Why Do Pet Mice Chew the Cage Bars?

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If you’re seeing your mice chew the cage bars, then this article is for you. Because we will tell you everything you need to know why this is happening, and how you can prevent it in the future.

Cage chewing can happen for several reasons. Mice might become restless quickly if they don’t have enough engagement in the cage, and if they are seriously bored.

This will often happen if you only have one mouse in the cage, and it gets bored. So the consequence is it will start chewing the cage.

Another potential reason is stress. This is definitely a possibility, especially if there are other stress factors around the cage, or if the mouse is relatively new to your environment.

Also, the mice might be willing to escape your cage, which is why they start chewing the bars in order to make a way out for themselves. Or, they might simply be grinding their teeth against the cage bars, which is a perfectly natural behavior.

Whatever the reason might be, we will discuss it in this article and analyze it closely to see exactly why it keeps happening, and how you can prevent it in the future.

Boredom

One of the primary reasons why this happens often is because your mice are bored. This will especially happen if you only have one mouse in the cage without other mice, which can lead them to get bored quite easily.

And once they do get bored, they will try to distract themselves in order to have something to do. This can happen if there is nothing your mice can do in the cage, and if there are no points of interest for them in the cage.

The solution is to make the cage more interesting for your mice and make them stop being bored. That might be easier said than done, but it can be done.

A good way to do this would be to add simple toys to the cage in order to make your mice less bored. These toys can be inexpensive and pretty simple.

Or, you can opt to add more tank mates, but make sure the mice have more than enough space for themselves or else, as you will see later on, this behavior might not go away.

Stress

Stress is also a potential cause behind this behavior. It might be also because the mice feel lonely and need some company, but another potential reason is because they have some aggressive cage mates and they are not feeling very confident around them.

As a result, they will endure a lot of stress. Then these mice will start to show their frustration and will start chewing the cage, which can act as a stress relief.

You really need to take a closer look at their surroundings. Do they have an aggressive tank mate around them which is causing them to do this? Or they have some other internal or external sources of stress that cause them to be stressed?

Whatever the reason might be, you need to figure it out quite quickly. If the stress continues, your mice might get sick, the cage will get chewed, and the mice’s teeth will also get damaged.

It might be as simple as relocating the cage if the external stress factors are too strong.

Wanting to Escape

Mice will normally adapt to living in a cage pretty fast, but in some cases, they will want to escape from it quite quickly.

This is especially true for wild mice that get captured and then kept in cages. This can happen relatively quickly and especially at the start when the mouse is still getting used to its new surroundings.

In some cases, this thing will go away as the mouse adapts to the new environment. In other cases, the mouse will never really adapt to that and will continue chewing because it will look for a way to escape the cage and find a new place to live.

So, what to do?

A good thing to try is to find them another cage, or a larger cage. Or, you can try getting them a tank, which is sometimes less stressful and less confining than a cage.

Alternatively, you can try letting them out every once in a while, but make sure you put them somewhere you can easily control them (mice are slippery, which you must have noticed already).

Teeth Grinding

Another possible reason for this is because the mice will start to grind their teeth against the bars of the cage. They also do this in the wild, but they normally don’t choose metallic objects to grind their teeth against.

Sometimes, they will find something more natural where their teeth will be more comfortable. But if the teeth grinding against the metals continues, it might be a bad sign.

You need to prevent this from happening in the future because the mouse’s teeth might get damaged easily. So in order to do that, make sure they don’t grind their teeth against the cage anymore.

Cage is Too Small

This is a biggie – you have a cage that’s way too small for your mouse or mice. And this is not a good thing.

Mice will need quite a lot of space, which is something that new mice owners don’t realize. That’s because mice are quite active, and they like to move around and they want to have plenty of hiding spots in the cage.

So in order to enable them that, you will need to make sure the cage is big enough for them to live comfortably.

A good sign of this fact that mice are not comfortable and the cage is too small is that they will start to chew off the bars of the cage. If this starts happening, consider buying a larger cage that will accommodate your mice easier.

You might need a much larger cage that you already have in place right now. Or, it just might be a smaller cage, but consider this option.

Is It Good if Your Mouse is Chewing on the Bars?

Of course, this is never good. You should make sure that your mice do not chew on the bars, because there are several things that are getting damaged:

  • Your mice’s teeth are getting damaged
  • Your cage’s bars are getting damaged
  • There’s something wrong that’s causing them to bite the cage

First, you’ll need to analyze what’s wrong in the cage. You can do this by simply addressing the things we’ve spoken about above, and making sure none of the mentioned is happening to your mice.

A good potential fix for this problem is to offer your mice some toys or some form or entertainment. Get them a running wheel, consider another tank mate, or play with your mouse and let it be outside more.

Try to do everything you can to avoid this from happening in the future.

Conclusion

Mice require quite a lot of space to survive. They are active animals, and they need constant entertainment.

Giving them more space is an option if they start chewing the cage, but you must make sure they are entertained and they have enough tank mates.

avatar I’m Peter King, writer and editor of this blog. I’m a lifelong animal advocate and volunteer at the Animal Rescue League. On this blog I help people learn about pet mice. As a responsible pet owner, you should learn about your pet’s need before getting it. If you have any question or need help, please leave your comment below.

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