Distressed animals are not an uncommon thing. Seeing them in pain and crying can be stressful for the rabbit and their owners. By the end of this article, we will answer the question: Do rabbits cry?
Do Rabbits Cry?
Yes, rabbits do cry. Rabbits can let out a cry for many reasons. Whether it be distress or illness, they can cry out in pain. It can range from a small and timid whimper to constant shrieking or screaming.
However, crying for rabbits might not be the same as crying for humans. Like other domesticated pets such as cats or dogs, rabbits do not shed a tear when they cry. Their tear ducts do not function as an indicator of pain.
If you notice gunk or weepy eyes in your rabbits, immediately take them to the veterinarian. It can signify different illnesses such as dental problems or abscesses.
What do Rabbit Cries Sound Like?
Rabbits make many noises that constitute as crying. Of course, the difference can come from reasons and pain levels or discomfort.
Bleat is often heard with baby rabbits or kits. Constant high yelps characterize the ‘bleat’ in rabbits. In the wild, baby rabbits will often cry out or bleat when their mothers feed them late. Mother rabbits only go one or two times when feeding their young.
This mechanism lessens the risks of predators finding where their nest is. It works most of the time; however, the mother rabbit can sometimes be late from running around to feed its young
Unfortunately, mother rabbits are prone to get injured, eaten, and killed in the wild. The kits are left to their own as they cry inside their nests.
Bleat can also be heard when baby rabbits are suddenly picked up. It’s recommended not to pick up baby rabbits in the wild as it can cause them shock and distress. Picking them up at less than eight weeks old is not advisable with domesticated rabbits.
Whimpers are often heard when rabbits are in pain or uncomfortable. High but soft noises characterize the sound of whimpers. It’s common to hear when they cry out in pain or have injuries.
Like dogs, rabbits might also whimper when they are asleep. Most of the time, it’s not due to pain but a slight sound when they are undergoing sleep.
Shrieking or Screaming
Shrieking or screaming is the most recognizable and loudest crying noise a rabbit can make. They often made it due to shock and fear.
Why do Rabbits Cry Out?
There are many reasons why rabbits might let out a whimper or cry. Here are some of the causes of why rabbits cry out. With this, you can pinpoint one of the reasons and take the proper steps to avoid causing your rabbits distress and comfort.
Rabbits are prone to get injured and sick. Whether internal or external, they can cry out in pain when they are in pain.
Improper handling of your rabbits can cause them significant discomfort and pain. When they are uncomfortable, the rabbit might wiggle around and start to cry or whimper. If your rabbit shows signs like this, let them go and try again to hold them later.
Rabbits can also get annoyed. Even though they are not being handled with pain, rabbits can feel uncomfortable when their owners carry them often and for long periods. Like humans, our pets also want to indulge in alone time or play around by themselves.
When rabbits have illnesses such as an abscess or viral infection, it can be why they cry out. Most rabbits can have pain and ache as a symptom of their disease. They can cry from the external or internal pain in discomfort caused by the illness.
Sadness and Loneliness
Rabbits are social animals. With that, loneliness can be a cause of great sadness for rabbits. This symptom is especially prominent if the rabbit has another animal companion that passed away. However, this attitude is often observed with domestic rabbits.
Crying in sadness can also be accompanied by other symptoms of loneliness such as pulling of fur, lethargy, and sleeping more or sleeping less than usual. It’s recommended to keep them company or get them another animal companion to bond with.
Rabbits cry out the loudest when they are in fear. There is a phenomenon when rabbits will go in shock and cry out when picked up, especially in the wild. This is also prominent when they are caught and eaten by predators.
Do Rabbits Cry When Dying?
Rabbits cry in fear or shock if predators threaten them. As prey, rabbits are prone to get eaten and killed in the wild. It’s been implanted in their intrinsic nature to scream before they die or go into shock.
This is also one of the reasons why you shouldn’t touch wild rabbits suddenly. There are many videos where someone would pick up a running rabbit and cry out of fear. It can come out as harmless, especially if the person who held them up lets them free in the end.
Even though they are relatively safe, rabbits cannot perceive them as harmless. Some wild rabbits can die of shock after crying and shrieking when held suddenly.
Rabbits who have an illness can also cry before dying. This phenomenon is observed with rabbits that suffer E. cuniculi. In some cases, the rabbit will cry out pain, shrieking, accompanied by seizures until they die.
How do Rabbits Show Negative Emotion?
Crying is not the only way a rabbit can show negative emotion. They can have a few patterns that might suggest distress and other negative emotion, such as:
- Lack of Appetite
- Too much or Lesser Sleep
- Fur Pulling
When the rabbit is experiencing loneliness, sadness, or illness, the symptoms are often accompanied by a lack of appetite. They might not eat as much compared to what they usually eat. Rabbits might also stray away from eating at all due to negative emotions.
Their sleep patterns will also change. They can sleep too much or less than their standard sleeping patterns. It can be a sign of illness and depression in rabbits, just like humans. Lethargy or lack of energy is one of the most common signs of negative symptoms from any pet. They might not play as much or not play at all.
Rabbits can also be less friendly and moodier due to their lethargy. Fur pulling is not just a nesting symptom. It can also be a sign of distress with rabbits and is often observed with rabbits in an inadequate habitat and stressful environment.
What to do if the Rabbit is Crying?
One of the most important ways to keep your rabbits from crying is to know the reason why they are crying in the first place. With that information, you can make the best decision and adequately address what to do if your rabbit is crying.
Make Sure That They are not in pain
When the rabbit starts crying, one of the most common causes is pain and discomfort. Although it can be easy to spot the reason, some internal injuries or illnesses can be more challenging to notice. To handle the rabbit’s crying, make sure that they are not in pain.
See if You are Handling Them Correctly
Improper handling and constant carrying can be uncomfortable and even painful for rabbits. The time and way a rabbit is handled can vary from rabbit to rabbit.
Some rabbits want to be held for a long time, while others want to be with themselves. Knowing how to carry your rabbits properly is a great way to provide them with comfort.
Don’t do Things That Might Invoke Fear or Pain
There are many things that rabbits might perceive as dangerous and invoke fear, shock, and pain. One of the most common examples is suddenly picking them up. Crying due to being picked up is very prominent to wild rabbits.
It causes them great shock and fear, causing them to shriek and freeze. Picking up wild rabbits is not advisable, as being picked up can mean being eaten and attacked by a predator.
Bring the Rabbit to a Veterinarian
An extended period of crying is not typical for rabbits. If the constant crying and whimpering did not subside after two to three days, immediately bring the rabbit to a veterinarian. The constant crying can be a sign of internal pain and discomfort.
This is incredibly important if the rabbit has no external injury or bleeding that might cause them discomfort or pain. Their constant crying can signify an internal infection and injury, so it must be treated as soon as possible.
Do rabbits cry? Yes, rabbits cry. However, it’s different from how humans cry as they do not produce tears. It can come from various reasons such as pain, fear, or illness and can range from quite whimpers to full-on shrieking in shock. Fortunately, owners and handlers can do many ways to help their rabbits from crying.