A common question I hear a lot from people new to owning pet mice is, what do pet mice eat?
Ideally, I recommend a combination of shop bought food mixes and some fresh fruits and vegetables you can easily provide yourself.
This will help provide them with a diet with a good balance of nutrients and vitamins. I’ve written up a rundown of some of the best mice foods on the market in this post.
If you’re interested in a breakdown of some of the foods pet mice can eat, and some that they can’t eat – please read on;
What Do Pet Mice Eat?
Mice enjoy a wide variety of plant seeds and they provide loads of goodness for them.
Whether you’re buying or combining seeds to make your own mix, make sure you’re putting together a good mix of different seeds to add some variation to their diets.
You’ll probably notice your mice eating certain seeds quicker than others too. They might even leave some altogether if they don’t like certain seeds so you can adjust what you’re giving them over time.
The most common and easily obtainable types of seeds are sunflower seeds, bird seed mix, oats, and millet. If you are looking for pre-made packs of seed mix foods be sure to check out the post with products I have reviewed.
Mice love vegetables in general and the best part is that they are more than happy to eat the scraps, tips, ends, and so on that, you would otherwise probably throw away.
Just a little tip here, always give vegetables a quick wash before giving them to your mice. They have often been treated with chemicals that we might not notice but can be potentially harmful to mice.
Try some of these vegetables to get started, I’m sure they will be well received;
- Soya Beans
You’ll learn over time which veggies your mice like the best. Just don’t leave them in their cage too long if they aren’t eating it. You don’t want their cage to smell of degrading food or attract flies and other insects.
Much like I explained with vegetables, it’s advisable to wash and peel fruit where applicable before giving it to your mice. Some of the fruits that have been tried, tested and well received in my home are;
- Apple (Don’t give them the seeds!)
Be aware that some fruits can perish quickly and may make a mess or an odor if you put too much in the cage or leave them too long.
Fruits are also to be treated like treats. Most are rich in sugars and you don’t want picky mice to keep choosing fruit over their seed mix and veggies.
The good thing about feeding pieces of fruit is that mice will eat the bits and cuts that you probably wouldn’t. So, you can look at it as a kind of recycling, along with treating your mice!
Shop Bought Food Mixes
I also feed my mice some pre-packaged food to round out their diet. It’s the pack you see above but any of the top brands with good feedback from owners will do. (Just click the picture to see the latest price and reviews on Amazon).
They love it too which is the important thing. For me it’s always been about providing plenty of variety, I mean, that’s what we like, right? It’s the least we can do for our little friends.
Finding a balance
From all the foods here it is important to find a balanced diet for your mice, this will keep them happy, and healthy. Typically I use shop bought food mixes, seed mixes, and add pieces of fruits and vegetables every couple of days.
It’s not always easy to find mice food specifically, so it’s worth pointing out too that you can use most foods marketed for hamsters. If you are unsure then I recommend checking with the distributor or shop you are buying from.
Over time as you get to know your mice better you will understand what they like and what to feed them. It always feels a little nerve-wracking at first, but it’s really nothing to worry about. The fact that you’re here reading this shows that you care!
Don’t forget that mice also need to drink water too! Fresh water should be available at all times, hook up a bottle to their cage and keep it topped up and refill it with fresh water daily.
Give it a good wash out once a week too.
What Not to Feed a Pet Mouse?
I think it’s also worth pointing out a few of the foods that you should not be feeding your pet mice.
Some are obvious really. Don’t give your pet mice human foods that are high in fat or sugars. So, sweets, junk food, deep fried foods and so on. Let’s be honest, these aren’t good for us either, but I’m not here to lecture you on that. 🙂
Some other foods to avoid include chocolate, acidic vegetables, and fruits, like onions, garlic, lemons, oranges, and so on. And, when feeding them fruits and vegetables try to remove all the seeds, some of which can be quite toxic to mice.
If you have anything to add to this post – what do pet mice eat – please leave a comment. Maybe you have a mouse that eats something unusual and strange? Or a picky mouse particular about certain foods? I’d love to hear about it.
This list is by no means exhaustive, there are a lot more foods that are suitable for pet mice. If you have anything you think I should add then let me know.
Obviously, it’s not a good idea to start experimenting with random foods without checking they are safe for mice. Keep it sensible and have fun watching then grasp food in their little claws and nibble away!