Rabbit Noises and What They Mean
Many people think rabbits are silent, but they actually make quite a few different noises. Rabbit noises can be quiet or loud, depending on the circumstances and what the rabbit is trying to communicate. Learning to interpret pet rabbit behaviour and those noises will make you a more attentive rabbit owner.
Growling or Grunting
Rabbits may growl or grunt when they are not happy. Perhaps your rabbit is upset that you're reaching into her cage or maybe she is feeling stressed or afraid. Different growls and grunts will mean different things. Some rabbits may grunt or growl during mating as part of their ritual. The more time you spend with your rabbit, the better you'll understand her sounds and behavior.
Quiet Teeth Grinding
Some rabbits will grind their teeth lightly when they're feeling good. This is a good sign and you can be sure your rabbit is happy when he's doing this. It may sound similar to purring.
Loud Teeth Grinding
This means your rabbit is in pain. You may want to take your pet to a vet for evaluation if your rabbit is making this noise.
Some rabbits like to complain when they're unhappy. They go about their business muttering softly to themselves, rather like some people do when they're annoyed with something. Some rabbits do this more than others. In fact, you'll find the occasional rabbit that is actually very talkative and makes muttering sounds every time you interact with them.
Some rabbits make a wheezing sound when they get very excited. Not every rabbit does this, but you'll recognize if you hear it. It may occur when they are playing really hard or if they are exploring something new.
Some rabbits will buzz during mating. It can be confused with grunting; it is a low-pitched gravelly sound. The rabbits usually circle around each other making this sound until the time is right to finish the act. Bucks may also squeal a bit when they finish mating as they fall backward.
If you're near your rabbit when they're ingesting their cecotropes (night feces, those soft, grape cluster smelly droppings), you can sometimes hear them squeak.
Some rabbits, when truly relaxed and sleepy, will snore. Some will actually snore very loudly.
Rabbits thump their hind feet when they feel threatened or angry. You'll hear it if a strange animal comes near your rabbit's cage. If you hear this, check out your rabbit and find out what's going on. Bucks can also do this when they are impressing upon a doe how macho they are before mating.
In extreme situations, rabbits will scream when frightened. They may scream before a predator grabs them. Once in awhile, one will scream when getting their ear tattooed, while most sit through it just fine. A rabbit scream is very loud and very shrill. Once you hear it, this is one of those rabbit noises you will never forget. Depending on the cause of the scream, your rabbit will calm down and be fine, or needs immediate medical attention if it isn't already too late.
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