Rat vs Mouse: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rats grow larger than mice, reaching up to 9-11 inches in body length, while mice remain smaller at 3-4 inches.
  2. Mice possess longer tails relative to their body size than rats, with their tails equal to or greater than the length of their bodies.
  3. Rats display more aggressive behavior and cause greater structural damage in homes and buildings than mice, which tend to be more cautious and less destructive.

Rat vs Mouse

Rats are larger than mice, with heavier body and a longer tail. They have pointed noses, large ears, and more robust bodies. Mice are smaller and have shorter tails compared to rats. They have a rounder body shape and smaller ears. Rats are more aggressive and territorial than mice.

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 mentions the word “rat,” whereas a smaller muroid’s moniker also includes the word “mouse.”

The names rat and mouse have no taxonomic significance.

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

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

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

Comparison Table

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 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 are now 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) and 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, 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 congregate in groups known as packs.


What is a Mouse?

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

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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 spreads illness.

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

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

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

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


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 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 X and Y 2023 06 09T112553.295
  1. https://www.livescience.com/28028-mice.html
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rat

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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9 thoughts on “Rat vs Mouse: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I disagree, this article was rather basic and doesn’t delve into enough detail about the behavioral differences between rats and mice.

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