All rabbit owners know that rabbits make a surprisingly wide range of different sounds at different key times. You may have heard your rabbit screaming, and perhaps are thinking is this something to do with mating?
Do rabbits scream when they mate?
Rabbits make different sounds during mating, but not normally screaming. The most common sounds heard from mating rabbits are buzzing and humming, or grunting or honking.
Screaming is definitely the wrong word here. Yes, they do make sounds as part of the routine, but screaming is not really what it sounds like.
Let’s explore things in more detail to unpick exactly what’s going on with your rabbit during this time, and any sounds you are likely to hear.
The Key Mating Noises
We can begin by taking you through the key mating noises that your rabbit is going to be making. Of course, not every rabbit will make the same sounds at the same time. They are individuals after all. However, there are some standard noises that you should perhaps be aware of. [Source]
Buzzing or Humming
The first one to mention is buzzing or humming. You will tend to hear this noise coming from a boy rabbit, and in particular with one that has not been neutered yet.
This sound means your boy rabbit is getting into the mood for love. It’s kind of the precursor that they would appreciate going into the next phase of the mating ritual and routine, but they are putting out those noises to any female rabbits in the area to let them know they are there and are interested.
The buzzing or humming sound is pretty low-key. It won’t be the loudest noise your rabbit ever makes, but it does have a very specific role.
It’s a sure-fire sign that your male rabbit is getting excited. It can get a bit annoying if they do it repeatedly, and that can happen if they continue to get excited without them having some type of outlet to help them.
Grunting or Honking
The next thing is grunting or honking. This is regarded as more of a serious noise when the rabbit in question is getting a bit friskier than they were with the buzzing or humming sound.
They will often make either that grunting or honking noise when they have actually started their mating dance. Also, male and female rabbits will make this sound, whereas the buzzing noise is pretty limited to only a boy rabbit.
Also, the honking sound is pretty cool. It’s not only used for mating reasons either. Both a male and female rabbit will honk if they are wanting to get your attention, as they learn that it gets some sort of reaction from you.
But generally, the male will make the honking noise before going around in circles. They use it as another signal of their intent, and they hope it will attract the interest of a female that is near to them.
The honking noise is something soft and relatively quiet. To some, it sounds more like a cross between a grunt, snuffle, and a squeak. It’s even difficult to equate it to a sound that is similar with another animal. However, the awesome thing is that you know it’s a happy noise, and there’s nothing to worry about when they make it.
But a quick note.
Even if you have neutered your rabbit, they will still make these sounds. However, they will do this more when they are just very excited and happy about something, rather than it being purely linked to the whole mating ritual. So, don’t be surprised if they start grunting when you are bringing them a treat. It simply means they are over the moon at whatever’s going on.
Oh, also, don’t be surprised if the grunting or honking is accompanied by them circling around. If they do this, then it’s a clear sign that the mating dance and ritual has started.
But What About Screaming?
So, let’s get down to the main point of this post, will your rabbit scream while mating?
On most occasions, screaming for a rabbit is the same reaction as it is for us. It generally means they are terrified, and that something is wrong. That hardly sets it up for also being something that can mean they are in some mating ritual.
But it’s not quite as clear-cut as all that.
A buck can scream, but it will tend to be after the breeding session. Even though it’s often linked to your rabbit being in pain, that won’t be the case when it happens at this time.
However, for some bucks it’s more of a cry or a squeal that they emit at this point rather than a scream. Also, it may not be too loud or noticeable, and there’s no guarantee that the buck is going to do this after every mating session.
You should never hear a doe scream during the mating process. If you do, then something is going to be wrong, and you need to investigate why this is the case.
The Bad Screaming Sound is Horrible
So, how do you know if it’s a happy scream (if that can happen), or if the screaming sound that you hear is bad and that something is wrong?
Well, the bad screaming sound is horrible. It sounds like a young child screaming when something is wrong, and you know how that sound immediately alerts you to there being a problem. A rabbit does pretty much the same thing, and you will instantly know that they are in pain, or that they are very scared about something. [Source]
It’s the type of scream that is impossible to ignore, or for you to then carry on with something else. When some rabbit owners describe it as the type of scream that can send chills down your spine, they are not kidding.
Noises not Associated with Mating
Your rabbit will make a number of other noises, but they are not associated with mating in any way. Purring, teeth grinding, wheezing, and sniffing are not linked to mating, but they are all important in their own right.
Understanding the different noises your rabbit makes will help you to provide better care for them. Wheezing is obvious, as it means they have difficulty breathing. A sigh will mean the same as it does when we sigh. Growling will mean your rabbit is annoyed, and it’s perhaps best to leave them alone. If you continue to annoy them when growling, then don’t be surprised if they lash out.
Of course, you will grow accustomed to these noises the longer you have your rabbit. Get better at identifying them and knowing how you should react, if at all, since it makes a difference to how you care for your rabbit.
So, what we can conclude is that rabbits may emit some sort of scream, but it’s limited and rare. They do tend to make other noises while mating, and they will be more common and will be made by both sexes.
Screaming is certainly not part of the mating ritual. It doesn’t feature in among the grunting and honking that goes on. It is primarily associated with either fear or pain, so if you hear that screaming sound, then please do some investigations. The health of your rabbit may be at risk here, and action needs to be taken.
Your rabbit will make more noises than you can imagine. People think they are quiet and just get on with life, but that’s not the case. Instead, they make all sorts of sounds, and hopefully the information we have mentioned above will make it so much easier for you to understand whether it’s linked to mating, or something else is going on with your rabbit.