Rats Vs. Mice?


New Member
hey my adult gtp is being picky lately and i was wondering if there are any real differences between rats and mice.
She was raised on mice but someone told me to switch to rats, yet one of the rats "fought back" and bit her a few times...since then she won't them anymore (yea i tried live, dead, knocked out, and covered in mice and lizard smells but she showed no interest...) She didn't eat for 2 weeks so i offered her a tiny mouse and she snagged it right away... any input would be helpful, thanks


New Member
I would keep trying the warmed dead rodents. Feeding live is really not a good idea, as you've already found out. Unless this animal is very young it won't hurt it to go without food for quite some time.

Sorry no input on the difference between rats and mice.


New Member
In regards to the difference, I believe rat is less fatty. Just like with feed for chams, what the rodents eat will play part in the nutrition the snake gets out of them too.

I definitely urge you as well to take the pain staking time to get your snake onto frozen/thawed feed to save trouble & vet costs in the future.

Either rat or mouse in pinky size (nothing to them) really doesn't have much nutritional value thus the reason some of the big breeders are happy to get off those sizes as soon as they can.

Depending on the snake, for size reasons rat can be a better choice.
Example feeding an adult Burmese python mice would become extremely expensive & time consuming.

Rat is nice because of the extra sizes for those times when you need something in between as the snake is growing.

Some snakes don't like the smell of one food source or another and no matter what we try they won't take it. Just like some are color specific too. I have a corn who outright refuses mice other than white. Another prefers black. A third snorts at the smell of rat and will only take mice.

Another option for the larger snakes is rabbit too.

I know some try hamster or gerbil, but that is like snake candy and hard to get the snake to take another source of food. Not too mention pretty pricing food too.

2 weeks without food is not a huge issue for an adult. Is this the first time you've experienced your snake going this length without?
I would try again in another 4-5 days to offer another meal. Don't attempt to offer daily as this will turn your snake off of food before it's going to eat.

I know where I live, it is common in these months coming for some of the snakes to slow right now on eating for the winter.
Breeding season will mess up appetites too. Believe it or not, I have a couple male (ball pythons & corns) that will not eat during breeding season....must be the fact they 'smell' the females in the room. And the males are not even in with females at the time.


Established Member
I dont know if there would be a pref between mice or rats... my kindsnake wont eat rats either.

As far as the few weeks without eating, my California King only eats once every 17-21 days and does just fine. Were not trying to starve him, thats just the timeframe he choses to eat in


New Member
Thanks for the input,
right now she is full grown so the larger rats wouldn't really make a difference because she couldnt eat bigger than a small rat (same size as adult mouse)
Im in the process of switching to thawed rodents but she won't even eat knocked out ones so far
but yea its weird how picky snakes are...one of my old adult corns would only eat rat pups while the other 20 wouldn't touch it if it wasn't a mouse


New Member
2 months wont hurt it, let alone 2 weeks, a young rat will be nutritionaly a little better than an adult mouse, though only marginally.
As long as you provide suitable enviromentals, it will eat eventually.
Live food due to keeper anxiety is a classic error.
If you will try scenting, use chicken stock or feathers cliped from a pet bird, more likely to work than lizard scent since its an adult.
Personally I dont think its nessesary at all. Be sure that food warmer than the ambient air temp though.
some just hate wet food, drying after thawing/heating may be worth a try.
Yes some weird snake folk blow dry dead rats! :D

Incidently, never beat your snake up with the food to get a feeding strike, thats another classic error that can make them food shy.
You can leave thawed food in the cage overnight too, but if its still there in the morning, toss it! (sometimes the decide to eat after a while).
What time you offer food makes a big difference too. A few hours after lights off is good. They are nocturnal.

dont feed larger rats, gtp's are prone to digestion issues/ prolapse from big meals, about the size of adult mouse or slightly larger is fine.
The girth rule applies, a slight bulge, no bigger.
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New Member
thanks, im not really worried about her not eating for a few weeks i just wanted to know the real differences between the two before i switch her diet. And i tried at around 11 30 pm...after the lights were out for 2 1/2 hours.

My friend has an african grey that i can borrow some feathers from so ill try that tonight. But if she doesn't take it im probably going to just feed her a mouse because i am changing her cage over the weekand, and since she will be stressed after that i don't really want her to have an empty stomache.
I would leave the rat in the cage overnight, but she was showing absolutly no interest in it earlier...she wasn't even acting aggressive towards me even though it was normal feeding conditions.


New Member
But if she doesn't take it im probably going to just feed her a mouse because i am changing her cage over the weekand, and since she will be stressed after that i don't really want her to have an empty stomache.
Its actually better she have an empty stomach if stressed by the enviromental change, regurtitation is not good at all. Give it week or so before you feed in its new tank, let it settle in. :)
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