How Long Do Rats Live? The Surprising Truth About Rat Lifespan


Do you know how long rats live? How would you feel if you found out that the average rat lifespan is two to three years?

That’s right – rats have a relatively short lifespan, especially when compared to other animals.

In this blog post, we will explore the surprising truth about rat lifespan and find out why they don’t typically live as long as other mammals.

We will also take a look at some of the things that can shorten a rat’s life span. So, how long do rats live? Keep reading to find out!

The average lifespan of a rat is two to three years.

This may seem short, but it’s actually not that different from the lifespan of other small mammals, such as mice and rabbits.

In fact, rats actually live longer than some other animals, such as hamsters and gerbils.

How old is a rat in human years?

It is difficult to judge the age of a rat in human years because they mature so quickly.

However, if we compare their lifespan to that of a human, rats would reach maturity at around six months old and would be considered elderly at around three years old. And here is the table of the rat’s age in human years:

Rat’s age in months Rat’s age in years
Rat’s age in human years
1.5 months (puberty) 0.125 years
12.5 years (puberty)
6 months (social maturity) 0.5 years
18 years (social maturity)
12 months 1 year 30 years
18 months 1.5 years 45 years
24 months 2 years 60 years
30 months 2.5 years 75 years
36 months 3 years 90 years
42 months 3.5 years 105 years
45 months 3.75 years 113 years
48 months 4 years 120 years

What are the causes of death for rats?

There are a number of different things that can cause death in rats, it includes:

Rats are very prone to disease

Rats are very prone to disease, they are also excellent at hiding illness, so by the time a rat is showing signs of sickness, it is often too late to save them. the common diseases are:

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease

Rats are also very susceptible to stress, which can shorten their lifespan.

Rats are often used in research

Another reason why rats have a shorter lifespan is that they are often used in research.

While there are laws in place to protect rats used in research, the reality is that they often live in stressful conditions and are exposed to things that can make them sick.

Rats are very active animal

Rats are also very active animals, which means they are more likely to get injured.

They are also more likely to get into fights with other rats, which can lead to injuries or even death.

Rats are prey animal

Lastly, rats are prey animals, which means they are often targeted by predators.

While rats are good at hiding and running away from danger, they can’t always escape being caught by a predator.

So, there you have it! The surprising truth about rat lifespan.

Rats actually don’t live that long when compared to other animals, but they make up for it with their high level of activity and their friendly personalities.


What factors affect rat lifespan?

There are a number of factors that can affect how long a rat lives.

For example, diet and exercise are important for all animals, and this is also true for rats.

A healthy diet and plenty of exercises will help rats live longer, just as it would for any other animal.

In addition to diet and exercise, there are also some genetic factors that can affect lifespan.

For example, some rat breeds live longer than others.

The longest-lived rat breed is the Fancy Rat, which has an average lifespan of four to five years.

Tips to help your rats healthy

While there are some things that shorten a rat’s lifespan, there are also things that you can do to help your rat live a long and healthy life.

Here are a few tips:

  • Provide your rat with a clean and spacious cage
  • Give your rat plenty of toys and things to keep them busy
  • Feed your rat a healthy diet
  • Take your rat to the vet for regular checkups

While there is some variation based on the rat’s diet and environment, most healthy rats will live for around two to three years.

Of course, this doesn’t take into account accidental deaths or diseases that can shorten a rat’s lifespan.

But if you’re lucky enough to have a healthy pet rat, you can expect them to be with you for a good chunk of your life.

And if you’re like me and still mourning the loss of your childhood pet rat, know that they might just outlive all of us!

If you need more information and facts, you can learn more by visiting our facts about baby rat page.

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