In my experience, rat and mice cannot live together.
Mice are omnivores and will catch, kill and eat things small enough they find.
Rats are also omnivores and will catch, kill and eat things small enough to see.
Mice will snack on baby rats if given the opportunity and vice versa. Likewise, rats will consume mice they catch if the opportunity presents itself.
If you have both pets, I firmly recommend not keeping them together.
Can Pet Rats and Mice Live Together?
Pet rats and mice are pets full of cuteness. Both species adorably are fun. However, they are the cats and dogs of the rodent world and should NOT live together.
Mice are more similar to cats, and rats are similar to dogs, making them popular with pet owners across the globe.
They are both social animals, family-oriented and empathetic, although there are few differences between them. While they can work together and work hand-in-hand, we definitely cannot hear all the sounds they make. This is key to their ability to live together.
They are surprisingly loving and loyal, especially rats, which are often perceived as dog-like. Mice are loving but tend to be more secretive (like cats).
This has led to the question we’re talking about today: Can you keep pet mice and rats together? No, it would help if you didn’t keep them together as they won’t get along for many reasons.
Despite their similar appearance, both are still different species.
Let’s look at why timekeeping rats, mice, mice, and rats together are not best.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep Mice and Rats Together
Here are five solid reasons you should never try to house rats and mice together in your home. Many of them are genuine reasons, and you will send the mice to an early grave if you keep them together. Here’s why:
Difference in Size
The No.1 reason why you can’t keep rats and mice together is the size difference. Rats are more significant than mice, meaning ratties will eventually win and dominate mice in your home.
Not only can ratties threaten mice physically, but they will eat their food and take up their territory. Mice stand no chance against rats, as they are bigger and stronger. So rats will typically be aggressive towards mice, especially the male rats. And that can cause loads of stress.
In the end, mice and rats are not the best fit to be kept together. You can still have them, but NEVER put them into the same tank.
As mentioned earlier, feeding problems will arise if you want to keep mice and rats together. If put in the same enclosure, rats will eat most of the food, and there will be nothing left for a mouse.
That’s because the mice won’t be able to compete for a meal, and rats will be an intimidating obstacle for them. In the long run, this will cause the mice to lose weight and, in the end, suffer from multiple diseases. It can even lose its life due to underfeeding.
Ensure your mice get more than enough food; for this reason, we frown upon the thought of keeping rats and mice together.
.Rats will Chase the Mice.
Yet another big reason as to why not to keep mouse and rat together. As rats become more aggressive and territorial towards other mates in the tank, they will eventually find and chase the mice in the tank. It’s a natural reaction that also happens in the wild.
The situation can even worsen if the mouse has nowhere to hide. This can trigger a crazy amount of stress for the mice, which can ultimately cause health problems and diseases.
Mice love to be in safe habitats, and if they’re constantly under threat, they will endure a lot of stress and suffer.
Rats are Extremely Territorial
Rats are super territorial if they get placed together with mice and other rats – this is terrible news for mice!
Male rats tend to be much more territorial and aggressive towards other animals that are smaller in size.
Mice will suffer significantly from this. They will not have enough space to move, have their food eaten, have their babies killed, and get chased around by the rats.
You shouldn’t keep rats and mice together, especially males.
Mice Will Eat Baby Rats
The last reason you should never keep them together is simple – Mice will eat baby rats. That’s correct, mice can cause issues for the rats as well, and they will prey on and hunt down baby rats.
As they will be left without food due to food shortage and rat domination, they might turn to baby rats for food.
Rats, too, will hunt and feed on baby mice if the opportunity presents itself.
If you want to prevent all of the above, it’s better to separate them and keep them in a separate tank or container.
Housing Mice and Rats together – Is it a Good Idea?
Mice and rats can be territorial (especially the males), so don’t keep strangers together. If your mice and rats have come from the same home, they can remain roomies in DIFFERENT cages.
A pregnant female should be housed separately from her pack; she’ll feel more secure when she gives birth and will be less likely to see her babies as a Happy Meal.
NOTE: Rats may look like little mice, but these two species should never be housed together.
Can Rats and Mice Breed?
You cannot breed mice and rats. This is because they are not the same species, even though they might look similar in some cases.
Their genetics are not the same, and they cannot happen naturally. So you’d still fail at breeding rats and mice together even if you tried.
Can a Rat Kill a Pet Mouse?
In the end, rats threaten the mouse’s well-being and might also cause death. As they are aggressive and territorial, they can also attack the mouse. The mouse can get injured and hurt by them and can even lose its life in the process.
Can You Have Rat and Mice in the Same Enclosure?
Rats and mice typically fight and can eat each other. Therefore, I would NOT recommend trying to put mice and rats together.
Do Rats and Mice Get Along?
Under the right circumstances, or more accurately, cases, mice, and rats can be housed together.
Female rats that have experienced motherhood are highly receptive to babies of their species, and pretty much anything they can nurse and pretend is their babies.
Rats are known to be great mothers, even raising their young together, and if rats in the same cage/environment have multiple litters with multiple mothers, and the mothers are of the same pack, they will view all babies as their own.
That means they will “kidnap” babies from the rest of the mothers, or often they will combine them into a big pile of “pinkish sight.”
IF THEY COME ACROSS NEWBORNS FROM OTHER SPECIES THAT RESEMBLE THEIR OWN, SUCH AS HAMSTERS, GERBILS, MICE, GUINEA PIGS, etc., they will apply this same logic and take them as their own.
Rats are notorious for killing mice and stealing their babies if they have given birth within a week of finding a nest with newborn pups.
So, can rats and mice live together? Well, the answer is No! Mice and rats being housed together are not recommended for many reasons. First, the mice can get hurt and will not live their best life if housed together with ratties. It’s better to keep them separately and buy separate cages/enclosures if you want to own them.