How Long Do Rats Live

How Long Do Rats Live As Pets (Ultimate Guide Of Rats Facts)

The rat is a small mammal that lives underground. In this guide, you will find how long do rats live are in the capacity as pests. A rat has a long life because it eats a lot of food and it doesn’t have to use its energy for fighting or escaping from danger.

 It has a very long life span. The average rat lives for around five years. However, there are some species that live up to 20 years. The life of rats is not like ours. We are not sure how long they live, but there is a scientific study that shows that rats can live more than 30 years.

About Rats

Rats have been found living in human cities and even in underground cities. They live in colonies and they eat different kinds of food, such as meat, eggs, and vegetables. 

Rats are animals that live in the wild. They have a life span of about 20 years. However, they can live up to 3 years in captivity. This is because rats are omnivores and will eat almost anything that they can find in their environment. For more details of rattus visit Wiki

How long do rats live?

The answer depends on the species of rat. A rat can live for up to 4 years. If a rat is fed with food, it can live for up to 8 years. The reason why rats are so long-lived is that they eat a lot of food and drink water. So, they don’t need to worry about how much food or water to eat or drink when they are young. They can just eat and drink until they die.

Average lifespan of a rat

 It has a very long life span. It can live for up to 20 years. Rats have been found living in human cities and even in underground cities. They live in colonies and they eat different kinds of food, such as meat, eggs, and vegetables.

The lifespan of rats is about 10 years. It is widely known that rats are very intelligent creatures. They are also very social creatures, they live in groups and they communicate with each other.

Here below I mention a Table for you to easily understand How Long Do Rats Live

Rat’s age in monthsRat’s age in yearsRat’s age in human years
1.5 months (puberty)0.125 years12.5 years (puberty)
6 months (social maturity)0.5 years18 years (social maturity)
12 months1 year30 years
18 months1.5 years45 years
24 months2 years60 years
30 months2.5 years75 years
36 months3 years90 years
42 months3.5 years105 years
45 months3.75 years113 years
48 months4 years120 years
How Long Do Rats Live

What do rats eat?

how long do pet rats live
how long do pet rats live

Rats are vegans and opportunists by nature. They have razor-sharp teeth that are constantly growing, so they must chew on hard or abrasive items to keep the growth under control. They like chewing on almost anything. What, on the other hand, do rats like to eat? Rats will devour almost anything they come upon, including dead animals.

City rats, wild rats, and non-urban rats eat a variety of foods. Rats in the wild eat fruit, plants, and seeds, and they are more likely to be vegetarians. City rats, on the other hand, enjoy eating garbage and meat. They will eat pet food as well as any human food they come upon.

Where do rats nest?

Rats seek various things while looking for a place to build their nest:

  • Warmth – Rats are looking for a pleasant spot to keep themselves and their young warm. During wet and chilly seasons, they also want to stay dry, which is why they prefer to stay indoors during the fall and winter months.
  • Food is easily accessible — Rats are always on the lookout for food, and they want it to be close to their nest. Rats have poor eyesight and avoid wandering too far.
  • Newspapers, rubbish, paper towels, old sheets, insulation, grass, plants, leaves, and just about anything else will be used by rats to build a comfy, warm, dry haven to sleep, give birth, and raise their young.

It is dependent on the species of rat as to where they prefer to nest.

  • Norway rats, sometimes known as brown rats, dig tunnels in lawns and fields. The real nest is usually in the centre, and it is made up of soft materials, flora, sticks, leaves, and other scavenged materials by the rats. There will be a primary entrance and exit, but there may be other dirt-covered “bolt-holes” that the rat can use to flee if it is threatened.

Rats are most active at night, especially towards twilight and dawn. Norway rats can use plastic drain pipes to sneak into basements and hunt for food if they have dug tunnels in your yard. Black rats that have nested in the walls or attics will run between the walls, relying on their incredible climbing abilities to go about and find food.


It’s impossible to say how long a rat could go without nourishment. It is highly dependent on the organism of the rat. Most people would most certainly survive for a week, but no longer than two weeks, without eating.


Rats and mice are little animals that require less water than they do for food. They acquire water from the food they eat, in fact. Rats, on the other hand, are the polar opposite of humans. Whereas humans can only go for a few days without water and weeks without food, rats can go for longer periods of time without water than they can without food.


Many species of rats can be domesticated and cared for as pets. People who enjoy having rats as pets have their own forums and websites. Rats aren’t that different from store-bought hamsters and guinea pigs in reality; they merely have a bad rep.

They can be a lot of fun to keep as pets. A pet rat, regardless of species, can survive for up to five years if properly cared for. That is if the rat is in good health. Because some domesticated rats are descended from lab rats, they are predisposed to tumors, which can severely reduce their lifetime.

How to make your pet rat live a long life

Even if your pet rat is unlikely to survive longer than five years, there are still a number of things you can do to improve their quality of life. The following are some suggestions for extending the life of your pet rat:

Watch for signs of balding or hair loss in rats, which can be a sign of something deeper going on. Make an appointment with your vet if you think something is wrong with your rat. Maintaining their teeth with toys and treats can help keep them healthy and happy.

Pet rats are surprisingly social creatures, especially ones that have been raised as pets. Cleaning your rat’s cage once per week can extend its life easily and simply. Train your rat to do tricks or spend time with you in exchange for treats. Pet rats enjoy company and companionship if trained and handled frequently.

Give your rat rodent food created exclusively for rats, and only give your pet rat human food if it is safe for them to eat.

What is the average lifespan of a wild rat?

The longevity of wild rats varies depending on the species. However, if a predator, such as a fox or an owl, attacks and kills the rats, their lifespan might be cut short at any time. As a result, their average lifespan is significantly reduced.

Rats can survive up to three years in the wild if they have food, water, and shelter. The Black rat has a one-year lifespan, while the Brown rat has a two-year lifespan. Some people live longer than others.

What is the average lifespan of sewer rats?

Sewer rats are rodents of any kind that can be found in any type of plumbing system, both indoors and out. Some people believe that flushing a live rat down the toilet will either kill it or get it out of the house. However, rats can swim back and enter your home through your toilet, so this isn’t entirely true. 

Sewer rats will not live as long as wild rats since their environment is far less healthful. Despite the fact that they are capable of fighting a wide range of germs.

How do rats get into homes?

Rats can enter through any crack or gap. Norway rats have been known to crawl into toilets and sewer systems. They’re even capable of chewing their way through a wall. Black rats have been known to use sewers as a mode of transit and to get access to homes when necessary, and if all else fails, to scale your roof and enter through your attic.

So, how can you get rid of rats once they’ve taken up residence inside? It’s usually advisable to seek the advice of a specialist. Rat nests within walls and crevices in attics and basements can also be difficult to locate and reach. It’s difficult to get rid of rats once they’ve built a nest inside. but there are things you can do to prevent rats from invading at all.

Where do rats go to die?

It’s a fallacy that a poisoned rat will leave your house and die somewhere outside. It’s more likely to die within your home, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to identify it by the stench of a dead rat and get rid of it quickly.

However, rats frequently die behind walls or under floors, necessitating the destruction of the wall or floor by a specialist. Alternatively, you might wait three weeks or more for the odor to go away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here in this part of this rats article, I will try to answer the questions which people frequently asked.

Why do rats only live 2 years?

Wild rats have a shorter lifetime than domesticated rats. Domesticated rats live two to three years on average, compared to less than one year for wild R. norvegicus. This is because they are shielded from predators and have easy access to food, water, shelter, and medical treatment.

Do male or female rats live longer?

In many species, including humans, females live longer than males. In many mammalian species, females live longer than men. In our lab, male Wistar rats have an average life duration of 24 months, whereas female Wistar rats have a median life span of 29 months, which is 14 percent longer than males.

Do rats prefer light or dark?

Do Rats Prefer the Light or the Dark? Bright light can injure rats’ eyes since they are extremely sensitive to it. Rats, on the other hand, like dark or semi-dark surroundings.

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