Rats and Mice

Rats & Mice are different!


Mice are rather like hamsters, happy to do their own thing whereas rats are more hands-on, however, both are social and should live in pairs or small groups.  Unless you want to be looking after an ever growing population, because they breed at a phenomenal rate, have either all male or all female.

Rats are quite intelligent and can learn to do tricks.  They interact with their owners the same as dogs and cats.  The male rat is more settled while the female is quite restless.  Mice are not so responsive or affectionate as rats.  While rats and mice require similar housing, rats need a least one nest box each.

Rat1Although rodents are nocturnal (sleeping during the day and active at night), rats will quickly learn to adjust their schedule and be ready to come out and play when you get home from school or work.

Pet rats and mice require no vaccinations and carry no diseases.  Their teeth grow continuously throughout their life and, therefore, they need to constantly keep them worn down by chewing on things. Because of this, rats should not be left to run loose in the house as they can chew on all household items including electrical cords, furniture etc.Rat3

Again, care for both rats and mice is similar.  They should have an all-in-one rat or mouse food supplemented with some fresh produce.  Their cages need to be cleaned out at least once a week, however, rats can also be toilet trained which will make cleaning easier!  Just make sure not to use cedar or pine as they contain toxins and cause organ damage and respiratory disease.


Because mice are quite fragile they are not suitable pets for young children.  Rats too require careful handling but they are bigger and often friendlier.

The average life span of rats is 2–3 years; mice 1–2 years with an average body length for adult rats of 22 – 28cm; mice 7.6 – 10cm; with an average tail length of 18 – 23cm in rats and 7.6 – 10cm in mice. The average body weight for rats is 350–450 grams for a female and 450–650 grams for a male; mice 30 grams for both male and female.


Rats and mice should not be kept together in the same cage – they are not natural friends.Rat2


For more information:


American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association