Illinois, United States
Congleton, United Kingdom
Scientific name: Mus musculus
Country / Place of origin: Asia
History: The Hairless mouse is a variety of fancy mouse which is distinguished by its naked, furless body. According to the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association (AFRMA), "Hairless mice should have a thin, bright, rather translucent skin, free of scars or pimples, and be as hairless as possible. The skin may be of any color or recognized marking, and wrinkling should not be penalized. The eyes may be of any color, but should be bright and free from any problems. The ears should be very large and wrinkle free. The toenails should be short (clipped if necessary). The whiskers may be very short or missing."
Appearance: The Fancy Mouse Hairless Variety has no hair. Its whiskers could be short or non-existent. The skin is somewhat translucent and thin, and may be wrinkled. Show Hairless Mice can be any color or marking as long as they have no scars or pimples, and the ears are preferably large with no wrinkles.Within the Hairless Variety of Fancy Mice, five different colors and markings/patterns (called Sections) are recognized. These are Self, Tan and Fox, Marked, AOC (Any Other Color), and AOCP (Any Other Color Pattern). Fancy Mice average 6-7 inches in length including the tail, although some adult show mice are about 8-12 inches long, weighing up to 3.5 ounces. Standards for show mice include long and slim bodies, large bold eyes and expressive ears, and a long tapering tail.
Average weight: .8 - 1.5 oz.
Lifespan: 1 - 2 years
Grooming: Mice do not require grooming by their owners. They self-groom areas of the body by scratching with their claws or nibbling with their teeth. They “wash” by spreading saliva on their paws and rubbing them against their faces. Sometimes they groom each other as a sign of friendship or to convey dominance.
Diet: The recommended food for Fancy Mice are called “lab blocks” or laboratory pellets specifically formulated to give mice the balanced nutrition they require as well as the gnawing experience that keeps their teeth from growing too long. Natural foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pasta, grain mixes, and wheat bread are well accepted although should be given only as occasional treats.Fresh water should always be available and best provided in hanging gravity bottle feeders.
Housing: Fancy Mice are best housed in glass aquariums with a mesh cover or wire bar cages with plastic flooring. The mesh and wire bars should be such that juveniles cannot slip through. Wire mesh floors are not recommended because the mice’s feet could get caught in them.Bedding or nesting material is essential. The recommended options include paper strips, unprinted newsprint, paper towels, cotton, tissue paper, rags, aspen wood shavings, and commercially available products. Hide-aways such as cardboard shelters and wood boxes should be provided for seclusion and privacy. Toys such as obstacle courses and wheels are also recommended to keep the mice stimulated and active. The cage should be cleaned often to minimize exposure to ammonia and waste products. To prevent disease, the entire enclosure should be disinfected at least twice a month.
Health issues: The most common ailments suffered by Fancy Mice are skin parasites (ticks and mites), intestinal parasites, colds (from drafty situations), obesity (leading to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and arthritis), occlusion (from overgrown teeth), bacterial infections (from unsanitary conditions), and other major health problems such as cancers and tumors. Nervousness and stress can lead mice to over-groom themselves causing injury. Ensuring a healthy environment and proper diet prevents most of these ailments. Persistent problems are best handled by veterinarians.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: All mice are naturally active and inquisitive. They like to run, jump, and climb. They are social creatures and are best kept in pairs or groups brought together while juvenile. Introducing new adults to an already established group can result in aggressive behavior.Training Fancy Mice is difficult; housetraining them is not possible because they are unable to control themselves especially when nervous or still unaccustomed to being handled. Mice have rather poor eyesight and could easily fall from the edge of a table. They are also easily startled by sudden movements and loud noises. They are not suitable pets for small children who might be too rough on their delicate bodies.