The rabbit mobilizes a rich range of means of communication. He uses his body, mobilizing his ears of course, but also using his general posture to manifest his moods. He also uses his voice and that’s what interests us in this article. We give you all the keys to understand what your rabbit wants to tell you by its different cries. You will see that in case of hesitation, it is also necessary to observe the posture of the body to have a more sure interpretation of what it means.
The “honk-honk” of the rabbit
It is interesting to know this noise because it is one of the most common. Be aware, however, that it is not very appropriate when it is addressed to you because it is the noise that accompanies the love displays. If he does not have a partner available, the rabbit turns its attention to someone else. And it can be you!
It will then be by dancing around your legs, by jumping and raising your tail, that he will be able to make these noises translated by the onomatopoeia “honk honk”. Note that a rabbit that raises its tail without being accompanied by this characteristic cry expresses nervousness or aggression.
This cry does not only concern unsterilized rabbits, but sterilized rabbits do so much less insistently to the point of becoming anecdotal. In a state of excitement, stimulated by his hormones in an uncontrolled way, the male rabbit emits jets of urine, gives off a rather strong odor and tries to nibble you. It is often because this behavior is judged embarrassing that the rabbit owner initially reluctant to sterilize his animal ends up doing so. In general, sterilization is practiced between 6 months and 1 year.
Some owners observe the use of this “honk-honk” without any state of excitement, either when he is very hungry, or when he is happy to see his master again after a time of absence. Have you observed this in your rabbit?
The moans of the rabbit
The state of sexual arousal can also give rise to moans which color the “honk honk”. If you compare them to our human moans, you will hastily deduce that he is sad. It is not at all! These moans are actually linked to two separate emotions: fear and joyful excitement.
In case of intense fear, the moans will be more muffled and will not fail to be accompanied by a kick frantic rear on the floor. This corresponds to reflexes acquired in wild life. The rabbit is an animal that lives in a colony in a burrow and each animal warns its companions of a possible danger. By knocking on the ground, it can be heard by those who are underground and may not hear its voice alerts.
The hoarse growl of the rabbit
The hoarse growl occurs when your rabbit is angry, annoyed, or unhappy. This noise is usually accompanied by a posture with ears down and muzzle pointing forward. The goal is to warn that we must not come and bother him. This is phase 1. If you do not understand the situation and you persist in approaching the animal, it goes to phase 2 where it claws and bites. If you persist, unconscious that you are, the animal will then show you what it is capable of when it is very angry… You will have been warned.
The high-pitched or repeated cries of the rabbit
This type of screaming is often linked to a more or less intense fear. The behavior usually goes with it: the rabbit can be crouched in a corner, remaining on the alert. This attitude is logically more frequent in abused or abandoned rabbits. But it is also observed in pregnant females.
Very close screams can also just be a call Help, which can especially happen if he is injured. It is ultimately a situation of distress. An injured animal is afraid because, in nature, it is a situation in which it cannot flee from a predator and, instinctively, the animal knows it is vulnerable.
Some owners find this type of screaming sounding like baby crying. To be sure that you fully understand your animal, it is best to avoid any comparison and consider your rabbit in its uniqueness.
The high-pitched cries followed by a low growl of the rabbit
The mixture of the two preceding cries can plunge you into perplexity. This could happen after you reprimand your rabbit. Does he also hit the ground with his hind leg? Do not search anymore ! Mr. Rabbit is not happy to have been argued.
If there has been no argument, if the animal is more discreet and has a more withdrawn posture, it is because it is afraid. In this case, you should take him in your arms, talk to him softly and comfort him.
Dull vocalizations regularly interrupted by a breath
Are your rabbit’s nostrils opening and closing at an accelerated rate? Is his breathing fast? Does he make muffled noises, pausing to sniff? Your rabbit is under intense stress. Something worries him or worried him. This state can indeed be caused by a present danger that the rabbit must face (it can be a disturbing shadow at night or a real danger), but also in reaction to a stressful past situation, such as the visit to the veterinarian, of which he has trouble getting over it. Either way, show you’re there for protect him.
Hoarse cries accompanied by loud breathing
No matter what type of noise the rabbit makes, in this situation it is the quality of your pet’s breathing that requires your full attention. If it is noisy and you notice difficulty in breathing, it is because it is congested.
Respiratory disorders in a rabbit are never a good omen. Without rushing to the vet at the first sign of discomfort, you should be very attentive to the evolution of the rabbit’s state of health. If the activity level drops sharply, then consult a professional without further delay.
Rabbit purring or gnashing teeth
When your rabbit is comfortable with his surroundings, near you, relaxed, and you hug him, there is a good chance that he will emit little purrs or gnashing teeth. The rabbit is in a state of intense pleasure.
However, we would like to alert you that a repeated and frequent grinding of teeth is not the sign of a rabbit approaching ecstasy. You probably know how much the health of the rabbit depends on the health of its teeth. If the teeth grinding occurs often and outside of any petting situation, it is likely that the rabbit is suffering from a dental problem. In this case, do not delay in consulting a veterinarian either.