Can Rats and Mice Live Together? – LEARN MORE

Can Rats and Mice Live Together

Can Rats and Mice Live Together?

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 catch.

Mice will snack on baby rats if given the opportunity and vice versa. Rats will consume mice they catch if opportunity presents itself.

If you have both pets, I strongly recommend not keeping them together.

Can Pet Rats and Mice Live Together?

Pet rats and mice are pets full of cuteness. Both species are fun in an adorable way. 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, which has made them to be 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 love together.

They are surprisingly loving and loyal, especially rats, that are often perceived as dog-like. Mice, on the other hand, are loving but tend to be more secretive (like cats).

This has led to the question that we’re talking about today: Can you keep pet mice and pet rats together? No, you shouldn’t keep them together as they won’t get along for many reasons.

Despite similar appearance, both are still different species.

Let’s take a look at why it’s not the best to keep rats, mouse, mice and rats together.

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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep Mice and Rats Together

Here are five solid reasons why you should never try to house rats and mice together in your home. Many of them are natural reasons, and you will be sending the mice to an early grave if you kept 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 obviously bigger than mice, which means that ratties will eventually win out and dominate mice in your home.

Not only can ratties threaten mouse physically, but they will eat their food and take up their territory. Mice stand no chance against rats, as they are bigger and also stronger. 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 just not best fit to be kept together. You can still have them, but NEVER put them into the same tank.

  • Feeding Issues

As earlier mentioned, feeding problem 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 just won’t be able to compete for a meal, and rats will be 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 gets more than enough food; for this reason, we frown upon the thoughts 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, that can in the end cause health problems and diseases for the mice.

Mice love to be in safe habitat, and if they’re constantly under threat, they will go through a lot of stress and suffer as a result.

  • Rats are Extremely Territorial

Rats are super territorial if they get placed together with mice, and also with other rats – this is bad news for mouse!

Male rats tend to be much more territorial and aggressive towards other animals that are smaller in size.

Mice will suffer greatly from this. They will not have enough space to move, they will have their food eaten, their babies killed and they will get chased around by the rats.

These are all reasons why you shouldn’t keep rats and mouse 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 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 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 always 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. They are not the same species, despite the fact that they might look similar in some cases.

Their genetics are just not the same, and it cannot happen naturally. Even if you tried, you’d still fail at breeding rats and mice together.

Can a Rat Kill a Pet Mouse?

In the end, rats pose a threat to mouse 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 their life in the process.

Can You Have Rat and Mice in Same Enclosure?

Rats and mice typically fight and can eat each other. I would NOT recommend trying to put mice and rats together.

Do Rats and Mice Get Along?

Under the right circumstances; or more accurately circumstance, mice and rats can be housed together.

Female rats that have experienced motherhood are highly receptive of babies, of their own species and pretty much anything that they can nurse and pretend are their own 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 times they will combine them into a big pile of “pinkish sight”.


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.

Mouse or Rat – Which is a Better Pet?

Ultimately, it depends on your personal taste. It’s similar to dogs and cats; rats can be more like dog –more loving and social. Mice, on the other hand, have cat-like features – they’ll be more secretive and still loving, but they too have their downsides.


So, can rats and mice live together? Well, the answer is No! Mice and rats being housed together is not recommended for many reasons. The mice can get hurt and will not live its best life if housed together with ratties. It’s better to keep them separately and buy separate cages/enclosures if you really want to own them both.

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