Rabbit Growling: What It Means & What to Do

Hearing calm, adorable creatures such as rabbits growl can be pretty alarming for you as an owner. You must be trying to understand what is wrong with your furry little friend. But don’t worry; rabbit growling is not as abnormal or uncommon as you would think.

When a rabbit growls, it indicates signs of stress, frustration, or aggression. Many reasons could set your rabbit off, consequently making it growl. The first thing you need to find out is what is causing your rabbit spring to defense. Once you identify the source of its distress and act on it, your rabbit will be a lot more comfortable. During this episode, it vital to be conscious of your rabbit’s headspace and approach the situation accordingly.

Here are some ways you can understand the possible source for your rabbit’s growling better:

Trespassing in Their Territory

As we all know, rabbits are territorial animals. They don’t appreciate anyone trespassing or invading their personal space. If this happens, it is not very surprising for your rabbit to start growling. 

It is important not always to limit your rabbit to its cage. Instead, let it explore its surroundings and get more familiar with your home. You can leave the cage door open so your bunny can choose it wants to move around and when it wants to rest in its cage. When it decides to play outside its cage, you can take this chance to change the water, put some food and clean up space.

You don’t want to upset your rabbit by going into its personal space! It is best to know all your rabbit’s territorial areas and stay away from them. If you work around them this way, there is a higher chance that your rabbit will feel less frightened and comfortable faster. 

If your rabbit continues to act the same despite trying multiple ways, it is time to spay or neuter them. It would be best to consider that rabbits are highly hormonal during their s breeding season. So, you might observe more aggression regarding their personal space during these times. Rabbits usually breed during the spring. 

Giving Excessive Physical Affection

Keeping your hands off your rabbit is quite the task. It is tough not to cuddle them when they look so soft and cute. Unfortunately, your rabbit may not always enjoy it. It is essential to recognize and respect the boundaries that your rabbit has set for itself. You must always avoid upsetting your rabbit by giving excessive physical affection or touching when it’s not in the mood. Rabbits don’t like being smothered and always feel more comfortable in their own space. If you keep this in mind, they are less likely to act out on you.

We know how disappointing it is to find out you can’t smother your bunny with love all the time, but you must respect their limits! As we said earlier, rabbits are social animals. So, if you want to find other ways to bond with them, you play with them during playtime. You can teach them how to do tricks and also give them treats. There are many ways you can spend time with your rabbit without making it feel uncomfortable.

Reacting to Body Language

If you are unaware of the way you interact with your rabbit, there is a good chance you might set it off. Your rabbit will get find you threatening if the way you act starts to intimidate them. A great way to calm your rabbit down is simply to lie down on your stomach. Rabbits consider this a non-threatening position which will ease them up a bit. Another way you can control these situations is by offering it some treats or other food. This will also make your rabbit feel more comfortable as it will begin trusting you.

Creating a rabbit-friendly environment does take a considerable amount of work and time. So, be patient and follow all the proper steps to make your rabbit comfortable. It won’t be long before your bunny starts to feel at home. If you try to rush them into it, they may feel pressured and begin feeling unsafe around you. This will only lead fire up your bunny to get aggressive again!

It is essential to practice exercises that will help your rabbit trust you and not see you as a threat anymore. You must pay attention to how your rabbit’s body language changes or responds to yours. You can then understand what you can do and what’s off-limits around your rabbit. Keep in mind how little your rabbit feels in this huge world. You have to make yourself tinier and ensure your rabbit is feeling safe and secure.

Showing Signs of Stress

Rabbits are anxious creatures by nature. Instinctively, their first response is to panic in several situations. Fortunately for you, there are many ways you can avoid dealing with such circumstances by showing additional care. 

Rabbits enjoy having company. Bonding with one another is a characteristic feature of rabbits. So, if you think you have space and energy to take care of two rabbits, getting a friend for your rabbit would be a great idea. If they have some companionship, they will deal with stress a lot better.

It is essential not to be too loud or have loud noises around your rabbit. Rabbits only feel comfortable in calm environments. Your rabbit would appreciate you toning the surrounding noise to prevent it from getting stressed or anxious. This doesn’t mean rabbits expect pin-drop silence around the household. All you should take care of is that the surrounding volume doesn’t go to the point that will make your rabbit act out.

Rabbits hate being restricted to small spaces. They need an area that is spacious enough to accommodate their exercise and does not feel suffocating. Lots of cages available for rabbits are relatively small, which only enhances your rabbit’s stress levels, ultimately leading to aggressive behavior. Rabbit pens are a great option as they offer the ideal enclosure enough space for your rabbit to move around comfortably. These also prevent your rabbit from wandering off to other places where they could be in danger.

If you didn’t know, rabbits also have spots to hide. So, along with having enough space, they need one or two locations where they can hide. This is for times when your bunny panics and needs a place to disappear. When your bunny stresses out, wants to go to its hiding spot but remembers it doesn’t have one, there is a good chance they will start getting aggressive. Giving your rabbit a cardboard box or even a hide-away bed works well for a hiding spot.

Overheating can also be a source of stress for your rabbit. Here are some ways you can bring their body temperature back to normal:

  • Brush or trim all the extra rabbit fur
  • Use a cold, damp cloth to cover your rabbit’s ear with 
  • If the temperature is in the mid-seventies range or higher, turning on the air-conditioner is essential
  • Ensure the water supply is at a lower temperature 
  • Placing a frozen water bottle in their cage

Rabbits adore having toys that they can play with. Ensure that you have bought enough toys for a bunny that it can chew on or have fun with. Boredom is a good source of aggression in most rabbits.

Finally, the most important thing you need to pay attention to is if your rabbit has started building trust in you. Without trust, you will exert your rabbit mentally with extra stress. Creating a bond or a connection with your rabbit will help you establish a solid relationship with it.