Yes, rabbits can learn to like and recognize music. This behavior is learned over time though and will depend on the rabbit’s personality. They tend to enjoy a soothing classical piece or certain songs that they’re regularly exposed to – basically, your rabbit will listen to and like the same music that you regularly play and enjoy!
How Music Affects Rabbits
Music can affect rabbits in different ways depending on what type of music it is, how loud it’s being played, and if they’re used to listening to music.
Some rabbits will visibly enjoy the tune while others will make their displeasure clear.
Negative Effects of Music
If you suddenly turn loud music on, there’s a high chance that your rabbit will be startled by the unexpected noise. Certain genres of music like rock and metal are notoriously louder and often have more shrill sounds which can upset a rabbit.
An unhappy rabbit might thump or try to run away from the music. If your rabbit doesn’t like the music, the best thing to do is to respect their wishes and turn it off.
If your rabbit seems to be scared (ears back, low to the ground, and staying still) then you should quickly shut the music off. If this continues, they could learn to associate fear with music and panic anytime they hear it.
Positive Effects of Music
Music can also be a comfort to your rabbit if it’s played in the right way (not too loud and relaxing genres like jazz, classical, blues, and country). Music can prevent boredom and loneliness, as well as for settling a nervous rabbit.
If your rabbit has positive associations with music then when they’re in a stressful situation like a car ride, they might relax a little if they hear music they recognize.
Music also provides your rabbit with company when you’re away. Hearing voices on the radio can stimulate them mentally and remind them of you being there – which can prevent destructive behavior and sadness.
How Loud Can I Play Music for My Rabbits?
Rabbits have better hearing than we do.
Because of that, extremely high sounds can lead to stress and even pain for the rabbit. As a general guideline, you shouldn’t play music louder than you’d have the TV volume.
When you first start playing music, you should start on a low volume and gradually increase it to give them time to get used to it. A more intensified bass and lower treble are an ideal combination if you have an equalizer to adjust the settings.
You should avoid amplifiers and try not to have speakers directly next to your rabbits. If you want to leave music on while you’re not home, you can put on the radio or the TV as background noise.
If your house is usually peaceful, music will be a shock to their system. However, a rabbit in a house full of people that are regularly exposed to noise will be more tolerant and accepting of music.
How to Introduce Rabbits to Music
If your rabbit isn’t used to music then you should start small. Play something calm on low volume and don’t overwhelm them with multiple songs in a short space of time. Eventually, they might grow to like music and be happy to listen to songs.
Another trick you could try is to give your rabbits treats when you play music to them. This will form a positive association with hearing the music and your rabbit will remember it going ahead. Your rabbit might even binky when they hear the music because it makes them happy!
Signs that your rabbit is enjoying the music:
- Closing their eyes.
- Blinking to the beat.
- Their ears twitching.
- Their whiskers twitching.
- Their ears are in a forward position.
If your rabbit doesn’t freeze and instead carries on doing whatever they were doing, then they aren’t startled and don’t feel threatened by the music playing.