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We all know the image of a mouse eating some cheese. It’s prevalent in cartoons and we even chose it for our own logo. Many of us would first think to use cheese if we were hoping to catch a mouse. So, we thought it was about time that we found out: do mice really like cheese?
The simple answer: yes! But it’s a little more complex than that.
In various studies, it has been shown that mice will eat cheese, but that they will usually try to eat something with a higher calorie content or carbohydrate content. For example, the BBC conducted a simple study where peanuts or cheddar cheese were available, and the cheddar cheese was entirely avoided by the mice. They, instead ate the nuts, although one ate a grape; they must have been having a healthy day! Peanuts have approximately 50% more calories than the cheese, so the mice are choosing a food that will give them energy for longer.
Mice are more likely to gravitate towards sweet treats such as fruits or even chocolate, it has also been found. They can be particularly sensitive to smell, so a very pungent cheese is likely to put them off rather than entice them. In rural areas, they will look for grains, fruits, and seeds to eat.
So, if you’re offering a mouse some cheese and nothing else is available, they will go for it. But given a choice, they might opt for something with more calories. We think our mouse must simply be a very hungry cheese lover!
There you have it. If you have always been wondering ‘do mice really like cheese?’ then now you have the answer! Do you have other interesting questions about cheese? Let us know in the comments and we’ll try to answer them!