Our Spiny Mice Personalities:
Spiny mice are little bundles of energy that need fairly large cages and lots of enrichment. They are good jumpers and climbers, so you must be careful when changing the cage/interacting with them as they will often climb/jump to the top to explore.
Our spiny-butts (TGR’s preferred term) are very curious and love to roam. If you pick them up you must avoid the tail as it is very easy to deglove and will not grow back.
Quick and Dirty Facts:
- Have spines! Not sharp like a hedgehog, more like stiffened hairs.
- Long gestation: about 40 days
- Precocial: born with eyes and ears open
- Small litters: on average, two pups
- Long lived: on average 3-5 years, but records of 7 years in captivity
- Read more here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4747004/
The easiest cage you can get for a spiny mouse is a glass tank. Cleaned properly (ie: before you notice a smell) tanks are perfectly acceptable methods of housing spiny mice. We recommend twenty gallon long tanks as a minimum as it allows for lots enrichment and running space. They should be offered at least one hide, one wheel, and some kind of toy. They prefer warm tanks, about 80F (26C), and can be offered a heat source such as a lamp if your house is too cold. Make sure to check the temperatures under the lamp to make sure it’s not too hot. They must also not be able to touch the bulb to avoid burns. If you do not feel comfortable offering a heat lamp safely, do not offer it at all.
We do not recommend bin cages for spiny mice at this time. They are avid chewers and do better in a glass tank or a wire mesh cage with a solid bottom for bedding.
Critter-trail cages or similar are not acceptable housing. They are small, hard to clean, and hard to add things to. The wheels included are usually too small and it’s nearly impossible to offer bigger.
Really easy toys come from trash: toilet paper rolls (cut open to avoid getting stuck), egg cartons, small boxes (rip off bottom to avoid pee-soaking), or ripped up paper for extra nesting material. There are so many YouTube videos on how to repurpose stuff for toys so I won’t go into too much detail here. Just make sure to change out toys/hides before it starts stinking as paper and boxes soak up pee and that built up ammonia can lead to sick mice. Spiny mice are super active and love to things to climb, run through, and changes in their cage to investigate.
One of the easiest forms of enrichment is treat balls (wrapping up in paper or hiding in paper rolls) or simply scatter-feeding. There is nothing wrong with having your pets work for their food. This works their brains and keeps them active physically as well.
Most spiny mice will enjoy getting out of their cage for a time as well, so feel free to scoop them up (again, never pick up spinys by the tail) and set them in your lap or in a designated play space they can’t escape from (tub, table, large box/bin). Always make sure to supervise during free-roam time. Do not take your mice out in public, as it is simply too easy to lose them and if taken to a pet store they could easily pick up diseases from animals there.
Spiny mice do super well in large colonies but always be sure not to overcrowd a cage. If you notice bites on their tails this could be from fights due to overcrowding (or too little protein in their diet).
Only knowledgeable homes are able to take home new pets from me. I will not adopt to you if you have obviously not done research on your new pet, so please use this page to help you do just that! You must fill out the following adoption questionnaire and provide proof of proper housing before you can adopt.
Thank you for choosing TGR!