Posted: May 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I would like to know the best place to keep two pet mice. I think that my bedroom is the best place in my house, but will this be OK? Will they stink? Will they be active at night? Will I disturb them during the day? What do you think I can do to make this living situation work?
A: Mice are wonderfully adaptable pets and will be happy in almost any area of your home as long as they have a comfortable home that is out of direct sunlight and drafts that has plenty of toys and hiding places.
Although mice are nocturnal and will always be more active at night, you will find that they quickly adapt to your daily routine. Within weeks you will notice that they are more active at the same time you are. If you do happen to wake them during the day, they will peek out of their house to check on the disturbance then simply curl up again and go back to sleep. You will find that they are very quiet pets, but if nighttime noise is a concern invest in a good quality plastic wheel with a solid running surface as they tend to be quieter and safer than metal wheels.
Odor can be a concern with mice. If you have female mice this shouldn't be an issue as long as their cage is cleaned regularly. Male mice, however, do have an odor that some people find offensive. This odor tends to be stronger in the smaller American mice than it is with the larger English mice. Many people clean a male's cage more often in an effort to eliminate the odor, but this usually causes the male to produce more scent in an effort to keep his territory marked. If odor becomes a problem, consider keeping the mice in a room with a window to provide ventilation, but avoid using litters with odor control additives, as mice could be sensitive to many of these.