March 2, 2010

Why do rabbits purr?

Filed under: rabbits purr,rabbits purring,why do rabbits purr? — Dr. Amber Reed @ 7:45 am

rabbit purrSome rabbit owners are surprised when they hear their beloved pet purring. Indeed, rabbits can make a “purring” noise, but this is different than the purr you’d hear from a cat. Rabbit purrs are created when the rabbit gently grinds their teeth. Not surprisingly, different purrs indicate different states of emotion in your rabbit and understanding these differences you’ll have a better idea of how your rabbit is feeling. Unfortunately, not all rabbits have been known to purr and purring can be very quiet so you may need to listen carefully.

When rabbits are happy or content they tend to grind their teeth very quietly. Most of us expect purring to be associated with good feelings but even in cats purring may indicate that something is wrong. As a rabbits purrs become more audible, you should be more concerned. Loud, crunching purrs are caused when your rabbit grinds its teeth more vigorously. These kinds of purrs are often associated with pain. Rabbits do not usually purr when they feel anxiety or fear.canine stress

In the beginning, you may find it difficult to differentiate between your rabbits purrs, especially if you can hardly hear them. In such cases, you need to pay closer attention to other behaviors. When a rabbit’s eyes are closed, this is an indication of relaxation. In all likelihood, they are not feeling pain or discomfort. On the other hand, if your rabbit’s eyes are open wide and alert while they are vigorously grinding their teeth, this could suggest a more serious problem.

You should also watch your rabbit’s behavior carefully if you’re concerned about purring. Your rabbit’s behavior will likely change when it’s purring as well. A comfortable rabbit may purr to relax and in this case you’ll notice your rabbit looking very calm. If your rabbit is feeling pain, it may also be withdrawn or may assume awkward positions.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.