I prefer guinea pigs as well. We already have 3 gps, a hamster, a rabbit and a cat. I've tried to talk DD2 into getting a different type of hamster as we've always had Syrians but she's convinced she wants mice for some strange reason. Are mice friendly and do they like being picked up?
I completely agree on the get girls not boys, you'll never be able to clean them often or well enough to control the smell
I had mice as a child and while they were fairly ok being handled they didn't get a friendly as hamsters or guinea pigs. they bite if worried and piss at the same time.. they chew their house, usually when the house is quiet and then do a quick half marathon on a wheel.
they are more active than the average hamster, that is about the only plus....
Mice are lovely They are easy to handle - ours have only bitten when young and a bit scared, and their teeth are so small it doesn't hurt. Yes they can get tumours, and they do wee everywhere, but they are great to play with and fun to watch.
I used to keep mice as an adolescent and was a bit obsessive about them truth be told but I can impart some information about them.
1. The main thing is that they have a short life span. You might get longer lived mice if you get them from a specialist as some people do show mice at small animal shows but get them from a standard pet shop and it is the luck of the draw. None of my mice made 2 years although they did come close.
2. YY to all girls but make sure there is a back up cage as if you keep mice for any length of time you will have a pregnant new arrival if they have been around makes after 6 weeks which is when they are sexually mature. Males can be separated after 4 weeks once they are weaned.
3. Best to have mice in pairs as they want some company but ensure that there is something and somewhere in the cage that is private so that they can get away from each other.
4. Mice smell and that is proportional to how many there are. 2 mice only need to be cleaned out once a week and then keep any litter which is not soiled as they will get stressed if it is all clean. Mice do wee and poo but will make their own toilet areas where the majority of it goes. You can tell the difference between ordinary mouse smell and the stink of wee-soaked litter.
5. It is recommended to have a deep litter composed of compost with newspaper and wood shavings on top as this will keep down the smell and give the mice something to do.
6. It is best to have 2 cages so the mice have somewhere secure to go when cleaning out. Do not underestimate the ingenuity of mice when it comes to squeezing though gaps.
7. Mice do well on a standard small animal mix but resist the temptation to feed them junk food. Avoid feeding fresh fruit and vegetables as it can give them loose stools.
8. Check out friendly neighbours or if local catteries/kennels do small animal hotels. You might not be able to stick a RotaStak cage system in the front of the car when going away as others may take a dim view of mice.
9. Use water bottles rather than open pots as they will put bedding/food in them and contaminate the water.
10. Always be prepared for the unexpected such as a complete change of litter at 8am due to leaky water bottle. Or a sudden death.