• Mice, and rodents in general, are subject to some unfair prejudices in our culture. Many people see them as pests and think they carry diseases, when this is very untrue. Though they are just as fuzzy and docile as other small mammals, like hamsters or rabbits, they are still seen in a negative light. Yet, more and more people are starting to realize that they are lovable creatures and make great pets. In this section we will present some common “Mouse Myths” that many people still believe.

Myth: All mice are smelly.

• Any animal that is not cared for, or wild, will likely smell. There is some truth to this however. Male mice tend to produce a musky smell in their urine. Though this odor is not overpowering or terrible, you will begin to smell it, especially if you don’t clean out your mice’s cage often or thoroughly. BUT, females almost never smell. They do not feel compelled to mark their territory and do not produce the offensive chemical that males do. If you think the smell will be a problem then stick with female mice, but if you regularly clean your mouse’s cage it won’t be a problem.

Myth: Mice carry diseases.

• Ever since mice were fingered as the culprits in the transmission bubonic plague hundreds of years ago, they have had a certain stigma as diseased animals. In fact, the mice (and probably some humans) simply carried fleas infected with the plague bacterium. To say that a mouse is inherently prone to carrying disease is absurd. Most wild animals are infected with diseases and parasites. This is a cruel fact of nature and unfortunately many of these animal’s lives are cut short because of it. Our pets have the benefit of clean environments, uninfected food and water, and veterinary medicine and care. This is the reason that domestic pets have much longer and healthier lives than their wild counterparts. Perhaps because mice have only recently become more popular as pets that they still carry this stigma.

Myth: Mice are stupid.

• This is perhaps the most incorrect myth of them all. If you measure the size of a mouse’s brain compared to its body weight it’s bigger than dolphins, apes, and even humans! Mice are very intelligent creatures and have survived in the wild by their cunning along for millions of years. Such a tiny animal cannot fight off predators; it can only use its smarts and sneakiness to survive. This struggle has ensured that mice are quite smart and make great pets for this reason and more.

Myth: Mice sleep during the day.

• It is true that mice are naturally nocturnal, but this cycle is not set in stone. Humans are naturally diurnal animals, but anyone who works the night shift will tell you that changing this natural cycle is not difficult. If left completely undisturbed, your mouse will likely sleep during the day. But, curiosity gets the best of them, and anytime you are awake chances are you mouse will be too. Your mouse will also easily adapt to your wake-sleep cycle just by being interested in what you are doing while you are awake.

Myth: Mice don’t make good pets.

• This is totally untrue! Mice are great pets for a number of reasons. They are quiet and small so they won’t disturb anyone. They are fuzzy and friendly and enjoy being held. They will interact with you and can even be taught tricks. They don’t cost much to take care of and require very little space. That sounds like the perfect pet to me!

• Continue to the next section: Breeding Mice