An answer at How smart are rabbits? includes the following quote and reference.

Rabbits also have no or very underdeveloped pain sensing regions in their brains (source):

Even as a predator rends a rabbit limb from limb, the rabbit may not feel much pain at all, at least, not in the manner that we humans sense it. The idea that rabbits experience 'untold pain and agony' during predation, or even during butchering by humans, is not supported by science.

While prey animals are no doubt capable of feeling pain, it is the anxiety and fear that keeps the rabbit alive in dangerous situations. Problem is, beyond a certain threshold of fear, terror can literally paralyze a rabbit, completely incapacitating it. A rabbit’s high-pitched scream is a response to terror (whether logical or not), not pain.

The comment "not supported by science" could either mean, we have never actually done any scientific testing so there for there is no evidence. Or it could mean there have been scientific studies that prove rabbits don't feel pain. Or it could just be some ones opinion.

What is the the science around pain in rabbits as compared to humans?

  • The linked site cites a book of Temple Grandin, who is famous for her message, that animals are more sensitive and human than most humans believe. In this context and without having read the cited book, I am worried, that the citation is NOT giving the over all meaning in an accurate way... Dec 17, 2023 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


Yes rabbits feel pain, I'm the anesthesiologist for our exotic pet surgeries and I can guarantee they feel pain. A part of monitoring their anesthetic depth you do a pain response by squeezing their toes, if they pull back/kick they are too light. During an ovariohysterectomy (spay) once we start tugging on those fallopian tubes and cervix their vitals can rise as the body is sensing pain (at this point we may increase anesthetic).

We also see rabbits chew at their incision as a response to pain as well (which is why we send them home on pain medications).

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