How do Rabbits Communicate?


How do Rabbits Communicate?


After cats and dogs, rabbits are one of the most common pets in the USA.  And are you surprised?  Because we’re not, knowing as we do what wonderful companions they are – and how much joy they bring into our lives.  And one thing is interesting with any animal is understanding the way in which the communicate their emotions, intentions, etc.  And this brings us to our question, which is how do rabbits communicate?


If you enjoy the company of your bunnies then you can’t fail to have noticed the variety of noises and behavior that they use in order to communicate.  So we thought we’d have a look at what all these antics mean – because once you know how to decipher them, it’ll make your relationship with your bunnies just that little bit closer.


Rabbits communicate via noises and body language.  It can be a little tricky to learn exactly what these all mean, but the more you watch and interact with your bunnies, the easier it will become.  The following are some of the top ways in which rabbits communicate:


Clucking – sounds a little like hiccups.  This is a happy, contented sound – you’re likely to hear this when your rabbit is having a snooze.

Growling – Similar to a dog – growling means your rabbit is feeling threatened and is either angry or frightened.  It definitely shows that your bunny is stressed about something, and the best thing to do is to leave it to calm down.

Hissing – Again, this is a sound that your rabbit is angry.

Loud squealing or screaming – this is a sign that your rabbit is in extreme pain and distress.  Hopefully you will never hear your rabbits ever make this sound.  This is an urgent veterinary situation and you should get your rabbit help immediately.

Gentle teeth grinding – a sign of a happy and contented bunny.

Loud teeth grinding – this can signify pain and you should seek veterinary advice.

Licking – your rabbit is showing your affection.  It’s very common when you groom them, and shows that he or she is enjoying it.

Binkying – also known as full of the joys of spring!  Running, leaping, twisting – your rabbit is simply happy to be alive.

Thumping – rabbits thump their back legs for various reasons.  It might be scared, angry or warning of danger.

Chinning – Rabbits have glands beneath their chin, so by rubbing their chin they are marking their territory.  The scent is not able to be smelt by humans – so don’t worry about that.

Digging – well, this doesn’t really mean anything except – I’m a rabbit!  Do you expect anything less?


We’ll go a bit deeper into rabbit body language and answering the question how do rabbits communicate even more in a future post – so stay tuned to find out more.  And why not drop us a line to let us know some of your bunny’s favorite behavior.  We’d love to know.


So, till next time – love those rabbits, and take care.


Jacki has shared her life with small pets and other animals for, well – pretty much forever! Always keen to absorb as much knowledge as possible about animal care, Jacki enjoys sharing her years of experience with like-minded people, and helping to ensure that pets and animals everywhere are healthy, happy and bring as much joy as possible to their owners.