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are mice or rats better pets

by Ricky Wuckert Published 11 months ago Updated 5 months ago

Mice and rats
The black rat (Rattus rattus), also known as the roof rat, ship rat, or house rat, is a common long-tailed rodent of the stereotypical rat genus Rattus, in the subfamily Murinae. It likely originated in the Indian subcontinent, but is now found worldwide. › wiki › Black_rat
are both low maintenance, cute pets. However, they do have different needs and personalities. Choose a rat if you're looking for a more social, active and clean pet. If you're on a budget and want a pet that requires little to no handling, a mouse is your best bet.

Full Answer

What's the difference between rats and mice?

Rats and mice are both rodents, so look similar - the biggest difference is their size. Rats are larger and heavier while mice have smaller slender bodies. Mice also have long slender tails (for their body size) covered in hair compared to rat tails which are shorter, thicker and hairless.

Are rats and mice the same thing?

Yes, mice and rats are two different kinds of animals. “A mouse and a rat are as different as a housecat and a mountain lion,” says Bobby Corrigan, Ph.D., an urban rodentologist based in New York City. “Rats and mice are both rodents, but completely different species.”

What is the best dog for killing rats?

Top 10 Dog Breeds Ideal for Catching Rats

  1. Rat Terrier. Their name says it all: this dog is the perfect rat hunter. ...
  2. Cairn Terrier. The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds. ...
  3. Yorkshire Terrier. ...
  4. Norfolk Terrier. ...
  5. Jack Russell Terrier. ...
  6. West Highland White Terrier. ...
  7. Lakeland Terrier. ...
  8. Miniature Schnauzer. ...
  9. Dachshund. ...
  10. German Pinscher. ...

Are rats cleaner than dogs?

Rats are very clean and will spend many hours a day grooming themselves and their rat buddies. Rats clean themselves so much that they are said to be cleaner than dogs and cats! Image via Pixabay...

Which is better, rats or mice?

How long do mice live?

How big of a cage do rats need?

How often do rats need to play with their owners?

What does it mean when a mouse cage is smaller?

How long does it take for a male rat to show aggression?

Is a rat a pet?

See 2 more


What is the difference between a pet rat and a mouse?

The major difference is that pet rats have been bred to be a human companion for longer and are thaught to deal with people from a very young age. While mice are a bit more uncommon and so they’re not as used to people.

What is the best cage for a rat?

For pet rats, I usually recommend the Prevue Hendryx Cage on Amazon, since they’re very spacious and perfect for a pair of rats and can fit more if you wish to increase the family!

How big do mice grow?

But of course, everyone has their preferences! Mice tend to grow to be 4 to 7 inches, while pet rats can grow up to 20 inches, tail included.

Do rats need more space?

Pet rats will be more sociable and curious, need some more maintenance, space and to keep themselves occupied with interesting activities. On the other hand, mice like to keep to themselves, don’t need as much activity and tend to be less curious.

Do rats like being confined?

Pet rats won’t enjoy being confined in their cage only, even if it’s big! They need space to explore and play.

Can rats eat pellets?

When rations have a mixture of pellets and seeds, both pet rats and mice end up being picky with some of the ingredients and not eat them.

Do rats need activity?

As I mentioned before, pet rats need activity! They like to get out of their cage and explore the room, love foraging and exploring new places . So it’s important to have that kind of space for them to play.

How big is a rat compared to a mouse?

Most common house mice will only weigh to thirty grams and will get to a size not larger than 8 inches (20 cm) (including the tail!).

How long do rats live?

Unfortunately, both of these cute creatures have a somewhat short lifespan. Mice mostly live from 1 to 2 years. Rats tend to live about a year longer than mice, about 2-3 years. They are quite fragile little fellows and can often die in just a few hours if they are without water or under stress.

What do mice eat?

Mice mostly feed on grain, some sorts of fruits and vegetables, small amounts of eggs and, occasionally, on some worm meals added to their diet.

How much space do rats need?

As just mentioned, rats are much larger than mice, so they obviously need more living space. A general suggestion is to provide them at least two cubic feet per rat. Also, keep in mind that rats will often need to be let out to get a proper walk and some exercise.

Do mice smell like rats?

Both mice and rats are extremely clean pets when their home is clean. They don’t have a distinctive odor at all, so you won’t have any issues on that side.

Can mice and rats be the same?

Even if descending from the same rodent family, mice and rats can often be pretty different between themselves, so it is now up to you to decide which one suits best for you and your home. We are sure that, whichever choice you make, you are not going to regret it.

Can mice do tricks?

These super cute acrobats will keep the entire family entertained for hours. Mice can be trained to do simple tricks and respond to their name, too. All it takes is much patience, persistence and time.

Why are mice more fragile than rats?

Do you have young children? Mice are obviously more fragile than rats simply because of their size. So, be aware before choosing to adopt that you'll need to be a little extra careful when handling.

How long do rats live?

Rats also live about a year longer than mice (2-3 years on average versus 1-2 years on average for mice). So, if you're looking for that extra time, a rat is probably the way to go. Additionally, rats get along very well with siblings they grew up with.

Do rats need more attention than mice?

Rats are equally as awesome but require MUCH more attention than pet mice. Rats need and crave human interaction, so be prepared to spend a lot more time with your pet. (Like that’s a bad thing!?) They also need time to run around outside of their cage. But if you’re already a rat parent, you probably want them out anyway… for the extra kisses.

Can you have a mouse and a rat?

If you're looking for a close "I really love you" kind of relationship, a mouse may not be the best option if you're on the fence between a mouse and a rat. Of course, mice can be handled and should be. But they're probably not going to be as affectionate or responsive as your rattie rat would likely be. But, if you prefer your entertainment by watching rather than playing, mice are an excellent choice.

Is it cool to have mice and rats?

Mice and rats are both super cool! Conversely, there really are some pretty significant differences in these two species of rodents (adorable rodents, that is). However, who says you can't own both?! In separate cages, of course.

Is a rat as fragile as a mouse?

They’re definitely not as fragile as mice because, obviously, they’re bigger. If you’re on the fence and have young kids… rat?

Can rats learn tricks?

These tiny rodents can learn tricks! Who woulda thunk? A rat trick. How cool is that? Many people actually describe them as little dogs… they’re super intelligent and can be litter trained. Wowza. You can try to litter train with a mouse, but you’ll probably not be successful.

What is the difference between a mouse and a rat?

Mice are generally more independent and don ’t need to be played with as often as rats, but rats tend to be more affectionate. If you’re pressed for space, you might want to go with a mouse, since they don’t need as large a cage as rats do. Mice also tend to be cheaper than rats, since they need smaller cages and less food. On the other hand, rats are generally cleaner and can be toilet trained. They also get along better with cats and dogs, so you might want to choose a rat if you have other pets. If you have children, a rat is probably a better option, since they’re more playful and less likely to bite. For more tips, including how to choose between rats and mice based on their lifespan, read on!

How long do rats live?

If you'd like less of a responsibility in terms of how long your pet will live for, mice could be a good option for you. Rats live for 3-4 years, as compared to mice who live for 2-3 years.

Why do rats need cages?

How a rat or mouse cage might fit into your home could be an important factor to consider in deciding which animal to adopt. Rats require larger cages than mice due to their larger size. Both mice and rats should have cages where they can be viewed from the front rather than the top, so as to minimize stress.

What size cage do mice need?

The minimum cage size for 2 mice is 60 centimetres (24 in) x 30 centimetres (12 in) x 25 centimetres (9.8 in).

How to socialize a rat?

I would recommend getting two, as they are very social creatures. If socialized correctly, your rat will love hanging out on your shoulder while you show him off to your friends. Be sure to purchase them from a breeder or shelter and not a pet store. Rats from pet stores do not live as long and are not as social. I would recommend watching videos from the YouTube channels "Shadow the Rat" or "The Rat Guru" so you know everything you possibly can about rats before adopting them.

What is the best pet to have?

1. Pick a rat if you want an active, human-loving pet. Rats are a great choice if you prefer a curious and intelligent animal that enjoys human stimulation and companionship. They love to be held and can even be toilet trained and learn basic tricks.

How to adopt a rodent?

1. Choose the right pet for your schedule. Both mice and rats are nocturnal animals and are therefore likely to be hiding and sleeping during the day. Keep this is mind before adopting because they often like to play and make noise at night; keep this in mind when considering adopting a pet rodent.

How big are rats compared to mice?

First of all, they have very different sizes. Mice are small and around three inches in length. On the other hand, rats are larger measuring about 10inches in length. The larger size of a rat actually makes it easier to handle than mice who are small, nimble and fast. Rats also enjoy being handled, a mouse would rather run around and explore.

What Is Cost Difference Between Mice and Rats?

You will have to buy a cage, food, bedding, buy a cage, food, bedding, toys and other important expenses for both a mouse and a rat.

How to tell if a mouse is a rat or a mouse?

Mice and rats can be mistaken for one another if you do not know a lot about them, but with a little knowledge, it is easy to tell them apart solely based on appearance differences such as size, facial structure, and tail type. Beyond appearances, mice and rats are actually two very different animals.

What are some good pets to have?

Both rats and mice make great pets that can bring a lot of joy into your home, and which one will be best for you really depends on personal preference.

What is the difference between a rat's snout and a mouse's sn?

Rats and mice have different facial structures. The snout of a mouse is very triangular; it comes to a point at the nose. Additionally, mice have very long whiskers sprouting out from the sides of their faces. On the other hand, rat’s snout, while still somewhat triangular, is a lot bulkier and blunter than that of a mouse .

How long do rats need to be outside?

Male rats are generally more cuddly, and female rats are more playful, but both will require at least an hour outside of their cage a day—and more if possible. This means that they are a great pet if you want to interact with them a lot and form a close bond, but you should remember that it also means caring for them will take significantly more time and energy.

How do rats play?

Rats are playful, and one of the ways they play is through wrestling and play fighting – this behavior is perfectly normal and helps establish their complex hierarchy with their group. As long as they are not being aggressive and no blood is being drawn, it is okay for them to wrestle and fight.

How long should mice be with their mom?

Wow ... Ok... the mice should be kept with the mom for at least 4-6 weeks and immediate sexed then, which can be rather hard to do since they're so small. The adult male mouse will probably bully, if not kill the babies if you put them in there with him. Mice can be very territorial, especially males. You'll want to separate the male mouse from the mom before she has the babies, as she can get pregnant fairly quickly after giving birth. Make sure to use a bedding that cannot suffocate the babies (carefresh and most recycled beddings can easily suffocate them). There's really not a supplement that you could provide, but offer a carrot piece, slice of celery, or some fresh produce as extra nutrients.

How to get rid of mouse smell?

If you clean the cage out weekly, the smell will be reduced. I have to clean, or at least rinse, everything in my mouse's cage in order to reduce the smell to near nothing.

Do mice have a stronger odor than rats?

Personally, I feel that mice have a stronger odor than rats do.

Can rats fight?

Rats shouldn't be kept alone. Yes it's possible they can fight, however this is usually only the case if they haven't been properly introduced or one or both of hormonally aggressive, in which case neutering will tend to sort them out, in both males and females. It is not fair to keep a rat alone because you fear it won't be as affectionate (the rat has no choice but to cling to you, and you'll never replace another rat) or because somewhere down the line they might fight. A lone rat might seem happy, but if you've ever kept a pair, a trio or a larger group you'll see how happy they are to all pile into one hammock, despite having several. They are social animals, it is cruel to keep them alone without giving them a chance.

Do rats make good pets?

I have 2 rats and they are so sweet! My friend had a mouse that wasn't very nice. I'd say rats make better pets. Grown rats may not be as cute as grown mice, and mice may be more easy to take care of, but rats are more friendly and almost never bite. I say rats!

Do male rats get along with female rats?

Pffft, I have a whole mischief full of male rats and 2 spayed females, they are just as friendly and loving towards each other as they are with people. This isn't an isolated event either, so long as you intro properly boys tend to get along just fine once they've established a hiearchy. If anyone is aggressive you just need to take them in for a quick snip of theur manhood and it'll be fixed up :)

Can two female rats fight?

I have been a rat breeder for many years and it was more common to see two females fighting. Though this itself has been extremely rare.

Can rats form bonds?

Rats are more intelligent and can form bonds more readily, but that's not to say that mice can't. I've had rats before, and chose them simply for the fact that they're much cleaner when you're handling them. They were great pets. I had them for three years, and really enjoyed spending time with them.

Is a mouse inbred?

Edit: Extra info. Mice are usually very, very inbred. Thus they are very prone to tumors and other various afflictions. They already have a short life span, and this can make it worse. Rats are usually less inbred and are a lot healthier.

Do rats make good pets?

Rats make better pets in my opinion, they are less aggressive, and more interesting. They are really curious and intelligent.

Which is better, rats or mice?

So, if you want pets who will be your best buddies, rats have the edge, whereas if you prefer a more independent and low maintenance friend, mice might be your thing.

How long do mice live?

The average lifespan for pet mice is 1-2 years while for rats it is closer to 2-3. The difference isn’t huge, but it may be worth taking into account if you know you’ll have other commitments in your life longer term.

How big of a cage do rats need?

The minimum size of cage I’d use for a pair of rats is around 80 x 50 x 80 cm (31 x 20 x 31 in). A pair of mice can be housed in a lower cage, which is easier to stack on a dresser, but a cage footprint of 80 x 50 cm (31 x 20 in) is still ideal. That’s because it gives room for lots of substrate for digging in, which is an important natural behaviour.

How often do rats need to play with their owners?

Rats need time out their cage to play with their owners every day; generally for at least an hour. Mine certainly make it known if they think their cage doors aren’t spending enough time open!

What does it mean when a mouse cage is smaller?

A smaller cage means smaller furniture, but not less enrichment. Mice and rats both need things to play with and explore in their cages – houses, tubes, ropes, branches, wheels and so on. However, mice are quite easy to make home-made toys for, with things like toilet roll inners, cereal boxes making ideal nests and burrows.

How long does it take for a male rat to show aggression?

In both species, males may show hormonal aggression, to their owner or their cage mates (usually around 6 months in rats, and 4-5 months in mice). This sometimes fades away as they grow up or can be cured by neutering. Both species can be castrated, while rats can also have a hormonal implant to reduce aggression (I wouldn’t personally rely on it to prevent pregnancies!).

Is a rat a pet?

Rats and mice both make awesome pets. However, although they are closely related species, they offer different pet-owning experiences. Here are some things to think about in choosing which is the right pet for you.


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