Ah, the mouse—you may love them or hate them. You may even fear them! Many households consider these tiny animals pests, and they certainly have a terrible reputation in numerous parts of the world.
However, mice can be lovable, too. Who doesn’t like Mickey Mouse, Stuart Little, and Jerry? Some people find mice cute and even keep them as pets! They even play a huge role in scientific discoveries that help millions.
Whatever you think about the humble mouse, it is no secret that there is much to learn about them. They’re unique creatures that have many amusing and fascinating features. Read on to learn more about these stealthy little rodents!
Some Bite-Sized Mouse Facts to Impress Your Kids
If you have a curious little one about animals, you may want to feed their interest by telling them some fascinating facts! With this, here are some bite-sized facts about mice to share with them:
Courtesy of Pixabay
- Mice Can Run, Jump, Climb, and Swim
Most of us know that mice are sneaky, stealthy, and hard to catch. They’re quick and good at hiding! But how exactly do they get around?
Mice are naturally good at moving around—they can run, jump, climb, and swim pretty well. Many mice can even jump up to 13 inches (33 cm) into the air! Their climbing abilities also allow them to scale high places, such as pantries, attics, and even roofs.
- A Mouse Can Fit Through Holes as Wide as a Pencil
Mice are also highly flexible. They’re small and have athletic bodies that can fit through the tiniest holes and cracks. This is because they can bend their rib cages.
The widest part of the mouse is its head, so wherever its head can fit, it can enter. Some of them can even fit through gaps around a fourth of an inch wide—that’s around the width of a pencil! No wonder they always seem to find their way inside homes and buildings.
Coupled with their unmatched mobility, their flexibility allows them to be masters of escape and evasion. They’re super hard to catch!
- Mice Have Sharp Senses
Mice are colorblind and far-sighted, so they can’t focus on nearby objects. However, they can detect motion from around 45 feet (13.7 m) away! Mice are prey animals, and this ability helps them see approaching animals that may hunt them.
They also have other sharp senses to make up for their eyesight. For example, they have a superb sense of hearing that can pick up sounds we can’t even hear. That’s why they have such large ears!
Mice also have a highly sensitive sense of smell. That’s why they can find food even in the dark! This is undoubtedly one of the most interesting facts about mice you should remember.
Courtesy of David Hablützel
- Mice Communicate with Each Other Well
Have you ever heard of the phrase “quiet as a mouse?” Well, it may not hold up well after all. Mice are actually great communicators, as they produce complex sounds to talk to each other. However, we can’t hear their voices because the frequencies are too high.
As social animals, mice also use other modes of communication, such as smell and touch. They even use facial expressions and body language to talk to other mice!
- Male Mice Can Sing to Attract Mates
Here’s a fact about mice that we think is a bit romantic. Male mice sing to attract the ladies! Their songs are highly complex and not unlike the songs of birds.
However, humans can’t hear these complex mouse songs. These concerts can only be heard by the highly sensitive ears of mice (and the microphones of the researchers who discovered this)!
Courtesy of Ralph
- Mice Like to Clean Themselves
Let’s be honest; many associate mice with trash and dirty places. After all, they tend to go to messy areas with lots of food and hiding places. However, one thing you may not expect about mice is that they like keeping themselves clean.
Much like cats, mice groom themselves a lot during their waking hours. Also, they generally don’t eat, sleep, or go to the toilet in the same area. Now that’s a mouse fact to remember for sure!
- Mice Are Intelligent Animals
Although the humble house mouse may not seem like much, it’s actually an intelligent animal. Mice have excellent memories and can remember different routes within their homes. They can also recognize their family members.
If you have a pet mouse, the chances are that it can remember its name and respond when you call it! This intelligence and memory is another factor why they’re so hard to catch.
- Mice Are Important in Science
The house mouse is the most commonly used model animal in scientific research. Scientists also learn a lot about human life by studying their bodies and behaviors. With the help of mice, scientists have discovered cures for many diseases and answers to many questions about ourselves. Hooray for these little helpers!
Courtesy of Monique Laats
- Mice Have a Widely Varied Diet
The house mouse is omnivorous, which means it eats plant- and animal-based food. However, they prefer plant materials like seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. In homes, mice eat whatever is available. They can eat pet food and human food, especially those high in protein and fat.
- Mice Eat a Lot Throughout the Day
Because mice tend to run, jump, climb, and swim, they also need to get that energy somewhere. They fuel themselves by stuffing their cheeks full of food!
Mice eat a lot throughout the day, having around 15 to 20 small meals daily. They typically eat around 3–4 g of food per day, so they often nest near food sources.
- Mouse Teeth Never Stop Growing
Like other rodents, the teeth of mice never stop growing, and this growth will continue their whole lives. This is why their teeth are so big!
Because of this, mice often have to munch on hard objects like wood to wear their teeth down. Otherwise, they’ll become overgrown!
For Your Child’s Mice Fascination
Like dinosaurs, dogs, and cats, your child may perhaps grow an obsession with these (albeit hesitantly) cute creatures! And as growing kids, it’s important to always support them!
Here are some ways you can satisfy their curiosities—without ever having to purchase a mouse to live in your home:
- Get cuddly with this cute mouse stuffed toy by Douglas—bonus points for its cute ballerina tutu!
- A mouse and a cookie? This book by Laura Numeroff, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” combines both!
- Bring adorable and fun together with this interactive game by Blue Orange! It features a mouse, perfect for toddlers.
Frequently Asked Questions on Mice
Do mice like cheese?
Contrary to popular belief, mice don’t particularly like cheese. Many types of cheese have strong odors, which may not be pleasant for the highly sensitive noses of mice. They may only eat cheese if there aren’t many options left!
Can you keep a mouse as a pet?
Many people keep mice as pets. They are small, inexpensive, and low-maintenance. They’re also quiet and active, which makes them great pets for those who aren’t scared of them. Because mice are social animals, they tend to be happier in pairs. Many experts recommend female-female pairs (preferably littermates)!
What’s the difference between a mouse and a rat?
Rats and mice are rodents, but they’re not the same animal! The main difference between them is their size. Rats are larger and bulkier, while mice are smaller and have more slender frames.
What is a baby mouse called?
Baby mice are called pups, but some people also call them pinkies. This is because mice are born without hair, and their pink skin only covers them!
Do mice carry diseases?
Rats and mice (the ones that aren’t pets) are known for carrying different diseases, which is why they can be dangerous pests. These animals may also carry fleas, ticks, and other parasites that can harm humans.