At first glance, mice and rats are very similar. They both have faces with tiny dark eyes and twitching mustaches. But there are many differences between the two rodents. We’ve looked at the differences between a mouse and a rat.
The biggest difference is their size. A mouse is much smaller than a rat. In fact, a large mouse is still about half the size of an average rat. Second, rats have longer tails than mice. In addition, the rat’s tail is thicker than the mouse’s tail. Another difference between the two animals has to do with the size and shape of their feces.
Learn more about the differences between a mouse and a rat so you can recognize it when you see it.
Comparison of mouse and rat
|The size||12 oz to 1.5 lbs.||0.5 oz to 3 oz|
|Habitat||Attics, interior walls, sewerage, basements||Houses, garages, burrows under trees, under decks|
|Distribution||Urban Areas in the Midwest and US East||Rural areas of the midwest and east of the United States|
|Body||Small ears and large head, coarse dark brown or multicolored (white, gray, black) fur.||Small face and head with large ears, pointed triangular nose, smooth gray, brown or black hair.|
|Shit||The litter is black, has the shape of elongated ovals. They measure about ¾ inch. These rodents leave 20 to 50 droppings at a time.||Like black grains of rice about an inch in length. They leave behind up to 100 litters at a time.|
|Life span||Up to 2 years||Up to one year|
|Tail||Thick, hairless, scaly texture||Thin and hairy|
|Litter size||5 to 10 babies, also called puppies||3 to 14 puppies|
|Diet||Almost everything!||Seeds, fruits, bread crumbs
Meat, bread, plants, seeds
|Number of species||60||Hundreds|
5 main differences between a mouse and a rat
The most noticeable difference between a mouse and a rat is the smaller mouse. The mouse body can be 3 to 4 inches long. And the length of the mouse’s tail is equal to the length of its body. Alternatively, the body of an adult rat is 9 to 11 inches long with a tail size of 7 to 9 inches. The mouse can weigh up to 3 ounces, making it much lighter than a 1.5 pound rat.
Number of species
Another notable difference between a mouse and a rat has to do with the number of species. The comparison shows that there are many more species of mice. In fact, there are hundreds of species of mice and 60 species of rats.
Some types of mice include:
- House mouse
- Deer mouse
- White-footed mouse
- Striped field mouse
Some types of rats include:
- Brown rat
- Domestic rat
- Australian swamp rat
- Rice Field Rat
Rat fetus versus mouse feces
Feces from rats and mice look different. This is an easy way to determine what kind of rodent lives in their home without seeing the animal.
Rat feces are larger than mouse feces. Rat droppings are black with an elongated-oval shape about an inch in size. He can leave up to 50 litters.
Alternatively, mouse feces appear as a black grain of rice about an inch long. They can leave up to 100 litters at a time.
Mice and rats have different types of tails. The tail of the mouse is thin, long, covered with hair. The hair on its tail is usually the same color as its body.
The rat’s tail is long, thick and scaly. The rat’s tail is naked.
The diet of each of these rodents is another difference that sets them apart. Rats are known to eat almost everything. They scavenge and eat leftover sandwiches, fruits, eggs, meat, and more. Rats can also eat plants and seeds. This allows the rat to find food easily.
The mouse eats seeds, fruits and plants. They can nibble on bread crumbs, but there aren’t as many of them on the menu as rats!
Mouse vs Rat: 5 Key Differences, FAQ Explained (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the difference between a mouse and a rat?
Take a look at these two animals and you will see that the mouse is smaller than a rat. The mouse is shorter in length and weighs less than a rat. In addition, while the mouse has a thin, hairy tail, the rat has a thick, hairless tail with a scaly texture.
Examine the mouse’s face and you will notice that its ears are very large compared to the head. The ears of the rat are smaller and in proportion to the head.
Mouse and rat feces have a different appearance. Mouse feces are smaller and have the shape of rice, while rat feces are large, elongated-oval.
A rat can eat many different things, including vegetables, meat, bread, and other items in the trash can. The diet of the mouse is more restricted than that of the rat. He can eat seeds, plants, grains and some small items from an overturned dustbin.
Are rats worse than mice?
Not necessary. Both of these rodents can enter a home and chew on electrical wires, causing damage and possibly even fire. Finding a nest full of wild mice or rats in your home is equally unsettling.
Because of their size, rats are generally considered slightly more dangerous than mice. But some owners of pet mice and rats may argue that both of these rodents have cute faces!
Does the mouse turn into a rat?
No, a mouse does not turn into a rat. Mouse and rat are two different types of rodents.