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Can Pet Mice Swim? Do They Like Being Wet?

This will probably come off as a surprise for many beginner pet owners but mice are actually excellent swimmers. Being the caring parents as we know they are, mice can even teach their juveniles to swim. Mice are quick learners in general and their parents are willing to teach them whatever it takes to survive.

Being able to swim is actually a good surviving skill, just like sleeping together in groups. They can even communicate with each other, signaling when there is a potential threat lurking near them. Mice are very practical and intelligent creatures compared to their size.

They find it easy to figure out how to paddle with their claws and navigate themselves in a specific direction while swimming. They even manage to keep their head above the water so that they can see what’s in front of them.

Can Pet Mice Get Wet?

If you are thinking about bathing your mouse, we are here to tell you that there is no need to do so. Mice frequently groom themselves and they are quite serious about it. Although they are good swimmers, it is not a good idea to expose them to the stress of being immersed in water.

For them, it can be a stressful and scary experience. If your mouse’s fur is dirty for some reason and you are not sure what to do about it, a sponge bath is always a good idea. Grab a sponge and soak up some water that you have previously mixed with a few drops of pet shampoo.

Just be careful because your mouse is going to be dripping wet before you know it and you need to avoid that. Also, prepare a rag so that you can wipe the water off if it gets into his eyes or nose. After a gentle and thorough sponge bath, help your mouse dry with a cloth.

Can Mice Drown in Water?

Another interesting thing about mice is that they can actually swim a lot. If you would drop them in a bucket of water, they would be able to swim around for about 3 days. They show incredible endurance when it comes to survival skills.

And they can do this despite the fact that they don’t even like water. With those small lungs of theirs, they are able to hold their breath underwater for up to 3 minutes. Now, keep in mind that if you want to get rid of mice in your house, drowning them is definitely not a humane option.

There are more other, more humane ways to get rid of rodents that are hiding in your house. Mice can drown in water for sure but they are also ready to fight for their lives until they fully run out of steam.

How to Dry a Wet Mouse?

First, find a towel or rag of some sort and start drying your mouse as much as you can. Of course, this is going to be easier if your pet is already used to you picking him up. If so, he is not going to be as restless and you are going to have an easier time drying him.

Once you are done with the towel, grab a blow dryer. If it is an adjustable blow dryer, change the temperature so that it does not differ that much from the current temperature in the room. Set it to the lowest speed, pick up your little pet and make sure he is dried thoroughly.

Also, hold the blow dryer at least 10 inches away from your pet. This is the safest and most effective method that can be done in any household.

Should You Bath Your Pet Mice?

You should only bath your pet mice if it’s absolutely necessary. Mice usually groom pretty well so they are probably not going to be dirty, especially when kept as pets. However, if your mouse got out of the cage one way or another and ended up dirty, you can bathe him if you want to.

The only problem with it is that it is a stressful process for them because they don’t like to come in contact with water. If you follow our advice and bathe your mouse with the method we mentioned above, then he will feel safe and comfortable.

There are also those situations when mice are sick and thus they don’t want to groom. In those cases, bathing them counts as taking good care of them.

How do Pet Mice Clean Themselves?

Pet mice groom themselves routinely every day. They take good care of themselves just like cats do. They also have plenty of other habits that signify how sophisticated they are. Playing, getting food and staying clean are equally important things for them.

However, mice can resort to excessive grooming when they are stressed. During stressful periods, they groom so much that they gnaw off some of their fur. If you notice bald spots on your mouse, then there is surely a huge stress factor causing that.

In fact, this behavior has a self-soothing effect for them so they are less nervous as a result. But still, the source of their stress has to be figured out as soon as possible.

Wrapping Up

Pet mice can definitely swim but they don’t like water at all. Fortunately, mice have various survival skills in their repertoire. Out in the wild, there are many threats and difficult situations to look out for. On the other hand, they are small and fragile, which is why figuring out how to survive was a huge part of their evolutionary process.

They don’t like being wet either so if you bathe them, it is important to thoroughly dry them as well. In general, mice are rather clean pets and ideally you would never need to bathe them. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for it if you want to be a caring pet mouse owner.

Pet mice rely on their owner’s care a lot when it comes to making them comfortable and happy.

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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