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11 Weird Reasons Why Rabbits Scream + Video Example (2023)

Why Do Rabbits Scream

Unlike humans and other animals…

Rabbits have no vocal cords.

So, they can’t use their voice to communicate.

However, rabbits can make other sounds to express themselves, like screaming.

But that’s something all bunny parents hope they never get to hear.

Continue reading to find out:

  • How to calm a screaming rabbit.
  • What a rabbit scream sounds like.
  • 11 weird and alarming reasons why rabbits scream.
  • And a lot more…

Why do rabbits scream?

Rabbits scream due to serious reasons like distress or fear. They might also be feeling pain from medications, illness, or gas. Rabbits also yell to warn others of danger. Additionally, this sound can be a cry for help when a predator is nearby.

11 reasons why rabbits scream

#1: Crying for help

A rabbit’s scream is a really scary sound…

And it’s something bunnies don’t usually do.

So when your rabbit screams…

Your first instinct is to stop what you’re doing to see what’s wrong.

And that’s actually the best response you can give.

Because when bunnies cry out, they’re asking for your help.

Your rabbit may need assistance in the following situations:

  • The rabbit is hurt.
  • There’s a predator nearby.

Hence, it’s important that you’re always aware of your bunny’s calls.

Remember that a rabbit’s shrill cry is never a false alarm. There’s a serious reason behind it.

Here’s a video to show what a bunny scream sounds like: 

#2: Warning others

Not only are rabbits asking for help when they’re screaming…

They’re also helping other bunnies.

According to studies, wild rabbits are always on the lookout for danger. And if they spot one, they’ll immediately go back to their burrow and hide.

In addition, they’ll make loud, high-pitched noises. This sound serves as a signal to their friends. This way, other rabbits will know that there’s trouble ahead.

Though this behavior is more common in wild rabbits…

It’s also present in domestic ones.

#3: Pain from illness

Whether it’s a short yelp or a continuous cry…

You’ll know something’s wrong with your bunny when you hear them scream.

And that could be something really painful.

So the moment your rabbit cries out loud…

Look for other symptoms of pain. Vets listed these signs:

  • Lethargy.
  • Hair-pulling.
  • Teeth-grinding.
  • Half-closed eyes.
  • Hunched posture.
  • Reluctance to move.
  • Decreased grooming.
  • Rapid and shallow breathing.
  • Increased thirst and urination.

Do take note that the indicators will depend on what’s causing your rabbit’s pain. Moreover, the rabbit won’t show these symptoms right away.

That’s why, when the rabbit screams in pain…

It’s best to take them to the vet before the condition worsens.

#4: Pain from medication

Pain From Medication

Some bunny parents have specified where they’ve heard their rabbits scream…

And that’s in a vet clinic.

So when your rabbit is awake while the vet injects the medication…

Your fur baby can feel the discomfort.

And since they’re restrained and can’t kick or run away…

The poor rabbits make high-pitched noises to express their pain.

#5: Gas pain

Flatulence or tummy bloating is pretty common in rabbits. 

As explained by vets, when rabbits don’t eat enough fiber…

Gas-producing bacteria grow in the tummy. Then, when these bacteria become too much…

They’ll produce painful gas that’s, well…

Awful enough to make your bunny scream.

But there are things you can do to relieve their gas pain.

For that, the House Rabbit Society (HRS) gave 2 easy examples:

#6: Improper handling

Most rabbits don’t like to be picked up. For them, this feels like a predator has come to take them away.

That’s why it’s best to avoid lifting your rabbit up.

“But how is this related to my rabbit’s screaming?” You may ask.

You see, improper handling of rabbits may cause:

  • Pain.
  • Injury.
  • Distress.

These 3 are also reasons why rabbits scream. 

So, only handle your bunny when it’s really necessary.

In case you really need to carry a rabbit, experts suggest these steps:

Step 1: Place one hand on your rabbit’s chest and your other hand on their bottom.

Rabbits have fragile backs. That’s why you have to be careful in lifting them up. Moreover, make sure that they’re not dangling. 

Also, never lift them by the ears, as these can be very painful.

Step 2: Gently lift your rabbit and firmly place them against your chest.

This way, the bunny will feel your support. You can either position your rabbit sideways or face you.

Additionally, you can hold the rabbit’s feet to keep them from kicking.

Step 3: Mildly put the rabbit down.

Get yourself as close to the ground as you can. Then, gently release the bunny.

“Oh no, someone else mishandled my rabbit!”

I know you’ve been extra careful in holding your bunny.

But let’s say someone else played with your bunny…

Like a friend, or worse, a kid who doesn’t know the proper way of handling bunnies.

If someone mishandles your bunny and your fur baby screams…

Look for possible injuries. Gently pat on the areas of your bunny’s body…

And see if they’ll react in pain when you patted an affected body part.

#7: Anger or distress

A child screams when upset or frustrated…

And similarly, rabbits can throw tantrums, too.

So when your bunny is feeling deeply upset or stressed…

They can let out their feelings by screaming.

However, take note that this is actually uncommon for rabbits.

Regardless, still watch for these common behaviors of angry rabbits:

  • Hissing.
  • Grunting.
  • Growling.
  • Whimpering.
  • Tooth-grinding.
  • Foot-thumping.

And screaming will be a rabbit’s last option.

It’s like the bunny is saying, “Arggh! I can’t take this anymore!”

Reading Tip: 19 Alarming Signs That Your Rabbit is Stressed + What to Do

#8: Fear

What do horror movie actors and viewers have in common?

They scream a lot.

That’s because screaming is a natural response when people are scared.

This behavior is also applicable to rabbits. They cry out loud to show that they’re terrified of something. 

And rabbits can be afraid of simple things like:

  • Being lifted.
  • Loud noises.
  • Bigger animals.
  • Sudden movements.

So, help your bunny by identifying what they’re afraid of. This way, you can get rid of that fear-inducing situation…

With that, you won’t have an anxious bunny.

Read also: 13 Things Rabbits Do When They’re Scared

#9: Predators

Additionally, rabbits can also be afraid of something more serious, like predators.

As you know, rabbits naturally fear for their lives. So when they see a meat-eating animal like:

  • Cats.
  • Foxes.
  • Weasels.

They scream…

Which is a rabbit’s number 1 defense mechanism. That’s because they can’t fight the larger animals…

So they make loud sounds to get rid of the attacker.

Hence, if you hear your rabbit scream…

Get there before it’s too late. 

And even if you’re able to save them…

The attack can still cause trauma to your rabbits.

Either way, a predator attack is harmful to bunnies.

Learn more: 21 Rabbit Predators + 11 Tips to Protect Your Bunny

#10: Seizures

Like humans, rabbits can also suffer from brain disorders. A common symptom of these disorders is seizures.

Those are convulsions that cause uncontrolled movement of the muscles. When this happens to your rabbit…

You’ll notice them jerking, twitching, and sometimes, screaming. And they scream because air is suddenly being forced out of their lungs.

After the seizure, some rabbits will become limp. Others will instantly recover.

Regardless of which between the 2, the safest thing to do is to call the vet. And they’ll advise if your rabbit just needs to rest or let you know of possible treatments.

#11: Death

A rabbit who’s suffering from a painful death will scream.

An example of a painful, fatal condition is rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD). Bunnies with this condition can feel extreme pain as they die.

Moreover, another reason for a rabbit’s dying vocalizations is terror.

That’s because the rabbit senses that they’re dying. Therefore, they scream out of fright.

How do you calm a screaming rabbit?

You can calm a screaming rabbit by being near them. Comfort the rabbit with your soothing voice or caress them gently. Then, find out what’s making them scream and get them away from it.

Why do rabbits scream when they die?

Rabbits scream when they die because they’re feeling extreme pain. They also sense that they’re about to die and are terrified.