Do rabbits scream? If so, what are the reasons behind and can we stop bunnies from screaming? We have all your answers!
If you’re a responsible rabbit owner then you should know that rabbits are very sensitive animals. They get scared very quickly by sensing the smallest change in the environment around them. While rabbits normally make soft squealing sounds, they sometimes cry loudly due to fear and a few other factors.
So, the short answer to your question is yes. Rabbits do scream but that’s very rare. A rabbit would only scream in extreme situations which we will discuss later in this article. If you’re wondering what a rabbit’s scream is like, know that it means a sharp, long and loud cry. This noise can be alarming, especially to the new rabbit owners who aren’t familiar with rabbit voices. If you hear your rabbit screaming, it is very important to find out the reason behind it and take immediate action.
What Is Causing Your Rabbits To Scream?
Rabbits generally scream due to pain, fear and mental stress. Your little bunny may scream loud because it is attacked or scared of dying. Bunnies also scream when they’re experiencing enormous pain. A bunny may also scream sharply just before his death.
If your bunny is screaming, know that it’s a cry for help. He might be undergoing extreme pain, fear or threat. Below we will discuss some of the possible reasons behind the screaming of a rabbit.
- 1] Due To Severe Pain Or Injury
This is the most common reason behind the screaming of a rabbit. Your bunny is most likely to scream or cry when it is unbearable pain or has some deadly injury. In many cases, screaming is accompanied by the following symptoms :
- Hiding in a corner
- Teeth grinding
- Not eating
- Hunched posture
- Sitting in one place for longer periods
Moreover, the signs and symptoms of your bunny will depend upon what is causing the pain. Know that bunnies have very delicate skeletons, so the chances of breaking bones and limbs are very high.
You can check for the injuries by gently petting the areas where you’re suspecting an injury. If your rabbit reacts abnormally when you touch a certain spot, know that it is the injured spot.
Further, gas and abdominal problems also cause sharp pain in the bellies of rabbits which can be a good reason behind their screaming.
Rabbits are prey animals and hence they’re very good at hiding their pain and weakness. Therefore, a rabbit will scream out of pain when it becomes unbearable. For this reason, you should call your vet immediately after noticing your bunny in pain. You have to be very quick because your pet may go into shock and die within 1 to 2 days.
- 2] Due To Fear
Your bunny may also scream when it is scared of being threatened by someone or something. The most obvious reasons behind fear are the predators. A bunny can get scared even from the smell, noise or sight of his predator.
When rabbits are in the wild, their main purpose is to maintain the food chain by becoming the food of other animals. Rabbits understand that they can be a delicious and filling meal to their predators and hence they fear for their life. When rabbits are kept as pets, they are kept safe from predators. However, if you fail to provide them with safe housing, they can fall prey to various predators such as cats, eagles, snakes, raccoons etc. These types of predators can easily break into houses especially if you’re living near a wild area.
If you’ve kept your bunnies outdoors, in your backyard or garden, there are high chances that he is screaming because of predators. In such cases, run immediately on hearing the screams and check for any predators near the house of your pet. Also, make sure that your bunny is not attacked by any animals. Look for signs like scratches, blood or any injury.
Either make your house predator-safe or consider keeping your bunny indoors. Remember, your pet is your responsibility, it’s your duty to make him feel safe and loved.
- 3] Due To Anger And Anxiety
Rabbit may produce a high pitched sound when they are super angry or anxious. This is often similar to a human baby throwing tantrums.
If your bunny is screaming out of anger, it’s trying to hint you that whatever you’re doing to him is very upsetting and that he doesn’t like that.
However, screaming due to extreme anger is very rare in bunnies. Most rabbits when angry produce sounds like hissing, growling and snorting. Further, if the bunny is stressed and doesn’t want to be manhandled, it usually grinds his teeth and runs away from you.
- 4] During A Seizure
It’s common for any pet to scream during a seizure. While seizures are not very common in the case of bunnies, they can be upsetting when take place. Following can be the causes behind seizures :
- Viral infections
- Parasitic attack
- Nervous breakdown
- Mechanical causes
One of the most common causes of seizures in bunnies is the intake of chemically-rich products like washing powder, pesticides and other cleaning products. These are highly toxic to little pets and may result in a painful death. This kind of toxicity can result in a seizure.
However, keep in mind that all the seizures aren’t the same. There are partial seizures and generalized seizures. For instance, during a partial seizure, your bunny may stay half-conscious and throw itself on the ground and scream loudly.
On the other hand, during a generalized seizure, a bunny will be completely unconscious and have its eyes rolled back.
Note that seizures are very rare in bunnies. However, when they happen, they might end up taking the life of your beloved pet. So, make sure your rabbits stay safe from any such situation.
- 5] When Mishandled
Never allow little children, especially those below 12 years of age pick or come near a rabbit. Rabbits are very sensitive, they can be easily stressed when being handled in the wrong way.
Children that are not trained about handling the bunnies in the right way can easily scare them off.
They tend to pick them by their ears, shout at them and handle them very roughly. And when this happens, rabbits have no other way to ask for help other than screaming.
Bunnies are very emotional creatures, so don’t allow anyone to mishandle your poor pet. If your children don’t know how to behave around rabbits, keep them away from your pets.
Further, always stay near your bunny whenever a visitor comes to see them or meet them. Make sure they aren’t yelling or shouting at your pet. Not just mishandling, loud noises can also upset the rabbits.
- 6] When Being Attacked
Rabbits mostly scream when they are being chased by their predators. For bunnies, screaming is a part of their defence mechanism and this is why they produce a loud and sharp shrilling sound when they are trying to save their lives. So, if your rabbit is staying outdoors and screaming, don’t take a second to run back to him. He might be under some kind of attack and need your help immediately.
However, keep in mind that not all bunnies are the same. Different rabbits have different coping mechanisms. While some rabbits may scream loudly when they’re under attack, others may choose to hide themselves and run. Similarly, some rabbits may scream when they’re picked in a harsh way. This is probably because they think that they’re going to die.
What To Do When A Rabbit Is Screaming?
Now the most important part, what to do when a rabbit is screaming? How to stop a bunny from screaming? Here is what you should do!
On hearing the scream of your pet, run to him immediately as he needs your support and care. The first thing to do is, look for any signs of injuries like scratches, wounds or blood. Also, look for any predator that might have broken into your house. The deal is to find the cause behind the loud cry of your bunny.
If there are wounds or injuries, consider taking him to your wet immediately. Further, if the reason behind screaming is an unpleasant or fearful environment, consider changing it. For example, your bunny may be scared of the loud music or barking dog in your neighborhood. On finding the reason, try to tackle it before running to the vet.
Don’t panic. It may make the situation of your rabbit worse and it may die. So, handle the situation calmly and mindfully.
Sit near your pet and try to calm her down by petting and talking to her very softly. This is the best way to calm down a stressed bunny.
If your rabbit is screaming due to the unpleasant environment around it, try to locate her in a safe place. Another good idea is to distract her by offering a few treats and toys.
If your rabbit is dying and you’re certain he won’t be alive, let her die at home and avoid stressing her more by taking her to a vet. This is especially true when your bunny is senior or severely ill. Pay your respect and let it end its sufferings.