10 Difference Between Rat and Mouse (With Table)

Rat and mouse are rodents. The two are mostly confused as they appear similar to each other.  They are found throughout the world in various climates and environments. Mice can live up to l6 years in captivity.

So, what is the difference between rat and mouse? A rat is larger than mouse. The body size helps to tell the difference between a rat and a mouse. 

Comparison Table (Rat vs Mouse)

Characteristics Rat Mouse
Size They are larger. They are comparatively smaller.
Color They are white, brown, grey, or black in color. They are white, brown, or grey in color.
Snout They have blunt snouts. They have triangular snouts with long whiskers.
Appearance They have coarse fur, the underbellies are usually light in color and long, scaly fur-less tail. It is a house mouse, black eyes, and a long hairless tail.
Droppings They are capsule-shaped and about 3/4 an inch in length. They are rice-shaped and narrow at one end or both.
Markings They leave teeth marks on food, rough-edged holes. They leave a small clean-cut hole
Sound They gnaw, scratch, and fight over food especially during quiet hours of the night. They are scratchers and squeakers.
What they feed on They eat anything; cockroaches, grains, or meat. They mostly prefer cereals.
Lifespan They live between 1 to 2 years. They live up to 1 year.
Nest They make their nests high like on trees and roofs, They prefer to have their nests near a source of heat.
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What is a Rat?

A rat is a medium-sized, long-tailed rodent. They are distinguished from mice by their size. Male rats are called a buck, unmated females are called does and parent females are called dams. A group of rats is referred to as a mischief.

They become sexually mature at the age of 6 weeks, socially mature at the age of 5-6 months. Their lifespan varies with species. They have long tails that enable them to regulate their body temperatures. Some species of rats are kept as pets.

In some cultures, rats are used as food. Rats eat anything including cockroaches, grains, or meat. They have teeth that are capsule-shaped and long and this enables them to feed on anything. They make their nests on high like structures such as trees or on roofs.

What is a Mouse?

A mouse is a small rodent and has a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. Domestic mice sold as pets differ in size from another common house mouse. They are nocturnal animals; they compensate for their poor sight with a keen sense of hearing. They depend on a sense of smell to locate food and sense their predators.

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They are known to build burrows where they live. The burrows have long entrances and are equipped with various escaping tunnels. They are mainly herbivores, consuming any kind of fruit and grains from plants. Those in urban feed on all types of scraps.

Mice have been used as food in various cultures. In Victorian Britain, fried mice were still given to children as a folk remedy for bedwetting.

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Main Differences between Rat and Mouse

  1. Rats are big in body size while mice are comparatively smaller in body size.
  2. Rats have blunt snouts while mouse has pointed snouts with long whiskers.
  3. Rats have capsule-shaped teeth while mouse has rice-shaped teeth and narrow at one end or both ends.
  4. Rats make their nests high on trees or roofs while mouse makes their nest near a source of heat.
  5. Rats feed on anything; cockroach, grains, or meat while mice prefer cereals.
  6. Rats have a lifespan of between 1 to 2 years while mouse lives up to 1 year.
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Similarities between Rat and Mouse

  1. They are both rodents.
  2. They both feed on the same foodstuffs.
  3. Both have furless tails.
  4. They both give birth to young ones.

In Conclusion

Rats and mice are both rodents. These two rodents have always been confused but they are quite different from one another. Rats build their nests high on trees and roofs while mouse builds their nests near the source of heat. Rats have blunt snouts while mice have pointed snouts with long whiskers at the sides. The main feature that makes rats different from the mouse is their size.

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