Adorable mice are easy to care for and entertaining to watch. If you’re planning a trip and wondering how long pet mice can go without food and water, the answer might surprise you. Unlike most animals, including humans, mice can potentially survive for weeks without access to water but only 2–4 days without food.
In this article, we’ll discuss how mice can go so long without water but not food. We’ll also cover how long mice can be left alone and the food they should eat to stay healthy and hydrated.
Food, Water, and Mice: The Basics
Because they metabolize food so quickly, mice must eat a lot to keep up with their basic energy requirements. They can starve to death in just a few days without enough food. However, eating all that food also serves another purpose.
Mice can go so much longer without direct access to water because they indirectly absorb it from their food. These tiny rodents are adapted to survive on minimal water, if necessary, which is why wild mice are so good at resisting attempts to remove them from our houses.
Depending on what pet mice eat, they may get less moisture from their food than wild rodents. Because of this, your pet mouse should always have access to water. Yes, they may be able to survive for longer than you think without water, but it’s not the best option for them.
How Long Can Mice Be Left Alone?
Despite their ability to adapt, it’s safest not to let mice go without food and water for more than a day. If you’re planning to go out of town and leave your mice at home, have someone check on them at least every 2 days to ensure they have plenty of food, water, and a clean cage.
Even if you purchase automatic food and water dispensers for your mice, you should still have someone check on them. There’s always the chance that the dispensers could get clogged or malfunction, leaving your mice without access to food and water.
If having a mouse sitter come to your home isn’t an option, ask your vet if they provide boarding services for exotic pets or know somewhere that does. You could also take your mice to stay with a trusted person.
How Much Food Do Pet Mice Need Per Day?
Mice are omnivores that process nutrients from plant and animal sources. Most of their daily calories should come from a pellet diet formulated for mice, usually 1–2 tablespoons per day. These diets contain all the essential nutrition your mice need to stay healthy.
About 10% of a pet mouse’s diet should come from healthy human foods from plant and animal sources. Fruits, vegetables, grains, cooked eggs, and cooked lean meats are all good options. Seeds and fruit are not as healthy and should be offered in smaller amounts, no more than 5% of the diet.
Because mice are foragers by nature, scattering some of their food around the cage can mimic their natural way of eating. Remove any uneaten fresh food each day and provide new meals.
Even pellet diets contain at least some moisture, but you should still provide your mice with access to fresh water each day.
Mice are surprisingly hardy creatures for their small size. Domestic mice aren’t the same as their wild relatives, and you won’t want to take a chance on anything happening to your pets. Even if mice can go a few days without food and potentially weeks without water, it’s safest to keep them supplied with these items daily.
Featured Image Credit: sonjafurter1, Pixabay