Rats & Mice
Both Mice and Rats are interesting and unique pets, providing great companionship and take up little room

Health and Lifespan  
Most mice / rats most commonly live for 2-3 years. The most common causes of fatality can be respiratory problems and or cancerous tumors. Respiratory issues usually arise from being left in cool drafts (e.g.. under air-conditioning units, doorways) rats and mice should be regularly wormed and flea treated similar to all other pets
. The worming solution should be done once a month and is normally applied to their drinking water. Treating for mites and lice is administrated once a week, ensuring the cage is also treated. Mites unfortunately can breed in plague proportions, being detrimental to the mouse or rat.
Vitamins can also been given through their drinking water, this will ensure optimum health.

Housing 
Most commercial mouse or rat cages will be suitable from the beginning. Solid materials often make the most appropriate enclosures as they are virtually escape proof. Make sure each enclosure has a secure lid and appropriate ventilation. Plastic containers or glass tanks are often the best, ensuring there are no escape routes as they can be exceptional escape artists. If you do choose a wire cage make sure there are no small spaces where they might wriggle out. They are extremely social creatures and are at their happiest in single sex colonies. Fill their home with plenty of toys that are stimulating either by taste or activity. Ideally the cage is split level, sleeping normally occurs upstairs and is usually one of the cleaner parts of the cage. Their food and water bowl would normally be kept in the lower area of the cage. Be careful when adding ‘’toys’’ from around the home into the cage. Many cardboard can be scented which is irritable to the animal and many contain toxic packaging dyes.  

Bedding 
Should be something to reduce odor and to eliminate dust. The most common substrates used are wood chips and recycled paper pellets. Avoid dusty materials or scented ones which may lead to respiratory issues. Here at Northside Pets we can show you a variety of substrates to see what suits you and your pet. Bedding should be disregarded after a week or more often depending on how many rats or mice are being housed.

Handling 
Mice are usually more timid than rats however they do make excellent pets. Providing they have been well handled from a young age, they will naturally take food from your hand.

Feeding
Mice and rats will eat almost anything you give them. However your commercial pet foods are the better option. We normally recommend a variety of foods such as rat cubes/pellets, seed and grain mixes, fresh fruit and vegetables. Water is best provided through sipper bottles which can be attached to any cage. They like to play in their water so fresh drinking water should be given daily through their sipper bottle.  

Chew toys
Chew toys should be supplied and rotated fortnightly. Their clever creatures and often get bored of the one particular item. It is essential for their teeth that they are given hard treats to chew. Their teeth continue to grow like our fingernails do, chewing on hard wooden toys naturally files their teeth. Different toys will keep them stimulated mentally and prevent stereotypical behaviors.

Exercise
Remember to exercise them, their inquisitive creatures! Providing exercise wheels and allowing them to spend time out of the cage will keep them mentally and physically fit.

Mouse / Rat Checklist
  • Secure cage
  • Nontoxic / Non dusty bedding
  • Food bowl
  • Sipper bottle
  • Mite / lice treatment
  • Worming solution
  • Vitamins
  • Toys ( changing selection of cubby house, climbing ladders, tunnels)
  • Nesting box for sleeping
  • Exercise wheel
  • Commercial pellet Food ( we Recommend Vetafarm Rat/Mouse pellets)
  • Wooden treats (most wooden treats are flavored!