Dead Rat Symbolism (8 Meanings)

Seeing a dead rat can mean several things. Usually, the sight of a dead animal in a dream, your house, or your yard is a sign that you haven’t been paying attention to the living animal’s message.

While living rats symbolize betrayal, adaptivity and motivation, a dead rat will likely signal the absence of these things in your life.

Common dead rat meanings include:

  • Beware of Betrayal
  • Be more Adaptive
  • Work on your Motivation
  • You need to Persevere
  • You need to Re-Purpose Things
  • Explore More!
  • Beware of Sickness
  • Seek out Intelligent People

But remember that the meaning you ascribe to your encounter is subjective and deeply personal. Reflect on which meaning you think is resonant for your life right now. That doesn’t mean it’s the one you really want to hear, but the one you think you need to hear and that the universe is giving you at this point in time.

Dead Rat Symbolism

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Dead Rat Symbolism and Meaning

1. Beware of Betrayal

One of the strongest messages a rat sends us is that of betrayal. Historically we have seen rats as creatures that look out only for themselves. We’ll notice them stealing anything they can find. And they’re lurking in the shadows looking for more things to steal!

A dead rat may be a warning about betrayal. Be careful of who you trust and make sure you keep your secrets close.

Alternatively, it might be a message warning you not to betray others. If you’ve entertained ideas of doing things that may hurt friends’ feelings, take a moment to reflect on whether it’s a good idea. The dead rat may be telling you that you need to re-think thoughts of betrayal.

(You can also read about our article on the meaning of dreaming of a rat).

2. Be more Adaptive

Rats are remarkably adaptive creatures.

They can live just about anywhere because they know how to adapt to new environments. You’ll find them living for months on end on ships out at sea or in the attic of a house.

A dead rat may be a sign that you haven’t been adaptive enough recently.

This could be the message for you if you have been struggling at solving some problems in your life recently. The message is to adjust how you’re approaching the challenge. Adapt to new changes and find some new ways to tackle your problems.

Even if you’re not the best at something, the message is that you can succeed so long as you make some important changes to the ways you go about things.

Related Article: Seeing a Rat at Night Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

3. Work on your Motivation

There aren’t many creatures more motivated than rats. They’ll do anything for a morsel of food.

While dreaming of a living rat might be a symbol that you’re motivated, the dead rat is likely a symbol that you need to find motivation. It’s telling you that you might be unmotivated which is holding you back from achieving success.

This is a tough message to hear because it’s often hard to get that motivation. Even when we know we need to get motivated, it can be hard to figure out how to conjure it up.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you here! But that’s the message – find the motivation in order to achieve success.

4. You need to Persevere

Running alongside the idea that rats are highly motivated is the concept that they will persevere through anything. Whether it’s a life in the attic or an ongoing effort to steal some cheese, a rat seems incredibly determined to get what he wants.

Dead animals often send us a message that you’re missing the traits the animals possess.

So, the message of the dead rat is that you need to persevere through the things you’re struggling with right now. Push through, work hard, and keep up that determination to fight for the things you want and believe in.

This might be a message you’re getting at a particularly low point in your life.

5. You need to Re-Purposing Things

Rats are known for gathering scraps and making the most of them. You’ll often find them rummaging through the trash and digging up things that we think are scraps but they cherish!

The dead rat might be a symbol that you’re being wasteful.

This could be a message for someone who has been throwing a lot of their belongings away lately.

Or, it might be a message for you if you’ve got something lying around that you need to make more use of. Re-purpose things around your house to be less wasteful and find new happiness from old belongings.

6. Explore More!

Rats are everywhere. They’ll explore all the nooks and crannies of a house, a ship, a restaurant, or anywhere. They’re looking around all over the place for that scrap of food.

The dead rat can be a sign that you’re not embracing that adventurous attitude.

This might be the message for someone who has been spending too much time indoors. It’s also a sign that often comes to people who used to travel but have not been on a trip for a long time. If you’ve been fantasizing a lot about travel lately, the appearance of a dead rat in a dream or on your front port wouldn’t be unexpected.

7. Work on your own Health and Wellbeing

There’s no secret that we see rats as unhygienic creatures. And while pet rats are actually quite clean, wild rats have been known to carry disease and plague.

So, a dead rat on your doorstep could reasonably be a sign that you need to make sure you take care of your own health and wellbeing.

This might be the message for you if you’ve been letting your exercise routine fall behind lately or you’ve been particularly lazy. It’s a message that working on your health should be prioritized in your life.

8. Seek out Intelligent People

Rats are remarkably intelligent creatures. They can be trained to do tricks and even run through mazes.

But a dead rat is a sign that you need to seek out intelligent people at this particular moment in your life.

This might be the case if you’re in need of some friendly advice or even someone to talk about business or financial needs. These intelligent people (be it friends or hired help) might be able to help you overcome some barriers and solve some problems that you’re currently facing.

Dead Animal Meanings

Dead animals are usually sending us a message that we’re not heeding the warnings of the living creature. It’s a more strong and forceful message that you need to start paying attention – now!

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It’s very hard to identify exactly what message a dead rat can be sending your way. It all depends on the situation you’re in at this moment in your life. While any of the above 8 messages may be the correct one, it might also be the case that it’s a message entirely different from the ones here.

So, it’s important to look at your own subjective interpretation and to be open to the message you need to receive. It’s often not the one that you want to hear, but it could be the one you need and speaks a truth to you that you need to hear at this moment in time.