What Do Rabbits Yawning Tell You? (Reasons Explained)

What Do Rabbits Yawning Tell You

Yawning can mean a lot of things to humans. But the most generic answer that we can associate with yawning is because of tiredness.  

When it comes to rabbits, they can exhibit different behaviors. It is one of the rabbit facts that these animals sometimes do things that can seem odd to owners. They make different sounds, sleep with open eyes, and many more. They do this to express their feelings, whether happy, sad, or angry.

Now when a rabbit yawns, it can also mean many things. They can be tired, bored, or sleepy. In this article, to fully comprehend what your rabbit is trying to tell you, we’ve prepared a guide for you to have an idea. Hopefully, this will bring awareness and further tighten your relationship with your rabbit. 

Reasons Why Rabbit Yawns

The Rabbit is Sleepy

One common reason why rabbits yawn is that they are sleepy. Like humans, it indicates it is time to let the body rest. 

This article says that when the body is tired, breathing changes. This means that less oxygen is delivered to the brain. So yawning is one way to assist the brain in receiving more oxygen. 

Remember that sleeping for rabbits is important. It helps them regain energy and stabilize all the vitals of their body. 

Normally they sleep for 7-8 hours a day. Lack of sleep can result in different complications like distress and aggression

The Rabbit is Bored

Rabbits are naturally active animals. One reason for this is that they are classified as social pets. Now if you have a rabbit and just let it stay in its cage all day, it will get bored. You will also notice that they will constantly yawn from time to time.  

Although, boredom is normal, like in every species. Excessive boredom can result in a change of behaviors for your rabbits. On this occasion, there is a possibility that the rabbits that share one cage will start fighting one another because there is pent-up energy building up in their body. 

To prevent this from happening, have a regular schedule where you let your rabbit roam outside to play or explore. But note that you must watch them because they might escape you.  

The Rabbit is Cooling Their Brain

When you see your rabbit yawning out of nowhere, it can mean that they are cooling its brain. This often happens when they are bored or tired. Since the oxygen level is decreasing, yawning helps them deliver the oxygen their brain isn’t receiving. That way, their body will keep functioning and do normal activities.  

The Rabbit Follows a Group Instinct

Yawning in rabbits can also indicate an innate instinct that synchronizes the group’s mood, like the wolf’s howling. Yawning sends fatigue signals to other group members to coordinate their sleep. 

Learn More on Rabbit Facts: Rabbits Facts: The Common Question About Your Rabbits

Why Is Rabbit Yawning Contagious?

Have you ever noticed that when you look at your rabbit yawning, you suddenly yawn too? According to this study, yawning is contagious because it is a fixed pattern to many species. This behavior can also be seen in humans, humans to animals, and animals to animals.

This study also added that it could happen because of a phenomenon called social mirroring. One nerve in the brain tells you that when you see someone do an action, you must do that, like yawning. 


  • Rabbit also yawns like any other species, which can mean many things.
  • Rabbits can exhibit different behaviors depending on their mood. They also develop unique characteristics to help them survive, like making sounds and sleeping with their eyes open.
  • Here are the general reasons a rabbit yawning tells you: The rabbit is sleepy, bored, calling their brain, and following a group instinct. 
  • When the rabbit’s body is tired, the breathing changes. So less oxygen is delivered to the brain, hence yawning occurs to assist the brain in receiving its needed air. 
  • Rabbit yan is contagious like other normal yawns, this can happen because of social mirroring phenomena. A part of the brain tells you to mimic the action of someone in front of you, whether a human or animal. 

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