January 31, 2019

Rabbit Noises and Their Meanings

Many people think that rabbits are mute, or at least very quiet. While it is true that rabbits often favor body language as their primary source of communication (and they won’t keep your neighbors up all night with any obnoxious vocalizations) they can make a vast array of noises! Just like humans, some rabbits are decidedly more “talkative” than others, but by familiarizing yourself with common noises your rabbit makes, you will be able to build upon that human-pet bond and gain even more insight into how these special, unique creatures communicate. 


Despite the name, a rabbit’s cluck does not sound like the cluck of a chicken. It is a much quieter, lower pitch sound and is generally associated with satisfaction.


Honking is usually heard from a bunny who is excited or one who is about to receive their favorite treat.


Purring sounds quite similar to a cat’s purr, though softer, and instead of originating in the throat, it is made by lightly grinding their teeth together. Purring is commonly heard in very content buns. Please keep in mind that a loud, sharp teeth grinding sound is often a sign of significant pain and sounds significantly harsher than that of a purr.

Aggressive Noises and Screaming

Rabbits are also capable of growling, snorting, and hissing, all of which are generally associated with signs of aggression. Whimpering and thumping (a sharp stomp of the hind feet) are often associated with fear. The final, most worrisome sound a rabbit makes is screaming. Screaming is just as it seems, a terrifying, shrill, and unmistakable sound and is only emitted when the rabbit feels their life is in imminent danger (e.g. being chased by a predator).

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