Japanese mice, or dancing mice: features of care and maintenance at home

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Japanese mice, or dancing mice: features of care and maintenance at home
Japanese mice, or dancing mice: features of care and maintenance at home

Video: Japanese mice, or dancing mice: features of care and maintenance at home

Video: Japanese mice, or dancing mice: features of care and maintenance at home
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The Japanese pygmy mouse, otherwise known as the dancing or w altzing mouse, is a creature still little known to nature lovers and those who keep rodents in home terrariums. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this species (in Latin - Mus musculus molossinus) is not found on the territory of our country. The distribution area of the Japanese pygmy mouse is some areas of Southeast Asia and the Japanese Islands. We will talk about these tiny creatures, the features of their keeping in captivity, as well as the pros and cons of communicating with them in this article.


Japanese mice are classified by zoologists as ordinary house mice (Mus musculus). The difference is in the habitat of the animals and in appearance. "Japanese", which in our time are already considered more decorative than wild rodents, will undoubtedly attract the attention of you and your children with a variety of colors, features of wool, its density or even lack of hair (the so-callednaked mouse). And the thing is that initially, back in Japan, this type of rodent was used to conduct experiments in biological and medical laboratories. First, arbitrary crossing, and then systematic selection work, led to such an abundance of varieties. Although most often, speaking of the appearance of Japanese pygmy mice, they mean the color in the form of a simple spotted - white with black spots or, conversely, common black with white.

Mouse on hand
Mouse on hand

In addition, Japanese mice are the smallest among all miniature representatives of the rodent genus. They are called "pinky mice", and rightly so. A ponytail, traditionally devoid of wool, is added to this size. The weight of such an animal rarely exceeds six grams.


People who keep these animals at home unanimously claim that as long as the mouse lives, so much it will delight you with its friendly, playful, inquisitive character. They are easily tamed and happily "travel" through human hands.

However, you should keep in mind that if you bought an animal in a nursery or pet store, you should not immediately switch to "manual" contact. It all depends on the conditions in which your pet was born and lived. Perhaps he has not yet been tamed, and then you have to find a common language with this animal. However, it will not be difficult to do this - just take your time.

By the way, if you have not yet tamed the animal, it is recommended to move it only by the tail.

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Sometimes future owners of funny little Japanese mice get the misleading impression that any box or old birdcage will do for them.

But no. First of all, you need to consider that these animals love to move, digging in the filler and gnawing something. It follows from this: the cage in which this baby will now live should have a high side, or an aquarium or a plastic terrarium is suitable, on the bottom of which wood filler is poured with a decent layer. If you neglect this rule, sawdust from under the paws of a hyperactive mouse will scatter throughout the room. If a cage is selected, the distance between the bars should be no more than half a centimeter. Otherwise, these agile and flexible creatures will "leak" to freedom and will walk around the apartment.

Important note: it is better that the pallet in the cage or the living room is not wooden. The tree absorbs odors well - as a result, even a freshly cleaned house will become a constant source of an unpleasant smell.

plastic terrarium
plastic terrarium

Animals are afraid of drafts - this point is also worth considering. Not the best option for the location of the terrarium would be a window sill or balcony. Especially if it is brightly lit by sunlight. Still, nature created mice exclusively as nocturnal animals, which usually climb into their secluded holes when the day comes.

Don't put a cage or terrarium near a hot battery. The optimal temperature for keeping an animal is from 19 to 22 degrees.

Don't forget the nest

It is also worth mentioning that the terrarium should have a nest that the mice themselves will arrange in the house. Wooden or ceramic houses can be purchased at any pet store. You can also use part of the coconut. Throw toilet paper or napkins near the house, and the mice will build themselves a place to rest. Just do not offer the animals cotton wool or cloth. Rodent experience has shown that these materials are not suitable for this use.

One of the amateurs offered an unusual know-how for the house. He took a loaf of plain white bread and, having dried it to a state of "strong" cracker, offered it to his pets. Those could, gnawing it, for some time and dwell in it. Another option: you can dry the bread, after removing most of the crumb from it, and only after that put it in the terrarium.

Japanese pygmy mouse
Japanese pygmy mouse

Here it is important to keep in mind that the proposed cracker must have been dried thoroughly and not contain rye and butter flour. Rye causes fermentation processes in the intestinal tract, and muffin contains sugar and fats, which are also contraindicated for mice.

About filler

At the bottom of the mouse house, you can pour any wood filler in the form of sawdust (middle fraction). Also, lovers use granular (pressed) filler, since their assortment in pet stores is now quite diverse.

Depending on the number of animals living in the terrarium, the filler needs to be changed. It is worth replacing the entire filler every two to three days or a week.


Be sure to install a special running wheel, ladders and various perches in the mouse dwelling so that your pet can climb, jump, explore the surroundings and run. The fact is that this species of rodents is very active - awake, they rarely remain motionless. Therefore, this kind of mouse toys will be the main entertainment.

When installing a running wheel or purchasing a cage with an existing one, please note that the optimal wheel diameter is desirable at least 10 cm, and the running surface must be solid - with any holes, there is a possibility of injury to the mouse, the tiny paws and tail of which can get stuck, be it a net or crossbars. In addition, the wheel must be light enough - the mouse simply cannot move on a heavy wheel.

Mouse in the terrarium
Mouse in the terrarium

Japanese dancing mice are very inquisitive and restless creatures that move most of the time, exploring the surroundings or making a nest. In addition, they are also excellent jumpers. So offer them a variety of things for fun - a bizarre snag, rope ladders, even just a roll of used toilet paper. Watching nimble animals will surely give you a lot of pleasure.

How much to start?

If you have ever had hamsters, then you will not have problems with new pets, because the rules for keeping Japanese mice together are almost the same. It is better not to house a male and a female together if you do not want constant replenishment of the family. In addition, the he alth of the female is unlikelywhether frequent deliveries would be helpful.

The best option is one animal. But then you better set aside at least a little of your time - after all, a mouse, like most living creatures, needs communication.

It is not recommended to start two males, because rodents instinctively have the desire to protect their residential area, not letting strangers into it. This applies primarily to males. Thus, having two "boys", you run the risk of observing frequent fights between the inhabitants of the mouse house.

If you have two, it's better to have females. They are more peaceful, although sometimes there are small skirmishes between them.

What do Japanese mice eat?

Definitely not what you eat. Zoologists, talking about Japanese mice and caring for them, in no case recommend giving fresh bread, fatty foods, as well as treats containing s alt, sugar, and spices to domestic rodents. That is a lot of what their owners love.

It's important not to overfeed rodents, but you also need to remember that mice are creatures that eat often and in small portions. The fact is that rodents have an intensive metabolism, so they need to eat often.

What should be included in the diet of Japanese mice? First of all, whole grains. You can buy wheat or oats yourself and, after washing and drying it, offer it to your pets. Or you can buy ready-made grain mix for rodents at the pet store.

Japanese mice
Japanese mice

An indispensable part of the diet should be vegetables, fruits, herbs. From vegetables, only potatoes and cabbage should not be offered,which can provoke fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract. Corn and tomatoes can only be given occasionally.

If your mouse is weak or sick, it is better to feed it with steamed oats or oatmeal porridge boiled in water without s alt and sugar.

Protein food is necessary for all mice without exception, but rarely enough - no more than once a week. It can be boiled and chopped meat (including liver), gammarus crustaceans, shrimps. You can offer mice the protein of a hard-boiled egg and low-fat cottage cheese.

A rodent needs to grind his teeth all his life - so be sure to include a mineral stone in the diet of a Japanese mouse.

What are they drinking?

Finally, it is worth bearing in mind that there should always be drinking water in the cage or terrarium. It's not true that mice don't need it. Use an automatic or conventional drinker. The latter is less convenient, because it will often have to change the water. But the automatic one also has its drawbacks - if the cage has a hole into which the drinker is installed, then when changing the water, the mice can slip away into the wild.

As for water, it can be either boiled or raw, but in the latter case it is better to pass it through a filter.

True, there is an opinion that if about half of the daily food of a mouse is "wet" vegetables and fruits, you can not put a drinker in the cage.


Here they are. Those about which it is also impossible not to say so that there is no disappointment from communicating with a small tailed creature, for which you, having become its owner, whatever one may say, now bearresponsibility.

The Japanese pygmy mouse, like all rodents, is especially active at night. Therefore, the place where you install a cage or an aquarium is better not to organize in the bedroom. Or, at night, you can take the mouse's dwelling out of the room - to where rustles and creaks will not bother anyone.

Caution does not hurt when meeting a small pet for the first time - due to many new experiences, moving to a new house, changes in diet and social circle, the mouse will be unsociable at first or even show some aggressiveness. It rarely happens, but it does happen. Be patient - the animal will return to its usual curiosity and sociability.

What does it look like
What does it look like

Another huge downside to content that upsets their owners is how long a mouse lives. The life expectancy of these babies is a maximum of two years, most often even less.

Why "dancing"?

Unfortunately, there is nothing mysterious and even more romantic in this yet another name for a Japanese decorative mouse. For the most common, inherited disease of these babies is inflammation of the inner ear.

laboratory mice
laboratory mice

It arose from inbreeding in a laboratory. Individuals that have been overtaken by this sore lose their correct orientation and make strange movements that look like dance jumps, sometimes even spinning in one place. It once occurred to some uninformed hobbyists to give such a name to their sick pet,which subsequently, probably due to its unusualness, took root.

Of course, you need to understand that if a Japanese mouse makes such movements, you should not admire them, but show the animal to the veterinarian.