Petite Paws Exotics logo Zebra Mouse Zebra Mice Page
Vancouver Island, BC
paw Home

paw About

paw Guide To Buying A Pet

paw Guide To Taming A Pet

paw Pocket Pets

paw Exotics

paw Lists

paw Links

paw Mail

This page is for your information only.
We do not breed Zebra Mice.







Scientific name - Lemniscomys barbarus

The Zebra Mouse (also known as the African Striped Grass mouse) originally comes from North Africa. Which includes: Senegal, Tanzania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Sudan.
The colouration of the Zebra mouse is a lovely mix of earth tone browns interspersed amongst the black stripes that run from head to tail on its sides and back. Their tail is as long as the body (sometimes longer). Be careful though, their tail is very fragile.
A full grown Zebra mouse is 3-4 inches long.


The Zebra mouse makes a good pet for adults and children that want an animal that is enjoyable to watch, but not handle. Their needs are few and they are easy to care for.
Zebra Mice, as is normal for most desert animals, do not have an offensive odour to their urine. Zebra mice are also very clean, requiring very little maintenance.
A Zebra mouse will do quite well on its own. If you keep two Zebra mice together, they should be littermates. The Zebra mouse is generally active both during the day and at night. If they are startled they will bounce around, they can JUMP 2 FEET STRAIGHT UP! We've knick-named them the "ping pong balls". With proper care a Zebra mouse will usually live 3 years.


A glass or plastic aquarium (at least a 10-gallon aquarium) is suitable for the Zebra mice, they can escape from anything else. An all-plastic hamster cage with the tube attachments is not recommended, as they can chew out of these fairly quickly. Care should be taken if the cage has multiple levels, as the levels are usually made out of wire and a Zebra mouse can easily be hurt if its leg falls through the wire. It might be a good idea to attach cardboard to the wire shelves to protect their legs. The cardboard will need replacing occasionally.
Place your Zebra mouse cage in a spot that is away from drafts and direct sunlight. The Spiny mouse is a desert animal and drafts will chill them.
Since the Zebra mouse is a desert animal they can be adversely affected by cold. If you let your house cool off during those cold winter nights, it is a good idea to supply them with some source of heat (i.e. a heating pad, heat lamp, etc).


Hardwood chip bedding, such as aspen is the best. CareFresh Pet Bedding or Pine bedding will also work as long as it is not dusty. The dust can cause upper respiratory problems. NEVER use cedar shavings, as cedar contains phenols, which can cause severe irritation to a Zebra mouse.


Supplying a house for your Zebra mouse to sleep in is a good idea, just make sure that the house doesn't have a bottom, otherwise cleaning it is very difficult.
Nesting material should be supplied for their bed. Soft paper, such as toilet paper and paper towel, torn into strips works well. Shredded paper or fresh hay will also make suitable nest material. If you use shavings as the bedding the Zebra mice will "shred" the shavings for their nest. Cotton wool and the fluffy hamster bedding are not recommended.
A Zebra mouse should have a wheel in its cage to get some exercise on. The wheel should be at least 5" in diameter. The wheel should be of the solid variety, as the Zebra mouse could injure itself if its leg falls through the wire wheel. If all that you can get is a wire wheel, then "weave" some heavy card paper (cereal boxes work well) through the wire to make a solid wheel. The card paper will have to be changed once in a while. A caution with wheels, a Zebra mouse could catch it's tail in the wheel and break it.
Zebra mice need something to chew on. Their teeth are always growing and without something to chew on they will end up with overgrown teeth and they will not be able to eat. Small blocks of softwood, cardboard tubes (paper towel tubes, toilet paper tubes, etc), card paper, etc are great.
Branches can be added to the cage for them to climb on, ensure that the branches are non-toxic and that they haven't been sprayed with anything.


The best way to pick up a Zebra mouse is to scoop it up in your hands or cup your hands around it. Don't try to pick up a Zebra mouse by it's tail, it could come off and it won't grow back.
Be very careful about letting these little speed demons go, once they get away they can be very hard to catch. If they do get away try using a net (bird or butterfly) or throw a towel over it and then scoop it up.
The Zebra mice sense of smell is very good, keep this in mind when you go to handle it. If you have just been eating, your hands smell like food. To a Zebra mouse, your finger smells like the potato chip you ate 10 minutes ago, and it may try to eat your finger! Don't worry, it usually realizes that your finger isn't food. If you have anything on your hands that give off an offensive odour, you may not even notice it, but the Zebra mouse will and it may bite in reaction to the smell. Always remember to wash your hand first. As they say "first impressions", well a Zebra mouse first impression of you is your smell.


Whether you are buying a Zebra mouse from a pet store or a breeder, you should ask questions, even if you know the answers from your own research. This will tell you how knowledgeable they really are. If they don't know what they are talking about, buyer beware! If they don't want to give you any information or want to help you, buyer beware!
Check out their facilities carefully. Look for overcrowding, dirty cages, unhealthy animals, smell the air. If the animals are overcrowded and/or the cages are dirty, be very cautious about buying a Zebra mouse. There shouldn't be any sickly animals in sight, any good breeder/pet shop will have a "sick" room for any animals that aren't up to par. If the establishment/breeding facility has a very strong odour, be very careful, even if it looks clean, the smell is coming from somewhere. Any place, that has animals, will have a smell to it. The larger the facility, the stronger the odour. They just can't clean as fast as the animals do their business. But if the odour is overpowering, then there might be something else under the surface, use caution.
Check the health of the animal before you buy it and handle it. If they won't let you handle it before you buy it. They may be hiding something, WATCH OUT! Handling the Zebra mouse gives you a chance to check its health. Look for discharge from its eyes and nose, sneezing, wet rear end and firmness of body. If it has any of these conditions or its body appears thin, don't buy it. Don't even consider another Zebra mouse from the same cage as the other Zebra mice may also have the same problems. The Zebra mouse you choose should be bright eyed and interested in what is going on without being too nervous. There eyes and nose should be clear, the rear end dry and the body firm to the touch.
If possible, check references. Referrals from other satisfied customers will tell you a lot about that breeder's/pet shop's quality of animals, their care and concern for the animals well-being, their "customer service" and how much information they are willing to share.


A good quality rodent mix that has a variety of small seeds and grains in it, and is low on sunflower is good for Zebra mice. Zebra mice can get quite fat on a diet that is high in sunflower. They can also be given rodent blocks as part of the diet. Some rodent blocks consider themselves as a "complete diet" for mice. There are a couple of problems with this. First, the blocks are boring. Second, if they can't figure out a complete diet for humans, then how can they honestly say they have a complete diet for mice. The Zebra mice should also get, on the occasion, hay, apple, carrot, broccoli, yam or dandelion and mealworms. All of these should be fed in small amounts and only as a treat, too much green stuff can give them the runs.
A Zebra mouse diet should be supplemented with a mineral stone as well as with a good quality vitamin supplement.

This page is for your information only.
We do not breed Zebra Mice.




© Petite Paws Exotics
Last updated February 2009