Do Rabbits Have a Good Sense of Smell

Do Rabbits Have a Good Sense of Smell
Do Rabbits Have a Good Sense of Smell

Rabbits are known to be alert, and quick creatures. With such keen senses, rabbits are able to act abruptly and escape any trouble that is necessary. Since rabbits have such good senses, some wonder if a rabbit’s sense of smell also falls into that category.

So, do rabbits have a good sense of smell?

Rabbits do have a good sense of smell. Rabbits have over fifty million receptors in their nose which they use for smelling. A rabbit’s sense of smell is useful for surviving in the wild.

I will be discussing the sense of smell a rabbit has, as well as some other facts about the senses a rabbit has. Finally, I will explore which sense rabbits depend on the most.

Do Rabbits Have a Good Sense of Smell?

Rabbits Have a Very Good Sense of Smell. Their Sense of Smell Aids Them Greatly in the Wild When it Comes to Identifying Other Animals and Evading Predators. A Rabbit Using Their Strong Sense of Smell can be Noted by Moving Their Nose Up and Down.

One of the first characteristics that pops into our mind when we think of a rabbit is the signature nose twitch. This twitch is not only used for smelling, but it is also essential for breathing. The rabbit will draw air into their lungs and breathe with their nose twitch.

As humans, our nostrils may expand outward and inward as we sniff, or smell something. Rabbits are performing a similar action as they twitch their nose. It is much more obvious in rabbits, however, because they constantly sniff the air.

A rabbit’s sense of smell is very useful in helping them detect danger. They can smell predators with enough time to get away safely. The rabbit’s sense of smell is also used for identifying friends and finding potential mates.

Rabbits have fifty million receptor cells in their nose that aid in their ability to smell. Humans only have six million. That should put into perspective just how superior a rabbit’s sense of smell is to ours.

Rabbits actually have two types of scent detection cells. One is the Olfactory sensory cell, which detect ordinary airborne odors. The Jacobson Organ is the other, which picks up heavy moisture-borne molecules and pheromones. Moist air carries more scent, so when a rabbit breathes in, their split top lip parts and will moisten the air as it passes.

This moistening of air will enhance any scent which enables the rabbit to fully understand their environment.

Smelling is a large part of interaction among rabbits as well. If you notice two rabbits sniffing each other, they may be either preparing to mate, or just being friendly.

Rabbits also have a very sensitive nasal membrane. This nasal membrane is sensitive to materials like perfume, chemicals, or dust. These agents may cause upper respiratory issues in a rabbit if they are exposed too much.

The impressive sense of smell a rabbit has is present at birth. This is needed for a newborn to find their mother’s teat.

Rabbits have a very strong sense of smell, but what other senses do rabbits utilize greatly?

While Rabbits Have a Very Impressive Sense of Smell, Their Other Senses Are Also Very Impressive. Rabbits Are Known to Not Only Have a Keen Sense of Smell, but a Great Vision, Hearing, Sense of Touch, and Taste as Well. All of These Senses Aid in the Survival of Rabbits in the Wild Greatly.

The rabbit’s senses are…


  • The rabbit has 17,000 taste buds in their mouth and pharynx
  • A rabbit can differentiate between toxic and non-toxic plants in the wild, which is essential for their survival
  • Rabbits can also distinguish between sour, sweet, bitter, and salty foods
  • Some rabbits are picky, and choose to only tolerate bitter greens such as dandelion


  • A rabbit’s whiskers are as long as their body is wide
  • A rabbit’s whiskers are helpful in measuring the width of openings, especially in the dark
  • Whiskers are located on the mouth, nose, cheeks, and above the eyes
  • At the follicle end of each whisker, there are sensory nerves which enable delicate awareness
  • A rabbit’s entire body also has sensory nerve endings which are sensitive.


  • Rabbit’s pretty much hear in our range, with the exception of higher pitches such as rodents, bats, bugs, some bird noises, and mechanical or electrical sounds
  • A rabbit’s auditory system is beneficial for detecting predators and perceiving the world around them
  • Where a rabbit’s ears lay will reflect how safe they are feeling; upright ears are alert, where flat ears are calm


  • A rabbit has a large field of vision
  • Rabbits are unable to focus on people
  • Rabbits are able to pick up any movement and are able to escape as a result
  • Large eyes on each upper side of head
  • Together, eyes can see in every direction
  • Eyes are not great at perceiving depth, or seeing objects that are close
  • Intense light will blind a rabbit since they cannot contract pupils well

So, a rabbit has impressive senses all around, but which sense does the rabbit rely on the most heavily?

While All the Senses of a Rabbit Are Important, Including Smell, what is The Most Vital for Survival? A Rabbit Tends to Rely the Most Heavily on Their Ability to Hear. This is Very Important for Hearing Approaching Predators and Escaping in Time. Their Large, Upright Ears Help the Rabbit to Hear What they Need To.

A rabbit’s ability to hear is their most vital sense. This is the sense they rely on the most to avoid predators. A rabbit’s auditory system allows them to study the area around them, as their sense of sound is very well developed.

Rabbits are able to hear small noises from far away which allows them to escape from predators before they have even seen them yet. A rabbit’s ears can hear sound from over 2 miles away due to the long, upright shape of them.

Since rabbits have long ears, they can be down low in the grass but still have their ears sticking up to hear clearly.

When the rabbit’s ears are moving forward and back this means they are working hard to listen for possible danger. This is like a rabbit’s own built in radar system. The sound waves will bounce off of objects which allow the rabbit to understand the arrangement of their surroundings, even if they may not because of their lack of depth perception and inability to see well up-close.

Among other senses, rabbits have great hearing, which they rely on heavily for survival.

Rabbits Have a Very Good Sense of Smell, Among Other Impressive Senses. A Rabbit is Able to Use Their Sense of Smell to Find a Mate, as Well as be Aware of Potential Predators. A Rabbit’s Sense of Smell is Much Better than a Human’s.

Rabbits have a very impressive sense of smell. This is why they are able to smell a predator, sometimes before they have even seen them. A rabbit can frequently be seen twitching their nose in order to understand their surroundings.

Not only do rabbits use their keen sense of smell for avoiding predators, but they use it for identifying friends and potential mates. Two rabbits sniffing each other is similar to humans having a conversation.

While the sense of smell is great in a rabbit, they rely the most heavily on their ability to hear for survival.

Overall, a rabbit’s sense of smell is a very impressive, and useful part of their DNA.