Why Do Rabbits Grunt? The Meaning Of It

Why Do Rabbits Grunt

Rabbits are known to be a friendly and quiet pet. Sometimes, to communicate with other rabbits or humans, they’ll make a sound. These creatures have different sounds that they make and each has its own meaning. One of the sounds they make is grunting.

So, why do rabbits grunt? Grunts are usually from the rabbits feeling threaten or angry. This can be from other pets, other rabbits, or the pet owner. By grunting, this is the rabbit’s way of saying they are not happy and wants to be left alone.

Why Is My Rabbit Grunting At Me?

Guinea Pig Eating

There could be several reasons why they are grunting at you. The most common reason is that they are unhappy with you holding them. You may be holding them too tight or they may have an injury.

Rabbits don’t like to handled roughly or hold tightly. This makes them feel uncomfortable and they will grunt at you.

Another reason for grunting is an injury they may have. Rabbits are good at concealing their injury and it’s for a good reason. By doing so, they are less likely to become an easy meal for predators. Predators such as owls, hawks, and foxes are always on the alert for injured animals.

When you hold them and touched their injury, they will grunt and may even scream. If you do hear either of these sounds, gently place them on the ground. Wait for a couple of minutes and look for any signs of injury.

Do Rabbits Grunt When Happy?

It depends if the rabbits are neutered or spayed. For unneutered males, this is a sign that they are looking for a mate.

On the other hand, in spayed females and neutered males, it’s a sign of excitement or happiness.

When you’re about to feed them, you may notice your rabbits are grunting and running around your feet.

Therefore, when a spayed female or a neutered male grunt, it means they are happy. For unneutered males, grunting means that are wanting to mate.

Rabbit Grunting When Running

When rabbits are running and grunting, this usually means they are happy. You may notice that when you’re bringing out their food, they will start running around your feet.

Seeing food makes them excited and they’ll start running and grunting.

What About Other Rabbit Noises Apart From Grunting?

Besides grunting, you may also hear them make other sounds as well. This is their way of communicating with you that they are not happy with something. Not all will be vocally, rather some will be made by bodily movements.

Below are the most common sounds you may hear your rabbits make:

Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding is not a sound that you should ever hear your rabbit make. Then they grind their teeth, which means they are in severe pain, discomfort, or stressed. They will make this sound accompanied by their body hunched at the corner of their cage. If you notice this, it’s best to seek a veterinarian to see what’s wrong with them.

Teeth Purring

This is a common sound among rabbits when they are happy. Usually, when you are stroking your rabbit, their jaws or whiskers will move as they grind their teeth together lightly.


The growling sound you hear is a defensive sound usually made by unspayed female rabbits. She will be defending the cage or territory from other rabbits or animals. The growling sound is usually accompanied by a lunge with the front feet.


This is a sound you may hear often when the rabbit is ready to mate. The male will honk and often accompanied by circling the female rabbit.

Neutered male and spayed females will also make a honking sound. This is a sign that they are excited. You’ll usually hear this sound around feeding time.

Also, if they want to get your attention, they may honk at you. They’ll usually sit at your feet and make a honking sound.


Besides grunting, whining and whimpering is a sound they may make when they don’t want to be handled. It could also mean that they are unhappy with the environment they are in.

Also, whining and whimpering are common when rabbits are pregnant. When they are placed with other rabbits, especially male rabbits, they will make this noise. This is to tell others they want to be alone.


This sound is not the sound that you hope to never hear the rabbits make. When they scream, it is usually serious and life-threatening. This could be when they are dying from an injury or being chased by a predator.


Rabbits will make thumping sounds with their feet. This is a way to warn other rabbits that danger is nearby.

This is often associated with rabbits in the wild, but occasionally, you may notice your rabbits are thumping.


This is a warning sound they make and it’s usually for other rabbits. The hissing is to let the other rabbits know they are not happy and to back away. This can be either the other rabbit is in their territory or they want the other rabbit to move away.


The grunting sound is usually the one you want to hear often from your rabbit. This means they are happy and excited about something. As long as they grunt and, you have nothing to worry about.

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