Difference between Mice and Rats

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Rats come in a variety of colors, not just gray or white.
Mice are smaller than rats.

One may wonder what differences are there between mice and rats. The reason why they are often confused between each other is that they arguably look so very much alike. Let us not forget that they both belong to the same family: rodents. Also, both species can cause damages in places they inhabit. One of the significant differences them is their size. Rats are larger and heavier than mice, while mice have smaller and slender bodies.


Mice (the plural of mouse) are the most common among the rodent’s family. They are of Central Asian origin and are distributed throughout every continent. Mice sometimes represent health and environmental hazards to humans. They breed very rapidly and can adapt quickly to any change in the condition of their habitat. Mice have long thin tails, adn, depending on their sizes these are covered with hair compared to those with shorter, thicker, and hairless tails of rats.


Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their length and size. They can have black, brown, gray, or white fur. They have big ears, dark eyes, and long snouts. They have sharp teeth consisting of 4 incisors. Their teeth grow throughout their life. Their tails are generally hairless.

Mice Rats
Maximum size Mice maximum length is between 12 and 20 cm. There are rats with a length of 40 cm registered.
Tail size Mice tails are usually longer than their bodies. A rat's tail is also longer than it's body. Their tails are hairless.
Color They can be white, gray, or brown. They are brown, black, gray, or white.
Snout Mice have round snouts and long whiskers. They have flatter and longer snouts.
Tail characteristics Mice have slender tails full of hair. Some species have small tails, and they can also be found rats with tails without hair. Rats have a thicker tails, heavily textured and always hairless.
Waste Mice can produce twice what a rat will produce daily. A rat can produce from 20 to 50 droppings in a day.

Venn diagram: Mice vs Rats

Difference between mice and rats.jpg