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Mr Tom

Since I posted that Mr Tom took a treat from me (the first real contact) I have not seen him! He obviously worried him self that much with his moment of bravery that he's gone underground. I still talk to him a lot and put my hand in but I haven't seen him, I even started to panic that some how he had escaped but he is still there.Do I just carry on or is there any tips? I don't care if he doesn't want close contact but I would like to get him to the stage where he doesn't go in to a blind panic when I approach him.

Comments

  • HoyleKingdomHoyleKingdom Lemming
    Posts: 31
    I had a scaredy mouse not so long ago: Ursula would run away back into her nest as soon as she could hear my footsteps. What I found worked eventually was putting my hand in the cage, very flat, and with malt paste on my fingers and palm. That way, mousey could smell the delicious malt, nibble it off a finger that was roughly the same level as the ground, in in time she bravely put a paw on my hand. Few weeks later she started to crawl on my hand and now I can pick her up occasionally. Hope Mr Tom remembers his bravery soon!
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 815
    Thanks Hoylekingdom, the malt paste tip is a good one and has worked for me with other mice in the past but although I keep trying it with him its not doing its magic this time.But I will keep at it :D
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 936

    What a shame Mr Tom managed to take a treat from you on one occasion but not since that day. I've had a few mice that were very frightened but only one that I didn't manage to win round to at least some extent, eventually. His previous owner kept him in a lovely, large cage with piles of nice soft bedding he could bury himself in but I think that combination resulted in him remaining very nervous. In the end I put him in a smaller cage with much less bedding that he could hide in and he did take treats through the bars but I was never able to handle him, except in a cardboard tube.


  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 815
    Yes its such a shame he lost his nerve after just one treat. His cage is not big but gosh he's one nervous lad. He will at times come out while I'm there but if I enter his cage while he's out he freezes or what I find worse, flys about on to the cage bars in a blind panic,more like a wild mice caught in a trap. I move very slowly around him and talk gently. The way he fly's around I should have called him Superman,never mind Mr Tom! Lol.
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    Ann's idea of a smaller cage and less bedding might be worthwhile - and perhaps changing the type of cage and type of bedding would help as well? If you find you never see him you could perhaps change to sheets of newspaper and just a little pile of bedding for him to make a nest from that you pile into the middle of his cage. It might encourage him to come out a bit as he will need to move his bedding to an area that he feels safe in, and if you put in some sheet type bedding (or any type of bedding that is a bit bigger and not as good for tunneling in) then he will have the opportunity to shred it himself for more bedding. The type of cage is worth considering too (not just the size.) I've had a few mice now that have done better in a cage without bars. I don't normally like an all plastic cage with a grilled lid, but it seems to make some mice feel more secure - I think it may be because they aren't as exposed to all the scents that can waft in through the bars all the time. It also means that more of their smell will build up so it smells more safe and homely to them. I have three boys that I lately just moved from a mini duna type cage to a hamster heaven with another group and they went from being bouncy, clamber-all-over-me boys to ones that run and hide at the slightest noise, so it might be something similar for Mr Tom.

    I'm also going to ask a silly question and say what type of layout do you have for Mr Tom's cage? I have found that the cage layout can some difference to some mice's confidence and a different type of layout might work. With Aladdin (my most nervous mouse ever who I have just now)I found that I had to lay out lots of houses, tubes, beds etc around the edge of his cage and in order to encourage him to come out I had to put his food bowl at least 4 inches away from everything else in the centre of his cage, and have his water bottle directly in front of it. It encouraged him to come out and sit at his bowl (for a while I had a single tube sitting next to it, it helped build up his confidence in darting from his beds and houses to his food bowl. It also meant that I had something to scoop him up with.) He is a lot better now and will come up for an ear rub, but even after being here for over a year he won't let me pick him up and panics at his cage being cleaned, but it's a huge improvement from where he was.

    Another thing you can try is to put something in his cage that really smells of you. A cheap pair of primark fleece socks (without the rubber soles) or something similar that you have worn  being put into his cage can help him get used to your smell and not have him going bat poo crazy around his cage when you come close!!
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 815
    Thanks for the helpful tips Zany_toon. I will look at changing the layout. I did move his food onto the little upper level and he has run and taken some while I was there. The sock idea is great. Some of my other mice are in a tank style cage and the others in a barred but to be honest I would hate to move him at the moment because when I peek around the door ands he's not aware I'm there I can see him really enjoying climbing the bars and playing with all the hanging toys.
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    Nicky said:

    Thanks for the helpful tips Zany_toon. I will look at changing the layout. I did move his food onto the little upper level and he has run and taken some while I was there. The sock idea is great. Some of my other mice are in a tank style cage and the others in a barred but to be honest I would hate to move him at the moment because when I peek around the door ands he's not aware I'm there I can see him really enjoying climbing the bars and playing with all the hanging toys.

    No wonder you don't want to change the style of his cage when he has so much fun climbing his bars and the hanging toys!! That's what Aladdin was like when i first got him, although if cornered he'd attack out of fear. I hope he comes around, even if it does take time. I will try to get a little video of Aladdin for you to see what he is like now :) He still won't tolerate me cleaning his cage and gives me a nip, so his cage only gets partial cleans but he is so much better than he was :)
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 815
    Bless him Aladdin sounds like a real character :D
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