You may not think all that much about your dreams, but the reality is that everything you see while you’re asleep could be connected to things going on in your real conscious life. One of the most common themes that might be telling you something about yourself? Animals. Obviously, there are a crazy amount of possibilities when it comes to which animals are making their debut in your subconscious, so we explored a few of the most common dream guest stars and looked into what the animals might be telling you.
We found many different meanings for the appearance of a feline in your dreams, but there was one overwhelmingly common theme: cats in dreams represent femininity and independence. This means that if a cat is being aggressive toward you, you may be struggling with your feminine side, or if it scratches you, you could be feeling threatened by someone or something. If a cat is missing its tail or any other body parts (eek), it can indicate a loss of independence in some area of your life. In a more literal sense, a cat can also represent someone who has been vicious or “catty.” If you dream about a kitten, it could be a sign of vulnerability.
Not surprisingly, a dog’s symbolism in your dream represents pretty much every aspect of dogs in real life. They are a symbol for friendship, loyalty and instinct. Dreaming of a dog can have to do with these qualities in yourself or in someone you’re close to. Sometimes, seeing a dog while you’re asleep can mean you should spend more time trusting and following your instincts during waking hours. If the dog is growling, trying to bite you, or showing any other aggressive characteristics, it’s probably a bad sign. This can represent the opposite of what dogs stand for, i.e. betrayal and untrustworthiness. It also might mean that you are wrestling with some sort of internal conflict, like a guilty conscience.
Seeing a bird in your dream is generally good news. Birds represent your hopes, goals, imagination and freedom, so a bird sighting can be very insightful. Just as you would see the world from a different point of view if you were up in the air looking down, a flying bird symbolizes a greater awareness of your life. Coming into this greater awareness, whatever it may be focused on, isn’t always going to be easy. You might not like what you see when you take a step back to look at your life in a new way, but in the end the insight gained from a big realization like this is always for the best. On a lighter note, seeing birds’ eggs or a nest could be a sign of new, prosperous opportunities and good fortune to come.
Contrary to what might come to mind when you think about snakes, seeing a slimy serpent in your dream isn’t all bad. Because of their tendency to shed their skin and leave it behind, snakes can represent entering a new stage of life and leaving old habits or friends behind. Snakes can also represent creativity, mean that these dreams can mean that it’s time to take a deeper look at yourself, your thoughts and your feelings when entering this new stage of your life. If you dream that a snake is biting you, it often means there is some kind of negative energy affecting you in real life. Whether it’s a bad relationship, anxieties or problems you’re trying to ignore, it’s best to face whatever is bothering you head on. A simpler interpretation could be that if you’re afraid of snakes, a snake popping up in your dreams probably signifies something or someone you fear in your waking life.
Just as cats can represent “catty” people, bugs can represent something or someone that is “bugging” you. Whether it’s just small daily annoyances or suppressed anxieties and fears that are nagging at you, the bugs showing up in your dreams could be telling you it’s time to take a closer look at small problems that may have seemed insignificant before. Dreaming of bugs could also mean that you have been feeling small and insignificant or even that you’re being figuratively stepped on, like one does when squishing a bug. It’s no secret that most people aren’t overjoyed when they see a cockroach or beetle, so keeping that in mind, bugs could just represent something in real life that gives you that same feeling of disgust or fear.