What The Rat Symbolizes: Spiritual Meaning, In Dreams & More

Their associations with uncleanliness, disease, and death, have been given rats a bad rap. Though rats aren’t always the cutest or nicest animals, it is important to remember that not all rats are wild, dirty, and dangerous. Despite their taboo status, rats have many positive symbolic connotations. So, what is the spiritual meaning of a rat?

Spiritually, rats are symbols of bravery, good fortune, adaptation, perseverance, cleverness, and resourcefulness, among others. A rat is believed to be a wise spiritual teacher with wisdom, survival, and strength lessons. Thus, the spiritual implications of seeing a rat are fairly positive.

Rats have been linked with filth, sickness, and death, in addition to a myriad of other harmful ideals. Superstition and fear have easily spread hatred of rats around the globe. The unfair association these rodents have with misfortune makes it difficult for many to see the good in them and the lessons they provide.

What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of A Rat?

The spiritual meaning behind a rat is that of determination, dexterity, change, and survival.

The determined nature of rats is shown through their relentless mindsets when faced with a problem. A rat is able to overcome continuous failure in the hopes that it will defeat the challenge it faces. This unyielding perseverance is an admirable example of never giving up.

Rats are scavenging creatures, being able to recognize the usefulness of discarded materials; they are true advocates of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” These scrappy creatures are able to repurpose and re-use items in ways that benefit themselves and their goals.

The rat teaches you to prioritize the essential things in life, like resources needed for survival. Recognizing need versus want, rats may understand and yearn for the beautiful things in life, but they have an unmistakable understanding that the essentials must come first.

At its heart, the spiritual meaning of a rat is to recognize your own strength and wisdom and put your mind to the task in front of you to not only survive but to flourish. You must remain adaptable and open-minded in all situations you find yourself in.

The Negative Reputation Of Rats

Rats are known to have a trickster nature, connecting them to dishonest people, thugs, spies, and moles. In combination with their less-than-ideal living spaces, such as sewers, links them to the ideas of the lower strata of society, poverty, cruelty, sadism, and eroticism.

Rats have wrongly, and unknowingly, carried the blame for events like the bubonic plague. Later research suggested that the rats were not to blame but rather the tics they were unwittingly carrying. However, this was disproved through further research, and the blame pointed at giant gerbils. Realizations such as this are a lesson to think twice before passing judgment.

Being vermin, rats were said to be representative of dirty children, screaming, crying, and biting. Thus, making them symbols of unwanted children. These connotations went further into the realm of dirty or unwanted thoughts.

Unfortunately, these undifferentiated and chaotic symbolisms are common reputations given to a wide range of rodents, including rats, mice, hamsters, and jerboas. It is beliefs and superstitions such as these that bred the terrible ideals still held across the globe.

Messages From Rats As Spiritual Guides

Rats are believed to be able to provide many important life lessons with their experience and wisdom, making them excellent spirit guides. Common messages rats send are:

  • Wisdom: Rats are very intelligent animals; their appearance in your life is a sign that you must use your own intelligence and intuition in all aspects of your life.
  • Complacence: Rats appear as signs not to grow complacent with where you are in life. You must assert yourself and always push yourself towards everything you can still achieve.
  • Balance: A rat’s tail gives the animal tremendous balance, prompting you to question your own. Assess your life to see what has thrown you off the feeling of harmony and remedy this problem to restore peace of mind.
  • Take Risks: Known for their recklessness, rats are undoubtedly brave and unafraid to take risks. Always making safe decisions will limit what you can accomplish.
  • Career: The rat often comes as a sign to think about your career. It questions if you have been putting in all your effort and if it is time for you to move forwards or make a big change.
  • Bravery: Seeing a rat can be a sign of taking back what is yours and defending your territory.
  • Bail: Conversely, rats are able to deduce when the time is to fight and when is the time to run. Do not be foolish and stay on a sinking ship; knowing when a situation is lost is crucial.
  • Wastefulness: Eating almost anything and finding new purposes for old things, rats are prime examples of being grateful and resourceful for what you have. Instead of throwing everything away, think of a different purpose it can serve or pass it along to someone in need.
  • Adapting: A rat teaches you to trust in your strength and the power of adaptability. Change is inevitable, but your survival is not. Use your wisdom, strength, and skills to overcome troubles and understand that you must continuously evolve.
  • Nurturing: Seeing a rat is a message to take care of the needs of those around you. They are diligent creatures when tending to those around them.
  • Romance: The appearance of a rat can often be a sign to take care of in your romantic life. Treat your partner with kindness and understanding, and if you encounter problems, then it is up to both of you to work on them. Further, don’t allow heartache to drag you down, learn and grow from your experiences.
  • Isolation: Research proves that having relationships with others dramatically impacts a rat’s health and mental development. A rat may appear to you when you have been isolated and need to spend more time on your friends and social life.
  • Explore: Remember to explore the new things in life. Switch up your routine and explore something new.
  • New Beginnings: Challenge yourself by learning something new or taking a risk to follow your dreams. Do not stay in your comfort zone.
  • Clutter: Rats are known as hoarders, but the clutter around them is mostly food and resources they need for their survival. Now is the time to revise your own clutter and do some spring cleaning. Not only will this clear your physical space, but it will clear emotional issues and cluttered thinking. Purge the baggage holding you down and make space for new things.

The Spiritual Meaning When You Dream About A Rat

Every dream is a unique and personal manifestation of the dreamer’s subconscious mind. Thus, you cannot assign one generalized meaning to a dream: however, by considering the symbolism surrounding rats, your emotional state during the dream, and your general feelings and opinions of rats, you will be able to conclude what the dream meant.

Overall, rats in dreams can be interpreted as the embodiment of unwanted things. Thus, they can indicate a range of issues, whether with ‘unwanted ones,’ siblings, or unwanted thoughts consuming you. A rat appearing in your dream can uncover feelings of pride, guilt, and envy. It is up to you to determine the message that the rat is sending you.

Themes Rats In Dreams Symbolize

There are many ways to interpret the presence of rats in a dream, many of the meaning surrounding the following themes:

Hiding – Rats are known for scurrying away and hiding in the dark. This makes them symbols of running away or hiding from problems or negative emotions.

Change – Rats are dream symbols of new beginnings. You likely need to make some significant changes to improve as a person.

Let Go – Rats are a reminder to let go of your past and harmful emotions. You need to clear your surroundings and soul of negativity as it is draining you.

Social Life: Rats are social creatures; thus, they signify that you have become too reclusive and need to work on your social life.

Romantic Life – Rats are a sign of giving your love life another chance. If you are single, it is time for you to find someone, and if you are already in a relationship, then put some extra effort into it.

Rat Colors & Actions In Dreams And What They Signify

The color of the rat you see in your dream is symbolic of specific characteristics, and thus, carry their own messages.

  • White Rat: White rats signify the end of problems. They symbolize strength, adaptability,  abundance, and things coming to fruition.
  • Black Rat: Black rats signify a broken spirit. They symbolize inner issues and dark emotions. The spiritual awakening you experience because of this dream will put you on the right path.
  • Brown Rat: Brown rats signify untouched potential. They symbolize balance, stability, and a job that is making you miserable. A brown rat is a reminder of unused potential and ambitions.
  • Pink Rat: Pink rats signify being on the right path. They symbolize strength, purity, and adaptability. Keep going, and you will get where you need to be.

To further determine the meaning of your dream, it is important to analyze the circumstance under which the rat appeared and its actions in the dream, as this can carry significance.

  • A Pet Rat: This foretells being reminded of a difficult period or seeing a person no longer welcome in your life.
  • Many Rats: A lot of rats appearing in your dream is reflective of your social life. You have been isolated for too long and need to reconnect with people.
  • A Rat and Mouse: Seeing a rat and a mouse in your dream suggests that you are not focused on what you need to do. It also predicts meeting someone who will make you doubt yourself. Further, it foretells an unpleasant event. Alternatively, it can indicate a great sex life.
  • A Rat Dream while Pregnant: If you are dreaming of rats while expecting a baby, it means that you have worries about the future. It is also a sign of a new start and safe delivery.
  • A Dirty Rat: A dirty rat symbolizes a mole or someone untrustworthy in your life. Alternatively, you have betrayed someone’s trust and feel guilty.
  • A Rat Scurrying for Food: This signifies good opportunities in your life. Additionally, it indicates that your plans will come to fruition.
  • A Rat Stealing: A rat stealing from you is an indication of double deceit. Someone in your life is stealing from or taking advantage of you. Further, it indicates the need for survival.
  • A Rat in a Maze: If you see a rat trying to get out of a maze, it relates to not using your abilities in a situation. There are resources at your disposal which you can use to solve a problem.
  • A Rat Running Away: This is a warning that big problems are coming.
  • A Rat Gnawing Something: Rats gnawing on things foretells a weakening situation. If the rat is chewing on ropes, it represents worries or fears often related to your goals and relationships. It’s time to reinforce yourself and have patience.
  • A Biting Rat: Dreams like this are warnings of betrayal and backstabbing, particularly from someone you never trusted. This may occur when you have given someone a chance. Be careful with who you share your secrets. A rat biting your feet is a warning of problems.
  • Being Attacked by Rats and Mice: A dream like this indicated needing to let go of your pride and ego to make a compromise.
  • Chased by a Rat: You are running away from something you need to face immediately. Further, someone deceitful will enter your life. However, being chased by many rats suggests unseen success.
  • Eating a Rat: This denotes that you want to stab someone in the back, or you already have.
  • A Rat Trap: Setting a rat trap signifies a want to have a baby but getting pregnant after this dream suggests a miscarriage. A broken rat trap is an omen of success in driving away enemies. Falling into a rat trap means that something valuable will be stolen from you. Moreover, be cautious around your friends because they might betray you.
  • Rat Poison: Someone is dedicated to setting a trap for you and watching your downfall.
  • A Dead Rat: You are not being clean enough in your life, or you are a cleanliness freak. Moreover, it can signify the end of a relationship with someone who betrayed you. It also signifies fear of facing a problem in your life.


Despite their terrible reputation, one must recognize the potential and lessons of the rat as a good omen or warning of negativity. Rats aim to teach you the important things in life and how to let go of the bad.

Rats are reminders that you must step out of your comfort zone and take risks, whether it is putting yourself out there in the platonic or romantic sense or following your ambitions. Their scrappy nature teaches you how to use your wits to not only survive but to find balance in your life.

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