What Does Dreaming of Rats Mean
If the movie Ratatouille has taught us anything, and really it rivals a religious text in applicable life lessons, it's that rats sometimes get a bad wrap. While they are merely creatures trying to survive like anyone, their interaction with the human world has not always been a happy one. They carried the fleas which carried the black death and there is good reason a restaurant kitchen will get closed down if one is found inside. They live in packs and are found all over big cities, hiding in places which would be nasty to us. If you have rats in your dreams, it's likely these associations will be made by your subconscious, but there may be more to it than that. oneHOWTO looks into what does dreaming of rats mean so we can find out.
What is your relationship to rats?
Different animals can appear in our dreams, some majestic, some seemingly gross. Whatever the image, the meaning of their presence will have more to do with our relationship to this animals than the animals themselves. Or, more precisely, our perception of these animals. What do they represent to us? Why would they scamper on up into our sleeping selves?
If you are dreaming about rats, then you should think about how you feel about these critters. Perhaps the majority will see them stereotypically as dirty, disease ridden and purposefully antagonistic to humans. The often harsh conditions these creatures live in often leaves them with missing patches of fur, scars or chewed up ears. When cornered they can also emit a shrill and grotesque sound. They are even known to engage in cannibalism. However, so do hamsters.
Many people also keeps rats as pets. Up close they have a cute little snout and whiskers. They can be friendly, intelligent and very social. Think about what they mean to you before interpreting having a dream about rats.
Dreaming of a rat attacking or biting
Once you have an idea of how you feel about rats in your waking life, you can think about their behavior in your dream. If you think of rats as nasty or vile creatures, then they probably represent some sort of antagonistic presence on your life. Do you have a rival or someone you have come to see as an enemy? Do you have a job which you think is making you into a bad person? Do you spend time with people who are bad influences?
If you dream of rats attacking you, it is possible you feel like you are being persecuted in some way by a malevolent force. However, this force may be intrinsic as much as extrinsic. Maybe some of your behavior is starting to become detrimental to you. You might be drinking too much, gambling heavily or getting into a string of unhealthy relationships. If this is the case, the rats in your dreams might represent something you need to change before it destroys you (metaphorically or otherwise).
If the rats are not so much attacking you, but slowly nibbling or biting you, this could be a more subtle kind of detrimental force. Maybe you are in a relationship which has run its course and you feel like you are slowly succumbing to it. Your response in the dream is also important. If you are being bitten by the rats, but don't react to it, perhaps you are numb to this problem. You might need to be more proactive and look into why you might be having issues.
Dreaming about chasing rats
If in your dream the roles are reversed and you are chasing the rats, then maybe you are looking for reassurance. Often our dreams will play out scenarios which will solve the problems which lie in our subconscious. If you are chasing rats out of your dream or killing them, then you are probably setting yourself up to tackling a big problem.
The number of rats in your dream is also important. As rats live in packs, a multitude of rats in your dream might signify that these problems are vast and multifaceted. If you are struggling to take care of the rat problem in the dream, then perhaps its not one, but many problems which are conspiring against you.
Dreaming about dirty rats
1930s gangster movies gave rise to the phrase 'You dirty rat!', becoming common slur against a person of low moral turpitude. If the rats in your dream are disease ridden and festering, then perhaps you are worried about a negative or immoral influence in your life. Perhaps also, you are concerned about your own morals, that you are going down a road which might not be the best for you or others around you. If you have been involved in criminal activity or have behaved badly towards someone else, perhaps the rats in your dream represent a weight on your conscience.
Filthy rats also carry disease which is harmful to humans, so perhaps you are worried about a health concern. If you see a lot of disease
Dreaming rats in your house
Like cockroaches or ants, rats can infest a house. Our home is a safe haven, the place we keep ourselves and our loved ones close. If you dream of an otherwise safe and tidy home being invaded by rats, then perhaps you are worried about something attacking your domestic stability.
If there are a lot of rats, it might be a bigger theme. You might have some money issues which threaten your financial security or have a family problem which seems insurmountable. If there is one rat, it might mean there is a person who is threatening your home life. Maybe you are worried about a partner cheating on you. An ex-partner might also be threatening you, perhaps over child support or custody issues. Whatever threatens your home life and security, a rat or rats in your dream might be a sign you are worried about it.
Dreaming of a dead rat
Dead rats are a pretty bleak sign in either your waking or dream life. If you dream of a dead rat, there is probably some issue with your emotional state. If the rat is festering with exposed flesh and bloody matted fur, then you are probably having some issues. It doesn't mean you are broken or that there is an insurmountable problem. It just might mean your mental health has taken a little dent. Speaking to someone you trust or a mental health professional will help you asses your emotional state and see if anything needs to be done about it.
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