In the year 2000, scientists at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine conducted a study that provided some insight into how long rats live. They took 20 male and 20 female rats, which were all genetically identical, and kept track of their lifespans.
The results showed that males lived an average of 1,095 days (about 3 years) while females lived an average of 986 days (about 2.7 years).
How Long Do Wild Rats Live?
The lifespan of a rat will depend on many factors: its genetics, diet, environment and health care. One thing is certain: Rats are extremely hardy animals that can survive some pretty brutal conditions. Some have been known to live as long as five years in captivity!
Wild rats typically live for less than a year. They are subject to predation, disease, and lack of adequate food, water, and veterinary care—all resulting in a shortened life.
So in general, the average lifespan of a rat is two to three years, but some rats have been known to live as long as five years.
For the first few weeks of life, baby rats are extremely vulnerable to disease and infection. They may also be at risk of being eaten by their mother or killed by their siblings.
Rats that survive infancy will live for about 3-4 years on average. Adult rats are generally healthy and active animals that rarely become sick or show signs of aging until the very end of their lives (about 2-3 years).
However, there are some factors that can affect how long rats live:
Healthy Diet & Nutrition – A well-nourished rat will usually have better immune function and less susceptibility to infections than a poorly fed one. Poor nutrition can also lead to stunted growth and delayed puberty.
Genetics & Family History – Some rats are naturally more susceptible to spread diseases than others (e.g., respiratory disease), so genetics may play a role in how long your pet lives compared with other rodents in your colony. If one or both parents were particularly short-lived, then it’s possible for their offspring to inherit this trait as well.
Domesticated pet rats normally live 2-4 years, but the longest living rat in captivity lived to be 7 years old! A pet rat’s life expectancy is much better than their wild counterparts, though, because they are not exposed to the same dangers.
How Long Do Brown Rats Live?
Brown rats have a fairly long lifespan for a rodent. Brown rats live for about two years in the wild, but in captivity it is not uncommon for them to live up to three years old.
In the wild, brown rats live in burrows and make nests out of leaves and grasses. They also use their tails as blankets by wrapping them around themselves when they sleep. In captivity, brown rats are commonly kept as pets and can be trained to walk on leashes or perform tricks.
There are several different species of brown rat that live all around the world, including the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), roof rat (Rattus rattus), black rat (Rattus rattus) and Chinese rat (Rattus tanezumi).
The brown rat is much larger than the black rat and has a broader tail. It also has a lighter coloration with a brown or grayish-brown back, light belly and white feet. The tail is hairless, scaly and a bit darker than the rest of its body. Brown rats can weigh up to 1 kilogram (2 pounds). They have large ears on their head which are round at their base but taper towards the tip. Their incisor teeth grow continuously throughout their lives so they need to gnaw constantly to keep them ground down.
How Long Do Black Rats Live?
The black rat has a lifespan of about two years and can breed twice a year. On average, females produce about four litters of three to seven young per year. The gestation period is 21 days.
Black rats are social animals and live in groups. Rats are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night.
The black rat has poor eyesight but a sensitive sense of smell that helps it locate food and mates. These rats are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant matter and meat. They also eat insects and other small creatures found in their environment.
Black rats have long brown fur with white bellies, ears, noses and whiskers. They have short tails that barely touch the ground when they walk. Black rats can weigh up to 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) when fully grown.
How Long Do Pet Rats Live?
The average life expectancy of a pet rat is two to three years, but some individuals have been known to live for as long as five years. The oldest rat on record lived for nine years.
The average lifespan of a pet rat is 2-3 years, with some individuals living up to 5 years or more.
Rats are very social animals and do best in pairs or groups of the same sex. It’s not uncommon for female rats to live longer than males, due to their more sedentary lifestyle and slower metabolism.
A rat’s life span can also be affected by how often it encounters stressful situations such as being handled roughly or exposed to loud noises and bright lights frequently.
Possible causes of death include: respiratory infections (common), tumors (common), internal parasites such as tapeworms (common), kidney disease (rare), bacterial infections (rare), heart failure (rare).