Difference between rat and mouse

Although broadly these two rodents may appear very similar to the human eye, except for their marked difference in size, there are other aspects that clearly differentiate them. Would you like to learn a little more about them?

Difference between rat and mouse – summary

To begin, we want to show you the main differences between rat and mouse in a clear and summarized way:

  • The rat and the mouse do not belong to the same animal genus: Rattus and Mus. In addition, there are a greater number of species of the genus Rattus than of the genus Mus.
  • Regarding their diet, rats are all omnivorous, that is, they eat both meat and vegetables. In contrast, the different species of mice are mostly herbivorous.
  • The longevity of rats is greater than that of mice. Most species of rat can live up to 3 years, a mouse only up to 2.
  • Rats grow to twice the overall size of mice, making them larger. Therefore, they also weigh considerably more than mice.
  • The tail of rats is longer than the tail of mice. The same thing happens with the legs of both species, the rats have them bigger. However, there are species of mice with very long tails.
  • Rats have a large and long snout, while mice have a shorter or tucked snout.
  • Taking the size of the head as a reference, rats have much smaller ears than mice.
  • It is also differentiated by the color of its fur. Mice are usually gray, brown or white, in addition some whites may have a spot of another color, while rats have a much more varied coat of colors, as they can be of a single color or with varied spots.
  • The gestation period is shorter in the case of mice, so when they become plagues they are considered somewhat more difficult to control than rats due to their rapid reproduction. However, both mammals reproduce very quickly.
  • In terms of behavior, rats are considered to be more intelligent, so they can be more affectionate and expressive, but also more aggressive when it comes to defending themselves. Mice are usually simpler, although, in reality, it is something that can vary from one species of rat or mouse to another.

As in the previous section on the differences, now we offer you a list with the similarities between rat and mouse :

  • The two species are small mammals.
  • Both the rat and the mouse are rodents.
  • Their behavior with respect to the family is practically similar. They often live in large communities to help each other.
  • Among rodents, these two species are considered the most intelligent, for this reason (and because they are mammals and have a relationship with our species), sadly, they are used for experimentation, as is the case with many other mammals. Your brain, although it may be small, is very well developed. Meet 10 other highly intelligent animals here .
  • Both the rat and the mouse are nocturnal species. This means that, in general, they carry out their life during the night.

Rat: characteristics

Rats belong to the genus Rattus and are one of the most widespread medium-sized rodent species on the planet. In general, they are animals that live closely with human populations, hence their natural habitat today is within urban areas or in the immediate vicinity of them and not only in the countryside, forests, etc.

Most of the species of rats on the planet are native to Asia. However, thanks to their resistance and their ability to adapt to the environment, they have been able to conquer almost the entire world. Perhaps, due to these two factors, they are considered a plague and a source of diseases, since there are many that can transmit us to people, as with many other mammals (the opposite also happens, there are diseases that we transmit to other mammals and some go both ways).

Although there are some slight differences between the city ​​rat and the field rat, both are similar in size, live in a community, have a wide snout, strong teeth and robust legs. Normally, their tail is longer and thicker than that of mice, it is one of their most characteristic physical aspects.

House rats are rare companion animals, but in recent years many have decided to have one at home. They are very intelligent and loving , to the point where they develop a great attachment to their caregiver. However, as they require certain specific care and have generally always been liked less in society, they tend to be less common in homes than mice.

Mice, or genus Mus , are one of the smallest and most widespread rodents on the planet. They are distinguished from the rat mainly by their size and some features of the ears and snout. Among the two best-known species of mice are the common mouse or Mus domesticus and the field mouse or Apodemus sylvaticus . In both cases, they usually live in large communities that move to find food and shelter. Also, mice are quite territorial.

Unlike with rats, and although they can also sometimes become an annoying pest, they tend to be better seen by people. In fact, along with hamsters , they are one of the most common companion animals in many homes. These do not require great care, but many people forget that they are nocturnal animals and that, therefore, they are not usually suitable for living with people, on the one hand they can disturb at night and interrupt the rest of those who live in the house and On the other hand, for them, obviously, it is not a great advantage to live in cages, except in cases in which they can be offered habitat, food and other conditions that are very well adapted to them.

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