Difference Between Rat and Mouse

Rodents are small mammals that are characterized by having incisor teeth that gnaw on various surfaces. Rodents are the most common order of mammals due to their great ability to adapt to various environments and places, in addition to their reproductive capacity. It is believed that there are approximately 2,300 species of rodents in the world distributed throughout the planet in different climatic zones, therefore, rodents can be found both in the jungle and in the desert.

Rats and mice are two very common rodent species in cities, populated and unpopulated areas that often become very annoying animals for humans due to their fertility and that can become pests that affect homes, urbanizations, farms and all kinds of spaces.

This article tries to point out the differences between rat and mouse. To do this, we will begin by defining the terms so that readers know the fundamental characteristics of each of these species and thus be able to differentiate them.


Rats are medium-sized or large rodent mammals that have as physical characteristics, a large and wide snout that ends in a point, small eyes and ears, dexterous front legs with 4 fingers and rear legs with 5 fingers, long thick tail at the base and thin towards the tip.

The different species of rats belong to the family -muridae- and to the genus -rattus- Rats are nocturnal animals that are very easy to sneak and hide, they are distributed throughout the planet in different environments. Generally, rats are carriers of deadly diseases for humans because they tend to develop in highly polluted areas such as pipes and sewers, which is why they are feared by many people.

Likewise, rats are omnivorous, that is, they feed on all kinds of both vegetable and animal substances. There are numerous species of rat, such as the jungle rat, the rice field rat, the exulans rat, and the palm rat. However, the most common is the black rat, which is precisely the one that lives in rural areas and areas populated by humans.


Mice are small-sized rodent mammals that have the physical characteristics of a pointed snout, large eyes and ears, a long, pointed and naked (hairless) tail. Mice belong to the family -muridae- and to the genus -mus-. In the same way, they are both nocturnal and diurnal animals, although if they live in houses (which is their best habitat) they usually go out at night to feed.

Mice are usually carriers of diseases through their feces, so it is important if there are mice in homes, exterminate them and disinfect the entire house. On the other hand, mice are essentially herbivores, although due to their ability to adapt they can feed on all food waste in homes.

There are many species of mice, including the common house mouse, deer mouse, toad mouse, and the American white-footed mouse, although the most abundant species is the common house mouse.

For all the above, the most important differences between the rat and the mouse are presented in the following table:

Rat Mouse
They belong to the genus rattus. They belong to the genus mus.
The size of the rats ranges between 20 and 25 centimeters. The size of the mouse ranges between 5 and 10 centimeters.
They have a long tail, thick at the base and thin at the tip. They have a shorter and thinner tail.
They have small ears and eyes. They have big ears and eyes.
They have a large and wide snout. They have a narrow and sharp snout.
Rats are omnivorous. Mice are herbivores.

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