Rabbit Language & Rabbit Sounds

Understanding Rabbits ~ History ~ Habitat ~ Anatomy ~ Behaviour ~ Rabbit Language

rabbit language

Rabbits have a language of their own, like most animals, but unlike most domestic animals, they don't voice themselves very loudly or for the benefit of us.

Dogs, for example, have developed a 'I'm-happy bark' and a 'help-me howl', they even mimic their owners yawns to show a loyal connection. Rabbits, on the other hand, keep a fairly silent tongue. What vocalizations they do have are quiet and reticent.

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Understandable really, they don't want to draw too much attention to themselves. Wild rabbits are wise but they are prey for many predators and their domestic counterparts have genetically carried those instincts of survival with them.

However, rabbit language and the sounds they do make can be heard quite clearly when you know what to listen out for. Their mutterings and chatterings play big part in their communications with each other. Other rabbits, can of course, understand these faint growls and grunts, but we too can go some way into comprehending their unique speech.

Rabbits have actions and sounds that are all part of their general behaviour. You can read more about rabbit language in behaviour here. But for now let's look at the noises our furry little friends make and what they mean.

rabbit speak

Generally rabbit behaviour is made of of gestures, movements and positions but as you spend time with your rabbit you'll notice that they have a language made up of a variety of noises and sounds.

These sounds could indicate anything from happy contentment to severe pain.

By learning what these sounds mean you will have a better idea of your rabbit's state of health, mind, wants and needs. You'll also get a great sense of satisfaction and increase the enjoyment you feel when you spend time with your rabbits, knowing that you can communicate both ways!

Below are some examples of the noises rabbits make and their possible meanings.

  • Soft grinding of the teeth - Your rabbit is happy.
  • Loud grinding of the teeth - Your rabbit is in pain (take it to the vet).
  • Muttering - Your rabbit is unhappy or angry.
  • Growling or hissing - Your rabbit is very angry and feels threatened. It usually precedes an attack (leave it alone to calm down).
  • Loud squealing - Your rabbit is either very frightened or in extreme pain (take it to the vet).
  • Clucking a bit like hiccups - Your bunny is very contented, often heard when your rabbit is dozing.

Hear the Sounds of Rabbit Language

Here are some sounds from the great collective of rabbit noises. Please note there are some awful sounds on this list so be prepared when you click to play them. Rabbits are generally quite silent creatures so if they do make any loud noises they are usually because of great distress, fear or alarm.

Rabbit Sounds
Click to Listen
Cottontail Call
Jackrabbit Distress Call
Rabbit Distressed
Rabbit Chut
Rabbit Honking

Rabbit Growling
Rabbit Oinking
Rabbit Purring
Rabbit Screaming
Rabbit Snoring

Have you tried playing some of these sounds to your rabbit to see their reaction?

If you have any sounds that you have recorded of your rabbit I'd love to add them to the catalog.

Here's some other pages you may find useful too:

Rabbit Terms - provides a glossary of terms commonly used throughout the rabbit world and show rabbit industry to explain commonly used rabbit terms.

Rabbit Colour Genetics - All about the amazing colours of our furry friends, including the Albino gene.

Rabbit Age - So how long do rabbits live then? Surprisingly long actually! Find out more here...

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