The Rat is the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac, which may be a result of its ambitious and energetic qualities. There are few with more energy than the Rat, as they are one of the few Chinese Zodiac signs that detest being idle. Those of the Rat sign are known to be quite intelligent, clever and charming, but above all, the greatest strength of the Rat may lie in its resourcefulness. There is never a challenge too great for a Rat to overcome and at times, the Rat's drive may straddle the line of selfishness. In this sense it may be difficult to fully gain the Rat's interest unless there is personal gain to be obtained.

Socially, the Rat presents a social and fun-seeking personality. The Rat is at ease in groups and at social gatherings, partially because of their ability to hide their true emotions. A Rat will be hard-pressed to expose negative feelings, electing to keep these matters private. There may be times when the Rat's social concerns lead them down the path of gossip and judgement, but this is only because of an interest in sharing personal opinions. Those of the Rat sign may be the most sentimental of all the Chinese Zodiac signs. The Rat has a strong sense of responsibility to both elders and children, which makes them very attached and attentive. Members of the Rat sign will always be aware of their family's needs, as well as those of the home.

In terms of fiscal sense, the Rat is one of the most well-equipped signs. It is true that there are few financially down trodden members of the Rat sign, because two of their primary concerns in life are financial security and saving money. In this sense, the Rat is not hesitant to display its bargain-seeking and frugal personality. The Rat often finds success in business, where their keen sense of opportunity and forthright nature can be dominant. Although shrewd, the Rat is not above being generous to those that they hold dear.

Those that are born to the rat sign have a natural pairing with the water element. The flowing qualities of water make the rat sign one of adaptation, creativity and innovation. In the same light, the Rat is not above being aggressive if it allows the job to be done correctly. The Rat is very comfortable giving out orders and often find themselves in leadership roles or positions of power. The Rat's most important organs are the kidneys and bladder.

The Rat's natural pair is the Ox. The Rat appreciates the Ox's qualities of reliability and strength and in turn, the Ox has an innate appreciation for the Rat's dedication and loyalty. Similarly, the Rat also has a natural attraction to the strong and clever Monkey, as well as the Tiger, Dog and Pig. Amongst the Rat's more difficult pairings are the independent Horse and the non-practical Rooster.