Rabbits are a talkative bunch. Not only do they natter on about their moods and what is going on, they like an audience. They want us to pay attention. It isn’t just noise…they are communicating, and as their friends, we can learn a lot about these smart, funny, and loving beings by learning their language. Rabbit communication isn't hard to figure out, once you know what to look and listen for.
PURRING or CHATTERING is that little clicky sound rabbits make, and when nice and quiet it is a sign of contentment. Purr back at them…they’ll understand!
GRUNTING is exactly what it sounds like it would be. Your rabbit is angry, and is warning you of an imminent charge, bite, or other aggression. You are in trouble, and you better make it right. This can escalate to TEETH BARING, to a CHARGE, and even to a BITE if you do not stop offending your rabbit. You will probably be shunned for a bit after such an episode, and an apology is in order. No, we are not kidding. A little groveling is appropriate.
TOOTH GRINDING is definitely something to pay attention to, and fast. This is a sign of pain, and you need to call the vet for a full work up. Those teeth are often the culprits – dental care cannot be emphasized enough. Seriously. Don’t ignore tooth grinding.
SCREAM – do we even need to define this one? Probably not, but when you hear a scream, run run run to your rabbit and see what is going on. Take your phone with you, and start finding the number for the vet while you are rushing to your rabbit’s side. Your rabbit is terrified, and something truly bad has happened.
HONKING is a mating behavior, so none of us should ever hear that.
Some rabbits MUTTER to themselves. It sounds just like someone who has lived alone for a long time, and has developed the habit of grumbling and sighing. Don’t tell us you’ve never done this…what about that time at your desk when you couldn’t find that file? Yeah, like that.
Now you have an idea of what your rabbit really thinks. This may or may not be a blessing. Last note – don’t laugh at an annoyed rabbit, unless you want to get the butt turned to you, and you have a good apology lined up.