What you sense as sick or negative, so can depict your fears or anxieties, frightening instincts or urges, physical sickness or anxieties about health. Perhaps also feelings of sexual repulsion, or using sex to gain material aims. But this was caused by the fallacy that rats carried the plague and are unclean, but rats are very clean.

It was found out by historical research that it wasn’t the rat that brought the plague to Europe but the gerbil was the culprit. Sometimes a rat in your dream can remind you of love that was betrayed, or intuitions about a person being a ‘rat’ or ‘ratting on you’ – doing things behind your back or underhandedly – or deserting a relationship when difficulties arise.

The rats can point to threatening things going on that you are not clear about, or a view of the underhanded side of yourself or others – the evil side of human nature, its dirt and squalor, or time gnawing away at your life. The unacceptable parts or oneself. In some dreams the rat has the character of most rodents, the gnawing inquisitive searching out of things. It can therefore relate to one’s anxieties, self questioning and worrying mind that disturbs or eats away at things like peace of mind or confidence.

Because we may have associations with rats used in laboratories they may suggest healing and sacrifice.

Pet rat: Quite different to general rat associations; vulnerability, instinctive intelligence, the caring feelings or drive to care; responsibility for caring. The rat is an intelligent creature, is a great survivor and explorative.

In China where various types of rat are cooked and eaten, the astrological symbols are replaces by animal symbols. The rat (sometimes referred to as a mouse) is the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. People born in this year are expected to possess qualities associated with rats, including creativity, intelligence, honesty, generosity, ambition, a quick temper and wastefulness. People born in a year of the rat are said to get along well with “monkeys” and “dragons”, and to get along poorly with “horses”.


Here the rats in this Hindu temple are venerated, and are being fed.

In Indian tradition, rats are seen as the vehicle of Ganesha the elephant god, and a rat’s statue is always found in a temple of Ganesh – the elephant god the remover of all obstacles. In the north western Indian city of Deshnoke, the rats at the Karni Mata Temple are held to be destined for reincarnation as Sadhus (Hindu holy men). Rats are eaten by some people in India also.

Idioms: Rat on someone; rat race; smell a rat; feeling ratty; cornered rat; rats leave a sinking ship.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I confronting or remembering something that I feel is repulsive or evil?

Am I in a relationship that I intuitively feel difficulties about?

Am I being a rat in a relationship or situation? Is a worry or irritation eating away at me?

See animalsTechniques for Exploring your DreamsQuestions


-Tam 2018-01-24 17:01:57

I had a dream of Rats but the thing that gets me is that i am afraid of a mouse in my waking life in my dream i was not afraid of them, but the rats and I developed a friendly relationship. What does that mean.

-Sea 2017-06-12 23:50:14

I had a dream that I was kissing a big rat. There was a man with me, actually a famous Latin singer (Carlos Vives), who kept telling me to just pretend as if nothing was happening, but I couldn’t. Eventually more rates appeared and started clawing at me and hanging on to me. I started to react and smash them so they would not hang on me. Some of them were bright green and were like a hybrid between rats and parakeets. The famous singer tried to catch one in a net. They were hard to get rid of. What could this mean?

-Megan 2017-06-03 15:06:53

Hi I had a dream last night that I was sleeping and I woke up to find a ton of rats coming my way into my room but I was not in my room. I was just on my bed and they were coming from everywhere. I then woke up to myself screaming at the top of my lungs standing on my bed. What do you think this means?

    -Tony Crisp 2017-06-05 8:19:58

    Hi – It would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.

    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson or http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Megan – It means that you are still lost in your emotions and thoughts of fear. Whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen, so that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear; so, all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

    Rats can depict your fears or anxieties, frightening instincts or urges, physical sickness or anxieties about health. Perhaps also feelings of sexual repulsion or using sex to gain material aims. But this was caused by the fallacy that rats carried the plague and are unclean, but rats are very clean.

    What we believe, fear or imagine is for many people an incredibly potent torturer and jailer. Such things are unbelievably subtle, and capture us, restrict us, shut out the possibility of a full life, or being able to respond with our own creativity. The real problem is that we often accept this as normal or barely notice them.

    We are always hypnotising ourselves via the things we believe are true, and what we unconsciously tell ourselves. So, we are all victims or captives of what we believe in. We must all at times have seen something or heard something that circumstances assured us shouldn’t be there or should not have happened. One that has occurred to me a few times is that I step into my house and see someone standing in the shadows that shouldn’t be there. My heart speeds up, and for moments I am frozen. Then with relief I see it is a coat hung on a door. All the fear drains away and my heart slows down again.

    Or it could be a sound of something or someone in the house when you are not expecting anyone, or can’t understand what the sound means. Whatever it is, until you understand the cause – recognising the coat on the door for instance – your whole body and emotions respond as if it is a reality. What you believe to be real is responded to completely as if it IS real. But self-hypnotism only works when we are convinced or really believe in what we say. So please recognise that your fears are you hypnotising yourself. See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/

-Charlotte 2016-12-09 11:18:16

I had a dream I got shot with a gun in my lower right side stomach approximately 2-3 minutes later a rat starting coming out and made it out fully from the would hole.

-Chrystal 2016-11-23 13:41:15

I dreamt of baby rats. I was living in a house where there were baby rats in a closet where we kept blankets and towels. They were all hidden and nestled in between the layers. I remember feeling like the place was infested, that I was frustrated and felt I had to start looking for a new place to live. I remember I had just moved into the place, & thought “oh, great.” Although, there were two cats there too. The one I’m currently catsitting and another hairless cat? Was there. I remember opening the closet door for them and they dove in….. then I woke up.

I’ve read afew definitions… but notHong is really resonating with me. Hoping someone can help she’d a little light on this. I was afraid or in awe of the rats… they were tiny… in that almost hairless mushy warm phase, lol, I think the main feeling I felt was irritated. Annoyed. Grossed out. Happy to see the cats.

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