Tails Blog

How do you stop a mouse house getting smelly

Steve Coppell - Saturday, July 31, 2010

The ammonia vapours from urine that develop in your pets’ cage can make owning mice less than pleasant.  The harsh smell is also uncomfortable for the mice.  Ammonia is a severe irritant and is detrimental to the health of mice.  It affects the mucous membranes of their eyes and respiratory tract.  The health of mice can worsen if they are regularly exposed to ammonia vapours, and it can make mice more susceptible to opportunistic infections.  

The development of innovative bedding products has been spurred by the quest to control or eliminate odour.  Scientifically developed bedding products made from a variety of materials, such as recycled paper, do not just mask odour, they are designed to reduce odour by controlling the formation of ammonia.  Such beddings promote a healthier environment for mice compared with traditional wood shavings and are highly recommended.  If your mice are housed in an aquarium, if you are neglectful in cage cleaning, or if family members despise your pets because they smell, use innovative, odour-controlling bedding.

Cage Accessories
Place your mice’s food in a dish.  If you have a metal cage, you can attach the dish to the side to prevent your pets from tipping it over and spilling the contents.  If you use a freestanding dish, make sure it is heavy enough that you mice cannot tip it over.  Mice are not always fastidious and some mice will go to the toilet in their food dish.  Because of this tendency, choose a smaller rather than a larger dish; your mice should not be able to stand in their food dish. You can buy litter containers and house train your mice.

Provide you mice with fresh water, using a gravity-fed water bottle.  A special holder, enables you to hang the water bottle in an aquarium.  Do not use an open dish to provide your mice with water.  Mice will fill an open contained of water with their bedding and droppings, and the water will become unsanitary and unsuitable for drinking.  The increased moisture from a spilled dish of water can also create an unhealthy, damp environment, especially in an aquarium-type cage.  In case the bottle leaks, do not place it over your pet’s food dish or near their nest box.  The bottle’s water tube should be a comfortable height for your mice to reach and drink from, but should not be so low to the cage floor that bedding could contact the tube and cause the bottle to leak.

Your mice need a nesting box for sleeping and security.  A “bedroom” is necessary because it gives you mice a safe hiding place to retreat away from loud noises and any disturbing activity outside their cage.  A variety of types are available, including ones that are made to satisfy a small animal’s natural instinct to chew, such as fruit-flavoured cardboard tunnels, huts made from natural plant fibres and wooden blocks that a pet hollows out.  You can also make your pets a nest box from an old cereal box or cardboard milk carton.  Once the box becomes chewed up or smelly, you will need to replace it.  

Give your mice unscented tissue paper or paper towels to shred into nesting material.  Shredding paper into a nest is a favourite activity among mice.