Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Superfamily: Muroidea

Family: Muridae

Subfamily: Murinae

Genus: Rattus

Rats are medium sized long tailed rodents. True rats binominal name is rattus, most impotantly to humans, the black rats binominal name is Rattus rattus and the brown rats binominal name is Rattus norvegicus. There are many more types of rats of the superfamily Muroidea, but they all share the characteristics of true rats.

Typically, rats are distinguished from mice by their difference in size. Rats are usually bigger than mice. They are both part of the muroid family which is very large and complex.

Rats as pets Edit

Specially bred rats have been kept as pets since the late 19th century. . Pet rats behave differently than their wild ancestors. This depends on how many generations they have been kept as pets as.Pet rats are not dirty and do not provide any more of a health risk than cats or dogs do. Tamed rats are generally friendly and can be trained to perform a variety of tricks.


A brown domestic rat.

Not vectors of plague Edit

It was formerly thought that rats were vectors of the plague. However we now know that the plague spread from human to human, it was not distributed by rats.