Do Mice Have Long Tails? (Identifying Mice by Their Tails)

Do Mice Have Long Tails

Have you seen a rodent and you want to identify what species it is exactly?

There are three species of mice and rats that are by far the most commonly seen in the UK. These are the house mouse, brown rat, and black rat.

Chances are you have seen one of these three, and there are some distinguishing features to tell each of them apart as I’ll explain.

How to Tell the Difference Between Mice and Rats


House Mice – House mice have long thin hairy tails.

Brown/Black Rats – Rats have thicker hairless tails.

Other Features

House Mice – House mice have large ears, small feet, and large eyes.

Brown/Black Rats – Rats have smaller ears and larger feet.


House Mice – House mice are around 5-8 cm in length and weighs approx 19 grams.

Brown/Black Rats – Brown rats are around 20-25 cm and can weigh as much as  230 grams, while black rats are usually about half this size.

As you can see just from these features and body sizes, rats are a lot bigger than mice.

Unless you saw a baby rat, which is very unlikely, you should be able to tell the difference between a rat and a mouse easily.

Do Mice Have Long Tails Compared to Their Bodies?

The tail to body length varies across different species of mice, taking the house mice for example their body and tail lengths are as follows:

Body length from nose to base of tail – 7.5-10cm

Tail – 5-10cm

As you can see from these measurements a mouses tail is pretty much the same length of their bodies, so it doubles their overall length.

So, to answer the question, ‘do mice have long tails?’ – Yes, their tails are the length of their bodies.

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