Can Mice Jump? (10 Questions You Need To Know!)

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Unlike some other rodents, mice move faster and do lots of tricks. Maybe you’ve thought about it and still wonder how they escape each time. Can they actually jump like guinea pigs?

Yes, mice can jump! They mostly jump as a way of escaping their predators.

According to research, mice jump when they are scared or highly frightened.

And as fast animals that they are, they combine running, jumping, and climbing to escape their enemies.

In this article, I will discuss how and why mice jump. In addition, I will also talk about some of the most common places they can jump from.

Let’s read more to find out!

How high can mice jump? 

Mice can jump up to 12 – 14 inches (30 – 36cm) from ground level up to any surface without prior movement.

They can even go up to 24 inches (61cm) when they are already in motion. This means that mice can leap from your kitchen table to the top of the counter easily.

They also jump 15 to 20 times their height in critical situations (e.g. when they are trapped).

In a good attempt to escape, they stretch as many times as possible than they would normally.

Certain species of mice are known to jump better than others. They are called “Zapodidae” (jumping mice).

They are brown to rusty-colored mice with a special ability to jump heights twice that of other species.

Why Do Mice jump?

Mice jump for three reasons. These include:

  • To escape from predators 
  • Food hunting 
  • Search for nesting materials

Escape Predators 

Mice are small animals in their food chain, therefore, do not take chances when they see their predators.

They always run off with great speed and will jump so many times to go back to their nest or find a safe place to hide.

Food Hunting 

Mice can jump a good distance from the floor in search of food.

They can easily find their way up to the kitchen counters, cupboards, or pantries with the help of their claws.

Nesting Materials 

Mice can jump as far as into your clothing wardrobe, bookshelves, and furniture in search of nesting materials.

They often tear books and clothes to build comfortable nests for themselves and their young ones.

How do mice usually jump?

Mice usually jump by leaping on their hind legs.

This is possible by the coordination of the bones of their hind limb (femur, tibia fibula, and tarsal phalangeal).

These bones work together with the mice’s tails to help them land with great balance when they jump.

And their claws play a huge role by helping them grip rough surfaces when they are landing.

Here’s a video of a mouse jumping up an enclosure

Where do mice usually jump?

Mice usually jump places like;

  • Kitchen tables 
  • Upstairs
  • Buckets of water 
  • Landscape features
  • Countertops 
  • Vertical surfaces

Can mice jump out of water?

Yes, mice can jump out of water. But it depends on the water height and the mice species.

They are slightly aquatic, hence would hardly drown in water.

Mice can survive underwater for 2 – 3 days and can hold their breath for up to 3 minutes.

Can mice jump out of a 5-gallon bucket?

Yes, they can!

A 5-gallon bucket is about 12 – 15 inches high. Therefore, mice can jump through them.

This is because mice jump on normal surfaces of about the same height and distance.

An experiment done with a 5-gallon bucket filled with water showed that mice can jump out of water. But when the bucket was not full, it was difficult for mice to jump out.

The simple explanation is that mice can jump out of a 5-gallon bucket of water, but it is dependent on the level of water.

Jumping mice take exception to this because they can jump out regardless of the height of the water.

Can mice jump upstairs?

Yes, mice jump upstairs.

Mice are vertebrae that have strong backbones which provide support, flexibility, and balance. They also have strong light bones which improve their flexibility and agility. 

These features and their strong sharp claws help them to jump upstairs. 

Can mice jump on counters?

A picture of a mouse climbing down a kitchen counter.

Yes, mice can jump on counters.

They are agile creatures that will climb their way through kitchen tables to countertops in search of food.

They use a route that is different from the ones they used while climbing. 

And will want to go through a shortcut which could probably be jumping from the cliffs of counters. 

They do this using their well-developed claws which enable them to hold onto rough surfaces while landing.

Can mice jump on beds?

Of course, mice can jump on beds.

They use their claws to crawl and jump over surfaces like tables and beds which are not smooth as a marble floor.

Bed or mattress surfaces are suitable sites for mice to crawl and jump on. 

So, it’s much easier for them to jump on the bed irrespective of height or diameter.


In summary, mice can jump. Although the ranges they jump might differ, they can do it up to 12 – 14 inches from the floor.

Sometimes they jump 15 – 20 times their original size (a unique feature of the jumping mice species).

Mice jump with their hind legs which work together with their tail and claws for effective landing.

With the same claws, they can jump countertops, beds, and upstairs without hassle.

And when they are trapped inside water, they can jump out.

Even in a 5-gallon bucket, mice will jump out depending on the level of water inside it.

Now that you’ve understood that mice jump, would you like to know if they will do it in search of chocolates?

Read our article Can Mice Eat Chocolate? To learn more.

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