What Does a Rat Symbolize? (Fertility, Wealth, and Greed)

Rats have different spiritual and cultural symbolism in different regions and cultures.

In western culture, rats have been associated with dirt, dishonest people, and spies. On the other hand, in Indian and Chinese cultures, rats are symbols of wealth and fertility.

Depending on your culture and the people around you, a rat might have a different symbolic meaning for you. Seeing it in your dreams can even hint towards emotional stress and anxiety.

A lot of people also do not like rats because they bring diseases with them. This connotation might also have an effect on your interpretations.

What Does a Rat Symbolize

Remember that symbolism is subjective. The below are examples of possible interpretations only, and may not be the correct interpretations for you and your situation.

What Does Rat Symbolize in Real Life?

1. Fertility

In the Chinese culture, rats are often associated with fertility and have deep spiritual significance.

This is mainly because of their ability to survive and grow their community even in the most challenging locations. You can take inspiration from it and try to adapt to harsh conditions as well.

Once you learn how to survive in challenging situations, you will have more appreciation for good things in your life.

Related: Mouse Symbolism

2. Wealth

In the Indian Culture, the rat is the companion of Lord Ganesha and it is viewed as a symbol of wealth, wisdom, and prosperity.

In many Eastern cultures, people believe that it is lucky to have rats in their houses. They believe that it is a symbol that they will be healthy and wealthy.

In India, there is a dedicated temple for rats in which thousands of rats roam freely in the temple premises. 

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

3. Dirt

Rats are also connected with dirt and disease because they live in dirty conditions like sewage pipes and dumpsters.

Rats also bring disease and infections. If you see a rat in your house, it will be good that you safely catch it and release it far away to keep your house clean.

Rats also destroy food items and clothes in the house which is why a lot of people do not like them.

Related: Dead Mouse Symbolism

4. Dishonesty

Gangs and goons often use ‘rat’ to describe or name a person who is dishonest, a spy, who betrays the gang.

Not just gang members and thugs, people often call or address a dishonest person as a “rat”. Being called a rat is an insult and it means that you are not a trustworthy person.

What Does Dreaming of a Rat Symbolize?

1. Worrying about Being Backstabbed by Someone Close (Seeing a Rat)

If you see a rat in your dream, it might be possible that you are worried about someone stabbing you in the back.

This may be because of the association between the term ‘rat’ and the idea of someone who sells-out their group to the police.

People who believe this interpretation might want to keep their circle of trust very close and tight to avoid trusting people who will backstab you.

2. Feeling Sad or Anxious (Seeing a Black Rat)

Seeing a black rat in your dreams can mean that you are feeling very sad or anxious because of the current phase of your life.

It might be possible that you are going through a tough time and you feel like the stress is never going ot end. However, there is hope for everyone and if you stay true to yourself and your goals, you will be successful eventually.

3. Problems will be Solved (Seeing a White Rat)

If you see a white rat in your dream then it can mean that some long-running problems will be resolved finally and you will have much-needed mental peace.

Clearly, this is a much more positive interpretation than the one above. And indeed, we could combine these two interpretations: perhaps the message here is that you may be sad and anxious now, but the problems will be solved soon.

4. Ending a Relationship of Betrayal (Seeing a Dead Rat)

Seeing a dead rat in your dreams can mean that you are finally ending a relationship with a person who betrayed you.

This can be viewed as a good sign because finally, you have the clarity and courage to end this harmful relationship.

If someone is only taking advantage of you, it is just better to end that bond right there.

Go Deeper: Dead Rat Symbolism

5. Feeling of Being Abandoned by Friends and Family (Rats Running Around)

If you see rats running around your house or near you then it is possible that you are afraid of being abandoned by your friends and family.

You shouldn’t be too much concerned about this. The people who truly love you will never ever leave your side. If someone leaves you in tough times, some might even say that those people who abandoned you were not worth your time in the first place.

6. Feeling Unsafe and Health Concerns (Rats Chasing You)

Rats chasing you in dreams can be a sign of feeling unsafe and it can also mean that you are conscious about your health.

This has connections to the western idea that rats are dirty. Therefore, a dream about a rat might be a subconscious message from your mind that you’re feeling a little uncomfortable about something right now.

You might want to focus on increasing your sense of security as well as focusing on doing at least a bit of exercise every day.

What Does It Mean to See a Rat in Your Dreams?

Seeing a rat in your dreams can hint towards a disturbed emotional and mental state.

It is important for you to take care of yourself and free yourself from all the negativity and anxiety. Open communication, meditation, and exercise are good to cope up with any problems with people.

Here are a few examples of possible interpretations (remembering none of them might be the right one!):

Rat SymbolismPotential Meaning or Interpretation
1.Seeing a Rat in Your DreamIt might be possible that you are worried that someone will backstab you or take advantage of you.
2.Seeing a Black RatYou might be feeling sad and anxious and that is making you stressed.
3.Seeing a White RatSome of your long-going problems might get solved soon.
4.Seeing a Dead RatIt might be possible that you are finally ending a relationship with a person who has betrayed you.
5.Rats Running Around You FreelyYou might be feeling anxious because of your fear that your friends and family might abandon you.
6.Rats Chasing YouIt is possible that you are concerned for your health and safety because you feel unsafe at the moment.

How to Interpret Spiritual Symbolism

Interpreting symbolism and spiritual meanings is subjective and deeply personal. The symbolic meanings listed in this article are examples of potential interpretations, but might not be true for your situation.

Make sure you meditate and journal about your vision. Reflect on what you saw and think about what message you think is relevant to you and your life right now.

This doesn’t mean choosing the message you want to hear, but the one you think you need to hear at this point in your life. Only you can decide which meaning is the right one for your situation.

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Depending on your culture and your own thoughts about rats, seeing a rat can have different meanings for you in both dreams and in real life.

You do not have to take negative meaning out of everything. Instead, try to understand the positive meaning and how to make things better for yourself.

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