Rat: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism

The rat may not be the largest or most exotic spiritual symbol, but this formidable rodent has a range of profound, unique, and uplifting spiritual meanings.

Before you get lost in thoughts of the plague, dirt, and disease, stick with us to learn more about the rat’s spiritual meanings, dream meanings, and symbolism – the truth may surprise you!

Rat Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism

Rat Spirit Animal

If you’ve been on a journey to discover your spirit animal, only to find yours is a rat, you may be feeling a little underwhelmed.

Most people hope their spirit animal will be regal or ferocious like the lion. The rat may be small, but don’t be tempted to conflate this with weakness or insignificance.

Suppose the rat appears as your spirit animal. In that case, it may be coming to you with important messages about your career, your family (blood relatives or chosen family), or to encourage you to question the sense of balance in your life.

The rat may also serve as a humble and endearing reminder that you are a survivor and are stronger than you let yourself believe.

Despite their negative connotations, rats are incredibly empathetic, family-oriented animals.

By nature, they are nurturing animals that can form strong emotional connections with each other and their human owners and will go to great lengths to protect those they have relationships with.

If the rat appears as your spirit animal, it may be reminding you to check in with your tribe
and offer physical or emotional assistance.

If you’ve been distant from those you love, or someone around you is sick, the rat can remind you to separate yourself from your ego and embrace selflessness.

Is your life in balance? The long, sweeping tail of the rat gives it an unparalleled sense of balance. If your life is feeling of whack or lacking harmony, that rat may be asking you to assess the different areas of your life and see where you can make improvements.

This could be anything from financial balance to spiritual balance. A journey of self-reflection may be needed to discern where your issues are.

Suppose you’ve been over (or under) working, or you feel burnt out from your job. In that case, the rat spirit animal may be encouraging you to take action or accountability and make meaningful changes in your work life to improve your well-being.

The rat’s sense of adaptability and foresight may enable you to find solutions and think outside the box.

Rat Totem Animal

Your totem animal will stay by your side in the physical and spiritual realm, and offer you support and guidance through spiritual messages.

If you have the rat as your totem animal, you may be surprised to learn you share several admirable qualities with this rodent.

If you have the rat as your totem animal, you’re probably not afraid to throw yourself into any challenge and go to great lengths to accomplish your goals.

Instead, you’ll find that no matter what obstacles are thrown your way, you have an innate ability to overcome hardship and remain focused on your dreams.

You will never be tempted to give up on your dreams, even if the road is challenging. Any issues you face only push you forward and encourage you to work harder, and your incredible sense of foresight helps you prepare for the unexpected while still taking each day as it comes.

You’ll also know how to defend yourself in tough situations, and you’ll never fail to stay true to yourself and your morals in the face of adversity.

Rat Power Animal

If the rat is your power animal, you will share several incredible qualities and characteristics of this rodent.

These qualities come in the form of a supernatural power that conveys its influence over you and gives you the strength, resilience, and resourcefulness of the rat.

You can call on the rat as your power animal when you have an unshakeable desire to achieve something.

For example, if you’re sitting exams, entering a relationship, or you’re about to embark on a new business venture, the rat can give you support and guidance to push through, adapt, and succeed.

Rats are brilliant creatures. Naturally, they excel at understanding and learning new concepts, and they’ve even made it onto the list of the planet’s ten smartest animals!

This intelligence comes hand-in-hand with a cunningness that can help you to pursue the most profitable ventures or emotionally gainful connections or relationships.

If you have dreams of making a significant difference in the world or the lives of the people you love, the rat can give you the strength and confidence you need to push yourself.

Call on the rat power animal if you have a harsh inner critic that prevents you from achieving your goals.

The rat can remind you that you are not as insignificant or small as you feel and that you can invoke the change you want to see, even if you tend to doubt yourself.

The rat is a loyal and wise companion that can support you to find the resources you need to flourish and give you the boost you need to push past your fears and insecurities to lead the best life possible.

Rat Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism

Rat Dreams

Has the rat been appearing in your dreams? The rodent could be trying to alert you to threats of deception, threats to success or development, and even your own happiness.

The actions or appearance of the rat may also reveal more profound meanings.

If the rat has appeared in your dreams, how have you felt around it? Did you feel scared or threatened? Or did you feel at peace or taken back by the rodent’s nature and cuteness?

Understanding your feelings in the dream state can help you decipher whether you were being given a positive message or a warning to something in your conscious life.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common dream scenarios involving rats and what they might mean for you.

A Dead Rat

If you saw a dead rat in your dream, your subconscious may be trying to give you a message concerning:

  • Fear of a coworker
  • A secret you fear may be revealed
  • A spiritual message that someone has passed away
  • A symbolic image representing the end of a close friendship or relationship

Chewing, Scratching, or Biting

If a rat is chewing, scratching, or biting you in a dream, it could be any of the following:

  • You fear someone is out to get you
  • If the bite is on your hand, you may feel betrayed by someone close to you
  • You could be worried about disease or illness, especially if you struggle with health anxiety or OCD
  • If you’re scratched in your dream, this may represent an issue in your life that you’re not paying enough attention to

Being Chased By a Rat


Has a rat chased you in your dream? Here’s what it could mean:

  • Fears about dying
  • Fears of abandonment or rejection
  • Concerns that you’re being betrayed by someone close
  • Uncertainty or fear about the past
  • Health scares or life-threatening issues have occurred, or you fear they will occur
  • You have guilt about something that happened in the past, and you fear it will be exposed

Rats Crawling on You

If you’ve had a dream where rats are crawling over you, here’s what it might mean:

  • Fearing that a decision you made will lead to an unpleasant outcome
  • You fear sabotaging your diet
  • You’ve had an affair and fear it will be exposed
  • You may worry that your partner is cheating, especially if the rats are crawling beneath your bedsheets
  • You fear getting an STD from your sexual partner or see them as unclean

Rat Tattoo Meaning

Have you ever seen a rat tattoo and wondered what it means? Tattoos have different meanings to everyone.

The chances are, the same design will mean different things to each person. Rat tattoos are often influenced by historical events, societal perspectives, or spiritual beliefs about rats.

Since the dark ages, rats have been perceived as unclean or parasitic. They sparked the bubonic plague epidemic that killed almost a third of the world’s population.

This event was so significant that our language has changed to reflect our negative depictions of rats, and many famous fairy tales and stories such as the Pied Piper were written with a negative perception of rats at their core.

These events may encourage people to get tattoos of rats that depict them as evil, dark, or unsanitary.

However, in Asia, rats bring prosperity and fortune to those who see them. They have many positive connotations concerned with success, energy, wit, and prosperity in personal relationships.

For those that share these beliefs, a rat tattoo may symbolize happiness and prosperity for the future.

Rat tattoos are done in many styles, including traditional tattoo designs, linework designs, cartoon designs, and more.

The style of the rat usually has little to do with the meaning; however, those who want their rat tattoo to represent darker traits such as death or illness may choose darker colors or bolder designs.

Remember, tattoos don’t always have a significant spiritual or historical meaning. For example, some people may get a rat tattoo simply because they love rats.

So many people keep rats as pets and get tattoos to represent their love or to commemorate a pet rat that passed away.

Rat Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism

Rat Spiritual Meaning

The spiritual meanings of the rat are influenced by cultural perspectives and may differ by region.

These can either be positive or negative. Let’s take a look at some of the most common spiritual meanings of the rat:

Rats Crossing Your Path

If you cross paths with a rat, it’s believed that you may be about to face problems in your work life.

For example, if you’re on your way to an event, crossing paths with a rat may suggest that this could be a negative experience.

A Rat Entering Your Home

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for rats to enter our homes. They come to seek food and shelter, but despite these practical reasons, some people believe that their presence in the home can be a warning of death, disease, or misfortune.

Rats can also have some very positive spiritual meanings despite these negative beliefs. Some cultures believe that seeing a rat is a reminder that you are spiritually wealthy or aware.

You could be going through a spiritual awakening or tuning in to your emotional potential. You may also be figuring out who you are, or you may be becoming more generous, practically or emotionally.

The rat can be a reminder that you are on a virtuous path.

Rat in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

In astrology, rats are the first twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Some recent years of the rat in the Chinese zodiac include 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, and 1972.

The year of the rat has many significant meanings. In Chinese culture, they’re seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. People born in the year of the rat are adaptable, energetic, and liked by all.

However, they may be sensitive to the emotions of others and can be ‘set in their ways or have stubborn opinions.

This isn’t always a bad thing, though; in fact, having firm beliefs and not being afraid to pursue them can be very profitable.

Financially, people born in the year of the rat are likely to be big savers and will not part with their money easily.

This hoarding trait can also bleed over into other aspects of their lives, meaning they have a large accumulation of unnecessary belongings. They may also be keen collectors.

Although people born in the year of the rat are likable and may like to gossip, they’re often very private people.

They can be seen as the perfect example of an ‘extroverted-introvert’; around their friends and family, they may be loud and confident; however, they are often not keen to open up and be emotionally vulnerable with too many people.

Those born in the year of the rat are also incredibly loyal and devoted entirely to their family and friends.

Their desire to pursue any goal also bleeds into their relationships, and they will go to great lengths to protect the people they love.

They are protective and loving, even though they tend to be emotionally elusive.

Rat Symbolic Meanings


Now we’ve walked you through the most significant spiritual meanings and interpretations of the rat, let’s take a closer look at its symbolic meanings.

  • Wealth
  • Good fortune
  • Intelligence
  • Timidness
  • Suspiciousness
  • Virtue and gift-giving
  • Emotional strength
  • Adaptability
  • Perseverance
  • Symbol of death or illness
  • Fertility
  • Reproduction
  • Wealth

Final Thoughts

Rats may not have the best reputation, but in truth, their friendly and loving natures, intelligence, and resourcefulness make them great pets and excellent spiritual guides.

Although the rat can have many negative spiritual meanings, such as warnings of death or illness, you’ll find that these rodents represent success, positivity, and prosperity in abundance.

With the rat by your side, you’ll be guided through hardship by a great spirit guide with your best interests at heart.

Gloria White

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