What Is The Difference Between Mouse And Rat?

It is quite hard to tell the actual difference between mouse and rat when we look at them! People often also get confused between mouse vs mice! That’s so silly! Rat and mouse are rodent species that are found in almost every corner of the world. Their features are very similar including eyes, tails, and whiskers. So, our today’s article provides all the in-depth information about what is the difference between a rat and a mouse. Here, I have included all the common elements of mouse vs rat. Without doing any more delay let us understand the difference between mouse and rat in detail.

Difference Between Mouse And Rat

If you planning to keep a rat or mouse as a pet, then you must know the difference between rat and mouse. Here, I have collected some factors that will help to differentiate between mouse and rat.

  • Size

When it comes to the difference between mouse and rat’s appearance, size does matter! The size of a rat can be 40cm or more. While the size of the mouse can be between 12 to 20 cm. 

  • Lifespan

A mouse can live between 1.5 to 2.5 years. On the other hand, rats typically live for 2 to 3 years.

  • Diet

In the battle of rat vs mouse, both these rodents are omnivores. They prefer eating both plants and animals. Both these tiny creatures also eat dead mice and rats too.

Rats: Usually bigger rats eat bigger meals like meat, pet food, fish, and of course cheese! Black rats drinks about 30ml water a day and brown rats drink about 60ml water a day.

Mouse: On the other hand, mice also have the same diet as rats. They prefer having healthy foodstuffs including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Mouse does not drink much water but if it is available they can drink 3ml water a day.

You can keep on reading to check out the difference between mouse and rat tail.

  • Tail

This is the most common feature you can spot in the difference between rat and mouse. The length of the rat’s tail is objectively longer. They have thicker hairless scaly tails. Whereas the mouse has thin, slightly hairy tails than rats. So, if don’t know what does a mouse looks like, look at his tail first!

Below I have given a physical appearance chart of rats vs mice.

Mouse Rat
Slender body Thick-set body
Weights nearly 25g Weights nearly 300-500gm
Large ears Small hairy ears
Triangular shape nose Blunt nose
Mostly are found in light grey or brown color Have larger feet and head

Now let’s move towards the most interesting part of the difference between mouse and rat baby!

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  • Breeding

A female mouse can give birth to 200 to 300 babies at a time! Not only this, the baby mouse starts mating within a month or so. But this is nothing in front of rats. One single rat can give birth to 2000 babies in just one year. In rats vs mice babies, a baby rat has larger ears and a longer tail.

Continue to read to know the difference between mouse and rat poop.

  • Droppings

You must be thinking there is no difference between mouse and rat droppings. But unsurprisingly, the rat droppings are bigger in size. It measures up to 1 cm and has rounded ends. Rats usually produce 20-50 droppings per day. While mouse droppings are 4 to 7mm in length. But their length is not rounder but with pointed ends. And mouse produces 40-100 droppings per day.

  • Behavior

A mouse is very curious in nature. They like to investigate anything that is new. You can easily catch them in a mousetrap! However, rats are very cautious in nature. They try to avoid new things found in their path. So, you can find a hard time catching them in traps.

  • Movement

There is also a difference in the movement of mice and rats. Mouse are excellent runners, jumpers, swimmers, and climbers! They can move all four legs and hold their tails straight for balance. Mice can jump 13 inches high and can run along wires, cables, and ropes.

When it comes to rats, they are strong swimmers! They can enter through broken drains or toilets in the search of food, water, and shelter. 

  • Footprints

The footprints of the mouse are smaller than the footprints of rats. So, you can easily identify the presence of mice in your house by simply looking at their footprints. Once you have spotted them make sure you catch them before it damages your property.

Let us now check out the difference between mouse and rat traps.

  • Traps

If you are planning to catch a mouse, you require smaller traps compared to rats. The trap size totally depends upon the sizes of these rodents. Rats are of size 18 to 20 inches so they need bigger traps to catch. While the size of a mouse is 2 to 3 inches, so they require smaller traps.

  • Poison

Lastly, there is also a difference between mouse and rat poison. Rats die more slowly as compared to mice. Rats can die within a week or two. However, mice can die within a day. Next time if you spot rats or mice in your house, feed them poison baits to get rid of them.

Are Mice And Rats The Same?

No, mice and rats are not the same. Below I have listed down some amazing facts about mice and rats for you.

  • Rats can kill and eat mouse so mice are afraid of rats!
  • A mouse is color blind while rats are very poor eyesight.
  • Rats have larger coarser fur than mice.
  • The heads and feet of rats are also larger than mice. 

Can You Have Mice And Rats At The Same Time?

No, you cannot have mice and rats at the same time. Mice are afraid of rats and always stay away from their territory.


Is It A Rat Or A Mouse?

A mouse has thin, hairy tails while rats have thick hairless tails. The nose of a rat is blunt and rounder whereas the nose of a mouse is triangular in shape.

Are Rats Worse Than Mice?

Yes, it is true! Rats are worse than mice. Rats are more aggressive and fatal than mice. They can also kill and eat them.

Which Is Bigger Mouse Or Rat?

Rats are bigger than mice. They grow as long as 20 cm or more and also weigh more than mice.

Do Rats Eat Mice?

Yes, rats can kill and eat mice.

Do Rats Bite People?

Healthy rats typically avoid people and prefer to be active when buildings are quiet. However, when cornered, they will lunge and bite to defend themselves. The saliva of some species of rats carries hazardous diseases, such as leptospirosis and Hantavirus. In rare cases, rat bite victims may contract rat-bite fever.

Can A Mouse Or Rat Hurt You?

Rodents can infect humans directly with diseases such as hantavirus, ratbite fever, lymphocytic choriomeningitis and leptospirosis. They may also serve as reservoirs for diseases transmitted by ectoparasites, such as plague, murine typhus and Lyme disease.

Where Do Mice Hide During The Day?

House mice prefer living in cool, dark places during the day. The most common areas they like to hide are in between walls, pantries, cupboards, sofas, old boxes, and other similar areas wherein they would not be disturbed inside your home.


In the above article, we have studied the key differences between mouse and rats. When it comes to appearance, rats are bigger and heavier than mice. Also, mice have thin, hairy tails while rats have thick hairless tails. The nose of a rat is blunt and rounded whereas the nose of a mouse is triangular in shape. There is only one thing common in these rodents that they both are excellent swimmers! They can enter through broken drains or toilets in the search of food, water, and shelter. I hope you have enjoyed reading my above post on the difference between mouse and rats thoroughly!

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Is rat and mouse the same

Is rat and mouse the same