spacious and have a lot of toys in it. For bedding you can use wood cuttings.
Your mouse will need a house (a pot or a box will do), sturdy bowls for food and water. You will have to clean the cage daily and change the bedding at least twice a week.
It is quite easy to tame the mouse: you will need to handle it regularly and call its name. Soon your pet will recognize your voice and your smell.
House mice gnaw and chew on anything they can get their teeth on, even soap and dried glue. In the wild house mice prefer seeds and grain, leaves, fruit and at times insect larvae.
In the captivity you can offer them a varied menu: from grain (corn, oats, millet, barley) and seeds to cheese, fruit and berries and crackers. You shouldn’t feed your mouse only with commercial dry mixes: the rodent can get ill from scarce and monotonous food. You should add to the food special vitamins and minerals for rodents.
Males tend to fight a lot. Mexican volcano mice are skittish. They hide in places that are hard to access. They are not easily trained animals.
Breast cancer often occurs in rats and mice, both in males and females. Many scientists believe that it appears due to genetic predisposition.
Mice can have various types of ectoparasies: Myobia musculi, Myopcoptes musculinus and Radfordia affinis. Ear mites often occur too. Sometimes mice can get gastritis and enteritis due to improper diet.
Under good care a fancy mouse lives from 18 to 30 months.