It can be quite alarming when you have pets fighting. Mice are no different, and if you have pet mice fighting you need to do something about it. If you leave them, they will usually do more and more damage to each other.
Reasons for Pet Mice Fighting
Males will often fight over territory. They can fight to the death in the worst instances. You will see them chasing one another, biting each other, scratching, and hear some loud squeaking noises.
If you see this taking place you need to separate the problem mouse right away. Put it in a cage on its own for a while and let the others heal. You can try to slowly introduce the mouse back in, but be prepared that it may not work.
Males will fight to be established as the alpha in the group. Usually to establish dominance over females in the pack too. This can settle down overtime, as the hierarchy in the pack settles down.
This can be quite scary while it’s happening, no one likes to see their pets being violent. If you look carefully, often the damage dealt will not be deadly in this type of fighting. You may not need to separate any mice from the others.
Females will be very protective over their offspring, especially newborns. If you were aware you had a pregnant doe, you should have made provisions for a safe area.
Females should be left to tend to their young without the threat of other mice. You should not attempt to touch the babies either, they need time to bond or there is a chance of rejection.
Pet Mice Fighting in a Mixed Cage
If you mix both does and bucks in the same cage there is a likelihood of some fighting. Unless, you have the males neutered. This usually stops most of the fighting over the females and dominance.
Also it’s worth pointing out that females are never too old to have offspring. Just because you know a doe has had an offspring before, or is over a year old, don’t assume they will not have more.
Introducing New Mice Safely
Bucks will often not live happily together unless they have grown up together since very young. You can try introducing a new busk to an existing group however, there is a chance of success.
To do this you will need to familiarize the others with the scent of the new addition. Best way to do this is to set up a partition on the cage, and allow mice either side to spend some time like this.
After several sessions you can release the mice. Keep a close eye on them for the first few hours, and then the ongoing days. If they start fighting, you’ll need to separate the new mouse.
Females (does) Live Happily Together
You will rarely have problems with does living together, even if you are introducing them at a later point. They are just more social than bucks, and have less issues to fight over.
It’s common for pet stores to hold a lot more females, than males. They are easier to sell to people and not have them try and return them. I have had a couple of cages with females in and had no issues, they all got along happily.