Merck Manual

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Pet Owner Version

Description and Physical Characteristics of Mice


Katherine E. Quesenberry

, DVM, MPH, DABVP (Avian);

Thomas M. Donnelly

, BVSc, DVP, DACLAM, DABVP(ECM), The Kenneth S Warren Institute

Last full review/revision Jun 2020 | Content last modified Oct 2020
Topic Resources

Adult mice typically weigh about 1 ounce (28 grams) and are approximately 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6 to 8 cm) long, not including the tail ( see Table: Mice at a Glance Mice at a Glance Mice at a Glance ). Male mice are typically larger than females. Pet mice are available in many colors and coat patterns due to specialized breeding. Coats can be smooth, curly, longhaired, or a combination. The most common color variations are brown, black, tan, gray, and albino, with lighter and darker shades of these as well. The usual life span of mice is 1.5 to 2.5 years.


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