Rabbits are simply adorable creatures that cannot be ignored by someone who loves cuteness and furriness. Their jumping, running, and sniffing would entertain you, for sure!
However, have you seen a rabbit yawning? Well, some say that a bunny yawning is somewhat horrifying!
It might be a surprising fact, especially if you are just planning to get a bunny. Since they are not the common pets seen at home, only a limited number of people are aware of their behavior and personalities.
So, do rabbits really yawn? What are the reasons why they yawn?
Do Rabbits Yawn?
Yes, rabbits do yawn. When yawning, they will make a big stretch and open their mouth as wide as they could, flaunting their bunny teeth.
If you are a first-time rabbit parent, you are yet to discover the different behavior of your fluffy pet that will surely amaze you.
Just like humans and other animals, rabbits are yawning too!
You might be surprised to learn about this as they just yawn occasionally. You need to spend some time with them for you to see them yawning with your two eyes.
But just a warning, they may look terrifying when yawning with their mouth wide open, exposing their teeth, and long-stretched body!
Some people find rabbits quite frightening when they see this kind of behavior. This is a reasonable reaction especially from those who do not own, not interested or do not have enough knowledge about bunnies.
Rabbits are highly sensitive animals to their environment which is, basically, the result of them being prey animals. They are always on guard and can crack up easily.
Yawning is a normal part of their life that you must understand and learn as this is one of their ways to communicate their feelings.
Why Do Rabbits Yawn?
Rabbits yawn when they are sleepy, tired, feeling lazy, and even when they are relaxed.
Just like humans, rabbits are yawning when they are feeling drowsy.
Before dozing off, you will see your rabbit stretching and opening its mouth, ready to give a big yawn.
It will make itself comfortable on its sleeping couch and soon after, gently close its eyes. It will also yawn once it wakes up.
Your bunnies are highly active and whimsical animals that could not simply stop themselves from bouncing and running all over!
So, you can surely expect them to get tired after all the spinning.
After their playing, you can typically see them yawning and stretching.
These are their ways to loosen the lethargic feeling while replenishing their energy again. Yawning when they are run-down is like freshening up or cooling down just like humans.
You might observe your bunnies yawn during cold, gloomy days.
Just like humans, they also tend to feel sluggish in lazy weather or environments.
When you feel lazy, you can feel drowsiness, which is the same with your bunnies too!
This improves the flowing of blood in their head which aids them to be more attentive.
You might not know this, but yawning can be also witnessed when your bunny is relaxed.
When your bunnies are comfortable and happy, they are doing some happy flop. Happy flop is like a sudden fall and laying still for a few seconds, makes them look like dead bunnies.
Soon after, they will be doing some stretching exercises with some yawning.
Do Bunnies Make Noise When They Yawn?
Yes. Bunnies do make a weird noise when they yawn.
Apart from the strange and somewhat terrifying appearance of bunnies when yawning, you might notice the sound that they are making as well.
Some bunnies are making a loud noise coming out of their mouth along with their yoga stretching.
You might even compare the strange sound with the tone of a goose.
It can be amusing as the sound being produced is not in every way can be imagined coming from a cute, cuddly bunny.
Do Rabbits Yawn For Other Reasons?
Rabbits are yawning not only when they are feeling good. Sometimes, yawning can be a sign that they are anxious or even sick.
Compared to other domesticated animals like dogs, the behavior of rabbits is not clearly understood at all times.
Since they are not one of the very common pets, many people are not yet aware of their personalities and way of communication.
Interestingly, rabbits are yawning too if they are feeling anxious.
As per studies, yawning is a helpful way to calm animals’ emotions if they are feeling threatened or scared.
Your rabbits are sensitive creatures that are always alert. If they get frightened due to the things around their environment, they may unexpectedly yawn!
Also, this behavior is one of their ways to get your attention.
Rabbits can get bored if they are all alone. They are sociable animals that like to play, and so, they may appear uneasy if you are not taking time to spend with them.
Your rabbits can yawn as well if they are not feeling well.
If they are sick, they will be feeling lazy, sleepy, and tired all day. They will look exhausted even if they are not doing something. They will just ignore you despite your efforts to play with them.
If they are not in their usual behavior and keep on yawning, they might be enduring some pain.
Is Yawning A Sign Of Rabbit’s Aggression?
No. You do not need to fret as rabbits are not yawning to show aggression.
Other animals are yawning in response to the offensive behavior of their kinds, such as some fish species and guinea pigs.
But it is a different case with bunnies. They are not aggressive animals since they are prey. They would just run, escape, and only fight if there are no options left to protect their lives.
How Often Should Rabbits Yawn?
Your rabbit should yawn 2 to 3 times per day. If they are yawning more than these, you should observe it as it might be unwell.
Your bunnies should only yawn 2 to 3 times daily.
You can usually see it yawn before sleeping and once it wakes up.
It may yawn after a very tiring play as well.
If one of your bunnies is unusually lazy and not reacting to your call, plus the fact that it yawns most of the time, you should be worried.
You need to see a vet if it is not eating and playing too.
Should You Be Worried About Your Rabbits Yawning?
Yes. You should be worried if your rabbits yawn too much as it can be a sign that they are not perfectly well. They may be feeling anxious or even seriously ill that you might need to bring them to the veterinarian.
If you are used to your rabbits yawning, you will find yourself enjoying watching them, realizing how cute they can be!
You will not be terrified anymore seeing them open their mouths so wide.
However, if you will notice them yawning unusually, you might need to be more watchful of their behavior.
Yawning could also be a sign that something is wrong with your rabbits.
One of the unwanted reasons is the possibility that they have anxiety.
Anxiety can be a big problem in the long run as it can physically and mentally impact your bunnies.
They may yawn if they are feeling frightened or nervous. You should be aware of this so you can easily eliminate anything that causes them apprehension.
Likewise, they may yawn if they are upset or feeling ill. When you bunnies suddenly lose their energetic behavior and start to yawn strangely, they might be sick.
If the stretching, yawning and losing appetite continuously occur, you might want to give your veterinarian a visit to know if something is wrong with your bunnies’ health.
Why is Yawning Important to Your Rabbits?
Yawning is essential for your rabbits as this can help to regulate the temperature and blood flow in their brain, likewise stir up their body to be awake.
Through yawning, the flow of blood into the brain of your rabbits is improved. This helps in bringing added oxygen into their blood as well.
Just like in humans, yawning can help in managing the brain’s temperature too.
This action can help the brain to cool down which helps to make sure your rabbits are able to process their thoughts objectively.
Yawning is one way for your rabbits to stir up their energy and make their body active again.
It is like their quick charging action after a tiring activity or to stimulate their body during a lazy hour.
If your bunnies are not feeling well, yawning is an approach to make them feel a little better.
Since yawning is improving the regulation of blood flow and brain temperature, it is like your bunnies’ body’s natural way to heal itself.
Bates, M. (2021, March 31). Many mammals are contagious yawners—this might be why. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/many-mammals-are-contagious-yawners-this-might-be-why
Foundation for Biomedical Research. (2020, June 25). Animals yawn. People yawn. What’s the connection?https://fbresearch.org/animals-yawn-people-yawn-whats-the-connection/