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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pop (my recent rescue mouse from the SSPCA, I haven't added piccies yet but promise that I will!) has been with me for almost a month now and is the friendliest, cuddliest mouse ever. Except for random biting. I don't know what is causing it, he will be playing with me jumping in and out of my hand (I never need to pick him up because he jumps into my hand right away) then just suddenly launches at me and won't let go until he draws blood. I'm not doing anything different to the nights were he doesn't attack and am very careful handling him but I'm still covered in bites - it's happening once or twice a week (several times in the one night.) I thought it was perhaps because I was handling the other mice first so have been handling him first but this still isn't making a difference. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Does anyone have any idea what could be making him do this or what I can do to stop it? I have tried everything that I can think of, even telling him off or spraying him with a little water just to deter him but it makes no difference. It's getting painful and I don't want to think that I'm doing anything wrong :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tried that as well mousebreeder and I'm still not having any luck :( I've tried everything that I can think of and nothing is working. The only thing I haven't done is try putting him in a different cage but I wouldn't have thought that would have been the cause of it. Is it possible that he acts this way because of whatever happened before he found his way to the SSPCA? They found him and his brothers as strays so have no idea what conditions he was brought up in or how he was handled before he reached them. None of my other pet mice do this or ever have done this - the only time my others have bitten is when I've separated them during a fight :( Any other ideas?
 

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What exactly does he do? Does he launch at you when he's not even siting on or near your hand? Does he give any warning signs (like rattling his tail)? Does he live alone or with other mice? How old is he and does he have any health problems? I have never had this problem so just trying to cover all angles. Oh and do you have other pets like dogs and cats?
 

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Is he kept near the females? If not are you handling the females before him?

The only reason i ask, is because if he is doing the biting every 3 or 4 days, it could coincide with the females coming into heat, and he's just being all manly.

W xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I reckon Pop is about 3 to 4 months old but I can't be sure as he is a rescue (going by his size when I first saw him and now I think this would be about right.) He never bites when he is in my hands and doesn't give any warning signs. Last night he was running through my fingers and his house when he ran out his house (as he had been doing) and latched onto my fingers. He lives alone and has no health problems that I can find other than a mild case of mites which is almost gone. I do have a cat who doesn't even look at his cage (Pop isn't active enough unless I'm playing with him :lol: Theo prefers to watch the mutlis and attack my ankles! Although the SSPCA did have Pop in a cage only about 6 inches away from some ferrets.)
His cage is in the bedroom alongwith my other mice (so both girls and boys) and I have on occasion handled them first. I've been quite strict in scrubbing my hands clean since Pop started this behaviour (about a week after I got him) He did this every second night for that week stopped for 2 nights and has done it all but one night this week as well so it doesn't sound like it could be because the girls are coming into heat. None of my other mice have ever carried on this way (I know that I don't have the experience most of the forum users do as I've only had mice for 14 months) even the feeder breeder mice I got at 6 months old who hadn't been handled at all - and they came with a litter of 7 day old babies! I really don't know what is causing this and haven't heard anyone else mention a similar experience :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes - he is only letting go when he draws blood so it isn't even a test nip. He is biting down as hard as he can and has left some lovely mouse sized bite marks all over my hands :( When it started originally I thought it was just because of him settling in after being moved around at the sspca so much, but I don't think so now :(
 

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It is possible this is a learned behaviour... he has learned to attack when he has had enough playing/handling.
As he is a rescue, it is possible he was subjected to rough handling, so learned to bite to get people to let him go and has taken it to extremes.

Who knows I suppose, but it also could be a genetic thing, mice are just as capable of developing psycological disorders as humans. I don't know if you breed your mice, but if you do, i would recommend not using him.

W xx
 

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I wonder if he is scared of the cat's smell and attacks. Other things that could affect him without you knowing are electrical items as they can make noises that we can't hear that drive rodents crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't breed and as much as I love Pop I definitely wouldn't be breeding from him with this behaviour!! I was thinking that it may be he learned this from wherever he was before but it I didn't think about it being psychological. It does make sense, now that I think about it he doesn sit on his haunches for up to half an hour rocking back and forth as if he has been mesmerised by something. I didn't think of that before - I just contributed that to being a cute quirk so it might be related?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
MouseBreeder said:
I wonder if he is scared of the cat's smell and attacks. Other things that could affect him without you knowing are electrical items as they can make noises that we can't hear that drive rodents crazy.
Would he still only do this at random when Theo is in my room every day (Theo lives in my room practically and follows me around like a shadow)? I hadn't thought of that either.
 

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It sounds like he IS doing it most days now? Poor thing sounds a bit stressed. Would it be worth moving his cage to another room and seeing if it made a difference? At least if it did you only have to work what it could be in your room rather than just believe he's a little psycho :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
MouseBreeder said:
It sounds like he IS doing it most days now? Poor thing sounds a bit stressed. Would it be worth moving his cage to another room and seeing if it made a difference? At least if it did you only have to work what it could be in your room rather than just believe he's a little psycho :lol:
I'll give it a try - it it doesn't work though I'm changing his name to Norman Bates :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Two nights with no biting :D I put him in a different room whilst I was getting the carpet fitted and he seems to be enjoying it - I just hope that he keeps it up :D
 

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You might try removing the housing; if he's been pushed around and chewed up so much he may just be trying to protect his territory, and who could blame him! Blame aside, though, it's hard to maintain a mousie who isn't at all tractable. You may need to return him to the shelter if you aren't able to deal with it. I wouldn't put up with his behavior indefinitely. It's just possible that he's too 'damaged' by his former life.

Only you, though, can be the judge of that. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:shock: I can't take him back!! I'm too attached (not just via the teeth embedded in my finger :lol:!) He is really lovely and loves cuddles, I'm getting a tiered cage for him to see if that makes a difference as it means then that if he does feel in any way threatened that he can run away and won't be too close - fingers crossed that helps!
 

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My mousies always seemed uneasy in wire cages so I don't use them anymore. Now I don't have drifts of bedding and etc. on the floor anymore. Have you tried having a treat in the hand when you stick it in the cage? Tho' here's another thought: I have had meeces dumb and/or blind enough to rush my hand when I had a treat and miss the target. Owtch! Or even when I didn't have a treat! Owie!! Stop it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
moustress said:
My mousies always seemed uneasy in wire cages so I don't use them anymore. Now I don't have drifts of bedding and etc. on the floor anymore. Have you tried having a treat in the hand when you stick it in the cage? Tho' here's another thought: I have had meeces dumb and/or blind enough to rush my hand when I had a treat and miss the target. Owtch! Or even when I didn't have a treat! Owie!! Stop it!
I dodn't think of that!! He eats out my hand happily enough but I didn't think that he may be blind so I'll check him for that! Thanks :D
 
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