Is it really a roof rat?

Asked February 2, 2018, 11:32 PM EST

At approximately 2.5 years old, mine was 5" long (not including tail). Very long digits. Large ears and eyes like a pinion mouse. Fast like a mouse. Not at all like Norwegian or domestic rats I've encountered. I was under the impression that roof rats are as big as if not bigger than Norwegians? Please let me know what they are?

Lincoln County Oregon

1 Response

I see this is the second time you have asked about the identification of a rodent? Is this rat a pet? From how you ask the question this time with the age and measurements of the animal it appears it is a pet?

It is difficult to positively identify a rodent from a photo. From your photo the tail looks to be pretty long, the length of the tail would be helpful in identifying it, as would a second photo not so close to the animal. The color of the fur on the stomach and the feet would be helpful. If it is a wild animal, and not a pet, I understand you not being able to give additional measurements or photos.

From your photo and the minimal information in your email, the animal may be a Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus)??. The Norway rat is numerous on the Oregon Coast, however an adult Norway’s body is longer that 5 In. Another piece of information that would help, if it is wild, where do you see the rat, or find it’s droppings (basement, in the garage, in the attic?)?

Here is a link to a paper on rodents in Oregon, from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

If you can provide the added photo and fur colors I can provide a more accurate identification. Thank you for sending your question to “Ask an Expert”.