The term "rat" generally refers to one of two species: the black rat (Rattus rattus), which is also known as the gray rat, roof rat or climbing rat, and the Norway rat (Rattus Norvegicus), which is also known as the barn rat, brown rat, sewer rat or wharf rat.

Rats are omnivorous and adaptable animals which can be found in every part of the world where humans live. They breed rapidly, producing 7 litters a year of 6-22 young.

The head and body of the black rat are 20 cm long, and its tail is somewhat longer. It is good at climbing and jumping.

The Norway rat has a shorter tail than the black rat, smaller ears and a more robust body. It is good at burrowing and swimming.

Norway rats and black rats may live in the same area but will usually have separate colonies. For example, Norway rats may live on the bottom floor of a deserted building while black rats live on the upper floors.