The Society of Mice and Men: Why Your Pocket Companion Needs Socializing

The Society of Mice and Men: Why Your Pocket Companion Needs Socializing

Hello and welcome back to my blog! I am certainly glad that you guys seemed to be glued and highly interested in what I’m going to be writing about next. I’m ecstatic to find that there are so many of my readers are truly interested in the humble mouse and caring for it like I do my dear Mercedes. For those who aren’t quite aware of it, there are A LOT of people out there that have mice as personal pets and not just have them because it was a school project.

There are actual mice breeders that are dedicated to finding breeds that can survive for pretty long. Mice are adaptable creatures. It doesn’t take long for them to start shaping their behavior in a way that best fits their survival. So if you have a pet mouse, you will know that are not naturally affectionate creatures. While they are social, they do not necessarily show their affection in the same way that we do.

However, your pet mouse will have adapted to you and understands that its master responds well to affection. Over time and especially if you treat your mouse companion well, it will pick up your cues so it won’t try to run or bite if you want to hold it in your hands. Instead, the mouse will try to burrow itself deeper in your hand’s grasp. A sort of cuddle, if you will! This exchange is not only beneficial for the pet owner but also for the pet itself.

You heard that right. Social interactions are pretty good and actually pretty darn important for a mouse. In fact, it is ideal that when you purchase a mouse, you get females and usually in a group or in twos. That way, they can stay together without breeding or killing each other because they get territorial.

Despite this nature, mice need interaction. Here are a few reasons why:

It makes them less anxious

Mice are not creatures that do well on their own. When adults are by themselves, they get angst-ridden and ferocious.  When young mice are left by themselves, they do not pick up proper social cues for them to determine acceptable behavior. Yes, mice are much like people in terms of behavior. This is one of the reasons why they are best to use in behavioral experiments.

It makes them live longer

Social mice are happier. When mice are happy, they tend to live longer. While mice have an average lifespan of about three years, most of them do not reach that age because of several outside factors. Mostly, it is because they feel lonely.

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Mice need to socialize with either their owner or other mice. Nothing was put on this planet to grow up alone at least that is what I think of it whenever I pet Mercedes. When I first got her she was still pretty small so she was not very good with socialization. I needed to wait a while and just be patient until she grew up enough to understand what it was that was needed of her.

Why do you think mice need to be socialized?

Nature’s Pocket Sized Wonders: How to Care for a Pet Mouse

Nature’s Pocket Sized Wonders: How to Care for a Pet Mouse

Hello there, everyone! Welcome back to Le Rat des Villes! The last article certainly packed a wallop! My inbox has been full of replies for both sides of the argumentative coin and I couldn’t be happier. I certainly appreciate the fact that people are keen on making their opinions known. This means that they are taking my discussions to heart and are willing to share their two cents on the matter.

In other news, my inbox has also been receiving several other questions about Mercedes. She is still very much alive and I have been a bit of a bad pet owner since she’s getting a little on the portly side. A mouse, despite being so utterly adorable, is still an animal and will need certain things in order to remain as healthy as they can be. That being said, I would like to share with you guys some tips and pointers that I picked up along the way about caring for a pet mouse.


If you are imagining Jerry—who is always after cheese—in your mind, it would be best to banish that thought now. It was one of the biggest shocks of my life to find out that mice are actually lactose intolerant. This means that feeding them cheese would be a very bad idea!

So what can they eat then? Usually, pet stores will have specialized food that you can buy in bulk for them. If you cannot find any, hamster food will do. If you prefer to have them eat something more organic, you can try feeding them grain, bread, and even fruit. Just be mindful of the portions. Also, be reminded that mice eat A LOT. So you need to make sure that they will always have food available for them.

As for water, I found that they can be dehydrated quite fast so it would be important to make sure that they have a drip bottle they can use.


Mice need to stay active. A lot of mice owners make the mistake of not giving them physical activities or worse, giving them a hamster wheel. Hamster wheels are good for hamsters because they don’t have any tails that they need to worry about. Mice have tails and they can be caught rather easily on hamster wheels.

When I want Mercedes to get a bit of a workout, I have her go through the maze that I built for a project. While it is no longer imperative that she finds the proper end point, she can still spend hours going around the maze and getting the workout she needs.


Mice need a nice and spacious cage, if you can afford it. Suitable space comes with proper ventilation so your mouse doesn’t die because it can’t breathe. Small quarters also make for an anxious mouse. If they are anxious, they can lose all their hair and even die.

I found it best to think of building your mouse shelter like you would think of an accommodation on a luxury vacation. It should have everything you need right there without having to go anywhere else.

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Mice, if taken cared of properly, can live to around 2 to about 3 years. Despite any wishes for them to live as long as certain breeds of dog, alas, this isn’t so. Despite their short years, they can be pretty solid companions if you treat them right. They’re affectionate and incredibly intelligent. Just remember the tips above and you’ll be sure to provide a pretty good environment for your pet mouse to grow.

Would you ever consider getting a mouse as a pet?

Doing a Mouse Centered Experiment? Succeed Better With These Two Key Factors

Doing a Mouse Centered Experiment? Succeed Better With These Two Key Factors

When you are a psychology major, one of the courses or classes that you will be exposed to is behavioral psychology. This is where you get introduced to greats like Freud and Maslow. One of the biggest projects that I ever had to come across actually was the point where the seeds of my interest were planted.

It was those very seeds which blossomed into the very blog which you are reading today. As you may imagine, this project had to do with training mice to go through a pre-made maze. It was certainly challenging, let me tell you that. Mice are intelligent—yes, they are. However, they do need to be trained in order to do what you want them to. In doing this project, there were a lot of things I realized in hindsight. Hindsight is always 20/20.

So in my journey into getting the mouse (who I named Mercedes) toward where she needed to go, I figured out a few things that would have helped me better. So in case you gust ever need to train a mouse through a maze, take these key factors that I certainly wished I learned earlier:

Have a Set Goal

One of the troubles with a maze is that there are false ends. So you need to be clear from the beginning what the end goal is. My problem was that I let my Mercedes do as she pleased and just tried to go with the point where she went the most. This ended up confusing her further, as you can imagine.

Establish Proper Punishment

One of the best ways that I found for Mercedes to learn was to dole out suitable punishment whenever she went to the wrong branch of the maze. There are many ways in which mice could be punished but you also have to consider the long term effect on the mouse. One of my classmates used water to punish her mouse. She would spray a bit of water on the mouse whenever it would go down the wrong end.

This led the mouse to associate paths where it is not sprayed with water as the correct path. This seemed well and good—at the time. On the day of presentation itself, you are not allowed to have any contact with your mouse. You are not allowed to dole out any physical punishments if they make a mistake. You can only have their reward at the end of the right path.

As you can imagine, my classmate (who could not physically spray her mouse with water) could only watch as her mouse go through the maze all lost because it perceived everything to be the correct path since it was not being splashed with water. I went feeding Mercedes bread on incorrect ends and peanut butter only in the correct path. Mercedes eventually learned how to be familiar with the scent of peanut butter.

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Training mice can be pretty tricky. However, you only need to be consistent in order to really train your mouse!  The couple of key factors above should help you out if you have a mouse to train in your future.

What other key factors do you think are needed to train mice?