What to Feed Your Pet Mice: A Comprehensive Guide

Last updated:
Jun 11, 2023

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If you have recently welcomed pet mice into your home, you may be wondering what to feed them. Providing your furry friends with a healthy, balanced diet is essential for their overall well-being.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at what types of food are best for your pet mice, how much they should be eating, and how to ensure they get all the nutrition they need.

Basics of Feeding Pet Mice

When it comes to what to feed pet mice, it is important to provide them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Pet mice need a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy and active.

Mice are what’s known as “opportunistic omnivores,” which means that they naturally eat a mix of plant foods and meat based on what’s available.

A good diet should include a combination of high-quality pellets or lab blocks, a nutritious seed mix, fresh vegetables and fruits, and occasional treats. Knowing what to feed pet mice can help ensure they stay in tip-top shape!

It’s also important to choose high-quality foods for your pet mice. Avoiding overly sugary or highly processed foods and opting for natural, nutritious options can make a big difference in their health. Make sure to read the ingredients list on any food you feed them and choose ones without added sugars or artificial colors.

We’ll discuss which lab blocks and seed mixes we recommend for pet mice, as well as the best fruits, vegetables, and treats for them, further down below.

With the right knowledge, you can ensure your pet mice get the nutrition they need to stay healthy and active!

Nutritional Requirements of Pet Mice

The nutrients and vitamins that pet mice need are similar to what other small animals require. They need an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fat, and various vitamins and minerals.

Proteins should come from sources like meat, insects, or eggs, while carbohydrates and fiber can be found in grains or vegetables. Fats can come from vegetable oils or nuts. Essential vitamins and minerals can be found in fortified foods or supplements.

Crude nutrients (crude protein, crude fiber, and crude fat) are the total amounts of those nutrients present in a food, regardless of how they’re digested. That means that depending on the type of animal, they may be absorbing and digesting only a portion of any particular nutrient.

Here are the dietary requirements of mice in terms of crude nutrients:

Crude protein: 12% – 14%

Crude fat: 5% – 8%

Crude fiber: 10% or less

Different Types of Food Mice Can Eat

Mice need a combination of lab blocks and a seed mix in order to get the right nutrition.

Lab blocks, also known as pelleted food, are designed to provide mice with all the essential vitamins and minerals they need in every bite. These pellets should be the main source of your mouse’s nutrition. In addition, mice can also eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement their diet.

Seed mixes are a great way to provide your mouse with additional nutrition and variety, as well as foraging opportunities. Seed mixes usually contain a variety of grains, nuts, and seeds that can give your pet mouse a well-rounded diet. Make sure to avoid any mixes that include high-sugar treats like dried fruit or sugary cereal.

In general, mice should have access to both lab blocks and a seed mix every day. This will help ensure that your pet mouse has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and happy!

Here are our recommendations as far as store-bought lab blocks and seed mixes.

Lab blocks for pet mice

Lab blocks or pelleted food should be the main staple of your pet mouse’s diet, but they should be supplemented with seeds, fresh foods, dried insects, and other treats.

When you’re choosing lab blocks or pellets for your pet mice, the most important factor to look at is the amount of protein. Most lab blocks have too much protein for mice, which can lead to health problems.

Here are our recommended lab blocks and pellets for mice:

Teklad Global Rat Food Pellets 2014

Crude protein: 14%

Crude fat: 4%

Crude fiber: 4.1%

Oxbow Essentials Adult Rat Food

Crude protein: 15%

Crude fat: 4%

Crude fiber: 2% – 5%

Science Selective Complete Rat and Mouse

Crude protein: 12%

Crude fat: 2%

Crude fiber: 5.5%

Seed mixes for pet mice

A high-quality seed mix is a vital part of your mouse’s diet, too. A seed mix doesn’t need to be fed daily like lab blocks, and many mouse owners recommend avoiding this.

That’s because seed mixes tend to be higher in fat, and mice will pick out the high-fat pieces and leave out the pieces they don’t like. That means they’re not getting the full nutritional benefits of the food mix.

Instead, it’s recommended to give your pet mouse a seed mix scattered around their cage two to three times per week.

Here are our recommended seed mixes for pet mice:

Higgins Vita Garden Rat & Mouse Food

Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix For Hamsters And Gerbils

Snacks and treats for pet mice

Every mouse has their own favorite treat, and it’s up to you to figure out what that treat is! A small treat can be given once per day, or a couple of small pieces every other day.

Give fresh fruits and vegetables sparingly because these can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, and fruits are high in sugar.

Whenever you introduce a new food to your mouse, make sure to monitor them and their stool to make sure it’s not upsetting their stomach.

Here are some ideas of treats you can try with your pet mice:

  • Cooked, unseasoned chicken or turkey
  • Unseasoned, hard-boiled or scrambled egg
  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Baby carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Bell pepper
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Dandelion greens
  • Parsley
  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Apple
  • Grapes
  • Banana
  • Oats
  • Puffed rice
  • Unsweated cereal
  • Millet spray
  • Whole-grain bread or crackers
  • Cooked or uncooked pasta

This is by no means a complete list of healthy treats for pet mice. Try out other foods, as long as they’re free from artificial flavors, added sweeteners, or artificial colors (and aren’t listed in the section below).

What Can’t Pet Mice Eat?

Here are the foods you’ll need to avoid giving your mice for their safety. These foods can be toxic or dangerous for mice:

  • Candy or sweetened foods
  • Spicy food
  • Raw meat
  • Potatoes
  • Raw sweet potato
  • Rhubarb
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Apple seeds
  • Citrus fruits
  • Mango
  • Artificially colored food and pellets

How Much Food Should I Feed My Mice?

On average, an adult mouse needs to eat about 3 to 5 grams of food and drink 3 to 5 mL of water daily. Three to five grams of mouse food translates to about ½ to 1 tablespoon of food per day.

FAQs About Feeding Pet Mice

If you still have some questions about what to feed your pet mice, the answers to these frequently asked questions might help.

Can mice eat cheese?

Mice are opportunistic eaters, which means they’ll eat what’s available. But despite what cartoons taught us to think, cheese is not a mouse’s top choice as a food source.

It isn’t something they’d encounter in the wild, and it has very little nutritional value to them. Most mice would rather snack on a fresh vegetable or a couple of mealworms instead of a piece of cheese.

Do mice eat insects?

Yes! Many people are surprised to find out that mice, as well as rats, gerbils, and hamsters, are omnivores.

They don’t feed exclusively on grass and vegetables like guinea pigs or rabbits. Instead, mice are opportunistic omnivores, which means they make use of whatever food source is available. This often includes live insects in the wild.

With pet mice, you can feed them dried or fresh crickets and mealworms to satiate any insect cravings your pet mice have.

What do mice drink?

In the wild, mice find water in streams and puddles. They can also get water in the form of dew or condensation that forms on plant leaves.

As pets, mice need constant access to fresh water in a bowl or water bottle. If you provide a water bottle for your mice, you should get one made of glass. Mice can and will chew through a plastic water bottle.

Can mice eat salt?

Salt is an important part of every mammal’s diet, including mice. Carnivores and omnivores like mice get their salt from the meat that they consume.

In captivity, mice can have small amounts of salt, but it’s not recommended. They can get all the salt they need from their lab blocks, seed mix, and any insects you give them.

If you want to feed your mice sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any other kind of seeds, make sure they’re the unsalted, unflavored variety. Too much salt can lead to serious health issues and even death in mice.

Learn more: What’s the Best Bedding for Mice?

Feeding Your Pet Mice: Getting it Right

You won’t always get your pet mouse’s diet correct straight off the bat, especially if you’re a new mouse owner. And that’s OK!

Taking care of small pets, especially with the limited amount of information that’s available for their care, is an ongoing and ever-evolving process. You’ll learn as you go, and with the proper amount of research and care, you’ll find the diet that works best for your mice.






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LittleGrabbies is an independent blog run by one human and her pets. We want to help you sift through all of the information that's out there for small pets to provide the best possible care.


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