Spiny Mice

Grouping Spiny Mice

Spiny mice are considerably more territory conscious than mice and it can be very difficult indeed to add newcomers to an established group. Succeeding in grouping spiny mice together is more likely when you're dealing with a group of young animals, or adding a young spinie into a group. Adult spiny mice not previously familiar to each others can be quite reluctant to accept each others, unless it's a question of a male and a female. Therefore, you will have to get the spiny mice to know and get used to each others before they are allowed to interact freely.

The abode of the original group should be large enough to fit in a small cage for the introduced spiny mouse and enough space for the whole group. The ?introduction cage? can be the top of a small mouse cage. You may need it for up to several weeks, so you need to furnish it with the essential equipments; food bowl, water bottle, nest.

Group of Spinies

A group of three spiny mice
o. Katri Pohjanvaara, pic: Anniina Tuura

The newcomer is at first placed into the introduction cage so that the animals can sniff each others through the bars. Switch the animals around every day ? the newcomer gets to roam the rest of the tank, while the older inhabitants are sitting in the introduction cage and vice versa. This way the scents of all the animals will intermingle and the critters get used to each others gradually.

After about a week you can try to group the animals together, preferably on a neutral ground. If the spiny mice do accept each others, it's a good idea to clean and re-furnish their tank again before re-introducing the whole group in it. If the spiny mice will not accept each others, you will have to continue using the introduction cage. Do be careful when trying to group the spinies, as they can bite each others with serious results. If the spiny mice get aggressive and manage to actually attack, they may never tolerate each others.

Sometimes attempts at grouping certain animals simply do not work. In a situation like this the owner will just have to accept it and place the newcomer in a tank of its own.