Apart from Mickey Mouse and Ratatouille, mice have a terrible reputation. Fortunately, things have taken a turn, as domestic mice are fast becoming beloved furry friends of people. As pets, do these gentle, clean, and very social creatures like to be held?
Mice are playful, friendly, and sociable, but they rarely enjoy being held. Unlike rats, most mice don’t like being cuddled and petted. The exceptions to this are mice that were hand-reared from birth. These may tolerate or even enjoy being held.
This article aims to discuss everything you should know about carrying mice while traveling. I will also look at the affinity of mice to being held, how to hold them properly, and how to keep them in your pocket.
How Do You Carry Mice While Traveling?
While mice are curious and adventurous, they dislike traveling. They are skittish and easily stressed. Traveling is very stressful for mice and unless it is necessary, do not travel with your mice. I will share the know-how for carrying them while traveling below, in 3 phases:
Preparations Before Traveling
Having everything in order helps minimize the stress your mice experience. Here is what you should do:
- Get a quality carrier for your pet mice. It should be escape-proof and soft-sided. This type of carrier has a soft cushion at the bottom that will make your mice very comfortable. Outfit it with good tunnels, nesting pit, beddings, and toys.
- Let your pets become familiar with the carrier before the date of departure. This helps them become comfortable in a place different from their usual abode.
Introduce them to the new carrier at least two weeks before traveling. You can try to lure them in with their favorite treats and also transfer something familiar from their normal cage.
- If you will travel by bus, air, or train, call the specific company you will use and ask about their pet policies. You may have to buy an extra ticket for your mice, and you may need a health clearance certificate from a vet.
- For hotel stops, find mice-friendly hotels, rentals, or motels and plan ahead of time.
- Prepare enough food and water for the duration of your journey. Scatter the food in the carrier to give them an added activity as they feed. To avoid water accidents as you travel, you can provide them with a slice of cucumber or an apple. This meets their food and water need simultaneously.
During The Journey
- Keep treats accessible and give them every few hours.
- If you travel by bus, train, or car, keep their carrier away from direct sunlight, and according to the season, keep them warm or cool
- Do not play loud music in the car and keep them away from direct AC draft.
- When you want to handle your mice at stops/rests, make sure they are fully alert so that you don’t spook them.
- During your movements, keep your travel water bottle with its spout sticking up. It prevents water from leaking over the carrier and keeps your mice from getting a cold by using wet beddings. Flip the bottle when you are no longer in motion so your mice can drink water.
- To keep them quiet, safe, calm, and cozy, try to avoid/limit their exposure to smells, people, noise, and other animals.
When You Get To Your Destination
- Similar to when you first bring them home after purchase, give them a few days to destress before you resume physical contact/handling.
Despite all your preparations, mice will stress and stay that way until you get to your destination and they settle down. Your preparations will only help reduce their stress.
If you can get a friend/family to take of them, it is better to do so. Also, never travel with a mouse that has a young litter or a pregnant mouse.
Do Pet Mice Like To Be Held?
Apart from mice hand-raised from birth, most mice dislike being petted or held. Although you can train them from a young age to get used to it, most of these friendly creatures may never get used to being held. But this shouldn’t prevent you from trying to bond with them.
You may need to handle your mice occasionally when cleaning their cage or performing a health inspection. As much as you can, get them comfortable with gentle handling. They are skittish, and you have to be patient enough to bond with them.
As you bond with them and get them used to you, always hold them close to a low surface, like their cage or your lap. This prevents a long, hard, injurious fall if they get skittish and try to escape. Pick them up gently and reward them with treats every time you hold them.
How Do You Keep Mice In Your Pocket?
Mice are probably the only pocket animals that may not like being kept in a pocket for long. Remember that they dislike being held or petted regularly. With the patience of a saint and very good training, you can get them to move around on your body.
However, do not get disappointed if your pet mice never get to relax in your pockets. It’s usually ideal if they’re already inclined to it. If they aren’t, you can just train them as usual and hope for the best!
If they are calm and sleepy in your arms, it is easier to have them in your pocket. The explorers may pose a problem. It is best if your mice initiate staying in your pocket. They would first have to have a solid bond with you and not run away after a little while.
When all else fails, resort to treats! Put their favorite treats in the shirt’s pocket you plan to wear and lay the shirt out. With time, they will come to associate your pocket with treats and it might become their favorite abode.
Keep a paper towel in your pocket to handle their bodily discharges. Change as often as possible or not, if you are used to the mess.