Rabbits are noisy. It’s shocking to hear your pet rabbit scream, growl and hiss. I suggest you learn all the sounds your pet rabbit makes and what they mean. In fact, I get asked by people all the time what noises a rabbit makes. So, do rabbit make noise when they: sleep, get hurt, mate, birth, get attacked or are happy?
What Noises Does A Rabbit Make?
Although your pet rabbit can’t bark like a dog or meow like a cat, she can make a variety of noises. These noises communicate her happiness, displeasure or even her fear. Rabbit owners are surprised at how vocal their pet rabbit can be. It might be disconcerting when to hear your cute bunny honk or growl, but it’s normal behavior for a rabbit. So, what noises can your rabbit make and what does it mean? Here is a list of common rabbit noises and what your pet rabbit is communicating.
This is a common rabbit sound for an unaltered male rabbit. It’s a sign that he’s looking to mate. While grunting or honking, the male will circle around a female. Sometimes males grunt while mating with a female.
Spayed females and neutered males also make these noises, but they make this sound because they’re happy or eager. Rabbit owners will hear this sound when they are feeding their rabbit or playing with their rabbit. Sometimes rabbits honk to get attention from you if you’re not giving them enough attention.
Rabbits purr happily when you pet them. They make this noise by grinding their teeth together. Louder grinding of their teeth is not a happy sound, but a sign of pain.
If your pet rabbit growls at you beware, she’s about to lunge at you and maybe even bite you. This noise means your rabbit is protecting her territory, ie her cage. Unspayed females are more prone to making this noise. Sometimes rabbits growl because they’re afraid. Whatever the reason, steer clear if your pet rabbit growls. She needs some space and you don’t want to get scratched or bit.
Your pet rabbit thumps instinctively like his wild rabbit relatives. Thumping is a signal rabbits make with their hind feet to warn of danger. In domestic rabbits it’s more of a warning to keep a distance. Your rabbit thumps when a dog or cats gets too close to her cage or if she doesn’t like the sound of the vacuum cleaner so close. She’s letting your know she’s displeased and to please stop.
Rabbits sigh sounds are soft and not always heard by their owners. If your rabbit likes her fur brushed or the special treat you just gave her, she’ll make a sighing sound. It means she’s happy and contented.
Female rabbits make clucking sounds while feeding their babies. Spayed females cluck to show appreciation.
Sneezing or snorting
If your rabbit smells a strong odor, she’ll might sneeze or snort to show you her displeasure at the scent. It’s almost a sigh of disgust. If your rabbit continuously sneezes and has a runny nose, this means she’s getting sick and should be checked out by your vet.
Rabbits squeal during a fight with another rabbit. Your pet rabbit will also squeal if you handle her too rough or hurt her.
Rabbits make a hissing sound when they want to scare off any enemy or a perceived enemy. It’s an unhappy sound for a rabbit to make, so it could lead to lunging or scratching.
If your pet rabbit whines at you as you’re about to pick her up, it means she doesn’t want you to pick her up. If a pregnant doe gets put into a cage with a male rabbit, whining means she’s not happy about being with him because he will try to mate with her and could get her pregnant with a second litter even though pregnant.
Why Do Rabbits Scream When They Die?
A rabbit screams, sometimes called a “death scream,” when she is dying or thinks she’s dying. It’s a panicky, hysterical sounding scream that’s often heard in the wild because a predator has grabbed a rabbit. Those who have heard it, say it’s a terrible sound to hear.
Some rabbits owners say that their rabbit screams for no reason or because she’s afraid, but not necessarily dying. So, although rabbits have screamed when dying or about to die, they can scream when frightened or for reasons unknown.
Do Rabbits Cry?
Rabbits cry when in pain or frightened or very sad. Rabbits cry tears along with whimpering or screaming noises. Some rabbit owners are unaware that rabbits have such emotions. Here’s a list of reasons why your rabbit may act sad or cry.
- Illness-Rabbits are prone to illness, some that cause sudden death. If your rabbit seems sad or depressed or she lets out a pitiful cry- have her checked at your vet immediately. Because rabbits are prey animals, when ill, rabbits kick into an instinctive survival mode which makes them hide their illness. Some rabbit owners say their rabbits was on death’s door but her only symptoms was that she looked a bit sad. So, when your rabbit shows pain, it’s serious.
- Pain-If your rabbit is in pain, she might let out a cry. If she’s handled too rough or injured, she’ll cry out.
- Fear-Rabbits scare easily. As a prey animal, they’re always on the alert for a predator. Even domestic rabbits perceive predators around them if the household dog or cat comes too close to their cage, or a child is too loud near the rabbit cage. Rabbits who are afraid cry or whimper.
Why Do Rabbits Whimper?
Rabbits whimper. A rabbit’s whimpers sound a nasal dog whimper. So, if you hear your pet rabbit whimper, here are some reasons why. Your rabbit….
Doesn’t want to be held-This could because your rabbit had a bad experience recently or she just don’t feel in the mood to be held. As a rabbit owner, you’ll get to know your own rabbit’s personality and preferences.
Doesn’t feel safe-If your rabbit doesn’t feel safe with you or someone else, she might whimper to let you know she needs help.
Pregnant rabbits don’t want males around-When a rabbit is pregnant, she doesn’t like to be around unneutered males because they might want to mate. Even pregnant, a female can get pregnant with a second litter. Thus the phrase, ”breed like rabbits.”
Don’t feel safe in environment-If your rabbit is inside or outside and doesn’t feel safe, she may whimper. Rabbits feel unsafe is they think there’s a predator nearby. This could be a dog, a cat or even a squirrel if she’s outside.
Why Is My Rabbit Making A Buzzing Noise?
Rabbits make buzzing noises for the same reason they make honking noises. It’s usually a sign of happiness and pleasure. They often buzz or honk while circling either you or another rabbit. In unaltered rabbits, it’s a sign of sexual excitement or interest in mating.
What Does It Mean When My Rabbit Squeaks?
If your rabbit is squeaking, she’s a happy bunny. Her high-pitched squeak shows she’s really excited to eat a special treat or enjoying her new toy.
But if your rabbit makes a deeper pitched squeaking sound, this means she’s not so happy. She might feel scared or unhappy or she doesn’t want to be held. As a rabbit owner, you’ll learn what your rabbit is communicating with her noises and the tones of each noise.
What Does Bunny Oinking Mean?
A female rabbit’s soft oinking is sometimes called honking. The oinking sound is associated with mating. She could call a male rabbit to mate with her or telling a male rabbit to stay away from her. It’s not an aggressive angry sound. Sometimes she’ll circle the male rabbit. Rabbit oinking is sometimes called a “courting sound.”
Although rabbits circle if interested in mating, it sometimes means your rabbit just wants your attention, she needs food, water or affection.
Is My Rabbit Depressed?
Rabbits are happy, social animals. But sometimes, they get depressed if they’re sick, stressed out or their environment isn’t the best. If your rabbits is depressed for a long time need medical attention. They might be sick with very few symptoms. As a rabbit owner, you will become familiar with your rabbit enough to know that’s something wrong with them. Here are some symptoms of depression to look for in your rabbit.
Lethargy-Your rabbit should be energetic, running around inside your house or in her outside play area. When your pet is depressed, she will often act listless, tired and won’t want to play with you.
Hiding-If your rabbit hides, she’s not happy or not well.
Unsocial-Rabbits are social animals by nature. If your rabbit doesn’t want to interact with you or other rabbits, this is a bad sign.
Loss of appetite-Rabbits need to eat their weight in hay every day. They need plenty of fresh vegetables, herbs and water. If your rabbit isn’t eating these things it could cause depression or loss of appetite. Not eating will affect her digestive system which can cause illness because of diarrhea or other digestive problems.
Pacing-When your rabbit paces, she’s under stress or anxious. Rabbits are sensitive to being moved, if you’ve moved her cage, she could feel unsafe in the new place. Rabbits are clean animals. If her cage or hutch isn’t clean, this can cause anxiety for your rabbit. Keep fresh hay for her to eat in the hay rack. Replace old straw with fresh straw daily. Clean out your rabbit’s litter box. Always change your rabbit’s water bowl daily.
Biting- Rabbits need to chew to keep their teeth trimmed down since they grow for their entire lives. If your rabbit stops chewing hay or wooden toys you’ve included in the cage, but is biting things like the bars of the cage, it could mean she’s depressed or sick.
Over grooming-Over grooming is a sign that something is wrong with your rabbit. Often fear or anxiety causes Over grooming. If your rabbit keeps Over grooming, she’ll cause bald spots on her fur. Plus she might eat lots of fur causing hairballs to build up in her stomach. Hairballs can cause obstructions in her digestive tract.
If you notice these symptoms, contact your vet right away. He can check your rabbit to make sure she’s healthy.
Rabbits are good communicators. They squeak, buzz, honk, scream and grunt. Their sounds vary depending upon what they’re trying to communicate to their owners. Rabbit owners soon learn to interpret their pet rabbit’s noises. Because every rabbit has her own personality and preferences, learning what her noises mean will help her owner be able to take care of her in the best way.