Rabbits are very discreet, and they barely make any sound. The sounds they make are so soft that they can hardly be heard. Rabbits express their emotions through the sounds they make.
Apart from their body language, this is how we can determine if they are feeling unwell or if they are in pain. Therefore, recognizing their sounds and their respective meaning are essential when caring for a rabbit.
Different rabbit sounds and what they mean:
A grunting male rabbit means he is ready to mate with a female rabbit. It could also mean they are anticipating feeding time, or that they are going after each other. Some rabbits also grunt in your presence to get your attention.
Teeth purring are a sign of contentment and pleasure, which often happens when you are petting them. It is often accompanied by gentle tooth grinding. A loud tooth grinding often signals pain, so make sure to recognize whether they are pleased or unhappy.
Foot thumping is a rabbit’s way of alerting other rabbits of trouble. Rabbits are sensitive in ground movements and they can feel the vibration from a considerable distance. Thumping is also their way of saying they don’t like what is happening.
When rabbits feel threatened by other animals (or you), they tend to growl as a way of saying “back off.”
Sneezing is a rabbit’s way of saying they hate a particular scent. It could happen right after you spray perfume or when they smell something strong. However, if their sneezing is accompanied by watery eyes or runny nose, they need to get checked by a vet.
This sound is barely audible and is hard to catch. Sighing often means they are not happy about something but are rather helpless about it.
A clucking sound is often heard from a nursing rabbit mother, or from a rabbit that is thankful for its meal.
Squealing is heard from two fighting rabbits. It is also the sound of a rabbit that is threatened or is in pain.
A screaming rabbit can give you goosebumps. They only scream if their life is in danger or if they have been captured by a predator. You will also hear them scream if they are experiencing an agonizing death.
Knowing these different rabbit sounds is imperative because it is their way of communicating, and it is how they tell us they need help. We must always stay attuned to them even when we are busy with other things. Rabbits are always confined to their cages and they need to be “heard” and understood.