Last Updated on December 17, 2021 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 only get them killed in the wild.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits scream:
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What are the reasons why rabbits scream?
Rabbits would rarely scream because, in the wild, screaming would only get them killed. Rabbits must be silent at all times or they would run the risk of being sensed by a predator.
That’s why every rabbit owner must pay attention whenever they hear their rabbits scream because 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 is experiencing extreme pain due to the digestive problem it’s experiencing.
That’s why 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. Even though they would never intentionally do it because in the wild any expression of weakness such as screaming would only get you killed even more.
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 sensed 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 cage 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 cage, their fear worsened because the rabbits can’t get away from the situation.
Predators are not the only thing that can scare a rabbit enough for it to let out a scream. Here are the most common causes why a rabbit would be scared enough to scream:
- Loud sounds(fireworks, gunshots, loud machinery, etc..)
- Predators(dogs, cats, raccoons, etc..)
- Unfamiliar things or people
- Sudden movements
Rabbits screaming due extreme pain
Extreme pain is the most common reason why a rabbit would scream. Most rabbits would not scream if it’s not due to intense pain. Here’s an example(warning graphic) from PETA of an Angora rabbit that experiencing excruciating pain from getting its fur ripped directly from its skin.
Most rabbits in the wild would only scream once in their lifetime, it’s when a predator got them or while they’re being eaten. As for domestic pet rabbits, screaming would indicate that your rabbits might be 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/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 above in addition to screaming, you should consider this an emergency and bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Rabbits screaming due intense anger
The most uncommon reason why a rabbit would scream is due to 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 something is annoying them. You can tell that your rabbit is just screaming out of anger if their behavior is accompanied by one or more of the following:
- Teeth grinding
- Ears pointed upwards and facing outwards
If your rabbit is angry enough that they 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?
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 thru. 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 sensed 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 sound in your room/place if what’s causing your rabbit to be scared are loud sounds.