Pet Care Information
Mice and rats are often referred to as "pocket pets", as they are small, easy to house and are the perfect size to be carried with ease. They make interesting pets and often a child's first experience with animals breeding.
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Use this handy list to help you select the necessary items to care for your mice and rats:
- Mouse / Rat cage or plastic tank
- Hutch cleaner
- Pet litter
- Soft bedding material
- Rat & mouse cubes / mix
- Heavy food bowl
- Water bowl
- Water guard
- Salt lick & hanger
- Worming syrup
- Rat / mouse book
Mice are best kept in a plastic mouse cage. Plastic is one of the easiest surfaces to clean. Rat cages are generally made from fine mesh similar to a bird cage, which look great and have excellent ventilation. There are many cage designs that you can add to such as the addition of tunnels, mazes and hideout towers just to name a few. These are a lot of fun and great exercise for you mouse or rat!
Mice and rats should be provided with a fresh daily supply of Mouse & Rat Mix or Rat & Mouse Cubes in a heavy bowl to avoid spilling. Hard vegetables can be fed in moderation, as can dry dog biscuits or any mouse & rat treats. These are normally hard to assist gnawing their teeth down. A salt lick stone hung in the cage will provide minerals in your pet's diet and a water bottle will provide your pet with a fresh supply of water that cannot be spilt.
Good hygiene is the basis for good health. Pet litter is an ideal base in cages as it is absorbent and helps to minimize smell. Soft bedding material can be placed in the animal's house to provide a warm and soft bed. The cage should be cleaned at least weekly and all bedding replaced. The cage should be located in an area that ensures it remains at a moderate temperature. Avoid damp areas, excessive heat and cold.
Gastrointestinal worms: Just like dogs and cats, rats and mice can also become infected with worms. If left untreated they may hinder the mouse or rat's growth and development. As with most animals there is some risk of infection transferring to other pets and humans.
Gastrointestinal worms can easily be treated with liquid medications developed for small animals. As a precaution they should be administered every three months.
If your mouse or rat looks unwell it should be taken to your vet.
Mice and rats reach sexual maturity between 6 & 12 weeks of age. If you decide to breed your animal you will need a cage each for your male, female and offspring when they are weaned. The gestation period for mice and rats is 21 days. It is possible for the female (doe) to fall pregnant the same day she has the litter, you should therefore make sure the male (buck) is back in his own cage well before the due date.
Allow your doe a good break between litters to get her back into good condition. The offspring from each litter is normally sold between 5 & 7 weeks of age.
Mice and rats are easy to tame and can be taught many tricks, especially rats, which will provide many hours of fun for you and your pet!