Rabbit Focus

Do Rabbits Have Sensitive Ears?

Rabbits are best known for their cute ears. Most breeds have large and floppy ears that are just too adorable and irresistible. But have you ever wondered how rabbit ears function? Do rabbits have sensitive ears?

Do Rabbits Have Sensitive Ears?

Yes, rabbits do have highly sensitive ears. Due to the many folds of skin inside the ears and their size in general, even the most minute dirt buildup can already result in bacterial growth. This makes rabbits more prone to infection and inflammation.

Aside from these, rabbit ears are also sensitive in the sense that they can hear well and pick up soundwaves even in the ultrasonic range. These animals can easily sense noises of a maximum of 49,000Hz which is more than what human ears can pick up. Even dogs, despite their equally sensitive ears, can hear sounds of up to 45,000Hz.

How Good is a Rabbit’s Hearing?

Rabbits are considered prey animals. Similar to other evolutionary benefits, the hearing of rabbits evolved under the stress that predators apply. Rabbits in the wild spend their whole lives keeping their ears open to even the most minor sounds. More often than not, these are usually the first and only warnings that rabbits get when a threat is nearby.

Domesticated or pet rabbits no longer need to stay alert for these risks. But rabbits will continue relying on their hearing when interacting with you and navigating the rest of the world around them. A rabbit’s hearing will let the animal who and where you are in the house. Bunnies can also identify some minor dangers like when there is another animal nearby or something falls from the table.

The good hearing of rabbits is because of their ears’ external and internal structures. This is also the result of the sensitivity of the sensory organs. Combine this with their extensive hearing range and this gives rabbits an excellent sense of the auditory realm surrounding them.

What is the Hearing Frequency Range of Rabbits?

Rabbits are revealed to have the ability to hear sounds low as 96Hz, which means that their hearing range starts at 96Hz to 49,000Hz. In comparison, humans have a hearing range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz. Humans have the ability to hear lower frequencies while rabbits are much more sensitive to the higher frequencies with the ability to hear a more extensive sound range than humans.

However, rabbits cannot hear every sound in this range with the same level of clarity. Rabbits can best hear sounds that are on the average of 1,000Hz to 16,000Hz, hearing with less clarity any sounds outside the window of your home.

Do Rabbits Have Better Hearing Than Humans?

While humans have the ability to hear lower frequencies than rabbits can, the hearing of these animals can sense a bigger frequency range in addition to being able to hear higher frequencies. Practically speaking, rabbits have better hearing than humans.

The shape of the outer ear of rabbits also gives them perks over humans. Human ears are laying almost flat to the skulls, with the outer shell being very small than that of rabbit ears.

The rabbit ears’ shape is critical, too. This lets them catch a larger number of soundwaves that are directed to the eardrum. A rabbit’s ears’ internal structure is even more sensitive, and this allows them to hear higher frequencies compared to humans.

Do Rabbits Have Better Hearing Than Dogs?

The sound ranges of dogs and rabbits are almost the same. The hearing range of dogs on average is from 67Hz to 45,000Hz. But the hearing sensitivity differs among the dog breeds.

While dogs can hear lower soundwaves, rabbits can hear the higher ones. This means that depending on the spectrum of sound you are looking at, rabbits either have worse or better hearing compared to dogs.

Bunnies can hear sounds at a farther distance better than dogs. Dogs on average can perceive sounds from a quarter-mile away, which is much less than what rabbits can distinguish on average.

How Far Away Can a Rabbit Hear?

A rabbit can hear sounds that come from 1.8 miles away. There might be a change in this radius depending on the pitch and strength of the noise.

Lower frequencies tend to travel much further compared to higher frequencies. Very low sounds might travel further distances than 1.8 miles.

Do Rabbits Hear Ultrasonic?

Ultrasonic refers to frequencies of more than 20,000Hz that are well within the hearing range of rabbits. You have to keep this in mind if you are fond of using ultrasonic rodent repellents. Many repellent devices can emit sound ranging from 30,000Hz to 62,000Hz.

These devices can emit sounds that can cause distress to rabbits, particularly if you put them near the cage or hutch of your bunnies. Excessive exposure to these high-pitched sounds may result in pain or worse, even permanent inner ear damage.

Can Newborn Rabbits Hear?

Baby bunnies or kits are born furless, blind, and deaf. Throughout the first several weeks of their life, the baby bunnies will grow fur and gain their senses of sound and sight little by little. The only exception here is if the kit is born with genetic defects that can impair its hearing.

What are the Signs of Deafness in Rabbits?

Unfortunately, some rabbits can become deaf, but you will be able to take the necessary action as long as you know the signs of deafness in rabbits. As long as you catch the problem early on, it is possible to prevent your bunny from becoming completely deaf.

When a rabbit starts to lose its hearing, it will no longer react to sounds like it used to. The ears will not swivel in the direction of the noise, or the bunny won’t respond if you call out its name.

But if you have several rabbits, the deaf one may mimic the rest when they respond to the noise. The rabbit might only be able to hear some frequencies which depend on the amount of hearing loss. You can conduct some sound tests by playing some sound bites of various frequencies.

When a rabbit becomes deaf, the way it responds to you may be different than before like with greater aggression or anxiety. For an animal relying a lot on its sense of hearing, turning deaf can be an extremely stressful change to the animal’s life.

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