Mice can make excellent pets, especially for younger children. They’re widely available and often considered relatively cheap. Therefore, many people think they are inexpensive pets. Generally, getting a pet mouse will cost you $0-$10 through adoption, or $5-$10 if you buy them from a breeder. However, to successfully keep a mouse, you must invest in a lot of gear. Mice are pretty intelligent, so they require mental stimulation. To get enough exercise, mice also require quite a bit of room. Purchasing all of this equipment can get expensive.
Mice are also social animals. Therefore, you’ll need to purchase multiple mice. Of course, this increases the amount of room required, increasing your costs. You also must be cautious when purchasing multiple mice, as you usually don’t want them to breed.
Experts also recommend neutering male mice to prevent them from marking their territory. Sometimes, you’ll have to pay for this procedure as an extra expense. Luckily, this isn’t usually very expensive.
All of these costs add up. Mice are still considered one of the cheapest pets due to their smaller size and short lifespan. However, they aren’t free like many believe. You should be prepared to spend quite a bit on your mouse.
Bringing Home a New Mouse: One-Time Costs
Most mice are inexpensive. Seeing their low-price tag may lead many to believe that the cost of bringing them home is very low. However, this isn’t necessarily true. While the mice may cost very little, you can expect to spend at least $100 on one-time costs. You’ll also need to purchase consumable supplies upfront, so be sure to add those needs to your start-up costs.
All mice are social, and you should purchase at least two. However, purchasing more is recommended in case something happens to one mouse.
Mice breed very prolifically. One pair can give birth to dozens and dozens of baby mice each year. When cared for properly, many of these mice will survive to adulthood.
When purchasing mice, it is often recommended to buy mice of all the same gender. Males should be neutered, as well. This decision prevents the mice from breeding. However, this process isn’t foolproof. It is possible to accidentally purchase mice of different genders and then find several baby mice in the cage one day.
Therefore, you may find someone in this situation giving mice away for free. Of course, remember that these individuals are not professional breeders; the quality and health of the babies can vary.
If someone can no longer take care of their mice, they may offer them up for adoption. In many cases, the mice will be free. Mice are incredibly inexpensive, anyway. Therefore, it isn’t odd for owners to give away unwanted mice.
If a mouse owner finds themselves in the situation we described above, they may give one of the mice away to prevent further breeding. This mouse may be free or inexpensive.
Many people also purchase mice only to discover that they are more work than initially considered. These individuals may give the mice away for free. Sometimes, they even give away the equipment that goes with the mouse.
Even if you purchase from a breeder, you can expect the cost of the mouse to be relatively low. Each female mouse can have about 15 litters a year, with around a dozen babies in each litter. That translates to 180 mice per year. It only takes a few females for a breeder to produce thousands of mice.
Mice are also relatively easy to breed; you only have to put two mice of the opposite sex together. Mice are cheap to produce, which translates into their purchase price.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Mice need quite a few supplies to survive. These costs can add up and represent the most expensive part of purchasing a mouse. The cage alone can cost $40 or more, depending on the size. The more mice you purchase, the bigger the cage needs to be. You’ll also need at least one exercise wheel. Usually, one wheel is enough for multiple mice, so there isn’t a need to purchase several.
You will need a food bowl and a water bottle. The water bottle is necessary, but the food bowl isn’t. It does make your life much easier, however.
Toys are necessary, and the mice will quickly tear them up. You should expect to spend about $20 upfront on toys, but consider this an ongoing cost, too.
List of Mouse Care Supplies and Costs
How Much Does a Mouse Cost Per Month?
The monthly cost of owning a mouse isn’t expensive. For the most part, you’ll only need to purchase food and bedding regularly. Mice will need their bedding changed each month.
Other costs tend to vary more from month to month. Taking your mouse to the vet once can lead to a $200 charge. However, this isn’t going to happen all that often. Some mice may never need to visit the vet since they aren’t required to get vaccinations.
Still, it’s essential to budget for these costs to the best of your ability. Having some extra cash budgeted for your mouse can be extremely useful.
It would be best if you take your mouse to the vet shortly after purchasing them to ensure that they are healthy. This visit will likely be very inexpensive unless your mouse isn’t healthy.
However, if your mouse gets sick, you can expect to pay quite a bit for vet care. Not all vets will see mice; you may have fewer vet options in your area or even need to drive a little bit to get to the vet. You’re less able to compare prices and choose which vet to visit. In the end, this may lead to increased costs.
Mice need to eat a pelleted diet that is designed for their needs. This diet will make up about 75% of what your mouse eats. Luckily, these pellets aren’t incredibly expensive. You can plan on purchasing about a bag a month per mouse. One bag lasts a long time since mice are very small. Plus, these pellets aren’t very expensive, to begin with.
On top of pellets, you can also give your mice fresh fruits and veggies. However, mice need very little of these things, so we often recommend providing them with leftovers. Therefore, we didn’t budget for this item, as you probably won’t be purchasing fruits and veggies specifically for your mice.
You’ll need to purchase new bedding once a month. There are many types of bedding, but most brands are around $10 to $15. Purchasing in bulk is often cheaper, but it may not be practical to store all of that bedding. The most common types are paper bedding and aspen shavings.
When you change the bedding, you’ll need to clean your mouse’s cage. You can do this with a specially-made cleaner. If you do, you’ll need to replace this cleaner every few months, depending on the size of your cage. As you might imagine, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend money on a cleaner every month.
Mice will often require regular toy replacements. Mice chew on their toys to wear down their teeth.. Toys don’t necessarily need to be changed every month, so you may find that some months you spend nothing on toys. In other months, mice may need all of their toys replaced, however.
Mice can share toys. However, the more mice you have, the quicker these toys will wear down. Therefore, it is vital that you plan your budget accordingly.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Mouse
Usually, owning a mouse isn’t expensive month-to-month. Assuming you don’t have to replace any big-ticket items, like the cage, you’ll probably only need to purchase food, bedding, and a few toys every month. Of course, your costs may be much higher if you need to pay for vet bills.
The more mice you have, the more you can expect to spend. Not only will several mice go through more food, but they will also require more regular bedding changes and toy replacements. Luckily, adding even three or four mice doesn’t usually increase your costs very much.
You will need to purchase at least two mice, though three is often the recommended minimum. Many people decide to purchase more, depending on the size of their cage.
Additional Costs to Factor In
In some situations, you may need to pay a bit extra for your mice. If you go on vacation, you may need to hire someone to watch after your mice. This isn’t always a task that most people are familiar with, which may make it more difficult to find someone to watch them. Of course, with fewer possibilities, you may be stuck with a more-expensive pet sitter.
Mice can also be quite dirty. Preferably, all of that dirt should be contained in their cage. Occasionally, you may need to replace household items or spend more money on cleaner if the mess extends past the cage. There are many “extras” you can purchase too. Mouse houses and aesthetic toys can quickly grab many owners’ eyes. However, these aren’t strictly necessary.
Owning a Mouse on a Budget
Luckily, mice are pretty budget-friendly pets. If you stick to only the necessary items, you won’t spend much on your mouse. However, the problem arises when owners start to purchase things that aren’t necessary. For instance, you can find very nice-looking wooden toys and furniture for your mouse cage. These items can spruce up your cage a bit, but they aren’t necessary. If you can afford these items, feel free to splurge.
It is often best to write down what you need for your mouse and stick to it. Having a strict list prevents you from purchasing many things you don’t need.
Saving Money on Mouse Care
Take good care of your mice by providing a clean, roomy environment and quality food. Chew toys are a must for mice, or their teeth can become too long. By providing new toys for them to chew, you may save hundreds of dollars on vet costs. Spend money now to save it later.
Mice aren’t terribly expensive. You can purchase a mouse from most pet stores for around $5. Often, mice are also given away for free by owners who can no longer care for them. However, it is all the things that mice need that cost the most. A cage can cost eight times as much as a mouse.
Furthermore, you can’t just adopt one mouse. You have to adopt several. Therefore, you have to consider the cost of feeding and housing at least three mice. While mice are still fairly budget-friendly, they can quickly become more expensive than you may think.
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