Listening to music is beneficial to everyone, whether that “everyone” is a person or a rabbit. Studies have found that music positively affects the well-being of rabbits by reducing their stress levels. While this is great, do rabbits enjoy listening to music?
Rabbits do enjoy listening to music, but it depends on what kind of music you play. Some bunnies seem to prefer soothing music, but others enjoy what their owners listen to. Repetitively playing music has a calming effect. Playing suddenly jarring music could scare your rabbit, so beware!
Let’s explore this topic of music and rabbits so you know what kind of music Ms. Fluffles likes to listen to, how rabbits react to music, and how do you know if your bunny enjoys the tunes on the radio.
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Do Rabbits React to Music?
While there are lots of anecdotal experiences shared by rabbit owners on forums and the like, studies have also proven that there is a positive effect when music is played to animals.
In fact, rabbits (and other animals) react similarly to humans when listening to music. One 2013 study found that listening to music relieves stress and improves the animal’s welfare. It can also be used to solve behavioral problems, like separation anxiety.
Playing music when you spend time with your bunny means that they will associate the sound of music with your presence. When you need to leave your rabbit alone for a while, they won’t miss you as much because the music will keep them company.
Another 6-month study to evaluate the music effects on male New Zealand rabbits found that after constant exposure to music, the amount of cortisol significantly reduced in the fecal matter of these rabbits. This indicates that the rabbits were less stressed when they listened to music.
Apart from feeling less stressed, it is also common for rabbits to binky while they listen to music (more on this shortly).
Do Rabbits Enjoy Listening to Music?
There isn’t a lot of research into rabbits and music specifically. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that most rabbits do enjoy listening to music.
Whether or not your bunny enjoys the tunes coming from your phone or radio depends on their unique personality and their experiences in life.
If you got your bunny from a pet store, for example, they will most likely be used to a certain level of noise and activity. The pet shop will have played music all day so it is most likely that your rabbit will enjoy (and be used to) listening to music.
Interestingly, these rabbits may also recognize certain songs and react in a certain way. For example, they may binky or even blink in time with the sound of the beat. Cute, right? It is pretty much your rabbit showing pleasure at the sound and dancing to the music.
How Do I Know If My Rabbit Likes Music?
If your rabbit doesn’t run away, it most likely enjoys the music. But that isn’t the only way to tell.
When you first introduce your bunny to music, you may not know whether they like it or not. It is rare that your pet rabbit will just stop and listen to the song.
It is more common that your bunny will continue doing what they are busy with. If you watch closely, however, you may see their ears twitching like it is listening to the beat. If this is the case, your rabbit’s ears will be turned forward.
With repetition, your bunny learns, and this is also how you discover whether or not your rabbit likes music.
If Mr Fluffles has heard a melody enough times and loves what he is hearing, then your rabbit may stick around to listen, blink to the beat, or even binky. When a rabbit binkies, it shows that they are happy as they leap and twist and jump through the air.
Types of Music Rabbits Usually Like
In the rabbit pet owner community, rabbit owners share stories of their buns listening to a wide variety of music. It seems that the rabbit enjoys listening to what its owner enjoys.
This has to do with the repetitive nature of playing a particular genre you enjoy.
If you recently got a rabbit, it is best to start out with mellow music, like classical music, the blues, or jazz. These types of music don’t generally have startling sounds that could scare a rabbit. And most pet owners report that their bunnies enjoy classical music.
Loud, sudden noises make rabbits believe that they are in danger, and their bodies will react accordingly. Their stress levels will rise and they will enter a fight-or-flight mode. Or, sudden noises will scare your rabbit, which could trigger a cardiac arrest episode.
Once your bunny gets used to the music, you can play different genres and see how Ms. Fluffles reacts.
How Loud Should I Play Music for My Rabbit?
Since rabbits are prey animals and need to survive in the wild, their ears are very sensitive to noise. It can pick up faint sound frequencies.
A bunny’s ears can pick up 360-42,000 hertz; human ears can hear between 64-23,000 hertz.
Knowing that your rabbit’s ears are highly sensitive to sound, you shouldn’t play loud music. This can cause your rabbit to stress and it can be painful to them. It can also result in damage to their hearing.
If you are only now starting to play music for your rabbit, it is best to start at a low volume and slowly increase it. Keep a close eye on your bunny to make sure it is comfortable with the noise (music) level.
Another factor to keep in mind with the volume of the music you are playing to Mr. Fluffles is the equalizer settings. For rabbits, it is recommended to lower the treble and intensify the bass to create a beating sound.
Your bunny will become familiar with the repetitiveness of the beat as it hears the same song over and over again, and then reap the benefits of listening to music.
A kind reminder: ensure the music you play doesn’t suddenly jump from mellow piano to shrieking violin. This could scare your rabbit who could have a heart attack and die as a result.
The Last Sound of Music
Playing music to your fluffy long-eared bestie comes with a host of benefits, provided your pet rabbit enjoys listening to music. Melodies can help calm a rabbit, help with separation anxiety, and alleviate boredom.
Choose the music genre you play to your bunny carefully. Consistency and repetition are key. And keep noting how your rabbit reacts to the different types of music so you know what it likes and what it despises.
So what music does your pet rabbit enjoy listening to?