One of the most heartbreaking things to witness as a pet owner is seeing your pet cry and not being able to do anything for them. All the rabbits owners out there might be thinking, do rabbits cry? Well, if you’re one of them, then this article is for you. Here we will discuss why rabbits cry and what can be done about it.
The short answer to your question is yes. Rabbits do cry. In fact, just like humans, animals also have feelings and emotions. They cry due to the same reasons as pain, anger, hunger, stress etc. However, they don’t cry like humans, they don’t make any loud noises, neither they shed a lot of tears like us. They do cry in tears but not in a way visible to humans. Also, they need to reach a threshold or a deep state of despair and anguish to shed tears. Let’s discuss each and everything about crying rabbits.
Do Rabbits Cry?
When we think of somebody crying, we usually picture a sad face with emotional expressions, sobbing sounds and round tears falling down the face.
But in a world of bunnies, crying is slightly different. It starts with a soft whimpering noise and when things get worse, the tear ducts of rabbits get activated and a few teardrops fall down their eyes.
Why Do Rabbits Cry?
Just like humans, there can be numerous reasons behind the crying of bunnies. Below are some of the most common :
This is the first and perhaps the most common reason why your pet might be crying. Maybe he’s sick or experiencing some discomfort. If you’re an experienced rabbit owner, you might already know that rabbits are very sensitive animals but being the prey species, they hide their pain and sickness. So, when things get worse and they can’t hide it any more, they start crying. The worse thing is, you can’t really tell what’s the problem with your bunny unless you take him to your vet.
- 2. Pain
Pain is another reason why your bunny might be crying. The most common reason behind pain is injury. Injuries can be caused by something dropping on your bunnies paw or they get hit by some furniture or it can also be major like he might get a wound.
- 3. Fear
Rabbits are among the most fearful animals. They get scared very easily being the non-defensive prey animals. Even the slightest change in the surrounding and the slightest unpleasant behavior can scare them off. When the threat goes beyond the limits, they break down and start crying fearing their death.
- 4. Stress
Rabbits experience anguish or depression very commonly. These emotions come out of them in the form of whimpering and/or crying. When the emotions are not that serious, whimpering is common otherwise bunnies cry when they’re extremely stressed.
Do Bunnies Cry Like Humans?
Well, not exactly!
While bunnies do cry because of similar reasons than humans, they don’t cry exactly the same. As we have already discussed, rabbits don’t shed tears like humans do.
Further, rabbits mostly cry due to physiological reasons such ad hunger, fear, pain etc. On the other hand, humans usually cry for emotional reasons such as sadness, joy etc.
But this doesn’t mean that bunnies are emotionless. It means rabbits crying is not necessarily due to emotional reasons. It just, they mostly cry because of physiological emergencies.
Do Rabbits Make Sound While Crying?
If you imagine sobbing and hiccup sounds for a crying bunny, that’s not possible.
Similar to humans, rabbits don’t sob or produce hiccup sounds while crying. Although they are vocal animals, you can’t really differentiate between different kinds of noises. The truth is, different owners, translate these sounds in different ways. The most common sounds a rabbit makes while crying are whimpering, squealing and grunting. Sometimes, they make high-pitched and loud sound similar to a scream. While that happens very rarely, when it does, it can be alarming.
Further, when a baby bunny cries, it sounds very similar to a sheep bleating. Also, baby rabbits cry more than grown-up ones. So, let’s now discuss why baby rabbits cry.
Do Baby Rabbits Cry?
Baby rabbits, both domestic and wild do cry very often. The most common reasons behind this are fear and hunger. While the crying of baby bunnies is very normal, when it continues for a longer period, it becomes alarming.
Also, you need to be very careful while handling a crying baby rabbit. This is because a little interference in the wrong way can make the situation worse.
Do Bunnies Cry Due To Pain?
Yes, very often. As we already discussed, rabbits mostly cry because they’re in extreme pain. The crying noises in such situations can be mild to loud depending upon the situation. Their crying usually starts with slow whimpering and may end up with a loud scream which is rare but concerning. For instance, rabbits are very prone to urinary tract infection and this problem may make them cry during urinating. Other problems due to which a rabbit may cry include severe joint pain, infections, seizures, abdominal pain etc.
It is very important to determine the root cause of your bunny’s pain, only then you’ll be able to help him. If you don’t pay attention to your bunny’s poor condition, things may get out of your hands and you may end up losing your beloved pet. Below are some signs that show your rabbit is crying because of pain :
- Not eating properly
- Uninterested in his surroundings
- Teeth grinding
- Sudden crying
- Unusual behavior while petting specific spots
- Hiding away
Do Bunnies Cry When They’re Dying?
Rabbits are the most fearful animals. They fear their death more than anything. This is the reason they get stressed while sensing fear in their environment. Usually, rabbits do make saddening noise when they’re certain that they’re dying. Most rabbits scream sharply just before they die and there is nothing more heartbreaking than this noise!
Perhaps they are not ready to die or love their life. Whatever be the reason is, rabbits surely die a painful death. Anyway, coming to our question of whether or not rabbits cry when they die. Then note that it is very rare but some owners have reported that their bunny cried just before dying. They’ve heard slow whimpering and grunting noises when their pet was dying.
Do Bunnies Cry When They’re Lonely?
As we discussed earlier, in a world of rabbits, crying is different. They mostly cry because of physiological reasons such as hunger, pain or death as we just talked about. They don’t really cry because of emotions and feelings such as loneliness and sadness.
However, this doesn’t mean that rabbits don’t experience any emotions or feelings. They do have those, but they aren’t very good at expressing their emotions. And moreover, rabbits enjoy their “me time”. Unlike dogs, they can live without their owners for hours. But on the contrary to a popular belief, bunnies do get attached to their owners. If they can’t see you for a longer or if their owners get replaced, they become sad and may cry.
Below are the signs that your bunny is sad and depressed :
- Not eating properly
- Sleeping more than they usually do
- Fur pulling
- Lazy and tired
- Not playing
- Hiding in a corner
What Can Be Done To Stop A Rabbit From Crying
If your bunny is crying, you don’t really need to do anything because it is an emotion and you should let your pet experience it. Preventing a rabbit from crying is no different than preventing a 6-month old baby from crying, it’s pointless.
Rabbits can’t communicate with us in human language. They have their own ways to convey what they’re feeling. Crying, thumping, grunting, hopping, jumping are some of their ways to let their humans know how they’re feeling.
However, if your rabbit keeps crying severely for a longer period, it may be an alarming situation especially if he is crying out of pain, fear or illness. Whatever the reason is, you need to take immediate steps to comfort your bunny and to find out what’s wrong with him.
Below are some ways in which you can prevent your bunny from crying :
- Make sure your bunny is having a safe place to live where no predator can access him.
- Visit your vet regularly to make sure your rabbit is fit and healthy.
- Take care of your rabbit’s eating routine. Provide him with enough food and water in a timely manner.
- Handle your bunny very gently and avoid shouting and yelling at him.
- Play with your bunny but let him enjoy his “me time” as well. Don’t force him to play with you.
- If your rabbit doesn’t like it, don’t pick it up.
- Make sure that your rabbit is getting enough exercise every day.
- Don’t allow young children to mishandle your bunny.
- Speak to your bunny very softly when he is crying.
Summary: Do rabbits cry?
Yes, rabbits do cry, but not like the way humans cry. Also, they cry due to physiological situations such as pain, hunger, death or illness. They rarely cry due to sadness, loneliness or other emotions.
If your bunny is crying, try to find out the reason and comfort him. If he’s crying due to pain or illness, take him to your vet immediately.