Fun Cactus Mouse Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Nov 07, 2022 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Apr 12, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
These cactus mouse facts will tell you all about their body size, litter size, and reproduction habits!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.6 Min

When in the north of Mexico or Southwestern United States, it becomes impossible to not encounter at least a few cactus mice. These mice prefer to live in semi-arid conditions with sparse vegetation.

While they are not much different in comparison with other related species such as the deer mice, cactus mice are known for their large ears and adorable looks.

The cactus mouse (scientific name Peromyscus eremicus) is closely related to deer mice but is not the same. While cactus mouse is native to Southwestern United States, the deer mouse is native to North America. The two species belong to the same genus but have different characteristics.

When it comes to food, the cactus mouse species is pretty adaptive. These mice eat seeds and green vegetation for most of the year. When some insects are available, they munch on a variety of small insects as well.

The species is most fond of the summer season, which is also when most of the reproductive activities take place. The female cactus mouse can give birth to around four pinkies at one time.

There can be a maximum of four litters each year. In the winter season, the cactus mice reduce the metabolic activities in their body through a process known as torpor. Keep reading to know more facts about cactus mice!

Cactus Mouse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cactus mouse?

Cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) belongs to the family of desert rodents.

What class of animal does a cactus mouse belong to?

Cactus mouse is a part of the class of Mammalia or mammals. This essentially means that these small rodents give birth to young ones much like humans do.

How many cactus mice are there in the world?

Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence regarding the exact number of cactus mice in the world. However, we can safely assume that the population of cactus mice is abundant through the fact that its conservation status is said to be of Least Concern. Additionally, these mice also reproduce fairly quickly and have no particular mating season!

Where does a cactus mouse live?

The range of habitat that the cactus mice are found in typically consists of semi-arid or desert-like weather conditions. These desert rodents are best suited to be living in a hot, dry area and also show the most amount of activity during the summer months.

What is a cactus mouse's habitat?

The habitat range of these desert rodents is mainly concentrated in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is also found in places such as Southern California and the Gulf of Mexico.

Who do cactus mice live with?

Whether or not this member of the genus Peromyscus likes to live in large groups is largely unknown. They live in desert areas and have a large home range. There have been no instances in which the cactus mice have been seen moving around in large packs, which lets us believe that they are not very sociable after all!

How long does a cactus mouse live?

The cactus mouse's lifespan is of around one year. Clearly, these rodents do not live very long!

The distribution area of this mouse species makes it vulnerable in front to many predatory animals such as rattle snakes, owls, and foxes. Even though they have their own protective measures, the predators would outsmart and outrun a cactus mouse on any given day!

How do they reproduce?

Cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) is a species of mammal. This means that the female cactus mouse gives birth to young ones instead of laying eggs.

These rodents do not have any particular mating season. However, they do prefer to mate in the summer season, which is also their favorite. The females of the species can give birth to an average of four litter every year, and the average little size remains in the range of 1-4.

The gestational period, in these Southern Californian rodents, is of around 20-25 days. Males and females do not mate with the same partners throughout their lives. The females of the species attain sexual maturity at the age of just two months!

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of the cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) is that of Least Concern. This means that this mouse species is unlikely to be wiped off the face of earth very quickly. This is aided by the fact that reproduction takes place rapidly in the species.

Cactus Mouse Fun Facts

What do cactus mice look like?

Cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) is a very small rodent. Its body length remains in the range of 6.2-8.3 in (15-21 cm) The males are usually smaller than the females. The females are also paler in color in comparison to their male counterparts. The species is characterized by its small body length and the naked soles of its feet.

In addition to this, they have very little hair on their body and have a large ear length. The ear length of this rodent species has a range of 0.5-0.7 in (1.3-2 cm), which is quite large in comparison with the body length. The mice have very little hair on their ears, and a gray patch on their heads.

This mouse (cactus) has a long tail, which is flesh-colored.

There is no particular season for reproduction for the cactus mouse species.

*Please note that this is a picture of common mice and not a cactus mouse. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of the cactus mouse, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How cute are they?

Large ears and the naked soles of their feet do make the cactus mouse species quite cute. While they are not always too friendly and can bite people if need be, the trick with any animal is to make sure that they are comfortable with you!

How do they communicate?

This desert mouse species communicates through sounds that are typical of the rodent family. When cactus mouse predators are around, these rodents squeak in a very high pitch. The high pitch sounds are a definite symbol of discomfort or threat. On the other hand. these mice are also capable of creating buzzing sounds in order to speak among themselves.

How big is a cactus mouse?

The body-to-tail length of the cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) is fairly small. The size range is around 6.2-8.3 in (15-21 cm). The females of the species are typically larger and fatter than the males. The average tail length is 3.9-5.5 in (10-14 cm).

How fast can a cactus mouse move?

One of the most important cactus mouse adaptations is that it can run pretty fast. The average speed of the species is around 8.1 mph (13.1 kph).

How much does a cactus mouse weigh?

The average weight of the cactus mouse species is 0.6-1.4 oz (17-40 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Unfortunately, there are no special names for males and females of the cactus mouse species. However, a female mouse in can be referred to as a doe in general, while the male would be called a buck!

What would you call a baby cactus mouse?

The baby cactus mouse would be called a pinky!

What do they eat?

Cactus mice are adaptive creatures and are in the habit of making do with whatever the surroundings offer. They are termed opportunistic omnivores, as they only live with insects as and when they are available.

When there is a scarcity of insects, they feed on a variety of seeds that are abundantly available in their natural habitat. They start feeding on flowers, seeds, and other leafy parts in the spring season and continue this till the summer when insects become available.

In the summer season, they feed on green vegetation in addition to seeds. However, they enter a state of torpor in the winter season and rely completely on insects.

Are they dangerous?

The rodent family sure does intimidate many people around the world, but they aren't always as scary as they might seem. The cactus mice, for example, hardly attack animals or humans until they sense a very definite threat. The bite is sharp but mostly harmless.

Would they make a good pet?

We can hardly deny that the naked soles and large ear length d paint a very cute picture. However, having such a rodent as a pet is a matter of choice.

Since both males and females of the species are used in scientific research, scientists confirm that having a cactus mouse wouldn't be too tough. However, it is not particularly common for people to have cactus mice in their houses willingly!

Did you know...

The female cactus mouse is larger than the male.

This mouse species has naked soles.

They have very less hair on their ears.

They enter a state of torpor in the winter season.

In torpor, the cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) has reduced metabolic activity.

One of the most important factors in cactus mouse identification is the flesh-colored tail!

Why are they called cactus mice?

If you are wondering what inspires the name of the cactus mouse, the answer can be found in its habitat. This mouse species is found in arid and semi-arid conditions, where there typically is some cactus growth. They are often confused with deer mice.

However, the most potent cause behind this name is given to the species is that it feeds on cactus plants! Even we think that this is a rather odd choice of food!

Are cactus mice nocturnal?

Contrary to popular conceptions, the cactus mouse is not a nocturnal species. They are crepuscular in nature. This means that these animals show the most amount of activity in the twilight time. Nocturnal behavior basically suggests that the animal would be active in the nighttime, which is not the case with cactus mice.

Cactus Mouse Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

0.6-1.4 oz (17-40 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

semi-arid deserts

Where Do They Live?

southwestern united states, southern california, northern mexico, gulf of mexico, Baja California peninsula

How Long Were They?

6.2-8.3 in (15-21 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Peromyscus eremicus

What Do They Look Like?

They are ochre, cinnamon, and gray in color

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

predators, Harsh winters

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern

southwestern united states southern california northern mexico gulf of mexico Baja California peninsula

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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