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Other mice

PhoenixFeather

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Hi,

We recently rescued 2 female mice that my kids' school had to get rid of due to a serious allergy issue. To be honest, I wasn't that thrilled about it, but my teenaged son was very attached to them and there weren't any other good prospects, so we took them. They're about a year old.

They were in a Critter trail cage with a huge wheel outside the cage. They loved it but the odor was horrible, we think due to the fact that they'd pee and poo in the wheel, where there was no litter to absorb it or help with the odor.

We got them a SAM 5-level cage (with a wheel inside) instead, and that works a bit better, but we still have some pretty bad odor issues. :(

My son cleans the cage thoroughly once a week, including washing down all the parts. But it still stinks again after about 2 days. Oddly, it sometimes smells better a little later in the week.

We use carefresh litter. One issue may be the fact that they push their litter out of the cage (through the bars). Is this common mouse behavior? In any case, of course once they do this, there isn't much litter left to absorb their pee.

The mouse care sites I've read all say to change the cage when it starts to smell of amonia, but then they go on to say that that should be about once a week, not every 2 days! Any idea what we are doing wrong?

Thanks!
 

charlie/gus/mo

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I used to (when I cared for mice) clean the cage completely twice a week. And am sorry to say but I have found mice to be a bit smelly. Make sure you are washing all parts including tunnels. Also you will probably have to add more bedding mid way between cage cleaning
 

YANGLiCiOUS

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Mouse tends to smell, especially males.
They tends to kick out the bedding by accident when they are burrowing, there isn't anything to be alarmed of.
Ammonia can't be smelled. The smell is their pee. Ammonia build up when too much pee are in it, not because they pee the ammonia out, so it's fine to change once per week.
You are doing great, using the right bedding and even bought a cage for them, however I think that mouse should be housed in a tank or tub that is closed securely at the top because you can have mroe stuffs for them and it would be easier to clean out than cages.
A 2" ft fish tank would be ideal. With a wheel and several toys like ropes and hidey houses it would do them much better.
 
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PhoenixFeather

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Mouse tends to smell, especially males.
They tends to kick out the bedding by accident when they are burrowing

These are females, and they remove the bedding on purpose. They pick the pieces up and push them through the bars.

I think that mouse should be housed in a tank or tub that is closed securely at the top because you can have mroe stuffs for them and it would be easier to clean out than cages.
A 2" ft fish tank would be ideal. With a wheel and several toys like ropes and hidey houses it would do them much better.
They do have a lot of stuff in their cage -- I'm not sure why you think there would be more in a tank. They have a hidey house, wheel, little staircases up to 3 little half-levels, and a tube that also goes up to all the levels and a top little penthouse area. They also like climbing the bars a lot, which they would lose out on in a tank, though that would help with them removing the bedding.

I wanted to consider a tank-topper type arrangement, but my son thinks they enjoy their current cage more than they would enjoy any of the tank-toppers we've seen so far, so he's reluctant to change.

By the way, you can definitely smell ammonia. It is used as a cleaning product, and it has a very strong smell.
 

PhoenixFeather

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https://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=3230
Ofcourse I do believe the cage you have now is a good cage. Have you ever tried cleaning twice a week?

It does smell somewhat better if we clean twice a week, but really, the smell starts almost immediately, and doesn't necessarily get that much worse during the week. The cage is somewhat of a pain to clean, so we'd rather not, to be honest.

I got an under-bed storage container (shallow plastic bin), and placed the cage into that to at least catch the litter when they push it out of the cage, and we clean that out daily. Not having dirty litter strewn all over the place does help a bit.

I'm thinking of trying to get some kind of transparent plastic to wrap around the bottom part of the wire part of the cage, to block them from ejecting stuff so easily. Not like plastic bag material, something like plexiglass or maybe something rigid but more flexible. Of course it would have to be something that wouldn't harm them if they chewed it.
 

katiecavyNC

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Mice just stink. I hate to say it, but we have mice and they just really smell. I had a wire cage that I was cleaning every day and it still just permeated my son's room.

I switched to an aquarium with a screen topper and that helped some. We're down to one mouse now due to natural attrition and age, and now the odor is not too bad - once a week is good cleaning schedule.

Sorry to be so negative, but I will not be having any more mice due to the odor.
 

PhoenixFeather

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I don't think we will get new mice after these ones either. I wouldn't have chosen mice in the first place, but these 2 needed a home, and my son was already attached to them.
 

katiecavyNC

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You know, I think getting down to one mouse didn't just cut down on the odor because there was only one mouse rather than two, I think that the mice have more odor to the urine when they have another mouse to 'communicate' with in that way. I know the smell definately dropped more than half when the other mouse passed away.

I like the mice, that's the sad thing - they are really cute and very tame. I just am not thrilled with the odor...
 

PhoenixFeather

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I like the mice, that's the sad thing - they are really cute and very tame. I just am not thrilled with the odor...

I agree with everything you said. They are cute and fun to play with, and seem pretty smart too. But the smell is a big turn-off for me. :sad:
 
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