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


-Bre 2016-06-21 12:33:29

I dreamed that I was in the house of a childhood friend that i often see. In the dream she always said to excuse her house for its filth. In waking life her home is probably neat and clean as she lives in a very affluent area. One that definitely wouldn’t have rats and mice.

In my dream though i ended up spending the night and sleeping in the bed of one of her children’s rooms. The oldest boy who has some mental/behavioral issues at time. The mice were almost like roaches, not only in size but also in color and shape. They were long and slender but they were mice. I remember seeing a white one but most of them were brown.

I was only wearing my underwear as i’d undressed before laying down. They were always near my thighs and in between my legs and on my arms. They were everywhere. When i woke up my ex boyfriend was there having breakfast with a few other people. Some i knew, some i didnt (we all know each other. It wasn’t a surprise he was there).

I saw my ex the night before. He came to help me with some house work. I went looking and found evidence of him talking to the same women he was talking to during our relationship. I’d just come from a deep meditation for the full moon/summer solstice and was in release mode. So it didn’t bother me as much as it had previously. I’m just interested to know what you think the mice mean in my dream and does it pertain to him?

Thank you

-Kahleigh 2016-03-07 13:17:38

I have been having a series of nightmares about getting a gift from my boyfriend. Every time I open the box its empty and I head a scuttling noise that he doesn’t. When I go looking for the source I find this big nasty black rat. I try yo catch it and kill it but before I can kill it it bites me so hard I end up screaming for my boyfriend for help. Sometimes when I scream everything gets muffled and he doesn’t hear me. Other times instead of me chasing the rat it finds me and attacks. Either way my boyfriend never sees it or if he does he doesn’t see it as a rat. This dream has gotten so scary that just now I woke myself up because of my scream. I’m too scared to get out of bed for fear of having the rat attack me even though that isn’t really possible.
Pleas! Help me figure out what this dream means!!

-ify 2016-03-04 14:42:36

Hi Tony, I know this is an old thread but I had a dream where I wanted to sleep on the top of a bunk bed and this green rat (that I had assumed was dead) jumped down from a compartment in the ceiling to the floor, filling the area close to my bed with dust. What does it mean please?

-Guada 2016-02-28 23:26:14

I dreamed of rat top of my door and taking my blue shirt and i was really trying to go out that door bec the rat was on top.

-van 2016-02-26 20:09:23

dreamt grey rat in roomgoing towards the door then coming ack in the room i tired to scare it out of room but slaming the door but it ran bqck in then sum h ow ended on my back and stuck its claw in i yelled out to pull it off and sumone didthen i tryed to kill it with my boot.

-Jamje-Leigh 2016-02-13 11:05:43

I had a dream that there was a rat in my bedroom and it followed me and my family and friends wherever I went, then it got caught and it died. I have been having problems with one of my so called friends and she has been telling all of my secrets and making up lies to make people fall out with me. Please tell me what this means? Thankyou

-Elena 2016-01-03 19:23:52

I don’t make anything of it, but I love to know if there is any meaning behind my dream. I don’t dream often but when I do, it means something. I had a dream of getting ready for a Christmas Party I was hosting and supposedly I rented a huge place in a very large building. The first day I saw the space I went and clean it, the floor had lots of bread crams and huge chunks of bread. I wash it nicely to be ready for next day party. When I got there the second time, the floor was same as day before, I try to open doors and look around and saw huge white rats running around. I did not have any trying to touch me, I was not scared of them but I kept saying “I can’t have the party here”.
I remember trying to clean again when wile I was telling myself don’t do it. I also recall sweeping a piece of red meet filled with fresh blood from the floor. White rats, bread all over the place and red meat, what that mean, I don’t know. Maybe you could help, Thank you Tony.

-Rose villarin 2015-12-26 2:45:45

I dreamed of soaking in a bathtub realizing there was a dead rat in it when I stood up. there were three one big and two smaller one. Pls tell me the meaning of this dream.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-12-29 10:24:01

    Dear Rose villarin – Dreams can be understood on many levels and I am not sure about your dream. Some doctors consider dreams to show signs of illness and I wonder if your dream is about that (too).
    Soaking in a bath can also be a symbol of your body knowing that you have to cleanse it internally, because of some disease you might have caught.
    In your dream you successfully manage to “kill the rats” by bathing into clean water.
    So just check if there might be a chance that you caught the so called Leptospirosis, also called “rat catcher’s yellows”, because rats are the most important spreaders of this infection.
    You might catch it by contact with water that contains urine of these infected animals.
    See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospirosis
    If you can exclude the physical level of what your dream might express, then please let me know and I will explore the symbolical meaning.
    You can help me with exploring your dream by sharing what you think might have triggered your dream or links with it in some way; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/not-enough-information/
    Anna 🙂

-rose 2015-12-18 9:28:56

I dreamt a rat chased by a person in the house but suddenly the rat transformed into human and I was shock because it was me.

-Emanuel 2015-12-16 17:34:28

I have seen a dream with rats. I was fighting with them. And i was planning how to kill them. and with a pike i have killed a rat . And i was trying to throw in the cabbage. it was disgusting. Suddenly,i have seen the face of another rat rotating his mouth

-samantha 2015-12-14 2:37:29

I recently had a dream that there was a huge dead rat at the end of my bed that even caused me to wake up and be genuinely scared, I had to check that it wasn’t really there, could this dream have any explanation?

-erendida 2015-11-17 17:10:32

Dreamed I had to wake up my sister. Was walking to her room but seen something running it tried to go under the entertainment center when I seen it clear I jumped to the sofa and it was a giant rat trying to bite me.

-Sara 2015-09-28 23:32:00

I had a dream I was camping with my brother and 2 friends I haven’t seen in a long time in a cabin in the woods. I woke up in the middle of the night and a dark image ran towards my head and burrowed beneath it and started screaming an animal scream. When I went to grab it out it felt small like a mouse, but when I pulled it out it it was a black rat dangling from its tail.

-joel 2015-09-27 8:31:55

What is meant by dreaming a dead rat,and what number/s associated with the dream.

-mlw 2015-08-28 23:08:47

Dreamed I heard noise and went into a room to find source a white rat ran from under the sofa. It got half way across the floor then stopped and turned to stare at me.

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