I’m looking for…
Small pet, big personality.
Wondering if a mouse or rat is right for you?
Rats and mice are intelligent, affectionate, and very social creatures. They like to spend a lot of time resting and grooming themselves, and their personalities will thrive with lots of physical and mental stimulation. As pets, they’re described as loving, cheeky, mischievous, and intelligent.
Shelter & housing.
These loveable rodents are extremely clever and love a good challenge. Provide your pets with a cage that is as large and interesting as possible, preferably with multiple levels for enrichment and exercise. Also ensure that it is easy to clean and well ventilated — we have a wide variety of cages at Happy Pet Place to suit all mouse and rat needs.
Rats and mice love to burrow and nest, so plenty of suitable bedding needs to be provided such as shredded paper, hemp or pelleted recycled paper ‘cat-litter’. Regular cleaning of the cage (we stock products just for this purpose) and changing of their bedding to avoid ammonia build up is essential to ensure a hygienic environment and to reduce the smell.
Mice and rats love to play! As well as a stimulating cage, you can provide cardboard boxes, hard plastic tubes or similar objects for ‘hiding’ places and sleeping areas. We have a wide range of cage accessories to help with the well-being of your pets, including chews and treats, tunnels, toys, wheels, and housing.
Ensure you use dripper-type water bottles or water bowls for access to fresh water, and a separate bowl for food.
Mice and rats should be fed good quality pellets (look for a protein content of 16% minimum and fat content of 4 – 5%). We use and recommend Science Selective Mouse Food & Rat Food for optimal complete and balanced nutrition delivered in a crunchy, tasty pellet.
A small combination of fresh fruits and vegetables can also be offered. Apples, pears, banana, melons, stone fruits, citrus fruits, broccoli, cabbage (not red cabbage), carrots, Asian greens, celery, parsley, berries, fresh corn (small amounts) and peas all make yummy treats.
Socialising & handling.
Ideally, you should to keep at least two rats or mice (of the same sex) together at all times to maximise their well-being.
Rats and mice are delicate creatures and need to be handled carefully and gently to avoid injury. With enough handling and familiarity, they will climb on you and fall asleep on your lap.
- Male rats are larger than females (can grow double the size) and generally smell more.
- Male rats are generally cuddlier and love to sleep more than females. They should have more nesting and burrowing places, while female rats are more energetic and love to explore.
- Rats can be litter trained! They generally pick a corner for their toilet, and once they do, you can place a litter tray containing Mini Hemp in this area. This will help keep the smell at bay.
- Rats can be trained to do tricks! You can teach them to jump through hoops, go through tunnels, and heaps more. It’s very stimulating for them, and helps you bond as well.
- Rats need same-species companions to be able to communicate with, if they are kept alone they can often find themselves in depressive and isolated state. Rats should be kept in pairs or groups.
- Male and female mice show very different personality traits.
- Male mice are often solitary animals. If placed with unrelated males, they can fight territorially, even a bonded pair may fight once moved from the store to a new home.
- Female mice need the companionship of each other. They should be in pairs, or groups of odd numbers so they can develop a natural hierarchy. They may still fight from time to time, but you must let them sort it out. If females are kept alone they can often find themselves in depressive and isolated state.
- Male mice are generally cuddlier and love to sleep more than female mice. They should have more nesting and burrowing places.
- Female mice are more energetic than male mice, they love to climb, jump and explore. Their enclosure should be a taller allowing them to climb. Keep changing their enclosure around adding different toys and items for them to use and explore to ensure they don’t get bored.