Things To Avoid

Whilst most foods are unlikely to cause your mice any harm in small quantities there are things that are known to be unhealthy, many of which commonly cause allergies or diarrhoea in rodents. I’ve broken these down into two groups, things that should not be fed at all and those that are best avoided or only given occasionally in small amounts.

Things not to give your mouse:

Carbonated Drinks

Rats and mice can’t burp (or vomit) due to the anatomy of their stomachs so fizzy drinks, whilst not causing them to explode as rumour would have it, will almost certainly leave them with an awful stomach ache.


Alcohol is a dangerous thing to give to any pet, but with something as small as a mouse even relatively small amounts could cause potentially fatal diarrhoea, liver or even brain damage.

Peelings / Scraps

A good rule of thumb is to never feed your mice any scraps or leftovers of food that you wouldn’t eat yourself. Peelings and unwashed fruit and veg usually contain the pesticides and other chemicals that are sprayed on crops as they grow and over ripe fruit and old leftovers are just as - if not more - likely to cause tummy upsets in a mouse as they are in a person.
Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits (such as oranges, mangos and lemons for example) are very strongly acidic and therefore are very likely to cause upset tummies and diarrhoea in mice, even in tiny amounts.

Things that are best avoided or only given in small amounts:

Dairy Products

Mice do not require dairy products in their diet and cheese, milk etc are common sources of food allergy and are very high in fat so if given at all they should really be small amounts and infrequently. The only exception to this is the natural, live yoghurt (plain not flavoured) which can be good for settling tummy upsets.

Foods High In Sugar And Fat

Any food that is high in sugar and/or fat should be kept as treats only. This includes fatty seeds such as sunflower and white millet, nuts like peanuts, cereals high in sugar as well as ‘human’ treats such as biscuits, cake, chocolate etc. Most of these I would advise not to feed at all although in tiny amounts they are unlikely to do any harm. There is also thought to be a direct link between fat in the diet and tumour occurance and growth in mice too - see the article in the health section on Lumps and Bumps.

Water Based Fruit And Veg

Fruit and vegetables that are made up mostly of water such as lettuce, cucumber, melon etc are another culprit for runny tummies in mice. These are however very useful for supplying your mouse with a source of water when travelling or for other short periods of time when a water bottle is impractical.

Further Reading:

Why Rats Can’t Vomit from rat (applies to mice as well as rats - see table half way down)
Did You Know? from the ASPCA animal poison control centre

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