Wondering whether rabbits make noise?
This post explores some of the noises rabbits make.
Rabbits are not known for being noisy creatures. In fact, children learn that cats go “meow,” dogs go “woof,” ducks go “quack,” and bunnies…hop. It is true that rabbits communicate primarily through body language. That does not mean they are always silent.
What Sounds do Rabbits Make?
There are actually quite a few noises that your rabbit may make in an attempt to connect with you. Rabbits will make noise to tell you they are happy, scared, or in pain.
One of the most common sounds you will hear from your rabbit friend is a squeak. This is generally a happy sound. It can, however, indicate your rabbit is frustrated or feeling a bit scared. These “unhappy” squeaks are usually deeper. You will quickly become an expert on what your rabbit’s different squeaks mean.
Although usually associated with cats, rabbits can actually purr as well. Just like with cats, purring means your rabbit is feeling very content. The main difference between cat and rabbit purring is how it is made. Cat purrs are made in their throat while rabbit purrs are made by them rubbing their teeth together. You will have to listen very carefully in order to hear a rabbit purr.
Although not generally aggressive animals, rabbits can let out an impressive growl. Your rabbit is likely feeling scared of something and is trying to act tough. This sound usually comes right before a lunge or a bite, so don’t ignore it. Even if you and your rabbit have a good relationship, they may occasionally feel threatened by you. A rabbit’s growl is much quieter than what a dog would do but sounds very similar to a cat.
These are also noises that indicate your rabbit is feeling scared and might become aggressive. Hissing is commonly used to warn other rabbits to back off. Snorting often happens at the same time as growling and can be your only warning before a lunge or a bite.
This sound indicates your rabbit is afraid of something. It often happens after hearing an unfamiliar noise. Rabbits stamp their feet in order to alert other rabbits of incoming danger. Since rabbits are prey in the wild, it is understandable that they are afraid of strange noises and want to alert their friends.
A whining sound usually happens when your rabbit is unhappy with their surroundings. It can also happen if your rabbit does not want to be touched. A pregnant rabbit will make this sound if they are feeling sensitive to touch. They will also make it if they are placed in a cage with a male rabbit to let them know to back off.
This sound is most common in rabbits that have not been fixed. It is a sound made to let a member of the opposite sex know they are interested in mating. This sound can also be heard if your rabbit is feeling very happy about something.
One of the least pleasant sounds you will hear come out of your rabbit is a screech. Many people compare the noise to a child screaming. It is either made out of fear or pain. You should never ignore your rabbit if he screeches or screams. This noise often indicates that your furry little friend needs to see a veterinarian.
Although light teeth chattering is considered to be a rabbit purring, if it is happening excessively it can be the sign of a problem. Very noisy teeth chattering can indicate that your rabbit is in pain or feeling sick and needs medical attention.
Rabbits are very fast creatures and can make some noise when running around your home. They may also make some thumping noises as they leap over furniture. Unless your downstairs neighbors are very grumpy, it is unlikely to lead to any noise complaints.
As you can see, rabbits communicate with us and each other in a lot of different ways. Some of the noises they make do not even come from their mouths! As you spend time with your rabbit and bond, you will learn to quickly distinguish their happy noises from their scared noises. Your rabbit will likely become more vocal as it starts to feel more comfortable with you.
Remember, never wait for your rabbit to make noises before realising you’ve forgotten something. Whether this is filling their water bottle, or even cleaning out their cage.
Looking for more bunny facts? Check out our fun fact list.