Difference Between Chipmunk and Mouse (With Table)

Rodents cover around 40 per cent of the total mammal species in the world. They are characterized by a pair of incisors in both upper and lower jaws that keep on growing. Those incisors come into use while tearing food, digging burrows and defending themselves. Both chipmunk and mouse are rodents which come from a different genus.

Chipmunk vs Mouse

The main difference between chipmunk and mouse is that a chipmunk is a rodent that resembles a squirrel in appearance, whereas the mouse is a smaller rodent. Chipmunk belongs to the genus Tamias, while the mouse is of the genus mus. The chipmunk has pouches on either side of its mouth to store food.

A chipmunk generally resides in all of North America, except for the Siberian chipmunk, which resides in Asia. These rodents differ from the squirrels in a few aspects only. They come from the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. They are mainly classified into three categories; the eastern, the Siberian and the western chipmunk.

In contrast, a mouse is a smaller rodent in comparison to the other rodents. Mice usually live in domestic residents to fulfil their daily needs of food and shelter. Their breeding rate is very high, which is why their populations remain intact even after having many predators such as cats, snakes, wild dogs etc.

Comparison Table Between Chipmunk and Mouse

Parameters of Comparison




Chipmunk comes from the genus tamias.

The mouse comes from the genus mus.


This rodent is basically omnivorous in nature.

It is generally herbivorous.


Common foods include seeds, fruits, buds, grass, insects, small frogs etc.

Common foods include grains and fruits.

Size and Weight

They are larger and weigh more than the mouse.

It is smaller and lighter in comparison.


There are mainly three types of a chipmunk.

There are several varieties of the mouse.

Breeding Rate

Chipmunks have a low breeding rate, i.e. once a year.

The breeding rate of the mice is quite high.


They possess pouches for storing food in their mouth.

They do not have any such thing.

What is Chipmunk?

A chipmunk is a squirrel-like rodent that is commonly found in North America. Chipmunks thrive under a variety of habitats such as mountains, deserts and forests. They have two major lifecycles. The first one lasts until the time they reside in the wild, and the second one is spent in captivity, which is generally around five to eight years.

Like any other rodent, chipmunk builds burrows and resides alone. They hibernate during the winter. Being a part of the squirrel family, they are smaller in size and differ in the genus. They are extremely brilliant tree climbers and swimmers.

There are around 25 species of chipmunk, among which three are main. The light and dark-striped rodents are capable of storing food in their pouches, which is enough for an entire winter. They have long tails which are around half the length of their bodies. Chipmunks spend most parts of winter inside their burrows.

Omnivorous in nature, the chipmunks generally feed upon seeds, fruits, insects, worms etc. They become prey to several predators such as snakes, rats, foxes, house cats. Sometimes, these rodents become a nuisance and cause damage to the agricultural produce. They are often carriers of parasites and harmful diseases.

What is Mouse?

A mouse is a tiny-bodied rodent with a pointed nose and a very long and thin tail. Around hundreds of types of mice are found all over the world. The common types include house mouse, deer mouse, wood mouse, zebra mouse etc. They also come in a wide range of colours such as brown, white and grey. The very common house mouse is usually grey in colour.

Mice can reside in almost every type of terrain. Forests and human residents are the most common places they live in. They build burrows to stay out of reach of the predators in the wild. They are nocturnal. Wild mice are more friendly towards other mice, while domestic mice are more friendly towards humans.

Common nutrition of mice ranges from seeds, fruits and grains to other mice during scarcity of food. Although they are generally herbivorous, the house mice eat almost every type of food available in a human household. They have a habit of eating about 15 to 20 times a day.

These rodents have tails that are sometimes longer than their bodies. On an interesting note, these little creatures are quite headstrong when it comes to their mindsets. Once they set their minds to prey on an insect or something, they can even survive multiple harms to achieve it.

Main Differences Between Chipmunk and Mouse

  1. A chipmunk belongs to the genus Tamias, while the mouse comes from the genus mus.
  2. Chipmunk is larger than the mouse and resembles a squirrel in appearance.
  3. There are around 25 species of chipmunk, whereas the number of species of the mouse can go up to a hundred.
  4. The breeding rate is higher in the case of the mouse as compared to the chipmunk.
  5. Chipmunk has pouches for storing food, while the mouse does not have any such thing.
  6. The tail length of the mouse is larger as compared to that of the chipmunk.


Planet Earth is home to millions of species of birds and animals. Some are known, while some remain unknown till today. This is why diversity in organisms is the concept of the ecosystem. Chipmunk and mouse are two such mammals that resemble each other in some aspects and also differ in quite some of them.

A chipmunk is about 4 to 7 inches in length and 1 to 5 ounces in weight. On the other hand, a mouse is typically 1 to 7 inches long and weighs around 0.5 to 1 ounce. The African pygmy, known as the smallest mouse on earth, is merely 1.2-3.1 inches in length. These measurements are exclusive of their tail length.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1374852
  2. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1890/0012-9658(2001)082[2927:EROSAW]2.0.CO;2