The Lifespan Of A Rat (Plus, The Equivalent In Human Years) - RatCentral

The Lifespan Of A Rat (Plus, The Equivalent In Human Years)

what is the average lifespan of a rat

Curiosity is a difficult itch to scratch as a rat owner, many people have asked us what's the lifespan of a rat? 

In this post we will cover just that and show you the equivalent of your rat's age in human years.

What Is The Average Lifespan For Rats?

our male stimpy

Rats are known as being hardy little creatures, however in the wild they rarely live beyond the age of one year.

Luckily, fancy rats have all the benefits of living in a comfortable home, protected from predators, environmental dangers, and supplied with the best rat food

One thing is for sure, our rats are living the life of riley, and this is reflected in the lifespan. So what's the average lifespan of a fancy rat?​

1.8 years Average Age

In recent studies surveys conducted in the UK showed that on average rats lived to be 21.6 months old, that's 1.8 years (Clark 2004). These studies also showed that 95% of fancy rats had died by the age of 3 years.

Despite these figures, it still isn't uncommon for rats to live for 2-3 years, or even 3 and beyond... As the study showed, only 5% live beyond 3 so if your rat is beyond that age, they're doing really well!

Some factors that may lower a rat lifespan include poor diet, poor living conditions and genetic issues.

So giving your rat the best shot to live a long and happy life can be improved by focusing on those factors, where possible.

One method we advocate is supplementing your rats diet with superfoods to stave off cancers and other diseases.​

How Old Is My Rat In Human Years?

Using the rats average life expectancy, and the fact that only 5% of rats make it past 3 years we can use human life expectancy data to give you an idea of your rats age in human years.

This obviously isn't an exact science, but it's still pretty accurate.​

Rat's Age:

In Human Years:

1.5 Months

12.5 Years

6 Months

8 Years

1 Year

30 Years

18 Months (1.5 Years)

45 Years

2 Years

60 Years

30 Months (2.5 Years)

75 Years

3 Years

90 Years

42 Months (3.5 Years)

105 Years

45 Months (3.75 Years)

113 Years

4 Years

120 Years


Rats live to be all ages and every rat is different, some can live to a ripe old age, while some will sadly leave us too soon.

Tell us in the comments how old your rats are and how old your oldest rat ever lived to be in human years!​

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