Do Rabbits Have Vocal Cords? {How To Speak Rabbit}

What is your rabbit trying to tell you? Do rabbits have vocal cords? Is there a way you can understand your rabbit’s body language and other cues better?

What if I told you that this article will help you understand how rabbits communicate and how you can get to to know what they mean?

Are you interested to find out? Let’s go through this together.

Do Rabbits Have Vocal Cords?

Yes. Rabbits have underdeveloped vocal cords that inhibit their ability to vocally communicate with each other and the world around them with their voice.

They can scream in fear, when gravely ill or experiencing intense pain. They do this by forcing air out of their lungs.

Rabbits can make some sounds because they have a larynx that serves as their voice box. Humans and many other animals have vestibular folds or vocal folds, but rabbits do not.

Rabbits have evolved as stealthy, silent -types who benefit from sneaking by in nature where their vocal cords would give away their location. As they are prey to many animals nearby, it’s best to remain quiet.

Do Rabbits Make Noise?

Yes. Rabbits can make all sorts of noise without having to use vocal cords. These sounds range from:

  • Growling
  • Hissing
  • Snorting

Most of their noises are attributed to when they are in defense or and an act of aggression.

Rabbits may also:

  • Stomp
  • Thump

Stomping with their hind feet is connected to fear or mating. The worst noise you can ever hear from a rabbit is screaming. They do this when they are in extreme pain or fear.

Why Do Rabbits Scream?

Have you ever heard a rabbit scream? This awful screeching sound breaks my heart when I rethink the moment where I heard it last. My male rabbit didn’t live long after that.

It’s like a loud crying sound that is sharp enough to break a mirror. Pay close attention to why this sound is being delivered by a rabbit because it is not good news.

There must be:

  • Fear
  • Intense pain
  • Distress that is psychological

Rabbits being attacked or near death may begin to scream. They can scream when they are having a seizure or just before they die.

They need your help if your pet rabbit is screaming. Sit next to your rabbit and offer reassurance. Stroke their fur from their head to their rear end and gently tell them that it’s ok.

It might not be ok and you should get a check up from a vet to see if there are any major signs of internal pain or physical pain causing your rabbit to scream.

Do Rabbits Meow?

No. Rabbits can mimic some of the sounds that cats make such as:

  • Purring
  • Growling
  • Hissing

Rabbits cannot meow. They also cannot bark. When you hear hissing, growling or if a rabbit is nipping at you, this is an obvious sign that they want to be put down or given a change of scenery.

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Can Rabbits Talk to You?

Rabbits don’t talk. They don’t use their rudimentary and underdeveloped vocal cords to communicate. They have another language of body moment and sounds to convey what they need to say to each other or to us.

We can learn from their vocalizations or body movements or positions to let us know what they want. The bonding process with your rabbit includes knowing what each position or sound is trying to mean within your household.

There are some obvious cues such as growling that means they are not happy or wish to be let go, but you will find out much more as you spend more time with your bunny.

Rabbit Language {How To Speak Rabbit}

Speaking rabbit involves learning their sounds and body language cues. It will be hard to mimic what a bunny does, but much easier to comprehend what they are trying to tell you.

1. Ears

Ears of rabbits point in different directions to help us understand what they are feeling. The ears are like radar. They do it to hear sounds from distances that we can’t. Ears can relax for comfort and point upwards when alert.

2. Grunts

Rabbits don’t talk, they grunt. They could do this when they feel threats nearby or if they don’t like what’s going on. Grunting could lead to anger when their disapproval of the situation is not noticed.

3. Clicking Teeth

Rabbits click their teeth when they are being vocal, chippy or even happy. You may hear this when they are being petted.

4. Grinding Teeth

If your rabbit is wanting to be alone, sulking in the corner and you also hear teeth grinding. This might indicate that they are in pain or distress. If this continues, seek a vet’s help as soon as you can.

5. Honking

Rabbits make honking sounds to catch the attention of mate. They might do this while they are circling a female potential mate.

6. Spraying

Spraying urine is a rabbit’s way of marking territory. Males who are not neutered are more likely to do this. If a rabbit pees on you, they are marking you and wishing not to share you with anyone else.

7. Chinning

Rabbits have scent glands under their chin. They can rub their chin to mark territory or let their potential mate know they are nearby and willing.

8. Thumping

Thumping is a no easy way rabbits can signal for attention. They can do so when upset, threatened or warning others.

9. Flopping

When a rabbit is flopping, they are totally relaxed. When they expose their belly, there is no threat and they are just chilling out.

10. Nipping

Nipping shouldn’t hurt, but it could be a way a rabbit is trying to tell you something. Maybe they want food or more attention. You’ll know what it means depending on the situation and the amount of time you spend together.

11. Lunging

A rabbit may lean forward or lunge as a sign of provocation. They are warning you that they don’t want their space touched or anything moved around.

Now might not be the best time to clean their hutch. Give your rabbit a moment to relax once again because lunging is slightly territorial and defensive and we don’t need to engage with that at all.


Rabbits have basic vocal chords, although they do not vocalize often or loudly.  A talkative rabbit may do so when they are feeling happiness, pain, fright, unhappiness, sickness, or sexual desire.

They converse with other rabbits, people and other animals using their rather limited vocal range and body language.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.