Rat Symbolism & Meaning and Rat Spirit, Totem, & Power Animal 1200x1200

Rat Symbolism & Meaning

Do you need help staying strong in the face of bullying? Are you working to succeed in business? Is it time to adapt or die? Rat, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Rat teaches you how to tap into quick-witted solutions while reminding you of the importance of adaptability. Delve deeply in Rat symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can support, assist, and inspire you.

Rat Table of Contents

Rat Symbolism & Meaning

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Most people want a regal or impressive spirit animal guide like a glorious Horse or powerful Lion. When someone encounters Rat Energy, their first reaction may be, well, “Rats!” It’s so sad that a negative reaction is common. The creature is an incredible survivor, despite being one of the two most hunted Animals (Rabbits being the other). In fact, Rats, like Snakes, Spiders, and Possums, are among the most feared, hated, and misunderstood Animals on the planet. But Rat symbolism and meaning is profound, beautiful, and deeply meaningful, making the creature a Wise and Wonderful Animal Spirit Guide and Teacher.

People in many ancient cultures associated Rat with the spreading of disease and times of blight or famine. For instance, for over eight centuries, Europeans believed the Black Rat was the source of the Bubonic Plague (Black Death). Later, scientists suggested it wasn’t Rats that spread the disease, but the infected Fleas using Rats as unwitting hosts to spread the plague. Current research, however, suggests Rats had nothing to do with the Black Plague at all, drawing the problem back to Giant Gerbils instead.

Rat had no awareness of its tarnished image or the erroneous perceptions humans had of it as a disease carrier. Yet, despite public opinion, which led to people’s fear of Animal, Rat remained a true survivor. In Asian cultures, Rats are auspicious symbols of good fortune in business. Rats are adaptable and relentless when trying to solve a problem, like finding its way out of a maze or its next meal. Here, Rat symbolism and meaning give the creature ties to adaptation, strength, determination, and perseverance; this is important for those who wish to succeed in business.

No matter how dire the circumstances, Rat Spirit endures for many reasons, with the most significant reason being resourcefulness. The creatures move into the corners and cracks of reality, scavenging whatever they need from what the rest of the world leaves behind as useless. So, Rats are the ultimate recycler and symbolize clever re-purposing.

When people work with Rat’s Energies, they are not persnickety. Like Rat, they recognize needs versus wants, choosing the former, while also yearning sometimes for the latter. The same people often love the beautiful things in life, but understand that essentials must come first. If Fortune smiles on them with a gift, those working with Rat Spirit treasure the gift they receive, keeping it safe for leaner times.

Rat Spirit Animal

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When a Rat appears as your Spirit Animal, the creature often brings a message about your career. Rat’s arrival in your awareness urges you to ask yourself, “Have you gotten lazy? Or are you working too much and forgetting hearth and home?” In either case, Rat comes prepared to help you by offering foresight and adaptive ability while directing change toward a creative solution.

Just because the Rat is small, do not think its tiny stature diminishes its power. Rat, as a Spirit Animal, might appear to you when you need to take back what’s yours or defend your territory. Rats will jump from a sinking ship, so the creature also arrives to warn you when your situation is sinking fast, and it’s time to bail! To discern which message Rat brings, watch the behavior of your Animal Spirit Guide. The more urgent they appear, the more likely it is that the time to move is now!

You should also pay attention to which direction your Rat Spirit Animal was moving when it makes its appearance. Was your Animal Ally moving North, South, East, or West? Was it toward or away from you? All the latter details matter when decoding the symbolism and meaning of the message.

Rats are great nurturers. They are diligent when tending to the sick and injured of their family. Rat’s emergence into your awareness may be the creature trying to tell you to take special care of your tribe’s needs, whether it is birth family or the family of your choosing.

While Rat’s long, scaly tail creeps out most, it’s the creature’s tail that gives it tremendous balance. So, your Animal Ally might call on you to question your balance. Are your feelings harmonious? If not, what do you need to address to find the peace of mind you seek? Are you financially in balance? If not, it’s time to get all your priorities in order. Rat arrives to press the issue and says, “It’s no time to be chasing your tail!”

Rat Totem Animal

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When you have Rat as your Totem Animal, you are the ultimate master of your environment, be it a castle or a cave. The Rat’s ingenious nature doesn’t merely apply to the physical realm, however. You can also use Rat Totem Energy for foresight and the development of instinct and overall cunning. People with the Rat Totem Animal are rarely surprised, but they are always surprising others.

Be aware, however, that bearing a Rat Totem often leads people to have a Gypsy Spirit. You may find yourself restless and want to pack up with your dearest possessions to head into the great unknown. There are ways to temper your desires for constant movement. Consider carrying a crystal known for grounding energies.

Rat People are super social. They enjoy surrounding themselves by their friends and family. Those with a Rat Totem Animal enjoy meeting new people and exploring new cultures, so traveling the world is something you long for throughout your life.

Rat Power Animal

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Call on Rat as your Power Animal when you have a powerful drive for achievement. If you’re starting a new business or partnership, ask Rat to support you in your efforts to adapt and thrive, especially through the lean times. The intelligence of Rat combines with cunningness, giving the creature a powerful energetic signature that helps you in finding the best leads or deals.

When you want to make a difference in the world, either on your own or when working within a group, Rat as a Power Animal helps you remember that you’re never too small to invoke change. Rats know the Butterfly Effect’s true power and how a single move, voice, or choice can contribute to a hurricane of change. Rat says, “You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on this big ole’ world.” One slight gesture today can cause a tidal wave of goodness the world over.

You can also invoke Rat as a Power Animal when you want a full and happy life. Rat supports you in finding the resources you need for survival. Your Animal Companion helps you set your mind at ease so you can partake of all the beautiful things life offers you with fewer worries that would otherwise diminish your joy.

Native American Rat Symbolic Meanings

In Shamanic traditions, the Rat symbolizes security and survival. The smallest scrap gives Rat Spirit enough to get by for a little while longer, allowing the creature to survive by its wits alone. Rat is also a partner for protecting one’s health because it has a strong immunity to disease and the toxins in the environment and food.

Rat as a Celtic Animal Symbol

While Rats were sometimes messengers in Celtic lore, folklore often paints the creature in a negative light. Sighting a white Rat is about the only positive sign noted, indicating good luck. Finding Rat-chewed items foretells of misfortune.

Because rats leave a ship before sinking, they have symbolic ties to foreknowledge and psychic abilities. The creature’s ability to find what it wants depicts the creature as clever. Defending its belongings or territory aggressively when necessary, causes Rat to signify courage.

Rat Dreams

How you interpret dreams with Rats ties to what they’re doing in the dream. If they’re running away, it’warns a storm on the horizon. By comparison, Rats chewing on ropes represent worries or frets, often related to relationships.

Rats gnawing on something in your dream portends a weakening situation. When your nerves are on their last thread, it’s time to reinforce yourself. When relationships become a struggle, prop them up with love. Patience is the key.

A white Rat appearing in your dream is an excellent omen. Your problems are on the precipice of disappearing. Remember, Rats are amazing survivors, but you can sit back and wait for an opportunity to knock in this case.

Learn more about Rat Spirit by reading Rat Dreams and Their Meaning on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com!

Rat in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

How you interpret dreams with Rats ties directly to what they’re doing in the dream. If they’re running away, it’s a warning of a storm on the horizon. By comparison, Rats chewing on ropes represent worries or frets, often related to relationships.

In Chinese Astrology, the Year of the Rat is the First Year of the Zodiac and is terrific for business prosperity. The Year of the Rat brings stability and fast forward movement. Folks born under the influence of the Rat are smart and are leaders in business. People trust you because you know how to protect their secrets and would never betray a confidence. You are bursting with nervous energy, but when you focus that same energy, your restlessness becomes a productive means for achieving your dreams.

Visit my sister-site, BuildingBeautifulSouls.com, to read all about the Rat Chinese Zodiac Sign.

Rat Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Adaptability
  • Survival
  • Humor
  • Community
  • Resourcefulness
  • Recycling
  • Nurturing
  • Extreme Intelligence
  • Intuition
  • Withstanding Negative Public Opinion

30 thoughts on “Rat Symbolism & Meaning

  1. Tammy Wekerle says:

    Last night I found a rat inside of my small bird feeder, I was amazed that it could get inside of the small opening. Very clever. This morning while doing a little meditation, I was reminded by that clever little rat, that by going INSIDE is where I will find the treasures. Just like he did. What a nice reminder and confirmation to listen to and trust my INNER guidance.

    • jacqueline m conquest says:

      deep and powerful understanding tammy wekerle ….the sacred rat showed you to go inside your own inner wisdom.

  2. memie says:

    Just found a small white rat in the garden along with our 2 dogs and latter on our four cats join in. My daughter and I decided to capture it and gave it to our neighbors since we have four cats in the house. We were wondering how was the cat get to the gardens. I think it is a pet cat but what we were wondering is the fact that our house is not too close to our neighbors and can’t also think of them having a pet of that kind.

  3. Ricardo Delgado says:

    The rat that scurried by my feet after work tonight was huge. At first I thought it was a cat since it stopped in my path and for a second I thought it was going to run up my leg but instead it ran under a parked vehicle. Didn’t think nothing of it until I came home and found out my zodiac sign is the rat.. what a coincidence, I’m moving but don’t want to move, I started a new job and trying to move up the ladder for better PAY and I’m really trying to better my whole life situation. What is the rat trying toy tell me. Can’t stop thinking about this rat that crossed my path.

    • Erin Mazur says:

      Only you can figure that out definitively. Go within and feel on the experience. You already have quite a bit when you reflected on your life right now in your comment above. Meditation is a great tool for working with your animal messengers. Find more info on rat energy on the web, you’ll know what resonates with you and what doesn’t in terms of the meaning specific to you. Happy self-discovery!

  4. Sam says:

    Had a dream last night about who I believe to be Semore, a white rat I had as a child. When I was young, I gave him a small bath ( not hot water and not high water at all) but poor seamore flipped the hell out and chewed off his toes. He died later that day at the vet and I have always felt awful about that as I felt that I killed him, and I loved the hell out of that little guy. I have t though about him since I was 12. 12 years later, he pops up in my dream. Im holding him (he is much bigger than he was in real life) and I am dipping him in water on occasion in the bath, but I’m holding him the whole time, and he is relaxed and happy and allowing me to do so. With every dip I kiss his big ole rat face. That’s all I remember, what might this mean?

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m sorry for your loss. This dream may be less about symbolism and more of a message from a deceased loved one. Semore loves you and doesn’t blame you. He knows you love him. He understands what you were trying to do. He is relaxed and happy now, in eternity. He would like you to forgive yourself, for you meant no harm and had no way of knowing he would react that way.

  5. karen says:

    I had this dream of a rat being chased by my cats and after a while the cats couldn’t catch it,and the rat jumped on me.it was a dark rat.The next day I dreamt of many rats running around me in different directions and later one jumped on me.someone help me understand this dreams.Thanks

  6. Michele says:

    Thank you this was very helpful
    I saw a huge rat yesterday munching something next to a small stream where I was relaxing
    I am having a difficult time in my business and this information has been very insightful

  7. Bob says:

    Last night there was a dying rat lying and facing the front door of my house. It looked like it had a broken back. I tried offering it some water but crawled away. I placed a towel around it to give it some comfort and protection and it also could hide under it. The next morning l found it dead and it had crawled out from under the towel and still facing the front door.

  8. Angeline says:

    I found a dead rat in my closet under my work clothes. What does this mean?

  9. Liz says:

    I had scream that two dark rats were running up my back under my top. I had this dream twice it felt like minutes apart.

  10. Liz says:

    I had a dream not scream that two dark rats were running up my back under my top. I had this dream twice it felt like minutes apart.

  11. Deborah Neale says:

    I found a dead rat outside in my front yard near our gate. It loojed S though it haf drowned.

  12. Martha says:

    Today I walked and found a dried up rat dead on the side roead as I walked my right leg pass thru it with my leg then I noticed it dried with a lot my tail . What is this mean .

  13. Aman says:

    I trapped rat and leave it away from my house about 1 km but after 2 days I found it at my house and at that position only.what does it mean, and there are lots of rats at my house and I have used every way to get them out of my house but they arent

  14. Christina says:

    Last night I saw a big rat walking around a garbage container at a gastation. It was dark but for some reason I looked over that way and at that second the rat was walking west around the garbage container. He was not running nor did I sense any fear or a state of ergancy from the rat. Funny thing is that the rat looked rat me the same time I looked at him . What does this mean?

  15. Mischa says:

    Hi love, can you direct me to find more about direction of movement meanings and time of day (north east west south/ night versus day ) thank you so much. Blessings to you mischa

  16. Sara says:

    I found a pet rat on my porch. We took him in and found him a happy home. The symbolism you have here is just what I needed to hear! The Universe works in mysterious ways!

  17. Pamela says:

    I found a rat dead in front of my car this morning

  18. Le Ann says:

    I had a rat visit my business yesterday, business faces west, visiting my door going north.
    Leaving my business because their seems the properties, the whole corner.
    But feeling insecure and fear for the first time in my life, I am 58, been doing hair for 38 years. Rented, moved several times, owned, and have to rent again.

  19. Michele says:

    I had a dream about many large rats everywhere…running out of my iPad
    & my under the bed & all over the house.
    My sweet, loving transitioned Mom was alive in her bed & I kept calling her in the dark…she did not verbally answer, but she waved her arms & hands very briskly over her head to tell me she was there & I said…oh…there you are on the phone & she gave me the biggest smile of acknowledgment too. I was SO happy.
    My Mom being happy & calm was so soothing because she normally is very afraid of rats & rodents.
    My brother Michael was in the dream too trying to help me identify the rats.
    I did not feel afraid, just puzzled.
    I pulled this dream explanation.
    Interesting note: I was born the year of the Rat by the Chinese Zodiac

  20. Tammy Edgerton says:

    I went out side and looked buy the stairs and saw this beautiful brown big rat looking at me and not moving I went closer and it just sat there so I just started talking to it then my cat went to it and the rat just stood there well my cat was sniffing it both weren’t even scared it was just like they are friends I wish I had taken a picture my neighbor was surprised that it wasn’t scared of me and my cat

    • McCord says:

      Yesterday, I found a furry, beanie-baby sized rat plush doll placed inside the handle of my friend’s storage unit door. Without knowing about rat symbolism, I automatically thought, “he’s the rat!” This friend is an expert in scavenging and treasure hunting, reusing and recycling. I have slowly and surely learned how to do the same, but at first, it seemed like he had magic powers that I did not possess.

      Unfortunately, this friend and I had a falling out recently, and hadn’t seen one another in a couple of months, and we weren’t talking. His unit had also been locked up by management for a while, due to late payments, so the rat perplexed me. My friend had given me several stuffed animals already, so I thought this was another cleverly placed gift for me to find. I took the rat, hoping he’d know that I had been by to check if his unit was still there.

      Then, tonight, I just happened run into my friend at the storage facility as he was moving out of his unit. I told him about the rat, and he had not put it there! In fact, he had no idea what I was talking about.

      I felt strongly that the rat energy was attracted to my friend’s unit, but was placed there just for me to find. I think Rat is telling me that he has taken notice of my burning desire and need for his knowledge and expertise, and is there to help guide me through the unseen cracks of reality. He is there to give me the strength to face judgement from others, and love me when I feel misunderstood. I love you, too, Rat. ♡

  21. Angela says:

    Thank you for this lovely article , I looove rats!
    Sadly found one dead on my property today (boxing day)
    I moved here mid December 2 years ago ….went out for solstice celebration and when I came back, found dead rat in the middle of the place!
    Could never quite figure out the meaning, although I am sure it must be significant
    It happen once again few months later and again today
    There is a food outlet next door and I think they use poison on the rats and some must have come and died on my side
    This is a rental property where I live and work……if anyone has any insight or meaning to the situation it would be so much appriciated

    Thank you


  22. Monica says:

    Awesome right now there are several playing a fun game of tag. I had a tough time earlier today, I lost my debt card and my license along with other cards, they fell out of my back pocket. It is a tough time now because of Coronavirus has most things shut down, a phone call to replace the lost card carried a two hour wait and I was very grateful to the Citibank teller for his assistance in expediting the new card. I am happy to see the group of friendly rats playing, they are reminding me that not all is bad, to keep going and remember that tomorrow will be better. To be resourceful and to continue to help my family.

  23. Ryan says:

    While roasting marshmallows at my firepit and singing church gospel music to myself; I suddenly hear leaves rustle near my feet, which startles me because there are no leaves anywhere near me. Out of the corner of my eye I see something scurry into the bushes and a small branch of a bush placed 2 inches from my foot. I wonder if the rat was criticizing my singing or just giving me a little gift lol.

  24. The oracle of Apollo says:

    It’s 35degrees out & I was walking up to my city house and I see on the porch a giant white fancy rat with red eyes, he was very clean so he must of escaped from someone’s house especially since this type of rat can’t live in temp below 65degrees. And so I got courage and I knew I had to do something because obviously this isn’t a wild rat. So I picked him up and brought him inside. We gave him food and water and he ate and drank. He became calm pretty quickly and I called animal rescue and they came and picked him up and will be rehomed at a pet store. This was crazy for rat to survive outside me finding him … get my ovaries nice and strong and grabbing him because the animal guys both were afraid to grab him. He was really big

    • A says:

      The same thing just happened to me at The grocery store. As I drove away the workers appeared to be trying to catch him. He was very tame

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