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 an “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.

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 a 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 behavior. You can read more about rabbit language in behavior here. But for now, let’s look at the noises our furry little friends make and what they mean.

Generally, rabbit behavior is made 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

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.  

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Liese Miranda Hawkins
Miranda currently lives just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, 8-year old son, and what she lovingly calls her “zoo.” Miranda grew up in the Midwest and always had animals around while growing up. After graduating from college, she married her husband Sam and they moved to the mountains of Colorado where Miranda became very involved with the regional rabbit rescues.

Currently, her “zoo” includes two dogs, one rambunctious cat, and three indoor rabbits. Oliver, a delightful Black Otter Holland Lop, and Juniper, a gorgeous Opal Satin Angora, are a bonded pair and have been together for three years.

She had the pleasure of adding an energetic Fawn Flemish Giant to her family one year ago, named Sir Gregor. He had been abandoned outside a pet store and was put up for adoption. Miranda feels very blessed to have this lovable lagomorph living amongst her family and is a strong advocate for educating people about rabbits and how special they truly are.

Miranda has put together a team of rabbit lovers and breeders from across the country and hopes you will find the information and resources on the JustRabbits.com site beneficial. She loves to hear from her readers and looks forward to seeing many more people become loving responsible bunny parents.