Cages, what to know.
When it comes to adopting pet mice, the ﬁrst thing you think of is “what am I going to keep them in?”. With a swarming market full of cramped cages and ludicrous designs, it can be very daunting for a potential pet owner to face, so I’m here to help you out!
Bar spacing is a vital aspect to take into consideration when looking for cages, 7mm - 10mm is considered optimal spacing, though the wider sizing should only be used on mature mice as young mice can still potentially squeeze though this! The last thing you want is your new pet mouse escaping and sending you on a wild goose chase.
Sizing. We’ve all heard the term “bigger is better”, but are we taking into consideration the eﬀective use of the space provided? If you were to plop a group of mice into an empty cage, just because it’s big doesn’t mean they will be happy about it. Mice are PREY animals and because of this they need ample opportunities to hide in order to feel safe and in turn happy. The blue cross suggest that a pair of mice need a minimum of 60cm x 50cm uninterrupted ﬂoor space with a cage height of 30cm upwards. Just remember that these large cages need to be packed out with enrichment and a deep substrate to allow them to express natural behaviours.
Tanks can also provide an excellent enclosure for pet mice, but take into consideration VENTILATION. Mice have very sensitive respiratory systems and also produce a lot of ammonia in their waste, mesh lids for tanks are a must. Ideally a metal mesh with 5mm holes is best, plastic based mesh provided in reptile setups has the possibility of being chewed through leading to more mouse chases.
RUBs also referred to as “bin cages” in the states are homemade cages made from a strong plastic storage boxes, with sections cut out and meshed with hardware cloth attached by wire. These make great, cheap alternatives to other cages on the market if you’re practically minded and not afraid of a project. It allows you the freedom of designing a cage how you’d like it, choosing colours and designs, we will be making an article at a future date on our method for making RUBs so keep an eye out!
These are a few examples of what we would suggest for your mice to be housed in:
Barred - The barney cage makes an excellent option with tight bar spacing and large floor space.
Tank - The detolf is makes for an excellent converted tank enclosure for mice, as long as the lid to convert is sturdy and has plenty of ventilation.
Another good tank option that is already premade for pets to be housed in is the Kerry Terrarium, with plenty of ventilation on the lid but with good tight bar spacing.
We also have a useful link to a cage calculator to see if cages you’re looking at are suitable for your mice below!
If you have any other good cages that have ample spacing for groups of mice we would love to know about them, don't be afraid to leave a comment!