what does it mean if you see rats in your dream?
Dreams

What Do Rats Signify in Dreams? [17 Examples with Meanings]

Rats are rich in symbolism, enjoying mystical and mythical connotations in countless cultures. So, it’s only natural that many people dream of rats in different scenarios.

Most interpretations of rat dreams revolve around anxiety, obstacles in life’s path, and insecurity surrounding finances or personal relationships. For example, dreams about a rat infestation signify feelings of helplessness, and catching rats suggests that you’re overcoming issues.

For some, dreams are simply a brain dump of recent memories, but others consider dreams to carry symbolic meaning. Images of rats can undeniably play a significant role in symbolism.

What Does it Mean if You See Rats in Your Dream?

The appearance of rats in a dream could be considered a blessing or curse. Some people consider rats adorable, keeping them as pets. Others are afraid or phobic of rodents.

Psychology Research and Behavior Management describes feelings of disgust as much as fear in people living with rat phobias. This is fertile ground for armchair psychology in anybody seeking to analyze what dreams of rats could mean.

Chinese spiritual beliefs claim that dreams of rats are related to changes in fortune. Meanwhile, rat dreams have a range of meanings in the West, often linked to negative emotions and fear.

Consider the spiritual meaning of rats, namely self-discovery. You’ll find that many rat dream interpretations revolve around the desire to learn more about ourselves or insecurity that we don’t know or trust the people closest to us.

Let’s review the most common dreams surrounding rats and investigate what each is believed to mean. As dreams result from your subconscious, you may disagree with the interpretation, but you should at least be left with something to think about.

Dreams About Rat Infestations in the Home

Do you dream of rats overtaking your house at night?

If so, one popular theory dictates that you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustratingly powerless. A rat infestation is a nightmare for any homeowner, so this dream is a classic of the anxiety genre.

Dreams of rat infestations are sometimes considered an omen for impending challenges. Don’t lose sight of the fact that rats are hardy survivors, though. This dream could be regarded as a promise that you’ll come through hard times unscathed if you grit your teeth and persevere.

rats in dream meaning

Dreaming About Big Rats

One of the overriding interpretations of rat dreams is a feeling of insecurity or uncertainty. You could be worried about a personal relationship, have concerns over your job, or be unsure if you can trust a friend.

Dreams aren’t always subtle, so the size of a rat in your midnight movie may simply be referring to how much the problem is weighing you down. An oversized rat may be a warning that these worries are occupying a disproportionate amount of your thoughts.

Dreams of Black Rats

Dreams of black rats rarely have a positive interpretation.

The most common theory surrounding black rats in dreams is that they symbolize negative emotions. How you react to the black rat in the dream will be revealing.

Approach a black rat dream with caution. The rat itself is often believed to represent depression, anxiety, anger, sickness, and even death.

Regardless of how cuddly your waking self considers rats to be, none of that is good news.

Dreams of White Rats

White rats often represent more hopeful emotions and states of mind than their black-furred counterparts. White rats are often linked with hope, endurance, and positivity.

This doesn’t mean that a white rat is always welcome in your dreams. Some cultures believe that we dream of white rats when something challenging is set to befall us.

By the same token, the white rat represents the inner strength to triumph over adversity.

Dreams About Brown Rats

Brown rat dreams are often attributed to unhappiness and unfulfillment at work. It’s often claimed that people who dream of brown rats feel financially comfortable in their vocation but creatively and spiritually unfulfilled.

It’s the brown rat that taps into the spiritual symbol of this animal as the vessel of self-discovery. Most experts will tell you to follow the rat in your dreams, allowing it to introduce you to new, potentially untapped opportunities for greatness.

Dreams About Pink Rats

We are speaking of pink-bodied rats here. Some cultures believe dreaming of pink or red eyes in a rat represents money worries. However, your brain may just recall that albino rats have eyes of these shades.

Pink rats are rare, which is reflected in dreams, and few people report dreaming of pink rats. Such a nocturnal vision is commonplace enough to merit a popular interpretation, namely that you’re on your guard.

The pink rat represents somebody you don’t trust. It could be a spouse, a friend, a boss, or a colleague. The dream is warning you to trust your instincts, though. This person is unworthy of your faith and should be handled with care.

Dreaming of Rats Biting Your Hands

Being nibbled by a rat in a dream is considered a warning that somebody in your life thinks you’re vulnerable. The bite on the hand is a reminder to wake up and start paying more attention to your surroundings. Apathy is leaving you open to exploitation.

Some experts also link this dream to feelings of treachery. The word ‘rat’ is often used to describe somebody that betrays confidence. If you have suspicions that somebody in your circle is not what they seem, the rat in this dream represents them. 

Dreams About Rats Attacking You

Consider this dream to be an unwelcome and frightening expansion of a dream of one rat nipping at you. If you dream of being attacked by multiple rats at once, you’re likely feeling isolated and alone in an increasingly uncertain situation.

When you wake up from this disturbing dream, take the time to consider why your subconscious may feel this way.

Perhaps it relates to your job, where you don’t feel trusted and supported by your superiors or colleagues? Maybe it’s a living situation where you think that other people in your home do not appreciate you as they should?

Think about potential explanations and attempt to resolve them if applicable.

Dreams About Rats in Your Bed

Do you trust the person that shares your bed?

That is the question that a dream interpreter would ask if you present with a dream about rats in your place of rest. This dream could represent an innate suspicion of a partner.

If you sleep alone, dreaming of rats in your bed could be a sign of expanding worry. The bed should be a place of shelter and sanctuary. If you dream of rats under the covers with you, you’re letting anxiety infiltrate your sleeping life as much as your waking hours.

Dreams About Rats Crawling on You

If your dream about rats crawling on you without biting, you may be living with a guilty conscience.

Do you feel that you owe somebody in your life an apology? If so, it’s recommended that you make it sooner rather than later to cease this unpleasant dream.

You may have an overactive guilt complex or even a case of imposter syndrome – you’re worried about being considered a fraud in an upcoming endeavor.

Whatever the reason for the dream, it usually revolves around a fear of a secret being exposed.

Dreams About Running from Rats

If you’re running away from rats in your dream, you are fleeing changes or problems in your life. Eventually, you’ll need to take a stand and confront whatever you’re keen to escape from.

Naturally, your instinct in dreams will be to run from rats. It would be just the same in reality – standing still and letting the animals swarm you is far from appealing. You can only run so far and so long, though. Rats in a dream, like your problems, can be persistent.

Dreams About Catching Rats

If you’re running after rats in a dream, it suggests that you are chasing down your problems.

Resolutions may feel frustratingly just out of reach, and you may be unable to catch the rats by the slimmest of margins. Keep trying, as you’ll succeed eventually.

If the rats are further than your arms reach, your subconscious is likely telling you that you crave change in your life – but you’re not sure what.

Think about what you can potentially shake up to make your days more interesting.

Dreams About Killing Rats

Dreaming about dead rats sounds a little dark and maudlin, but it’s a positive thing, especially if you are the one slaying the rodents. Killing a rat in a dream is not an act of animal cruelty.

Instead, it symbolizes that you are overcoming a negative emotion or situation. If you also eat the rat in the dream, as gross as that may sound, so much the better. You’re devouring negativity, showing that it holds no power over you.

Dreams of Rats Eating

Rats eating in a dream are feeding on your negative emotions.

As the rat eats, it is gorging itself on your anxiety, depression, and anger. Your subconscious is telling you that you need to confront these issues lest they continue to grow.

If a rat is eating your food in a dream, it could also suggest that you feel exposed and at risk. The rat is stealing from you, making no secret or apology for this by tucking in while you watch.

Experts would claim that you fear somebody is doing the same in your life.

what dreaming about rats mean

Dreaming About Rats Giving Birth

We mentioned previously that dreams aren’t always subtle, and this is arguably the ultimate example. If your rat-centric dream represents anxiety, fear, or insecurity, a breeding rat denotes these problems escalating and multiplying.

If you dream about rats giving birth, it’s advisable to confront what is bothering you in your waking life. Until you reach a resolution, the issues will continue expanding and increasing as they plague your subconscious.

Dreams About Rats and Snakes

Snakes, much like rats, leave many people feeling unsafe and disgusted. This means that most people that endure images of snakes and rats in the same dream would consider this a nightmare. Happily, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Most dream experts agree that snakes represent an impending change. If a snake is eating a rat in your dream, as it would do in reality, this suggests the change will be for the better.

The change that is coming to your life should banish the insecurity represented by the rat.

Dreams About Rats and Cockroaches

Like snakes, many people find cockroaches repugnant. It’s also worth noting that, like rats, cockroaches are often linked with disease and sickness. Despite these connotations, this unloved combination in a dream is connected to potential prosperity.

This dream can be particularly important and powerful if it comes at the tail end of a challenging time in your life. Dreaming of rats and cockroaches together suggests that it’s time to say goodbye to the past and start looking forward to a brighter future.

If you believe in the spiritual meaning of rats in dreams, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into with these animals. There’s no denying that rats carry weight in dream interpretation circles.

The next time you dream of these rodents, consider what their presence may symbolize, as you may find some interesting meanings.