How to Care for Zebra Mice

Zebra mice are sometimes known as stripey grass mice, and given a good habitat and diet can live for around 3 years. They should not be kept alone.They have different care requirements to fancy mice, and some may not be able to be handled.

Make sure you purchase from a reputable breeder, not pet shop, and have money saved. Their habitat and vet bills can be costly, but they are a lovely, interesting pet to own.


  1. 1
    Research care requirements. Zebra mix can have a basic seed mix, that is low on sunflowers as they are prone to obesity. This should be supplemented with a source of protein such as scrambled egg, insect food, or mealworms and fresh greens. Some keepers recommend a mineral block as well. They should always have access to fresh water.
  2. 2
    Find a reputable breeder and ask questions. Online forums are a good source of this and feel free to ask as many questions as possible. A good breeder will always be happy to help your knowledge and this shows you are serious about keeping your Zebra mice in a good environment.
  3. 3
    Find a good exotic vet and save money for vet bills. These can be very costly, and it is important to have a vet available as the health of rodents can deteriorate quite quickly.
  4. 4
    Create their habitat. A large tank is best, and try to make it as natural as possible. Never choose anything plastic or wired for Zebra mice. Modular systems are also unsuitable since they have serious health and enrichment issues so are not good for any rodent. Use a pet safe substrate such as megazorb, finacard, carefresh or bedexcel. Nothing sawdust or pine or cedar based as this can cause serious respiratory issues. A layer of hay is good for concealment and chewing it aids their digestion. Grass nests and pet safe branches are also a good addition.
  5. 5
    Buy or re-home from a reputable breeder. Pet shops often mis-sex animals and you run the risk of supporting rodent farms. If your breeder cannot guarantee the sex of your animals do not go with them. They may have animals available for rehoming that have been retired from breeding and these make a good starting point. Start with a pair or trio of the same gender and check your breeders ethics match your own, as some breeders may cull litters or animals too old to breed.
  6. 6
    Let them settle in. Remember some Zebra mice can never be handled, so you may have to consider them as just an interesting pet to observe. Your breeder should let you know whether their animals are tame or not.


  • Scrambled egg and mealworms are a good source of protein. Mealworms can be bought dried if you are squeamish.
  • Pet-safe branches make great climbing material.
  • Terracotta plant pots make great hiding places, and provide a dark shady area for your pet to cool off in summer.
  • Always start with a small pair or trio of the same sex. Breeding should only ever be undertaken when you have got a few years of experience of them as pets.


  • Zebra mice can be very aggressive to each other, so keep a careful eye on them.
  • Treating an exotic rodent the same as a normal one is tantamount to neglect. Always make sure you have thoroughly researched care and habitat requirements.
  • Never overcrowd your habitat.
  • Although Zebra Mice MAY be able to mix with fancy mice this is not recommended and could potentially be dangerous.
  • Zebra mice can jump up to two feet vertically in the air, so be careful!
  • If your mice cannot be handled, try to coax them into a toilet tube and then block both exits as you pick up for when you need to clean their cage or for vet trips.

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Categories: Mice and Rats