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Ratkin is a subcategory of otherkin wherein an individual identifies as a rat. Identifying as a rat could include, but not be limited to, spiritually believing you have the soul of a rat or were reincarnated into a rat in a past life, identifying as a rat due to imprinting, or believing you aren't inherently human.

Species of ratkin[]

Rats are creatures which currently live on earth. All rats are within the order Rodentia, but the most commonly known rats those in the genus Rattus. An example of the Rattus genus is the world-spread Black Rat, Rattus rattus.

Most rats are commensal species, meaning that they benefit from living alongside one species without the other species benefiting. In these cases, the rats live alongside humans and find that human settlements are good places to scavenge for food. Many species of rats are endemic to islands—meaning they live only there, which makes habitat loss a risk for those species.

Some rats have been domesticated as pets. The most common of these are often called "fancy rats", which are domesticated from the Norwegian rat, Rattus norvegicus. Much like cats or dogs, their behavior, appearance, and size is different from wild Norwegian rats, and they don't carry the pathogenic risk associated with wild rats either.

Albino lines of Rattus norvegicus domestica—or domesticated Norwegian rats—are bred for laboratory testing and behavioral study, leading to the association of the pink-eyed white rodents with scientists.

There are numerous rats spread out through the order Rodentia which have very different traits, behaviors, and ecological niches. A ratkin could be of any species called by the common name 'rat.' A ratkin could also identify with the entire genus Rattus, rather than one specific rat, or even with all "rats" within Rodentia and consider themselves a rat cladotherian or rat cladokin.

Theories of Origin[]

As with all therio- or kintypes, the origin of an individual ratkin's kintype may be psychological, spiritual, a mix of both, or absent.

For example, a ratkin may believe in the psychological theory of origin that rat-like behaviors, such as nibbling food with both hands, moving quietly with the intention of being unnoticed, and preening are inherently rewarding to them the way some behaviors are inherently rewarding to someone who isn't ratkin. A ratkin may also theorize that certain events in their childhood caused them to imprint on rats--perhaps they had a pet rat that they felt innately connected to, that they could communicate with, or they noticed that the rat seemed to regard them as another rat rather than as a human, causing them to imprint on the rat and adopt their behaviors.

A ratkin may instead believe in a spiritual theory of origin, and may feel that they had a past life as a rat which has important ramifications for this life, or is in some way "closer" or more important than other past lives. They may feel that they have the soul of a rat. Some ratkin feel that this means a rat, somewhere, is deprived of a rat soul, and other ratkin believe there is no "vacuum" created by the rat soul being inside them rather than inside a physical rat. Other ratkin may believe a Great Spirit or other deity designed them to be a rat in this life, but through the lens of a human life.

A ratkin with no theory of origin may just describe their experiences of involuntarily being a rat in some way, without necessarily trying to figure out why or how.


A ratkin may or may not experience some forms of shifting as part of their kintype.

Mental Shifts[]

State of mind for ratkin may become simpler and less language based—though any ratkin that especially connects to the intellect and cleverness of rats may find themselves wordlessly enjoying puzzles and games based on manual dexterity, short term recall, and problem solving. Ratkin fond of social species of rats may find themself desiring company for preening and sharing snacks. Ratkin of less social species may find themselves quietly sneaking away from gatherings of humans or trying to disappear in plain sight.

Phantom Shifts[]

Ratkin may feel phantom tails, large ears on their head, or sensitive whiskers on their face. They may feel naked without fur, or may wish to cover themselves to replicate the sense of hair that should be present on their skin. They may feel a sense of being smaller than their material form. They may take new delight in their hands, because their thumbs feel more like rat thumbs than human ones.

Sensory Shifts[]

A ratkin in a sensory shift may find themselves dazzled by scent, or perhaps even navigating by it! Following the pleasant scents of food, avoiding the scents of large groups of people, or just using the sense of smell to explore familiar places in new ways. They may also find themself noticing air currents on their phantom whiskers.