Why is my Pet Rabbit Making Weird Noises? 9 Common Reasons!

Rabbits are known for being cute, fluffy, and cuddly.

They are extremely active and will love hopping around your house, sniffing every crevice and corner for new discoveries.

Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are also some of the most communicative pets out there!

They might not jump on you and lick you all over your face as our crazy canines do, but they have their own special way of showing it through different noises and sounds.

Why Do Rabbits Make Weird Noises?

Rabbits make great family pets because they usually don’t mind being handled by people. They will gladly let the kids pick them up and even play with them happily!

Alongside physical closeness, your bunny will also try to communicate with you.

As they explore and experience life in your home, your pet rabbit will try to interact with you in different ways.

This includes cuddling with you at night, wanting its share as you sit down for lunch, and even making noises.

These noises can even sound like they are trying to talk to you, in rabbit language, of course! 

While rabbits are generally great at communicating among themselves, it can be a little difficult to do it with their human companions.

After all, we have the language barrier to consider!

But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to understand what your bunny is trying to tell you!

Here are some instances that cause rabbits to make weird noises.

During a Fight

If you bring home several rabbits, there are always chances that they won’t get along. While rabbits do enjoy the companionship of other bunnies, they might not appreciate the new member in their home.

Similarly, when a female rabbit has had babies, and they grow up, you will notice them ‘playing together.’

Sometimes, this playing can get too rough, and the rabbits end up fighting instead.

The fighting will lead to bouts of aggression from your bunnies, which results in them making strange noises.

They make these sounds in an attempt to scare the other rabbit into submission.

When They are in Pain

Usually, during a fight, the larger rabbit will end up hurting the smaller ones.

While the larger rabbit makes weird noises to establish its dominance, you will notice the smaller one making different sounds.

These sounds result from the smaller rabbit being hurt by the larger one. Rabbits make these whimper-like sounds to show that they are in pain and need help.

As soon as you hear these sounds, rush to your rabbits and observe for any signs of injury, bleeding, or swelling.

Separate the two rabbits and take the hurt one to the vet’s clinic for proper treatment.

To Demand Attention

Now, your rabbits don’t necessarily need to get into a fight to make a strange sound. They might end up making them just to get your attention!

While rabbits aren’t the neediest of pets, they do enjoy getting loved and pampered by their owners.

So, if your bunny feels like it didn’t get enough time from you today, it will start to make strange sounds.

If you react to these sounds and rush to your rabbit, it will start to associate the sound with your attention.

So, anytime it wants you to come to it, the bunny will make that exact sound and wait for you.

Showing they are Stressed

Rabbits are rather fragile, little animals that can get scared or stressed easily.

If your bunny feels stressed due to a new pet, a change in its environment, or even separation anxiety, it will thump its foot and growl.

These two sounds might sound like your bunny is being aggressive, but they aren’t!

They are just scared and need some reassurance from you to feel safe and cared for again!

Displaying their Unhappiness

If your bunny is unhappy with its environment, it will definitely show its displeasure through different noises.

These sounds include squealing, growling, thumping, or even clucking near you.

This could be because the rabbit doesn’t feel comfortable with the nest or hutch you’ve made for it.

It could also be because its diet is lacking, it doesn’t have access to freshwater, or the hutch hasn’t been cleaned in a while.

P.S. You should watch out when your bunny is unhappy or displeased. Although rabbits make some of the most loving and easy pets, they are known to act out in anger.

You rabbit might kick dirt on your face or thump its back foot on you if it isn’t happy with you!

Expressing Joy and Comfort

It is important to realize that just because your rabbit is making strange noises, it doesn’t mean something is wrong. Your bunny might just be happy and singing its heart out for you!

Rabbits do express their happiness and comfort through different sounds.

They squeak and chirp in an adorable way when they get proper love, attention, and diet.

Your bunny might pair these sounds like some gentle thumping. You should consider this an applause for you as you’re a wonderful pet owner!

During Pregnancies

If you have a female rabbit, you can expect the strange sounds to become a regular part of the day!

Female rabbits have a breeding period of about 31 days. During these days, they are in quite a lot of pain and will make weird noises to express that they aren’t feeling good.

These sounds are also made to warn people and other animals not to come near them.

Additionally, when the mother rabbit gives birth, she will make quite a lot of noise.

This is your sign that the babies are on the way, and your home will soon be filled with little hoppy bunnies.

Also read: What Are the Signs of a Pregnant Rabbit?

Due to Nasal Obstructions

Your rabbit is a nasal breather; therefore, any obstructions in their nasal cavity can lead to your rabbit making a strange sound.

If your rabbits have a minor deformity in their nose formation, it can cause them to make different high and low-pitched sounds as they breathe.

The rabbit might even snore when they are aware due to the obstruction.

If you notice these strange nasal sounds, it is best to get your bunny medically inspected at the vet’s and see if a treatment plan is available.

When They Feel Threatened

Lastly, if your bunny is feeling threatened, it will try to make itself sound bigger and scarier.

This is an attempt to ward off any predators and make their living space safe again.

Just like humans, rabbits are extremely protective of their homes and don’t tolerate anybody threatening it.

They will defend their territory by making aggressive sounds followed by growling and biting.

Different Rabbit Sounds and What They Mean

Now that you know why your pet rabbit is making weird noises let’s try to understand what each of the sounds indicates.

You should remember that even the strangest of sounds is your bunny trying to communicate with you.

When you attempt to understand what the sounds mean, you will be able to find out whether your bunny is happy or upset.

It is a great way to offer it what it needs to ensure happy and healthy living.

Grunts

Grunting is the most common sound that rabbits make. It indicates that your bunny is excited and ready to have fun with you.

Rabbits mostly grunt when they are trying to get you to play with them. They feel energetic and want to be engaged with their human friend.

Also, male rabbits that haven’t been neutered tend to grunt when they are ready to mate.

Growling

Just like other animals, rabbits growl when they get angry or upset.

If your bunny feels threatened or isn’t getting the care it needs to thrive, it will start to growl at you.

While the growling can sound absolutely adorable, rabbit owners should take their bunny’s expressions seriously.

You should try to find out why your rabbit is unhappy and make any necessary changes in its lifestyle.

If left unattended, the growling can quickly be followed by other aggressive behaviors.

Squealing

Hearing rabbits squeal is a rather worrying and uncommon occurrence.

This is because your bunny will only squeal when it is severely injured or in deep pain.

The second you hear your rabbit squealing, you should rush to it and try to find out what is wrong.

See if you can hold your rabbit without it squealing in pain again, transfer it to a carrier, and head to the emergency vet.

Stomping their Foot

We have all seen little kids stomp their feet in anger. Well, your bunnies are no different!

Rabbits stomp their food when they want to be taken out of their hutch or are angry at something else.

It could be that they are bored of getting the same food or even because you haven’t played enough with them.

Different bunnies have different personalities, so yours will stomp its foot for different reasons.

Purring

Just like our friendly felines, when your rabbit purrs, it means that they are feeling on top of the world.

Your bunny is extremely content and loves its life. You will mostly notice your rabbit purring when you pet it, or it’s snuggled up to you on the sofa.

It might also pet when you offer some fresh fruit or other treats to enjoy!

Sneezing

A sneezing rabbit is never a good sign! If your bunny is sneezing or sounds like it is sneezing, it could be due to nasal obstruction.

Your rabbit’s nasal pathway could be blocked by pollen or grass. Sneezing can also be a symptom of a respiratory infection.

Therefore, if it continues for longer than a day, you should take your bunny to the vet for a checkup.

Hissing

Lastly, you might notice your bunny hissing like an angry little monster.

Hissing usually comes after growling, when your rabbit has tried once to deter the threat but failed.

This second response, hissing, is a more aggressive way to establish dominance and get rid of any threats.

When your rabbit hisses, it is time to back away from it and give it space. Otherwise, your bunny might end up lunging at you or even nipping to make u go away.

Important Questions that Rabbit Owners Ask  

You’re now well aware of the different instances when rabbits make weird noises. You also know what the different kinds of noises indicate.

Therefore, you can understand what your rabbit is trying to communicate to you.

However, even with this knowledge, rabbit owners often wonder if something is wrong with their precious pets.

When rabbits make weird noises, their owners immediately think they are unwell or upset.

To clear out any confusion regarding weird pet rabbit noises, we have answered some commonly asked questions below.

They will help you make sure your bunnies are living well and happy.

Let’s have a look!

Can Rabbits Sneeze and Cough?

Whenever pet rabbits make a strange sound, their caretakers naturally assume it is because they aren’t well.

However, as we learned above, that isn’t true! Strange noises don’t necessarily mean your bunny is sneezing or coughing.

But, if you notice them sniffling or sneezing constantly, you should take notice right away.

Rabbits can sneeze, cough, and even sniffle when they get the flu. All of these can be signs of an underlying illness that requires immediate vet attention.

If left untreated, the illness can develop into pneumonia or even severe breathing problems. They can prove to be life-threatening if left untreated.

Why Do Rabbits Make Sounds at Night?

If your rabbits are making excessive amounts of noise at night, it could be a sign that their days lack something.

Rabbits are extremely active animals, and they require plenty of exercises to stay healthy and fit.

Your bunnies also need mental stimulation with games and toys.

When rabbits don’t get the mental and physical stimulation they need, they will end up bored and riled up.

They have loads of energy flowing through their body and nowhere to use it.

This results in your bunnies making sounds at night to capture your attention. They will thump, squeal and even moan to make you realize they don’t feel tired enough to sleep.

Moreover, rabbits can also make these sounds if they don’t get enough space to sleep in.

They will feel irritated and annoyed at the lack of comfort, much like humans, and express it through strange sounds.

Is My Rabbit Crying?

While your rabbit might be making sounds that cause you to think they’re crying, they actually aren’t.

Rabbits don’t produce tears; therefore, they technically cannot ‘cry’.

So, the crying-like sounds you’re hearing are either them moaning or grunting due to feeling threatened, stressed, or displeased.

If your rabbit feels sad or lonely, it won’t make any noises at all. Instead, rabbits are known to become withdrawn and quiet when they are upset.

They will stop grooming themselves and might even refuse food until they feel happy and satisfied again.

Hence, it is important for rabbit owners to watch out for their pet’s behavior as well as the noises it makes.

Any negative changes in behavior can be a sign that your bunny is in pain or unwell.

What Does My Rabbit’s Thumping Mean?

If your rabbit is thumping its root, it is mostly due to a sense of fear and threat.

Anytime your pet bunny comes across a potential source of danger to their life, home, or even their babies, they will thump their back foot.

This action is an attempt to ward off the threat and bring back safety to their living environment.

Your bunny will continue thumping until they are fully convinced that the danger is gone for good.

What does a Rabbit in Distress Sound Like?

Rabbits usually make aggressive noises when they are in distress.

These aggressive sounds can range from growling to screaming or even whimpering, depending on why your bunny is feeling anxious.

If your rabbit is scared or threatened, it will stomp its feet and whimper out loud. On the other hand, rabbits mostly growl, hiss, or snort, much like cats when they feel threatened.

Also, keep in mind that rabbits might make different sounds when they are threatened by a predator, as compared to feeling scared in their living conditions.

Therefore, it is best to closely observe what is causing your rabbit distress and what kind of sound they are making.

You can use this knowledge to eliminate the source of their stress to ensure your bunny can go back to its happy and unaggressive self.

Final Words

There you have it, everything you need to know about the strange little noises your rabbit makes!

When you’ve read through this article, you’ll be in a better position to understand what your bunny is trying to communicate to you.

It ensures that you catch on quickly when something is wrong with your beloved pet and offer the care it needs.

We wish you all the best in understanding and caring for your pet rabbit!

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