Rat Meaning and Symbolism
Dec 15
Discover Rat Symbolism

Rat Meaning and Symbolism

Overview of the Rat Spirit Animal


Rat symbolism usually identified by the Chinese Zodiac.  Being the first position in the twelve part cycle.  People with a rat spirit animal embody similar characteristics as those born during the year of the rat.  The rat totem is known for it’s ambitious and hardworking nature.  People with the rat spirit animal are intelligent and are surrounded by good luck and wealth.  This is because of their cunning and calculating nature.  They simply know a good thing when they see it and invest time and energy in things that they know will succeed.  The rat totem is a powerful spirit animal that teaches us to address our emotional and astral health.

Learn More About: Rat Symbolism

Embrace Your Spirit Animal


Encounters with the Rat

What is the meaning of rat symbolism? Find out what symbol the rat spirit animal is trying to teach you, and gain some insight into your life.

Have you been storing up negative emotions?

Rat symbolism is a sign that we need to care for our astral health.  All emotion flows through your astral being like a river.  Just as good emotions bring positive flow bad emotions bring negative flow.  The rat totem tells you to address these feelings and cleanse your being of all negativity.  Spend time in meditation to help sense what negative things need to be addressed.

Do your efforts feel wasted?

The rat spirit animal will appear to you as a sign that your hard work is about to pay off!  This spirit animal understands in order to succeed you must put in the work.  Be patient and don’t lose sight of your goal during this time.  Even if the odds don’t look promising the rat will appear as a sign that good luck is coming your way!

Are you surrounded by clutter?

Clutter can be both physical and spiritual.  When you find yourself in a place where you are surrounded by material possessions the rat totem is telling you to make a change.  Rats are very neat creatures that prefer to keep themselves and their surroundings tidy.  Spend intentional time in meditation to remove unnecessary thoughts and clutter.  After you have addressed your spiritual self take stock of your physical surroundings.  Set aside objects and belongings that are no longer useful to you and either dispose, donate or recycle these items.

Is your health in decline?

Rat symbolism is known for it’s social nature.  Rats when kept in isolation will become depressed and see a decline in health.  Rat totem people must take care to see that they foster a healthy and balanced social life.  It’s said that “laughter is the best medicine”.  As a rat spirit animal person it’s imperative that you maintain a thriving and healthy social circle in order to maintain your health!

Rat Symbolism: The Rat Spirit

Could the Rat be my spirit animal? What are the traits of the totem? This might be your spirit animal if you are:


Rat symbolism is associated with individuals who are driven and ambitious.  As a rat totem person don’t be surprised when people around you marvel at your dreams and plans.  Calling them far fetched or unbelievable.  It is in your nature to be ambitious and this must not be hindered.  Dream your dreams and never stop seeking what is next.


It’s been observed that rats live in complex social family groups.  In these groups individuals come together and work together to achieve the common good.  Foraging for food, grooming family members and buildings nests rats are relentless.  Rat totem people will find it easy to work hard especially when it is for their family or a goal they’re passionate about.

What is the: Rat Spirit Animal
Learn About: The Rat Totem


Rats are playful by nature.  As a rat spirit animal person one way that you will show affection and contentment is by having fun!  It’s important for you to make sure you allow yourself time and opportunity to enjoy yourself.  Plan time to spend with friends or loved ones around an activity you can enjoy and truly let loose.


Throughout history rats have lived alongside mankind.  In fact, while rats are believed to have originated in Asia, it is hard for researchers to pinpoint their exact place of origin because of their knack for adventure!  Whether on ships, carts, caravans or through their own devices rats are incredibly adventurous!  Their curiosity for the world around them means that they are always up for an adventure!

What are the Traits of the Rat Totem?

Lessons from the Rat Spirit Animal

Rats are:

  • Generous
  • Curious
  • Lucky
  • Intelligent
What is: Rat Symbolism

Rat symbolism teaches us to embrace generosity.  Begin with simple acts of kindness and look for opportunities to exercise greater acts.  As your spirit animal comes into balance with your spirit it will become easy for you to find these opportunities.

We also learn through rat symbolism to engage with our astral self.  This is our true and undying self hidden deep within.  The rat teaches us that it is important to not only care of our external being but our internal and astral being.

Rats breed quickly and with rapid succession.  Once one litter is born they can begin mating and preparing for the next litter.  This represents ideas and goals in our lives.  The rat totem teaches us to not sit on ideas but to act quickly and not waste time!

What does the rat spirit mean? Astral healing and wealth! rat totem people are in tune with their astral health. They also are very lucky and are surrounded by wealth.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Rat

What is: Rat Symbolism



Despite popular belief that rats are filthy they actually maintain a level of cleanliness that is higher than cats or dogs!  In fact rats spend several hours a day grooming themselves.  Just as rats behave in the natural realm we can reflect this lesson when it comes to the rat spirit animal.  It’s important for you to see to your own personal care and needs.  You must take care to make sure you are giving yourself the daily care that you need!


Another strength of the rat totem is it’s caring nature.  Rats will take special care of rats in their family that are hurt or injured.  Typically they will spend time grooming the injured rat and will even forage and bring food to their hurting friend.  As a rat totem person it’s important for you to act on your instinct to help others.  In our day and age people will give excuses not to help others around them, but not you!  Embody this strength of your spirit animal and reach out to those around you who may be hurting.

Astral Healing

Rat symbolism strength is it’s ability to evaluate and address our astral health.  Once we know the state of our true self we can begin healing and restoring parts of us that need care.  The rat totem will appear to you during seasons of your life when you need to take a closer look at your astral being.  Through awareness and restoration you will begin experiencing astral healing.


It has been recorded that a rat can fall from up to 50 feet and land uninjured.  They can also swim over a mile and tread water for up to 3 days.  What else is amazing is that they can go longer without water then a camel!  It’s safe to say rats have unbelievable resolve and the ability to survive.  As a rat totem person you are resourceful and have the ability to make the most of any situation.  In circumstances when others would have given up the rat spirit animal holds on with iron resolve!


Poor Sight

While rats have a great sense of smell and incredible intelligence they have poor eyesight.  Because they can’t see well they rely on their whiskers to help navigate and guide themselves through their world.  As a rat totem person it can be easy to get distracted with what’s in front of you and forget to look ahead into the future.  Take care not to become short sighted!


Rats love to sleep!  In fact they spend over 70% of their day napping.  When a rat totem person is unbalanced or depressed it can be easy for them to become lazy.  This laziness goes against their nature and can be very destructive.  When rat totem people become lazy they can also become gluttonous and continue to spiral deeper into depression.

Peer Pressure

Researchers have observed rats falling prey to peer pressure!  Even though they are incredibly smart they will go against their own judgement in order to fit it.  Whether it’s eating poisoned food or wandering too close to predators they will follow their peers into disaster.  When it comes to rat symbolism it’s important to judge for yourself what you should do.  Don’t fall victim to peer pressure!


A group of rats is called a mischief – and it’s no wonder!  When a group of rats are bored and don’t have a goal or purpose they will become mischievous!  While this typically can result in silly and rambunctious behavior in some cases it can result in more destructive actions.  It’s important for you to evaluate your friendships and make sure you’re surrounded by friends who will help steer you toward good.

Learn about: Rat Totem
Discor the Rat Totem

The Rat in Dreams: What it Means

Rat symbolism will appear in your dreams as a sign to take care of your astral well-being.  Meditate, focus and channel your energies to bring healing to your astral self.  The rat totem will help guide you and direct your journey.

To dream of the rat totem can also be a sign of good luck and that your fortune is about to change!  Rats are symbols of wealth and good luck.

A rat is a sign of generosity and honesty. It’s important to consider this when interpreting dreams.
animal symbolism in dreams

Cultural and Spiritual Symbolism of the Rat

animal meaning in your life

India – Rats are the vehicle of Lord Ganesh in Indian tradition. They are worshiped at the Karni Mata Temple, where priests and pilgrims will feed them grain and milk.

Worldwide – To have rats aboard a ship was once considered good luck!  When rats were seen leaving a ship it was a sign of misfortune.

China – The rat is the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. People born in this year possess characteristics which are associated with rats.  Such as creativity, intelligence, honesty, ambition and generosity.

Rats are a symbol of good luck.

Historical Facts

Rats were one of the first animals sent into outer space. In 1961 the first rat to see outer space was launched from France.

Animal Quotes

My mother early on taught us to respect all animals, and I mean all animals – not just cats and dogs but rats and snakes and spiders and fish and wildlife, so I really grew up believing they are just like us and just as deserving of consideration.
Joanna Lumley
Beware prejudices. They are like rats, and men’s minds are like traps; prejudices get in easily, but it is doubtful if they ever get out.
Francis Jeffrey

Share this Totem:

Totem Team

About The Author

We love you! The Totem Team is dedicated to expanding knowledge of, and connection to, the natural and spiritual world of animals. Whether you call it an animal spirit, totem, or guide, we aim to be THE definitive resource online for all animal dreams, meanings, and symbolism. Thank you for being a part of our wonderful community and sharing in our work!

Free Shipping On All Orders + 10% of Jewelry Sales Benefit the Rainforest Trust! Dismiss