Why Do Rabbits Scream?

Categorized as Bunny Facts

Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Every rabbit owner must be aware of why their rabbit is screaming because it could indicate that your rabbit is having an emergency.

Wild rabbits would rarely scream.

It’s not uncommon for rabbits to only let out a scream once in their lifetime because screaming would get them killed in the wild.

Rabbits will only scream if they are experiencing extreme pain (diseases, being attacked by a predator, etc.), intense fear, or intense anger.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits scream:

What are the reasons why rabbits scream?

Rabbits rarely scream because, in the wild, screaming would only get them killed.

Rabbits must be silent at all times or they run the risk of being sensed by a predator.

That’s why every rabbit owner must pay attention whenever they hear their rabbits scream.

Your rabbit would rarely do that.

In all the years I owned and cared for rabbits, I only heard a rabbit scream once.

That’s when my poor rabbit was experiencing extreme pain due to the digestive problem it was experiencing.

It’s important to understand and know the possible causes of why a rabbit would scream so that you can immediately do what needs to be done.

Here are the most common reasons why a rabbit would scream:

Rabbits screaming due to intense fear

Rabbits may scream if they are scared enough.

There are a lot of things that might scare a rabbit enough for them to let out a huge scream.

The biggest of them are predators.

Rabbits might scream when they sense that there are predators nearby.

This is especially true if they are locked in their cage while they sense that there are predators nearby and they can’t get out.

There are several reports from rabbit owners who recorded their rabbits locked in their cages at night.

They noticed that their rabbits would suddenly panic, scream, and run around their cages in the middle of the night.

What they found was that an owl was nearby their house and their rabbit sensed it.

And because their rabbits are locked in their cages, their fear worsens because the rabbits can’t get away from the situation.

Predators are not the only things that can scare a rabbit enough to let out a scream.

Here are the most common reasons why a rabbit would be scared enough to scream:

Welcome to Bunnyhorde
Welcome to Bunnyhorde
  • Loud sounds (fireworks, gunshots, loud machinery, etc.)
  • Predators (dogs, cats, raccoons, etc.)
  • Unfamiliar things or people.
  • Sudden movements

Rabbits screaming due to extreme pain

Extreme pain is the most common reason why a rabbit would scream.  

Here’s an example (warning graphic) from PETA of an Angora rabbit that are experiencing excruciating pain from getting its fur ripped directly from its skin.

Most rabbits in the wild would only scream once in their lifetime, when a predator gets them or while they’re being eaten.

As for domestic pet rabbits, screaming might indicate that your rabbits is suffering from excruciating pain due to an illness or an injury.

To be sure that the reason why your rabbit is screaming is due to pain, you can look for additional symptoms like:

  • Loud teeth grinding.
  • Rapid and shallow breating.
  • Increased or decreased grooming.
  • Hunched posture.
  • Increased urination.
  • Lethargy or reluctance to move
  • Bulging, staring, strained, or unfocused eyes.
  • Hair pulling.

If you notice that your rabbit has one or more of the following symptoms, in addition to screaming, you should consider this an emergency and bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Rabbits screaming due to intense anger

The most uncommon reason why a rabbit would scream is because of intense anger.

Sometimes, when a rabbit is angry enough, it might let out a scream.

This usually means that your rabbit doesn’t like what’s currently happening to them or that something is annoying them.

Your rabbit is just screaming out of anger if their behavior is accompanied by one or more of the following:

  • Foot-stomping
  • Teeth grinding
  • Growling
  • Snorting
  • Ears pointed upwards and facing outwards.

If your rabbit is angry enough to let out a scream, it’s best that you take this seriously and find out the source of their anger.

What to do if your rabbit is screaming?

rabbit being carried by its owner

If your rabbit is screaming, take this seriously and find out what’s causing your rabbit to scream.

Rabbits would never scream if it’s not serious enough.

But you should also not rush to a veterinarian without first thinking it through.

Make sure that your rabbit has additional symptoms that it might be screaming due to an illness causing excruciating pain.

Remember, your rabbit can also scream if they sense a predator nearby.

A barking dog might startle your rabbit enough for them to let out a scream.

An owl passing by might also make your rabbit scream.

If predators, loud sounds, and other non-threatening things are what’s causing your rabbit to scream, just offer your rabbit comfort and support while being on the lookout for signs of trauma.

You can gently stroke your rabbit’s head to calm them down, or move them to another room.

You can also muffle the sounds in your room or place if what’s causing your rabbit to be scared are loud noises.


Image credit – “Butters yawning” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by tfangel

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.