How Long Do Pet Mice Live?

The little gray mouse runs in a caged wheel close up

Mice are interesting creatures. They’re small, they’re cute, and they can be great pets. But how long do they live?

That’s a question that many people ask, and it’s one that we’re going to answer today. We’ll take a look at the average lifespan of pet mice and talk about some of the things that can affect their longevity.

So, if you’re curious about how long your pet mouse might live, read on!

How Long Do Pet Mice Live?

The life expectancy of pet mice is generally two to four years but can vary depending on the individual mouse and its environment. In some cases, a pet mouse can live to be as old as six or seven. This is a sharp contrast to the average lifespan of mice in the wild, which is only about a year.

Factors that Impact the Lifespan of a Pet Mouse

There are several health concerns that can shorten a pet mouse’s life, such as respiratory infections, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Mice are also susceptible to stress-related illnesses, so it’s important to create a peaceful environment for your pet.

A well-balanced diet is essential for keeping your mouse healthy and promoting longevity. Be sure to provide fresh water, plenty of vegetables and fruits, and a small amount of high-quality mouse food pellets daily.

Another factor that can affect the lifespan of pet mice is whether they are spayed or neutered. Studies have shown that spayed and neutered mice live longer than those that are not spayed or neutered. This is because they do not have to worry about mating and raising offspring, which can be stressful.

Finally, the diet of pet mice can also affect their lifespan. Mice that eat a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruits will live longer than those that eat a diet of processed foods or sugary snacks.

Common Health Issues for Pet Mice

As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the most common health problems faced by pet mice so that you can catch them early and get your furry friend the treatment he or she needs.

Respiratory Infections

The number one health problem facing pet mice is respiratory infections. These occur when bacteria or viruses enter the mouse’s nose, mouth, or eyes and begin to multiply in the respiratory system.

Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and lethargy. If left untreated, respiratory infections can be fatal.

Tail Rot

Tail rot is a severe bacterial infection that affects the tail and surrounding areas. It is most commonly caused by unclean living conditions and wet bedding.

Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pus-filled bumps on the tail. If left untreated, tail rot can lead to amputation of the affected area.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Mice are also prone to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. These can be caused by a variety of factors, including dietary indiscretion, parasites, and stress.

Symptoms include loose stools, straining to defecate, and vomiting. Gastrointestinal problems can be very serious if left untreated so it’s important to take your mouse to the vet at the first sign of any GI issue.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a common health problem in pet mice over two years old. It is caused by a build-up of toxins in the kidneys, which can lead to organ damage and failure.

Symptoms include increased thirst, urination, and appetite, along with weight loss and lethargy. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for mice with kidney disease, so regular vet check-ups are a must for older mice.


Cancer is also a common health problem in pet mice, with studies showing that up to 30% of all mice will develop some form of tumor during their lifetime. While there are many different types of cancer that can affect mice, the most common is lymphoma which is a cancer of the lymph nodes.

Other types of cancer include skin tumors, breast tumors, and brain tumors. Symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer but may include lumps or bumps on the body, hair loss, weight loss, lethargy, and seizures.

If you notice any unusual symptoms in your mouse, it’s important to have him or her checked out by a vet as soon as possible, as cancer is always easier to treat in its early stages.

Final Thoughts

While mice may not be the longest-lived of pets, they are generally low-maintenance and make fun, entertaining companions. So if you’re considering adding a little more life to your home, consider bringing in a mouse or two!

Interested in more helpful information about caring for your pets? Check out some of our other blogs about rodents.

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