Friday, October 26, 2007

Mice and Rats

Mice and Rats
The mouse is a small rodent weighting about 30 to 40 grams. They are usually more active at night and are determined escape artists. Mice are social animals so they can be housed with other mice, as long as the cage is large enough to prevent fighting over space and resources. Rats are larger than mice (350 to 500 grams) and are social, inquisitive and intelligent creatures that generally do not bite. They can even be trained to find their way through mazes for food treats.

Their lifespan is between 1.5 to 2.5 years. Like hamsters, they are omnivorous and should be fed a balanced pelleted diet, with no more than 10% being snacks. Rolled oats, plain Cheerios, bread, dandelion leaves, carrots, peas, and other fresh raw vegetables are make suitable snacks. Mice also need something hard to chew on, such as a piece of wood. They should have access to fresh water at all times.

Mice and rats should be housed in a cage made of hard-to-chew material such as metal or plastic. A running wheel and tubes make their environment more interesting and provide good exercise. Like hamsters, mice enjoy having a place to nest. Many types of bedding may be used, such as sawdust, wood shavings, peat moss, and granulated clay. However, cedar or pine shavings should not be used in the cages because they are too strong smelling and may cause coughing or respiratory disease. As with other small rodents, their environment should be kept at room temperature (around 21 degrees Celcius).

Mice have a higher likelihood of biting than rats and are generally not recommended for children because they are very fast. Rats, however, are less likely to bite and make intelligent and interactive pets that are ideal for young children.

by : Amy Cheung - writer
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