Although feared by many people, rats and mice are clean and friendly animals with impressive mental abilities. Rodents have evolved since the disappearance of the dinosaurs and have developed an immense repertoire of behaviors. Native to Asia, rats have colonized the entire world and thrived everywhere except Antarctica. Rodents are survivors first and foremost, and they use their brains to gain an advantage over other creatures. Intelligence is what has allowed these animals to progress for 65 million years and made them excellent pets. They are as smart and affectionate as dogs, but in mini format! Don't be fooled by their reputation; Rats and mice are not creatures of the night full of diseases but adorable animals. Here are five misconceptions to combat.

Access to this content has been blocked in order to respect your choice of consent

By clicking on "I ACCEPT", you accept the deposit of cookies by external services and will thus have access to the content of our partners


And to better pay 20 Minutes, do not hesitate to accept all cookies, even for one day only, via our button "I accept for today" in the banner below.

More information on the Cookie Policy page.

Mice love cheese

The combination of mice and cheese is an invention. They do not hate it, but are attracted to a wide variety of foods and materials to make their nest, and have no preference for cheese.

Rats aim for the jugular

It is extremely unlikely that a rat will attack a human unless cornered, and if it is, it will certainly not target its neck. Rats do not know what the jugular vein is and have no desire to cut it.

Mice have flexible bones

When a mouse goes through a small hole, its body does not bend. Her skull is very small and her collarbones point inward to allow her to squeeze into small spaces when she digs or seeks food.

Rodents are incontinent

Rats and mice deliberately leave small amounts of urine behind to mark their territory. Each drop contains information about the species, sex and reproductive status of the animal to inform its congeners.

You are never more than 3 m away from a rat

Rats have not invaded our cities, they are more visible because of construction or flooding. Nevertheless, their proliferation in some cities can pose problems.

Did you like this article? Find the magazine "Le Monde des Animaux" on newsstands and on (paper and digital versions, and subscriptions).

The World of Animals & Nature is a magazine dedicated to wild fauna and flora from all over the world. Through captivating stories and sublime photographs, the magazine offers a true visual safari in the heart of nature.

  • Animal Minutes
  • Animals
  • Leisure
  • Mouse
  • Rats