How to reduce the stink of your pet mouse
Mouse Odor Prevention
Mice mark their territory, like dogs. However, while pet dogs stake their claims outdoors, a pet mouse doesn't have that option. Mouse odor overpowers air fresheners and can fill a room quickly. Although they make friendly and playful pets, this stink can be off putting to their owners. If you find yourself choking on your pet's scent, I can offer several suggestions to freshen the air back to normal.
1. Don't Clean the Cage
This may sound counter-intuitive, but it makes sense to your mouse. He doesn't get a lot of territory, so he feels very strongly about his cage. If you expect to battle the smell by frequent cage-cleanings, your pet will combat your efforts by marking every last corner as soon as you set him in a freshly scrubbed home. When he can't smell himself, his first reaction will be to get busy with the scent glands. As a result, pet mice often stink more immediately after you clean their cage.
Instead, let the cage sit for a week or two--depending on how many mice you have--even if it's a little unpleasant. Some people will even save old bedding and sprinkle it around a cleaned cage. This pre-marks the territory for the mouse, and he won't feel the need to draw lines in the sand right away.
2. Baking Soda
People put open boxes of baking soda in their refrigerators to absorb the smells. The same trick works with mice. It wouldn't be wise to stick an open box full of powder into the cage with your pet, but after scrubbing and drying, spread a liberal amount of it over the floor. Then put the bedding over that.
3. Store-Bought Deodorizers
Other people have had this problem. So many, in fact, that there are ways of chemically treating your mice to weaken the power of his stink glands. A good pet store will carry at least one brand of deodorizer. They don't cost much and can easily be mixed into a water solution, which makes it easy to apply to the mouse.
4. Corn Cob Bedding
This method may cost slightly more, but the benefits more than offset the price. Its main virtue is that it lowers the levels of ammonia--the chemical that makes pee stink--in the cage. Also, it's cleaner, so bacteria and fungi are less likely to develop and harm your pet. Research scientists are legally required to use this on their animals because it is considered more humane and healthy than other types of bedding. Because of this, not only will your mouse smell better, but you probably won't have to clean the cage nearly as often as with wood shavings or paper.
5. Air Filters / Air Purifiers
This may challenge your wallet more than my other suggestions, but when used alongside the other methods, you won't even notice that mousy smell anymore. If you have allergies, it doubles its usage. It's not an option for everyone, but I highly recommend using one if you can afford it.
6. Don't buy male mice
This may not help those of you who already have pet mice, but only males mark territory. Females couldn't care less. They also tend to be friendlier to humans. Some people tell me they can smell female mice, but when I've owned them without owning a male, I never noticed anything. Unfortunately, some pet stores only stock male mice, but females make better pets. If you haven't bought a mouse yet, try to find a girl.
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