Do Rats Eat Mice? (Everything You Need to Know!)

Most people, especially children, believe that a mouse turns into a rat when it gets bigger.

Not! Rats and mice belong to two different species, and even it is difficult for a mouse and a rat to live together.  

Do Rats Eat Mice? (A Quick Guide)


Yes, rats have a well-documented tendency to kill and eat mice. Since rats are larger and need to eat more. They can eat anything, including mice, when they get hungry. Due to this reason, mice are afraid of rats and keep a safe distance from them.

Both rats and mice are typical prey of cats. And cats like to eat the head of a mouse because it is more appetizing and assures that the victim has been killed.

Do rats eat mice heads and poison?

No evidence confirms that rats eat mice heads. However, rats are not wise enough to distinguish the poison from other feeds and tend to eat it most of the time.

Why Do Rats Eat Mice?

It is very difficult for rats and mice to live together because they have a predator-prey relationship. And competition for food resources is the most obvious reason for rats killing and eating the mice. Secondly, due to the smaller size of a mouse, rats find them a potential food source and kill them.

Do rats eat mice in traps?

Yes, rats can eat mice in traps. Sometimes, rats typically prey on a mouse to eat them. Since rats are omnivores, they can eat a mouse in a trap.

How do the Rats kill the Mice?

Behavioral studies carried out by putting a rat and a mouse in a cage show that the rat spontaneously kills a mouse on the first encounter. Rats usually kill a mouse with their first bite on the mouth, neck, or upper back.

Do Rats Eat Rats?

Rats have uncontrollable appetites. When they are hungry, they may eat each other (cannibalism). Like other mammals, in case of extreme hunger, they don’t behave similarly and show cannibalism. Sometimes, rats have shown behavior like eating their offspring.

What animals eat mice and rats?

  • Cats: Cats are considered the top enemies of mice and rats. The cat usually takes its victim by its neck or upper back and usually kills them in the first attempt.
  • Snakes: Rats and mice make up most part of the diet of snakes. Pet snakes usually feed on rats, mice, or hamsters. Snakes usually use their venom to kill the rodents or squeeze them till suffocation and death.
  • Owls: Along with small birds, rats and mice are common owl prey. An owl strike hard its victim from two feet and usually dismantles its prey from the neck, mouth or back.
  • Eagles: Golden eagles prey on small mammals like rabbits and mice, while bald eagles are known to eat rats. Who doesn’t know the electrifying way of their hunting!
  • Weasels: Rats and mice are the primary prey of weasels. Due to their smaller size, weasels can enter into small holes of rats, mice, or rabbits. They kill their victim with sharp bites on the neck or back.

Are Rats Worse Than Mice?

Rats and mice are not better or worse in your home or surroundings. Both can cause unique types of problems. Mice reproduce frequently, and it becomes challenging to control their population. Rats can bite the wires and can cause a fire. Rats are bigger and more aggressive than mice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about mice and rats:

Will a rat eat a dead mouse?

Yes, a rat can eat anything, including a dead mouse. Sometimes, rats eat their dead mates or dead mice to avoid the decomposition odor. It prevents their nest from the visit by predators.

Do possums eat mice and rats?

Yes, the opossum diet comprises cockroaches, mice, rats, snails, and other garden pests. It is also believed that opossum provides natural pest control around your home.

Do chickens eat mice and rats?

Chickens can eat anything that fits right into their beak, even the grit. Chickens usually eat small mice, frogs, snakes, tadpoles, and dead rats.

Do raccoons eat mice and rats?

Yes, raccoons can eat a mouse or rat when they get the chance. However, rats and mice are not easy prey for raccoons, so they are more likely to eat a dead rodent than actively hunt one.

Do cats eat rats or mice?

Why not! A rat or a mouse is a delicious treat for a cat. Cats are the top hunters of rats and mice. Cats usually eat rats or mice if they get a chance.

Do rats and mice eat the same food?

For the type of food, rats eat protein-rich diets, including fish, cheese, meat, and stored food, while mouse eats grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Do mice turn into rats?

The child usually believes that a mouse turns into a rat when it gets bigger. But the reality is that mice and rats belong to two different species. A mouse does not turn into a rat.

Do rats attack humans?

Rats are used to be more aggressive than mice. They can attack human beings and even bite them.

Can you have mice and rats at the same time?

You can have mice and rats simultaneously with plenty of food. It is best to separate their areas because rats can attack and kill mice.

Do rats keep mice away?

Mice usually feel threatened by the rats because rats can kill a mouse. So, we can say that rats keep mice away.

What smell will keep rats away?

You can keep rats away by the smells they dislike. Hot peppers, eucalyptus, clover, garlic, onion, and predator cat scent.

What kills rats instantly?

Snap traps are the best options to kill a rat instantly. To keep other animals away from the traps, keep them in a box or cotton.

Wrap up

Rats and mice belong to two different species. Rats are omnivores and hunt rodents that are smaller in size. Rats have voracious appetites and eat anything when they feel hungry.

Mice usually keep a safe distance from rats because rats can kill and eat mice. So, avoid keeping the rats and mice in the same place; otherwise, mice will start fading away.


SmallPetsX.Com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim to help small pet owners understand their pets a little better so that they can provide their pets with the life they deserve. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.

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