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Rat Symbolism: What it Means to Dream of Rodents

Dreams are remarkable indicators of our subconscious, shading light on certain things in life we weren’t aware of. They present our hopes, fears, desires, and deepest thoughts.

But what happens when your dream is shading light on an animal that gives you the chills?

silhouette of a rat in a pipe or tunnel.

Well, if your dreams include little, big, white, or black rats, let’s dive in and explore their symbolism and learn what it means to dream about rats.

Rats as both positive and negative symbols

Intelligence, wisdom, and survival are often used to describe rats, as well as negativity and destructiveness. 

Some Christian circles hold rats responsible for the plague. They also have a negative connotation in Christian scripture, being associated with disease and illness. For example, in Leviticus 11:29, you’ll see that eating rats is forbidden.

But, the rat is also the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac; hence it holds an important position there. People of that sign are believed to have the qualities of a rat: intelligence, ambition, creativity, and quick temper.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream About Rabbits?

In Celtic lore, rats are frequently seen in a negative light, but often brought a message or foretold of an unfortunate event. The appearance of the rat was a sign to be aware, to use caution.

Dreams about rats

When awake, rodents can be a bit frightening (at least that’s the case with me). But not all of us find this animal to represent something dark and sinister.

a gray rodent on a tree trunk.

Yes, some people do love them and think they’re cute. Pet rats can be incredibly friendly, affectionate, and make strong bonds with their owner.

Hence, consider your attitude towards rats when reading the following interpretations. Remember, your deepest thoughts are the ones that shape your dreams.

Related: What does it mean to dream of mice?

The symbolic meaning of different rat colors

Colors give clues and help interpret what we see. The two opposite colors that stand as the strongest are black and white (referring to day and night). 

Therefore, we’ll take a look at the differences in meaning between black and white rats in dreams.

Black rats

A black rat is a representation of your troubled inner spirit. It’s connected to depression and dark thoughts. 

You most likely have a certain issue in your life that has been gradually overwhelming you. 

Your body and mind are filled with negativity and don’t know how to fight it off. It’s a sign to try to take a step away from your perspective and to seek to observe your problem as a bystander. 

White rats

The white rat is a good symbol that brings a solution to certain problems. Hence, your troubles may disappear on their own without added stress and concerns.

a white rat on a black background peering at the camera.

But the white rat might just be your good friend that’s about to stab you in your back. It hides in the form of a white, fluffy, and friendly creature, but the soul is corrupted. It’s a hint to study the people closest to you thoroughly.

Also, you may be the one that contributed to someone becoming distrustful and angry. So think deeply about your past actions and doings.

The symbolic meaning of different rat actions

Like colors, good or bad deeds also give an insight into the symbolism of dreams. They might be your main point of view when interpreting them. 

As we, too, find actions to be important, we’ll take a look at the most common rat behaviors in dreams and try to give a clear explanation of them.

Rats chasing you

This can be interpreted in many ways. A rat chasing you can be a sign you have someone in your life that’s unscrupulous. It warns you to watch out for people you’ve just met and carefully choose who you can trust.

Another common interpretation is that it’s a sign you’re avoid facing certain problems or people.

Your mind is telling you to be tough, gather your strength, and deal with your problems. Sooner or later, they’ll catch up with you. Therefore you need to muster the courage to move on with your life.

Invest time to find a solution to your current issues – it’ll help you become independent, strong, and satisfied.

Dead rat

A dead rat means you fear something in your waking life. You might be dissatisfied with your job or feel like your relationship isn’t working. And what do you fear, then? Breaking that cycle and potentially ending up in an even worse one?

Take this dream as a sign to take a leap of faith and end things that cause you too much worry and stress. If you feel like no good can come out of your current position, remember that you have the power to change that.

Hence, don’t be afraid to take a step toward something better!

Rats in your house

Rats appearing in your home can be both a good and a bad sign, depending on the culture. If you believe that rats are intelligent and wise beings, then you probably consider them to be good luck. Hence, you may expect good fortune and prosperity soon.

a brown rat nibbling on a peanut.

On the other hand, those who are of opposite opinions will find this dream to be unpleasant. Rats will represent destruction, meaning you have an unresolved problem at home. Try to talk to your family members and be free to finally say what bothers you most!

Rats biting you

This is a frequent nightmare that has the power to potentially ruin your whole day! Rats biting you indicate that someone close to you might betray you.

The negativity of this dream can scare you quite a bit, but try to shake it off. It’s just a warning to look out and be careful regarding the people you trust. You must wisely choose who you can confide in.

Learn more about rat symbolism and the idea of rat as a spirit animal.

Discovering your dream’s deeper meaning

Note that dreams are a result of individual thoughts, fears, and desires. Hence, it’s not easy to give a general interpretation of them. 

Always try to examine yourself and explore your subconscious as much as you can. Look at your dreams only as one small piece of a big puzzle or pointers toward your inner feelings.