The most commonly kept spiny mouse is the Egyptian Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus cahirinus). We
also raise Arabian Spiny Mice (Acomys cahirinus diidiatus)
Spiny Mice are found in the wild throughout North Africa
and the Middle East
. They are considered terrestrial and usually
inhabit drier rocky desert areas as well as areas with dense vegetation. It is believed that Spiny mice are more closely related
to a gerbil than a true mouse.
Their coat has a bristly appearance because
of the presence of a great many hard and spiny outer guard hairs. Their head and body is about 5 inches long with an additional
5” tail and they weigh three – three and a half ounces
In the desert and sandy areas it competes
with gerbils, and often uses their burrows to make their home. Considered diurnal,
Spiny mice are active early in the day and late in the afternoon and evening.
Spiny mice are easy to feed but because they
are very active animals they do eat a lot. It prefers to eat plant matter, but adapts to anything edible. They need a constant
supply of good quality hamster mix that is low in sunflower seed and additional lab blocks. Along with dry foods you can offer,
fruits, vegetables and oat based sugar free cereals. Spiny mice need to chew and rather than considering these as treats it
is better to consider these as part of their diet, lots of good quality hay, dried hard bread and natural (cleaned and chemical
Water is a must at all times. Try and get
your spiny mice to drink, from a water bottle. It is less likely to be come contaminated but still should be changed daily.
A 10-20 gallon aquarium with a tight fitting lid is suitable for the spiny mouse. As bedding a thick layer of Aspen wood shavings and of good quality hay for them
to build a nest, is a must. Besides the basics lots of toys for them to chew on, branches to climb on and a solid type exercise
wheel and a few wooden nesting/ hiding spots is all that spiny mice need to keep them occupied. Although Spiny Mice are pretty
much odourless you still need to clean their tanks on a weekly basis.