Several scientific studies have explored the relationship between animals and music. People often play music to keep their pets calm, and it’s been shown to be effective. This surely means that a rabbit will also derive pleasure from listening to familiar songs.
Rabbits find classical music calming. Also, rabbits enjoy repetition. If your pet hears the same song over and over, the beats start to become more familiar. Your rabbit will respond to that familiarity.
Don’t be surprised if your rabbit starts to blink or dance along to music. Rabbits will not necessarily differentiate music by genre. Many pets learn to love the same music that their human families enjoy, provided that it’s not played too loud. Think of it as exposure therapy.
Do Rabbits Enjoy Listening to Music?
Research into rabbits and music is limited. Most findings surrounding animals and music are generic. A paper in the journal Laboratory Animals discusses the effects of music on animal behavior.
There is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that rabbits take pleasure from music, though. How much your rabbit enjoys music depends on two primary actors. Their unique personality plays a role, as do their earliest experiences in life.
Some rabbits enjoy being surrounded by noise and activity. This will likely be true of a rabbit bought home from a pet store. These rabbits will be used to being surrounded by people. In addition, the shop may have played music all day.
These rabbits will love music. So much so that the rabbit will recognize certain songs and react accordingly. Some rabbits blink in time with the drumbeat or metronome. Others will binky. This is basically your rabbit dancing.
This happens because rabbits memorize the sequence of notes in a song. Your pet can tell the difference between an A and a D. A rabbit exposed to the same rhythm regularly will look forward to hearing it again.
Music can also help prevent a rabbit from feeling isolated. As social animals, rabbits do not cope well with being alone for long periods. Leaving the radio on while at work offers your rabbit company.
What Types of Music Do Rabbits Like to Listen To?
There is no particular genre that appeals most to rabbits. Again, it depends on their surroundings. Rabbits grow used to the music that their owners enjoy. It becomes part of their daily routine. Rabbits love repetition.
Confirmation bias plays a significant role. If you enjoy jazz, a rabbit will memorize compositions. If you prefer pop, your rabbit will hear certain songs on the radio over and over. Owners then claim that their pet rabbits enjoy the same music.
If you want to test your rabbit’s reaction to music, start with something soothing at a low volume. An old-fashioned crooner, like Frank Sinatra, will potentially appeal. Your rabbit will enjoy the slow, steady rhythm and soothing vocals.
Once your rabbit is used to music, observe its reactions. You’ll likely find that your pet reacts better to specific genres. If your pet flees as soon as the radio comes on, though, respect this. Not all rabbits will relish music.
Heavy metal will likely cause this reaction. While there will doubtless be anecdotal examples of rock-loving rabbits, many reject the genre. This is because rabbits dislike unexpected noise. Loud, sudden time changes will startle your pet.
If your rabbit has a more nervous disposition, it will prefer to live a quiet life. These rabbits would take more pleasure from listening to talk radio. The sound of low, human voices will be soothing.
If possible, take the same approach to this as you would with music. Repetition and consistency are key. Your rabbit will take comfort from a familiar, softly-spoken voice. Sudden outbursts of shouting will frighten your pet.
Despite this passion for routine, rabbits also crave new experiences. Mix up your choice of music every once in a while. As long as you do not deviate from the base formula, your pet will be happy.
Do Rabbits Like Classical Musical?
Many pet owners claim that their animals enjoy classical music. This may seem like a contradiction in terms at first. After all, there is no human voice to be found in a classical composition.
Despite this, classical music has been found to have a calming effect on many animals. Rabbits are no exception. Classic music is believed to have a soothing effect on your pet’s heart rate.
This means that classical music can be a powerful stressbuster for rabbits. There are many reasons why your pet grows anxious:
- Rabbits loathe being left alone for too long. Your pet can quickly become lonely and stressed.
- Rabbits grow agitated if trapped in the same location too long. Too much hutch time can result in anxiety.
- Rabbits don’t like being bored. If your pet lacks new experiences and stimulation, it will become stressed.
- Rabbits rarely enjoy being handled. Playing classical music before, and during, may make the process more palatable.
- Rabbits find loud noise stressful. This means raised voices, slamming doors, and ambient noise from outside the home.
You’ll still need to be careful with classical music, though. Don’t play it too loud, and pick an appropriate composer. Too many sudden, bombastic time changes may cause anxiety.
Rabbits may not always recognize repeated classical music either. As Live Science explains, rabbits understand flat pitch but not relative pitch. The same symphony, played by different orchestras, can sound different from a rabbit.
Classical music is believed to calm rabbits down. Your pet will not necessarily dance or react to Mozart or Chopin, though. Those responses are likely reserved for Taylor Swift and Miles Davis.
How Do I Know if My Rabbit Likes Music?
It’s not always obvious when a rabbit is enjoying music upon first exposure. Sometimes, your pet will stop everything it is doing and listen. This is an exception more than a rule, though.
More often, a rabbit will continue going about its business. Watch closely, though. You may notice its ears twitching, as though taking the music in. The rabbit’s ears will be turned forward, and your pet will remain still.
The real reaction comes with repetition. Rabbits learn through this. Your rabbit will count the beats, as well as acknowledging the feeling of the music.
Once your rabbit hears the music enough times, it’ll actively enjoy it. This may take the form blinking, binkying, or even just sticking around to listen. Sometimes, a rabbit not running away is the biggest compliment of all.
How Loud Should I Play Music for My Rabbit?
A rabbit’s hearing is vastly superior to that of a human. High levels of decibels can cause rabbits pain and stress. Bear this in mind when you hit play on your stereo.
When helping your rabbit adapt to music, start at a low level and gradually increase it. As a rule, you should never play music louder than your television set. This is an ambient noise level that your rabbit has grown comfortable with.
In addition to the volume, consider your equalizer settings. Increasing the bass, and reducing the treble, is advisable. This creates a thumping sound that your rabbit is used to. Treble can be shrill, which upsets rabbits.
Remember the golden rule of rabbits and music – no short, sharp shocks. Switching from a mellow piano to a screeching violin will frighten your pet. If the music is loud, this could even result in a heart attack.
The same applies to anybody that plays music at home, too. Don’t plug in an amplifier and rehearse in front of your pet. Your rabbit won’t understand what you’re doing.
You’ll know better than anybody if your rabbit enjoys music. It’s more than likely that your rabbit will do so. Unless a rabbit is nervous, it will relish background sounds that help it feel less lonely.
If this is the case, ensure that your rabbit continues to enjoy music. Overexposure, loud volume, or playing inappropriate tracks will potentially ruin your pet’s enjoyment.
If your rabbit is of a musical persuasion, though, it can greatly enhance its life. Music can keep rabbits calm, and bring joy to their lives. If you strike the appropriate balance, you and your pet can enjoy a shared passion.