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Can Mice Eat Peanut Butter? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

With our understanding of how effective peanut butter is on mouse traps, it’s no wonder that we’re prone to giving peanut butter to our pet mice when we get the chance. However, there’s a big difference between a pet mouse and a wild one.

While peanut butter is an effective bait for traps, it’s not something that you want to feed to your pet mouse. Peanut butter can be extremely dangerous for them because they don’t have the necessary physiological features to clear their airways if they get clogged.

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Why Your Mice Shouldn’t Eat Peanut Butter

While peanut butter is a great way to attract mice to traps, and they certainly love the treat, the same reason that it works so well on traps is the reason that you shouldn’t feed them to your pets.

Peanut butter is extremely sticky, and it can block your mouse’s nasal passages and airways and suffocate them. While it might seem like an unlikely occurrence, a mouse can’t vomit and doesn’t have any other way to clear their airways.

Better Treats for Your Mice

Mouse eating mixed nuts
Image Credit: Nature_Blossom, Pixabay

While your mouse might love peanut butter, there are plenty of other treats that you can give your mouse. We recommend giving your mouse any of the following treats in moderation:

  • Apples
  • Bananas (yellow only)
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

These things might not seem like treats to you, but to your mouse, they’re incredibly delicious. They are also healthy when given in moderation.

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Mice and Cheese

While there’s this idea out there that mice love cheese, the truth is that many mice could care less about cheese. They’ll eat it, but they prefer other treats, like fruits.

Since mice aren’t particularly fond of cheese and it’s high in fat, it’s best to avoid giving it to them entirely. There are better foods and treats for your pet mouse.

The Ideal Mouse Diet

To keep a pet mouse healthy, you need to give them a healthy diet. Start by giving them plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. This should make up the majority of their diet. You can supplement it with small amounts of rat/mouse cubes or pellets to ensure that they get all the nutrients that they need.

It’s not an overly complicated diet, but it’s an important one to follow if you want your mouse to stay happy and healthy.

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Other Foods That Your Mice Should Avoid

Mouse eating a grape
Image Credit: Jarle Eknes, Pixabay

While you might think that since a mouse is a rodent, you can feed them just about anything, but that’s not the case. If you want your mouse to live a long, happy life, there are a few foods that you need to avoid.

Lettuce

While lettuce won’t kill your pet mouse, it will cause diarrhea. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s going to make cleaning their cage much more difficult. Also, no one likes having diarrhea, not even mice.

Grapes/Raisins

While lettuce might cause a little diarrhea, grapes or raisins will kill your mice. Grapes and raisins are incredibly poisonous to mice, but they’ll gobble them up if they’re within reach.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a fruit that your mouse can’t eat if you want to keep them alive. Rhubarb is extremely toxic for mice, and even small amounts can lead to big problems.

Walnuts

Mouse eating walnuts
Image Credit: level17-design, Pixabay

Walnuts are extremely toxic for mice. Even a few walnuts can kill an entire mice colony, so keep walnuts far away from your pet.

Bacon

Foods that are high in fat are terrible for your mice and will create health problems for them down the road. While humans and mice love bacon, it’s not great for either. But the difference between you and your mouse is that it will affect their health much faster.

Candy/Chocolate

Just as fat is terrible for your mouse, so is sugar. Candy has tons of sugar, and it’s a surefire way to create a ton of health problems for your mouse. While some people insist that small amounts of dark chocolate are fine for mice, the truth is that it’s best to avoid it out of an abundance of precaution.

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Final Thoughts

Just because you have a pet mouse, that doesn’t mean they can eat whatever you put in front of them. While they certainly love peanut butter, it’s not a safe treat for them.

Luckily, there are plenty of other options out there to give to your pet mouse, and they aren’t overly particular about what you feed them. Use this to your advantage, and feed them foods that will keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible.


Featured Image Credit: PublicdomainPictures, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.