Justin Theroux has a tattoo of a rat on his back.

The 'Leftovers' star has revealed just why he got the unusual inking on his skin and says it was a dedication to one of his pets' favourite foods.

Speaking at Vulture festival, he said: ''So I had two dogs, both rescues, pit bulls, pit bull mix, and when they died, I dedicated half my back to one and half of my back to the other. So, it's a picture of a rat, because my dog used to kill rats in Washington Square Park, which is not fun. It was horrible. She was really good at it. I mean, it's doing a service to New York also. Oh, and then a pigeon. A New York pigeon and a rat.''

When Jennifer Aniston split from Justin earlier this year, the pair's top priority was reaching an agreement over custody of their dogs - their white shepherd mix Dolly, terrier Clyde and pit bull Sophie.

A source said at the time: ''They've always referred to them as their children. It was the biggest bone of contention in the split.''

The 46-year-old actor also has another pit bull terrier in New York and has ''made an arrangement for visitation'' for Jennifer, 49.

Neither the 'Leftovers' actor nor the former 'Friends' actress have spoken about the split since they released a joint statement on the end of their two-and-a-half-year marriage following increased speculation about the state of their marriage.

They said at the time: ''In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation. This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship. Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else's fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.''