Mice are small rodents who can be very active, generally at night and around dawn and dusk. They are a prey species and therefore prefer to stay close to cover.
They are highly motivated to build nests to help them regulate their body temperature and are sensitive to light and noise. They are very quick to move and need to be handled carefully to avoid injuring them.
Your duty of care
Owning and caring for mice can be very rewarding.Typically, mice can live for about three years. Although this may appear a short time in comparison to other pet animals, owning mice is still a big responsibility and commitment. If you own or are responsible for mice, even on a temporary basis, you are required by law to care for them properly.
If you are unable to care for your mice at any time, you must make arrangements for another suitable person to look after them on your behalf. That person will also be legally responsible for the welfare of your mice in your absence.
Read more about the Animal Welfare Act and your duty of care to your animals.
The Five Welfare Needs
There is no one “perfect” way to care for all mice, because every mouse and every situation is different. It is up to you how you look after your mice but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all their needs.
Read our expert reviewed pet care information to find out more about the needs of mice and how to make sure that they are happy and healthy: Environment, Diet, Behaviour, Company, and Health and welfare.
If you are ever unsure about anything to do with the care of your mice, you should always seek advice from a vet or other expert (for instance an animal welfare organisation).
Clarification of terminology
There are a number of terms used in this document that can cause some confusion with regards to cage kept animals. Therefore these terms are described here for your reference and understanding.
Bedding material is used to describe the material or substrate that is used to cover the bottom of the cage.
Nesting material is used to describe the material provided in addition to bedding material, which is given to mice for nest building and nesting behaviour.