Male mice are the larger, less social, and slightly more difficult when compared to female mice. A male mouse still makes for a great pet, they are fun and interesting to keep and interact with.
When keeping several mice in a cage you need to be aware of how many of each sex you have. These will help you care for them and ensure they are all happy and safe. Particularly with males you need to be aware of how many you have.
In this article I will cover some of the basic rules to follow to ensure your mice are safe, happy, and living together in harmony.
Can Male Mice Live Together Happily?
If you are picking up more than one male mouse from a pet store you should not try and house them together. There will almost certainly be fighting and serious risk of injury. Without knowing much about the history of the mice it’s going to be difficult to know what their tolerance will be for each other.
Males that have been in contact with female mice are a lot less likely to be tolerant of other males. Male mice compete viciously for the attention of females, and even if they can smell a female they can turn aggressive.
If you are adopting mice from reputable and trusted breeders there is a chance you can house them together. You need to talk with the breeder for some history on the mice and how they have been bred and handled.
Selective breeding it carried out in mice to make them behave in a number of ways. Having males with a temperament to live together is one of these selection processes. But you still need to micro-manager the mice in the first few days or weeks when housing them.
Male Mice and Fighting
One of the biggest problems with male mice fighting is that it can happen with no warning at all and it can get nasty very quickly. With several males a hierarchy will quickly form with one male becoming the alpha male.
Once the fighting starts it’s not going to stop without intervention too. So you will need to take action, and quickly. A lot of people blame themselves, looking at the set up of the cage or what they are feeding the mice. There is nothing you can do to change their temperament unfortunately. It’s the reality of nature.
Unlike females, male mice are happy to be on their own. This is often the only solution to putting a stop to the fighting, and a male will have to just live on their own with toys and exercise equipment to keep them entertained.
Can I House Male Mice with Females without Them Having Babies?
If you want to house your buck with does you absolutely have to have him neutered. If you introduce a male that has not been neutered he will almost certainly mate with one or more females. Then you have the issue of baby mice to handle.
If you’re not experienced with how to breed mice and care for babies you risk some serious health issues or fatalities. This is a situation you have to do everything you can to avoid.
A male mouse will become aggressive around female mice and they will become unpleasant to handle or deal with. You will see your previously placid and playful mouse become aggressive and lose interest in you.
How to Introduce Male Mice into the Same Cage
As mentioned earlier, it’s going to be near impossible to take two male mice from a pet store or two separate locations and introduce them safely. You need to adopt males that are already familiar with each other and from the same litter to give them the best chance of getting along.
Being as it’s difficult to do it’s not recommended for a new or inexperienced mice owner to try and introduce two different males. It’s such a difficult thing to do that it’s not worth the risk of them injuring or killing each other.
If you are going to do so, always have a huge cage with plenty of space. Males need their alone time, and will make an area their own within a cage. Also include enough toys and exercise items to keep them more than busy and interested.
If they start fighting and you have to separate them, do so immediately. You can try introducing them again slowly and in stages. Using a divider in the main cage, or a separate cage near by.
But always remember the most important thing is the safety and well being of the mice.