Mice Cages: Types and Preferences

An overview of housing options for your mice has been covered here. I covered some of the best mice cages, houses, and glass tanks available to purchase. In this article I am going to go into some more detail and take a detailed look at all the pros and cons of owning each type of house.

Metal Mice Cages

The age old classic mice cage is the metal bar cage. You will have seen these types of cages on TV, round peoples houses and anywhere in-between. They do stand up well to date and are still a good option, but they are not the only option. The typical metal cage will have a plastic bottom, with thin steel bars making up the main sides and roof.
Metal Mice Cages

The plastic bottom is so that there is not too much overall weight to the cage, making it easier to move. Plus, this makes cleaning out the cage a lot easier, metal being continuously damp is not a good combination.

The cage bars should always be painted or coated with plastic, bare metal is prone to corrosion. Plus as any mice owner knows, mice gnaw on anything they can get their teeth round. Having them gnaw on metal that can potentially rust is a potential health risk.

Hanging a water bottle to the outside is easy, you can attach it via many different methods to the bars. There is always a handy door/hatch that locks, and ventilation is really good obviously. So there are a lot of pros as you can see. The only real drawbacks is the potential for corrosion, cracking on the plastic, and the fact that these cages don’t always look amazing.

Plastic Mice Cages

In my view plastic cages are a step up from metal bar cages. I have always had plastic cages myself, I like the extra visibility you have looking in. Essentially the base is very similar, in fact on some brands they use the same exact base. The top however is clear plastic with a lid on the top, opposed to metal bars all round.

The obvious difference being that there is a lot less natural air flow. But this is not all bad, if the cage is starting to smell a bit then you won’t get as much of the odor coming out. Nether the less you will need to place the cage somewhere that has good airflow.
Plastic mice cages

There is no opportunity now for your mice to gnaw on the bars, instead you will often see them pressed up against the side of the cage. This is better for health reasons as mentioned earlier, there is no materials that can corrode or rust on this type of cage. Often adding to its life expectancy.

In regards to breaking, plastic is a little more fragile than the metal versions. I have never personally had any problems with cracking or splitting, but I know people that have. So if you place anything heavy on top, or drop the cage there is a risk of cracking. It would make sense that extreme changes in temperature could provoke cracks too, but that is not something we should be exposed to.

Glass Mice Houses

Glass houses, also known as terrariums is probably the most impressive looking houses for mice, and many other pets. Ever been to someones house and seen a large tank with some exotic animals or lizards in? It looks impressive, there is complete visibility and it makes you feel like the pets are not locked away somewhere as such.

There are some downsides that you might not be thinking about if you have not owned one. Firstly, glass tanks are very heavy, the larger it is the heavier it quickly becomes. This makes it difficult to move, maneuver when cleaning out, and such like. You will need a good, sturdy place to situate it and not move it around often.

Secondly, glass tanks are a little troublesome to keep as clean as most people would like. Mice can be messy rodents, throwing bedding around, always climbing and putting their claws and nose all over the glass. If you want to keep the glass clear and smear free you’ll end up spending a lot of time cleaning it.
Glass rodent tank and mice cages

Thirdly, they can be quite expensive. There are a lot of second hand tanks available that were formally homes to lizards or fish. But buying brand new you are going to spend a lot more than on plastic, or metal cages.

Overall it comes down to investment for reward. I have seen some incredibly impressive looking set ups with glass tanks, but it would have cost more than any other method. If you are taking your pet mice seriously then maybe you should look into this as an option.

Plastic Mice Houses with Tunnels

More commonly seen with hamsters, rats and other rodents, the plastic cage with tunnels and other built in accessories is great for mice too! This option opens up a whole new world of adventure – both for you and your mice.

Mice and other rodents love to dig and burrow, out in the wild they frequently build tunnels and live in them. So having a cage that offers them the ability to replicate this behavior is a big plus for them.
Large plastic mice home with tunnels to be used as mice cages

It will provide you with a lot more entertainment watching your mice run around the tunnels in their cage. There are some downsides however, most notably the fact that you need a large area to keep a complex cage. There are smaller options available, but if you are buying a cage with tunnels you may as well go all out.

Cleaning out the cage takes a little longer than others types too. Think about it, you will have to dismantle all the tunnels from time-to-time and clean out each piece, reassembling it afterwards. It is made from plastic too, so like the other plastic cage I wrote about earlier, it can crack or break if care is not taken.


Well, I hope this information helps clear up any questions you have regarding different types of housing and mice cages for your mice. Feel free to check out the accessories page for items to include in your cage. If you have any questions regarding this information, or anything else rodent related, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you.

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