Rabbit Snorting Meaning

Rabbit snorting
Written by Editorial

While trying to clean your rabbits’ hutch, refill their food or water bowls or hold him or her, he or she may suddenly snort. What does this imply?

Snorting refers to the sound produced when your bunny forces hair through its nose. It is one of the unhappy rabbit sounds which together with stomping are considered as a pre-aggression behavior.

The sound can be accompanied by growling, hissing and afterward, the rabbit may lunge, attack, or bite you.

Rabbit snorting
Rabbit snorting

What message does it pass?

Although associated with wheezing, and sneezing, this vocal cue is slightly different from the two which are often related to obstruction or other medical problems.

If you hear your bunny snorting, the message here is that he or she is unhappy and disapproves of what you are trying to do. He or she is trying to tell you, other pets or rabbits to ‘back-off’, ‘stop it’, go away’, or ‘leave me alone’.

It is also an expression of dislike or disgust. If you do not heed to the warning, growling, stomping, and biting will be next.

Sometimes, this rabbit sound may only indicate the presence of dust in their respiratory tract and nothing relating to disliking or being unhappy.

Why would your bunny snort?

There are many situations that can make your furry friend snort. Some of the common reasons include the following:

  • If he or she is territorial and you try to mess with his hutch such as rearranging, refilling food and water bowls or invading his or her territory in any way. This is common in unneutered bunnies.
  • When you tried to pick this pet wrongly or he does not want to be picked. Snorting serves as a warning to you to stop it.
  • He or she is afraid or scared. For instance, startling your bunny, rapid and unpredictable movements among other things may make this pet snort.


If your bunny just snorted to you or other pets, you need to consider the context to be able to correctly interpret this body language.

This is necessary as each bunny may have slightly body languages or vocal sounds to pass a certain message.

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