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Will A Mother Mouse Come Back For Babies? 6 Reasons For Instant Abandonment

Knowing will a mother mouse come back for babies after she has left is never an easy question. It will depend on a variety of factors. In this article, we will share the most common reasons a mother may abandon here babies and what you can do to help.

Many people who ask “can baby mice survive without their mom?” also want to know:

  • Will a mother mouse abandon her babies?
  • How long do baby mice have to stay with their mother?
  • How can you tell how old a baby mouse is?
  • How long can baby mice go without milk?
  • How do you take care of a baby mouse without a mother?

We’ll answer all these questions and more in this practical article for mouse carers.

Quick Links – Click Below To Pick Up All Mouse Essentials (In Stock)

All mouse are born blind and deaf. This can sometimes leave them vulnerable to the environment they are born in. Consequently, they spend most of their early lives attached to their mothers without moving too much. A fall out of the nest or injury could be fatal to most infant mouse. New mothers are still learning the difference between high pitch squeals and pleas for help.

Related: 9 Best Mouse Cage 

Will A Mother Mouse Come Back For Babies?

Will A Mother Mouse Come Back For Babies

Knowing whether or not a baby mouse will come back after leaving the nest will depend on a variety of things, including:

  • Whether or not she is a new mum or not
  • The environment the nest has been built in (is it secure or not)
  • The scents that transfer from baby mouse to mother.
  • How much time she spends away from her mouse at the beginning

Sometimes mothers will abandon their young if they have a litter that is too large so they separate some of the baby mice to ensure the rest live. Other times they can become aggressive or unattached to their young for other reasons. It’s upsetting but try to remember that it’s just a part of nature and these things can sometimes happen.

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It’s important that if you find a wild nest inside or outside you don’t scare the mother away. Be sure that the mother has in fact left the nest before you try to retrieve the baby mice. Sometimes people unintentionally scare away the mother and then end up trying to raise the mouse themselves.

Try not to handle the baby mouse too much. Unlike most birds, mice will usually not just reject their babies based on scent alone, but it’s not worth the risk if you are unsure.

Weighing up all the factors above take care in deciding if the mother has abandoned her young first and then take precautions to keep them safe.

Will a mother mouse abandon her babies? 6 immediate Steps:

Here are your first steps:

1. Confirm the nest is abandon

2. Call your local vet or wildlife centre

3. Check for any injuries to babies

4. Keep the babies comfortable with clean rags and cut away anything that could cause injury

5. Keep them warm (you can use a heating pad for this)

6. If you decide to foster you will need a feeding syringe

Always speak with your local vet or wild centre before you try to foster baby mice. Double-check with them to find out will a mother mouse come back for babies.

Can Baby Mice Survive Without Their Mom?

The short answer is yes, but it will depend on the age and how healthy the baby mice are. If you find baby mice who already have their eyes open then they are probably around 3 months old and at this stage, it will be a lot easier for them to survive without their mom.

Can Baby Mice Survive Without Their Mom?

The most important parts of caring for mice are:

I Found A Baby Mouse What Should I Do?

If you find a baby mouse (or nest of baby mice) you should call your local pet or wildlife centre immediately. Giving the baby mouse to a wildlife specialist will increase the chances of survival especially for young baby mice. However, there are some things you can do to keep the baby alive

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Setup a warm nest with old t-shirts and clean rages and mouse bedding. An old clean blanket will work perfectly. Alternatively, you can pick up a cheap mouse cage for security and protection

A heating pad is strongly recommended as the mice spend all the time on the floor. Keep it under the bedding so that it does not directly touch any of them.

You can pick up a variety of formula rich milk from most pet shops and a syringe is needed to help the baby mice.

Baby mice will need to be fed according to these rough metrics:

<1 Week or Less – Every 1-2 hours and once overnight

1-2 Weeks – Every 3-4 hours and once overnight

2-3 Weeks – Every 4-5 hours

4-5 Week – You can introduce crushed mice food blocks

6-7 Weeks – Crushed mice food blocks and start introducing other foods

Lastly use a damp cloth and rub it against the mouse abdomen and private parts to stimulate them pee and poo. You should try to do this after every pee or poo.

Quick Links – Click Below To Pick Up All Mouse Essentials (In Stock)

How Many Babies Can A Mouse Have At One Time?

One female mouse will usually have between 25 and 60 offspring in 12 months. The lifecycle of a mouse is quite long and a female mouse can be pregnant multiple times in a year. It only takes around 3 weeks for her to give birth and she will usually give birther to up to 6 or 7 mice at a time.

Usually, others will stay close to their young for at least 3 weeks unless they decide not to. Baby mouse tends to grow very fast and will open eyes at around 14 days old. Less than 1-month-old and baby mice are ready to venture out into the world.

Hopefully, they aren’t an unwanted guest in your home as by this time they may begin to chew on your fixtures and fittings or you’ll be thinking there’s a mouse in my room is it safe to sleep!

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Related Article: How High Can Mice Jump?

Why Do Mice Eat Their Babies?

Mice will sometimes eat their babies and it’s usually due to increased stress levels. It can happen for a variety of reasons but if the mother has done it once she may do it again as a sign of stress in new mothers. When mice eat their babies it can be also due to environmental stressors.

Why Do Mice Eat Their Babies?

While this is rare it can happen and unfortunately, there is not much we as humans can do about it.

Mice go through a variety of different conditions and as they breed several times a year sometimes they will determine that a particular set of babies are damaged so will take whatever action they feel is necessary.

Mother And Baby Mouse FAQ’s

How Long Do Baby Mice Have To Stay With Their Mother?

Mice are weaned around the 21-day mark but sometimes if a mother doesn’t’ fall pregnant again her babies can stay with her for an extra week. For domestic mice, once they are weaned you should take them out of the mother’s cage and put them into their own.

How Can You Tell How Old A Baby Mouse Is?

The first thing to do is to check the mouse’s eyes. If they are closed then they are probably less then 12 – 13 days old. Also, you can check their fur. Thicker fur will mean slightly older mice.

Next check their teeth. If they have incisor tech showing then they will be around 14 days old. Female mice at this time get their nipples.

Knowing will a mother mouse come back for babies after she has left is always a case by case basis. The most important thing to do is ensure you don’t make anything worse by attacking too soon. Once you are sure that the mother is not coming back you can then set out taking care of the babies in the safest way.


  1. Reply
    Lauren Roe June 9, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    I found a baby mouse on my back porch. It was left aline for 24 hours like I was told and mama hasn’t come back for it and no pet shops or animal rescues will take it. It’s under 14 days his eyes aren’t open and he doesn’t quite get the hang of walking. Do i feed him more? How can i keep him warm without over heating the little fellow?my last question he keeps squeaking at me am i hurting him or making him angry? Please help i have never done this before and i don’t want the poor thing to die.

  2. Reply
    Melanie Thompson June 28, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    What do I do I just found 6 baby mice in my vacuum and no mother to bee seen they are less than 13 to 14 days old and I never had mice before what do I do


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