Newborn Squirrel vs. Rat: Know the facts

Babies all look alike, especially the rodent kind. Differentiating between them is hard work. When you consider the squirrel and rat kind, the contrast may not seem clear at first. 

For starters, both of them are born blind with their eyes sealed shut. They are bald with a pinkish skin tone. 

So, between a Newborn Squirrel vs. Rat species, how can you tell apart? 

The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the nails. Newborn squirrels tend to have darker toenails, whereas rats have them white. Then again, squirrels have rounded head shapes, and rat babies have an oval one. 

Newborn Squirrel vs. Rat

Still, confused? Check the comparison chart to know more about the differences:

Comparison Chart Between Newborn Squirrel vs. Rat

Features Newborn SquirrelsRat babies
Body shapeSlightly larger bodySmaller compared to newborn Squirrels
Skin tonePinkishPinkish
Head shapeRounderA little oval 
Weight 6 to 8 grams (. 21 to . 28 ounces)15 grams on average
SizeApproximately 1 inch½ to 1-inch (2.2-3.5 cm)

Do Baby Squirrels Look Like Rats?

Squirrels look like rats when they are tiny babies. However, there are minor differences like toenail color, head shape, snout size, and weight. Turns out, squirrel babies have a rounder head and a shorter snout. On the other hand, rat babies have a rounder head, combined with a bigger snout. 

How to Identify a Baby Squirrel?

There are a few ways you can identify a baby squirrel from a newborn rat. Let’s see them, shall we?

Toenail Color is Darker

Upon close inspection, you will notice the toenails of the squirrel to be a little darker. The reason is, squirrels have concentrated melanin in their nails, which gives a darker view. 

Head Shape is Round

Unlike other rodent babies, squirrels have smaller heads and are somewhat round in shape. It’s not too round but still rounder than other rodent species. 

Small Snout

A squirrel snout is rather small and has an upward bend. The size usually grows longer when the squirrel baby turns mature.

Size and Weight

Newborn Squirrels weigh roughly 6 to 8 grams (. 21 to . 28 ounces) at an average. Then again, their size is about 1 inch. When the baby grows bigger, it starts to develop small hairs on its skin.

How to Identify a Baby Rat?

Identifying a baby rat is easier than identifying a newborn squirrel. Let’s see how:

Toenail Color is White/Pink

In the case of a baby rat/mice, the toenails are somewhat pinkish or have a white hue. They don’t have too much melanin concentration in the toenails to darken them. 

The Head is Oval-Shaped

The head of a rat baby is wide and resembles an oval shape. Unlike other rodents, rat babies have more sensors in their frontal part, which gives their heads an oval shape. 

Bigger Snout

Rats have to go through a lot, and they need sensors to navigate for food as well. Turns out, they have a lot of sensors in their snout, which is even reflected at an early age. It is bigger when compared to squirrels or other rodents. 

Size and Weight

A baby rat weighs about 15 grams at an early age. It doesn’t grow that much afterward but resembles a rat afterward. Its size varies anywhere from ½ to 1-inch (2.2-3.5 cm). 

Difference Between Rat and Squirrel Babies: Head to Head

It isn’t that hard to find differences between rat and squirrel babies. Just check the features below:

Dark/White Toenail

Always look at the toenails first. If you see a darker hue, it is probably a newborn squirrel. On the other hand, baby rats have a pinkish toenail color. Rule of the thumb, don’t look at other trails before seeing the toenails.

Head Shape and Snout Size

Thanks to the bigger snout, a rat head seems more oval than a squirrel head. The reason is, rat heads need support for the bigger snout, which flattens the head a little. On the other hand, baby squirrels have smaller snouts and a rounder head construction. 


Seeing the poop can also be taken into consideration to differentiate between a rat and a squirrel. Rats stools are pointed on the sides and have a ticker middle part. On the other hand, squirrels have circular sides. 

Size and Weight

Both rats and squirrel sizes range from ½ to 1 inch. However, rat babies are usually small. Squirrels, on the other hand, are born with a size of 1 inch on average. However, rats weigh more than squirrels, roughly 5-6 grams more. 

What is a Cross Between a Squirrel and a Rat?

There is no real cross between a squirrel and a rat. But a creature called Kha-Nyou looks somewhat like a squirrel made babies with a rat. It has an elongated head, small rounded ears like, and a bushy tail like a squirrel. 

How can you Tell the Difference Between Rat and Squirrel Poop?

Rat poop resembles a pointy end and has a ticker middle. On the other hand, squirrel droppings tend to stay circular and are somewhat softer. If you want to tell the difference between a squirrel and a rat, poop can help you greatly. 

Can Baby Squirrels Survive without Their Mother?

There is nothing like a mother’s love and care. In the case of a squirrel, it has the most chances of survival with the mother. In about 8-10 weeks, a baby squirrel will mature enough to survive on its own. However, if you feed and keep it warm, the baby may survive. 

More squirrel relevant information at rocwildlife

What do Squirrels Eat in the Winter?

How Long Can a Squirrel Live Without Food and Water

Do Squirrels Eat Mealworms?

How Far Do Squirrels Travel

What Does Squirrel Poop Look Like?

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate?


Both rat and squirrel babies may look similar, but the differences will turn crystal clear upon close inspection. For starters, rats have white or pinkish toenails, whereas newborn squirrels have them dark. 

Then again, rats have an oval skull shape, and squirrels have them rounded. These are the main differences, but other differences like snout size, poop shape, etc., can also help. 

This is all for today. If you want to know anything between Newborn squirrel vs. Rat, let us know in the comments below. 

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