Can Mice Climb Walls? Why and How Can You Prevent This?

Most rodents are known to be good at climbing and capable of climbing most natural and artificial surfaces. Mice are some of these rodents with the ability to scale up most of these surfaces.

But can mice climb walls? Yes, mice can climb walls effortlessly using their strong hind legs and small yet sharp claws. They also have a flexible spine that enables them to adjust their body as they climb. Besides climbing, they can jump high, giving them a climbing boost.

Whether you’re curious about the climbing abilities of wild or pet mice, this article should provide you with a better understanding. So, keep reading to learn more.

Can Mice Climb Walls?

Yes. Mice can climb walls, and there is evidence of these small mammals scaling up walls and other tall surfaces. They owe their outstanding climbing ability to the various physical adaptations that make these rodents good climbers.

Can Mice Climb Walls

Rodents, mammals of the order Rodentia, are some of the best climbers of all other small mammals. Their climbing prowess is evident in the wild, where they climb trees, cliffs, vegetation, and rocks.

What Makes Mice Good Climbers? 

As mentioned earlier, various physical adaptations make mice good climbers. They include;

What Makes Mice Good Climbers

1. Strong Hind Legs

One of the physical adaptations that makes mice good climbers is their strong hind legs. They use them to propel themselves forward as they climb up the wall.

These rodents also use these strong hindlegs to jump and can jump 18 inches vertically. Jumping gives them a head start when climbing a tall wall.

2. Claws

On their legs are short yet sharp claws that they use to hold onto small crevices and cracks in the wall as they climb. These sharp claws allow them to maintain a firmer grip as they climb and prevent falling. Their front legs have four toes and five on their front limbs, giving them more climbing advantage.

3. Flexible Spine

Mice’s spine is another physical adaptation that makes them great climbers. The spine is flexible, allowing them to have more motion advantage as they navigate up a wall. The spine also helps them keep balance as they climb by shifting their center of gravity with the help of the tail.

Mice Flexible Spine

4. Tails

As mentioned above, the mice’s tails help them maintain balance as they climb. A study on the climbing ability of various mice species shows that species with longer tail lengths are more willing and capable of climbing. 

Besides helping them maintain balance, their tails wrap around objects, assisting them in climbing.

Why Do Mice Climb Walls?

Mice climb walls for various reasons, depending on whether the rodents are wild or domesticated as pets. These reasons include;

Why Do Mice Climb Walls

Searching for Food

Various species of mice, including cotton, western harvest, deer, and house mice, depend on the stored food they can find in human homes. Therefore, one of the reasons these mice usually climb the walls is to reach these food storages to eat.


Mice are curious animals who love exploring their surroundings to learn about new hiding places and food sources. New pet mice usually have this habit of climbing around as they familiarize themselves with their surroundings.

However, the pet may be climbing around after getting bored due to a lack of enrichment, including toys.

Escaping Predator

Mice are prey animals that are constantly worrying for their lives from various predators, including cats, hawks, and falcons. They can climb walls in an attempt to get away from these predators and find a hiding place.

Your pet mouse may also climb a wall if it feels threatened by predator pets in your home, like cats or dogs. Ensure you keep the two separated to avoid stressing the mice.

Seeking a Resting Place

Mice build their nest in various places, including wall voids, attics, and lofts. Most of these places are high off the ground, and these rodents must climb when searching and building them.

Which Walls Can Mice Climb?

While mice can climb walls, they can’t climb all walls as some are too slippery to get a grip. For instance, the mice will have difficulties getting a grip if the wall is painted with glossy paint.

Which Walls Can Mice Climb

However, they can climb various types of walls, including;

Brick Walls

Brick walls allow mice to establish a firm grip as they climb. These walls are usually rough textured, which improves their stability as they climb.

Wallpaper Walls

Walls with wallpapers are also among the few the mice can climb. The wallpaper material gives the mice the surface they require to dig in their sharp claws while climbing.

Wooden Walls

Mice can also climb walls with wood paneling by digging their sharp claws into the crevices and gaps in the wood. However, the climbing success depends on the wood texture, with a rough one favoring them.

Fabric Walls

Some people prefer fabric on their walls instead of paint and wallpapers as wall covers. Pet mice can use these fabrics to get the grip they need to climb successfully.

Risks Associated with Mice Climbing

Risks Associated with Mice Climbing

There are various risks associated with pet mice climbing; they include;


Climbing exposes the pet to a grave risk of injuries that they can sustain from falling. While they may be good climbers, they can lose their footing, especially when climbing out of fear of predators.

Besides falling, mice can get a limb stuck in crevices or cracks in walls, getting hurt.

Getting Lost

Pet mice also risk getting lost once they begin climbing walls. They can gain access to a ventilation system or an open window, which they can use to get out and away.

How to Prevent Your Pet Mice from Climbing the Walls

As mentioned above, there are risks associated with pet mice climbing walls. Luckily, there are various ways discussed below that you can use to prevent the pet from climbing,

How to Prevent Your Pet Mice from Climbing the Walls

1. Keep the Pet in Its Cage

Keeping the pet mice in the cage is one way of preventing them from climbing and the injuries that come with it. You can also mouse-proof the room to prevent these and other injuries in case it falls. Also, provide toys to keep the pet active.

2. Move Some Furniture from the wall

Most of the time, mice begin by climbing on furniture before they get on the wall. Keep furniture in the mouse room away from the wall to discourage them from getting to the wall.

3. Use Slippery Wall Materials

Mice cannot climb on slippery surfaces, including walls with smooth, glazed wood or plastic. You can replace the walls with materials the pet cannot climb on.

How to Prevent Wild Mice from Climbing and Entering Your Home

Wild mice are a threat to your home, and they’re known to cause damage to food and property. Therefore, you must prevent them from climbing on your wall and entering your home. You can do this in various ways, including;

How to Prevent Wild Mice from Climbing and Entering Your Home

1. Repaint with a Glossy Paint

One possible way of discouraging mice from climbing your wall is by making it slippery using glossy paint. Without a firm grip, these rodents may get discouraged from climbing and stop completely.

2. Barricade All the Possible Entrances

If repainting your exterior walls is not an option or doesn’t work, you can barricade entrances to your home. Look for all the holes the mice use to enter your house after climbing the wall and seal them.

3. Use Repellant

Another short-term solution to keep the mice away is using repellants. Peppermint oil, strong types of pepper, and vinegar are among the repellants that can keep mice away.

After learning about the climbing capabilities of mice, you might be pondering about the areas of a house they might frequent. Dive deeper into the habits of these creatures with our article on whether mice typically go upstairs. If you’re also curious about the health implications of an unfortunate interaction with mice, our piece on confronting mouse bites provides crucial information.


This section covers some questions that most people wonder about whether mice can climb walls.

Q1. Can Metal Sheet on Walls Prevent Mice from Climbing Walls?

Yes. Metal sheet bands have been used in many buildings with rough exterior walls to prevent mice from climbing. The bands prevent mice and other rodents from climbing along the exterior sides of a house, especially in the corners where they get a better grip.

Q2. Should Pet Mice Climb Walls?

Pet mice should climb walls as this is a natural behavior for these rodents. However, the enclosure must be mouse-proofed to prevent injuries in case the pet falls.

Q3. Will A Mouse Climb on A Greased Wall?

Mice usually find it difficult to climb on greased walls, which are among the short-term methods of preventing them from climbing. The grease makes it hard for the pet to get a grip as it cannot firmly hold on to the wall’s crevices and cracks.

Bottom Line

Domesticated and wild mice can climb walls if they can find something to hold onto. Their climbing ability is attributed to their physical adaptations, such as sharp claws and strong hind legs.

Mice climb walls for different reasons, with one being the food search. However, climbing can be risky for pet mice as they could get injured, and supervision is advised. The article also provides various tips on ways to prevent wild mice from climbing into your house.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *