Can rats breathe underwater? The answer may surprise you!

  • MickAdmin
  • October 17, 2022

Rats are one of the most commonly misunderstood animals. People often consider them dirty, disease-ridden creatures that are best avoided. But the truth is that rats are spotless animals and can make excellent pets! One common question people have about rats is whether or not they can breathe underwater. So, can rats breathe underwater?


The answer is no; rats cannot breathe underwater.

They are mammals, meaning they have lungs and need to breathe air to live. However, rats can hold their breath for a surprisingly long time.

Studies have shown that rats can stay underwater for up to three minutes without coming up for air!

So why can’t rats breathe underwater? It has to do with their body composition. Unlike fish, which have gills that extract oxygen from water, mammals like rats rely on lungs to breathe.

And while lungs are excellent at extracting oxygen from the air, they are not designed to remove oxygen from water. So when a rat tries to breathe underwater, its lungs fill up with water, and it drowns.


Can rats breathe underwater? No, they cannot. But even though they can’t breathe underwater, rats can still hold their breath for a surprisingly long time! So if you ever see a rat swimming around in your local pool, don’t worry—it’s not going to drown. It’s just taking a little dip!

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