Difference Between Rat and Mouse

Although there are approximately 1,500 vermin species on the planet, most of which you’re likely to know, such as a gerbil, budgies, small rodents, hamsters, badgers, and guinea pigs,

yet, rats and mice are the two species that immediately spring to mind whenever the term “rodents” is being used.

These two rodents have had a significant influence on mankind. We’ll focus on what distinguishes these two species.

The two species i.e. mice and rats have lots of similarities but there are quite a lot of differences between them and this article highlights the differences between them.

Rat vs Mouse

The main difference between a rat and a mouse is that a rat is a big rodent sizing from 16 to 40 centimeters in length whereas mice are smaller ranging from 3 to 10 centimeters in length. An adult mouse, on the other hand, is readily mistaken for a baby rat. An adult mouse may be identified from a juvenile rat by its bigger ears and lengthier tail in comparison to the rat’s original size.

Rat vs Mouse

Rats are a kind of standard size, lengthy rodent. Varieties of rats may be found across the family Rodentia, however the species ‘Rattus’ contains the most archetypal rodents.

Bandicoot rats and Dipodomys are other rat species.

The size of rats distinguishes them from mice. A big muroid rodent’s popular choice will usually mention the word “rat,” whereas a smaller muroid’s moniker will usually also include the word “mouse.”

The names rat and mouse have no taxonomic significance.

Mice are tiny animals with curved ears, a pointed snout, a striped rough tail that is quite long, and a strong reproductive rate.

A regular mouse is well-known for infiltrating homes in search of food, it is the most prevalent animal and domestic pest in the United States.

Among the most common rodent companions is the tamed house mouse, sometimes known as a fancy mouse.

Comparison Table Between Rat and Mouse

Parameters of ComparisonRatMouse
SizeRats are bigger than mice and they range somewhere from 16 to 40 centimeters in size. Mice are smaller in length ranging from 3 to 10 centimeters at most.
Scientific NameRattus rattus is the most commonly known rat found throughout the planet.Mus musculus is the scientific name of a mouse.
DietRats are omnivores and their diet is considered the healthiest. They consume fruits, leaves and small critters as well as consume berries too.Mice are opportunistic eaters, meaning they will consume various plants and insects too.
TailRats have a short tail.Mice are small creatures but their tails are pretty long when compared to their body size.
BehaviourRats often live in dread, so they are wary of new experiences and will not investigate like mice.Mice are explorative and curious in nature.

What is a Rat?

Rats are medium-sized rodents with slender tails that emerged in Asia and Oceania but now are seen everywhere.

True rats are species of the family Rattus, even though other rodent taxa that have most of the same features are repeatedly alluded to as rats.

Rats vary from mice in that they are bigger, with lengthier, thinner bodies and lengthy limbs.

The black rat (Rattus rattus), as well as the brown rat, are the most well-known rat subspecies. This species, sometimes known as “Old World rats” or “genuine rats,” originated in Southeast Asia.

Rats are larger than most Old World rodents, their cousins, but rarely exceed more than 500 grams.

Rats may be found on every continent. The paddy rat, for instance, is found in Southeast Asia, as well as the Norway rat, often known as the brown rat, is found on every corner of the planet.

Rats exist primarily to scavenge and mate. Normally rats are nocturnal, but the brown rat is frequently active at all hours of the day because nights can turn them into prey rather than predators.

Rats typically congregate in groups known as packs.

What is a Mouse?

A mouse, or mice as a multiple, is a tiny animal. Mice are distinguished by a pointed nose, tiny curved ears, a body-length slippery tail, and a high reproductive rate.

The simple home mouse is the most well-known mouse subspecies (Mus musculus). Mice are indeed popular pet animals because of their furry appearance and handy size, pet mice can be trained and are domesticated quite often.

Certain types of field mice are present in numerous areas. They are known to break into homes in search of food and refuge.

Mice can be considered a nuisance for fields and are vermin in several situations. Vermin are the biggest reason for crop loss because they inflict structural failure and spread illness.

Mice carry illness through their excrement and are frequent parasite bearers.

Breathing dirt that has come into contact with mice feces has been related to hantavirus in North America, which might also lead to hantavirus pulmonary disease.

Every wintertime, mice as well as other rodents infest an estimated two million houses in the United States. Throughout October and February, rodents often invade houses in quest of nourishment, shelter, and hibernation.

They keep food close to the nesting, with food caches generally under 10 feet of nests. They are very possessive species and like to stay inside 30 feet of the nests.

Main Difference Between Rat and Mouse

  1. A rat is bigger in size when compared to a mouse.
  2. A rat is timid in nature and usually prefers hiding whereas a mouse has exploratory and curious nature in the wild.
  3. A rat has a smaller tail when compared to its body whereas a mouse has a longer tail than its body.
  4. A rat’s scientific name is Rattus rattus whereas a mouse’s scientific name is Mus musculus.
  5. Rats have bigger and sharper claws whereas mice have small and sharp claws as well but the size is smaller and more nimble.
Difference Between Rat and Mouse


Mice and rats may both do serious damage to a facility and its contents, but because rats are larger, they can cause greater harm in a smaller duration of time.

Rats can gnaw down materials that mice can’t, such as metal, masonry, wire mesh, and sometimes even wooden planks and cement! 

And, because rats dig predrilled holes, if such gaps are in insulating, walls, or roof regions, you’ll lose more energy and money via the openings.

Both mice and rats may eat through electrical lines, posing a major fire hazard.


  1. https://www.livescience.com/28028-mice.html
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rat
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