Rabbit Sounds – Understanding What They Mean

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rabbit sounds

Rabbits make a lot of distinct noises and if you know what they mean it can improve the communication between you and your furry pet.

Whether it is vocal sounds or body language, these are the most common sounds a rabbit can make.

Why do rabbits make sounds?

Rabbits have their own way of communicating. If you can understand what they are trying to tell you, your relationship with them will be so much stronger.

While it can be hard at first to determine just what their unique sounds mean, with a bit of practice you will soon be able to meet all your pet rabbit’s needs.

Rabbit Sounds and What do They Mean?

Why do rabbits make sounds

Happy Sounds

Rabbits have a whole host of emotions including happy ones.

If you hear your rabbit making humming, purring, or clicking sounds, it means she’s happy.

These are signs that he likes his food, has had enough rest, is in a safe environment, and feels comfortable.

Distressed Sounds

Rabbits can easily become scared, frightened, or even injured. In these cases, they will emit sounds such as hissing, whimpering, or even screaming.

Other sounds you might hear from your rabbit include foot-stomping and teeth grinding.

If you hear or observe any of these sounds or behaviors, be sure to alter your rabbit’s environment immediately.

He might be injured and need vet attention, or he might be scared and need a safer place to rest.

10 Kinds of rabbit sounds



If your rabbit is asleep, you might hear a low clicking sound.

It will come from the back of his throat and means he is happy and content.

Clicking can also be heard when your rabbit is eating.

Again, this means he likes what he is eating and there are no digestive issues to be concerned about.

Teeth grinding

Rabbits can have a lot of issues with their teeth so pay attention if your rabbit is using his mouth for any irregular noises.

Teeth grinding happens when your rabbit is stressed or in pain.

It can be quiet or loud so you may have to watch for other signs to notice a low grinding noise


Rabbits can definitely feel anger and they show this with either a growling, grunting or hissing sound.

If your rabbit is introduced to a new rabbit, he may want to show his dominance towards him.

Rabbits also need personal space. If they don’t want to be affectionate, or just want to be left alone, they will give you a warning growl to indicate their preference for alone time.  


When your rabbit whines, it can mean a lot of things.

Your rabbit might want a bit of attention and may whine to get you, especially if he is still in his cage.

Whining can also mean your rabbit is curious and just wants to know what is happening.

To determine if your rabbit’s whining is positive or negative, be sure to look around at his surroundings for more clues.


Just like humans, rabbits will wheeze when they have issues with their breathing. Rabbits need the opportunity for plenty of exercises.

If they are too sedentary or don’t have access to nutritious food, they can become overweight which can lead to too much strain on their internal organs.

One sign of wheezing that is good, however, is if your rabbit just lets out one sigh.

This will often happen if you are cuddling him and it means he is happy and content.


This is perhaps one of the more worrying sounds a rabbit can make as it can actually sound like a small child screaming.

A rabbit scream can indicate great distress or pain.

If you hear your rabbit scream, be sure to go to him right away. Offer comfort and plenty of cuddles.

Stay with your rabbit until the danger has passed and he has calmed down.

Tooth purring

Rabbits purr, but not from their throats like cats. Instead, they can use either their feet or their teeth.

With tooth purring, your rabbit will gently rub his teeth together, making a humming or purring noise.

This is good noise and means he is safe and comfortable.

Tooth purring often happens when you are petting your rabbit. He will feel loved and relaxed.


While rabbits can’t speak, they can make a muttering noise. This often means they are upset and want something changed.


Sometimes a rabbit just wants to carry on his merry way.

If he is disrupted or doesn’t want to be picked up, a rabbit will often give a quick honk to let you know his wishes.

Related Questions

Do rabbits squeak?

Yes, rabbits squeak. Much like how cats meow, a rabbit can squeak in many different ways to signify different feelings.

If you hear a deep squeak, it can mean the rabbit is scared. A high pitch squeak, meanwhile, can mean the rabbit is happy.

Why does my rabbit honk at me?

If you have a male pet rabbit, chances are you’ve heard it honk.

This means he is looking to mate. Most neutered male rabbits no longer make a honking, mating sound.

One other reason a rabbit can honk at you is if it wants your attention.

If your rabbit sits at your feet and honks, it means he wants you to pay attention to him.

What kind of noise does a rabbit make?

Rabbits make many different noises, depending on how they are feeling.

Happy sounds can include purring, clucking, or humming, while upset sounds can include whimpering, growling, teeth grinding, and feet stomping.

How do I know if my rabbit is in pain?

It can be hard to know if your rabbit is in pain as the signs will be very subtle.

Heavier breathing, squinting eyes, loss of appetite, and more aggressive behavior are all signs of pain in your rabbit.

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to take your rabbit to your veterinarian for a check-up.


Your rabbit wants to be heard.

The more you understand about your rabbit, the more you can ensure a comfortable, safe, and happy environment.

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