Rabbits are fairly common pets, but you might not have owned one before. Perhaps you’ve always thought rabbits are cute, but you haven’t had the chance to buy one.
Now might be the time if you feel like you’re ready to take on the responsibility of pet ownership. It can be an incredible experience to take care of a rabbit in your home.
However, it’s always important to learn a bit about what to expect. Otherwise, you might be caught off-guard by certain things.
For example, you might be wondering if rabbits are noisy or not. Do rabbits make noise, or are they relatively quiet pets?
Continue reading to get all of the information you need about rabbits and the various sounds they make. This will help you to figure out if buying a pet rabbit is a good choice for you.
Do Rabbits Make Noise At Night?
Sometimes rabbits will make noise at night. These animals are known to get scared by various things.
One thing that will bother rabbits a lot is noise. They hate loud noises, and loud noises are known to startle them.
When a rabbit hears a loud noise at night, it’ll get frightened. This will cause the rabbit to start thumping.
In case you don’t know, thumping is an action where the rabbit slams its back legs on the ground and makes a noise. This is generally something that rabbits do to alert other rabbits in the area to danger.
Rabbits will thump when they feel stressed or scared. Both of these feelings can occur during the night, depending on what’s going on.
If you live in a noisy neighborhood, the rabbit might get startled by noises fairly often. This will cause a lot of thumping.
This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to keep a rabbit relatively quiet at night, though. You just need to take the right approach.
You want the rabbit to be tired so that it will get some sleep at night. So playing with the rabbit in the evening is a good way to tire it out.
It also helps to cover the rabbit’s cage with a blanket. This should make it feel safer, and it’ll be more likely to stay quiet through the night.
You might not be able to avoid hearing some noises during the night. Just do your best to make the rabbit feel safe and comfortable so that thumping will be kept to a minimum.
What Kind of Noises Do Rabbits Make?
Rabbits are capable of making a variety of different noises. Some sounds are happy sounds, while others are unhappy sounds.
Below, you’ll learn a bit about common noises that rabbits will make. You’ll also learn what the noises generally mean.
1 – Clucking
Clucking is something that you expect chickens to do. Rabbits also cluck, but it doesn’t sound like chicken clucking.
This version of clucking is far quieter, and it’s usually only heard when rabbits are eating. When a rabbit is nibbling on some food, you might hear it quietly clucking.
What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that the rabbit is enjoying the food that it’s eating.
So clucking can be taken as a positive sound that indicates the rabbit is content with its food. No need to worry if you hear the rabbit softly clucking.
2 – Humming
Humming is also something that rabbits can do. All rabbits will hum from time to time.
It’s generally a happy noise that you don’t need to worry about. If you haven’t had your male rabbit neutered, it might be humming as a way to attract female rabbits.
So this noise is associated with rabbit mating rituals. You can still hear rabbits hum even when they’ve been surgically altered so they won’t be able to breed.
3 – Screaming
Rabbits can indeed scream, and it’s a sound that you don’t want to hear. This is something that rabbits will only do when they are utterly terrified.
It’s a chill-inducing sound that is very similar to the sound of a human child screaming. If you hear a rabbit screaming, it’s important to take notice right away.
Rabbits don’t scream for no reason. When a rabbit screams it means that it’s dying, or it’s about to be killed by a predator.
You should run and check on the rabbit right away to see what’s going on. Hopefully, you can save the rabbit, and everything will be okay.
4 – Purring
Purring is another happy noise that rabbits can make. When rabbits purr, it’ll be pretty similar to when cats purr.
Rabbits like to purr when they’re happy and content. The purring of a rabbit does sound different than the purring of a cat.
When cats purr, they produce the sound with their throats. The rabbit purr is made by rabbits softly rubbing their teeth together.
This is a soft purr that you’ll need to listen out for. You might hear your rabbit purring when you’re petting it.
5 – Growling
Growling is an aggressive sound that rabbits make when they’re angry. Rabbits are generally peaceful animals, but they will attack when they feel threatened.
If you hear a rabbit growling, there’s a chance that it’s getting ready to bite. Often, a growl will be followed by the rabbit lashing out and biting.
Sometimes rabbits will bite their owners if they feel threatened by them. For instance, rabbits don’t like being cornered because it makes them feel vulnerable.
Hopefully, you won’t be hearing the rabbit growl very often in your home. If you do your best to treat the rabbit well, it shouldn’t feel scared or threatened by you.
Just be sure that you know how to handle the rabbit properly. Try not to make loud noises near the rabbit, either, since they can scare the animal quite a bit.
6 – Whimpering
Sometimes you might hear your pet rabbit whimpering. Whimpering is usually a sign that the rabbit wants to be left alone.
For example, you might try to hold the rabbit, and it will start whimpering. This is the rabbit trying to tell you that it wishes to be left alone.
Whimpering is a sound that is done in protest. Rabbits that want something to change in their environment might choose to whimper.
You should pay attention to this and see what you can change to make the rabbit happy. It’s important to keep your animals safe and comfortable in their habitats.
7 – Hissing
Hissing is something that most people associate with pet cats. You know that cats will hiss when they want to make other cats (or people) back off.
Rabbits will hiss for pretty much the same reason. A rabbit might make a hissing noise toward another rabbit to get it to back away and leave it alone.
You might hear a rabbit hiss at you sometimes, but this isn’t as common. Usually, hissing is done to keep other rabbits away.
8 – Snorting
Snorting is a noise that is most closely associated with growling. When a rabbit growls, it might also snort a little bit.
As such, it’s another unhappy and aggressive sound that you should look out for. If a rabbit is growling and snorting, you must have done something to anger it.
The rabbit might be very uncomfortable with what you’re doing. Or it could be uncomfortable with the presence of another pet.
Sometimes rabbits might even snort at each other if they’re squabbling a bit. Keep an eye on things to ensure that all is well and the situation gets resolved.
9 – Farting
It’s very normal for rabbits to fart. This is something that they do a lot.
Rabbits must fart, or else they will have issues with their digestive systems. When rabbits don’t fart often enough, gas will build up, and it can even kill the poor pet.
So you’ll have to put up with rabbits farting if you plan to keep them as pets. Luckily, the rabbits are rather cute, even if they will be quite smelly from time to time.
You may or may not hear a sound when the rabbit farts. It just depends on the situation.
10 – Crying
Rabbits can cry, and they will do so when experiencing certain things. These pets don’t cry when going through emotional trauma, but they do cry when experiencing physical issues.
It’s normal for rabbits to cry when they’re in pain or when they’re sick. Sometimes rabbits might cry when they’re stressed, too.
A rabbit’s crying noises will usually be a mixture of whimpering, grunting, and squealing. Try to figure out why the rabbit is crying so you can fix things.
The rabbit could be crying because it’s scared of something in the house. Or it might be sick, and you’ll need to give it treatment.
Now you’ve learned that rabbits can make so many different noises. These pets aren’t necessarily going to be as quiet as you might hope, but it’s not that big of a deal.
Rabbits will make noises as a way to communicate many things. They thump when they’re scared or stressed.
A rabbit will growl if it feels threatened and it’s getting angry. These pets hiss when they’re trying to get other rabbits to back off.
A pet rabbit will even scream if it is in mortal danger. This is a terrible noise that you’ll hopefully never have to hear.
Learning about all of the rabbit noises above will help you out immensely. Now you know what noises they can make and what the noises are meant to indicate.
It’ll allow you to be a better rabbit owner since you can confidently take action. Do your best to protect your pet rabbit, and you’ll be able to enjoy having it in your home for a long time.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.