Do you ever wonder why do rabbits lick you? Worry not! It is indeed their way of showing their affection- a sign of their trust and love to you or even their way of getting your attention so you can give them some love and some petting.
Unlike dogs, it is seldom for a pet rabbit to lick their owners. Rejoice!
It only means that you have worked hard to earn your bunnies’ trust and love. It feels rewarding.
This article will answer your worries about your furry little pets. So keep on reading!
8 Ways Rabbits Show Their Affection
Why do rabbits lick you? You’ve already known the main reason, and aside from licking, there are many ways that rabbits display their love for you!
Here are some of them:
Just like us, humans, rabbits dance too, sort of.
If they move their body in a circle or spiral motion, shake their head, jump around, or kick midair, they are dancing – it is called the “binky.”
You can consider this as their unique “happy dance.”
This one is a little bit tricky because it can either be a good thing or a bad thing. If your rabbit is only nipping you gently, this means that he wants your attention.
When I am sitting inside the pen of my pet rabbit Thumper, doing nothing, Thumper likes to nip on me to get my attention.
But a bunny nip is different from a bite. Many reasons can cause your rabbit to bite you.
It may be an accident, or they may mistake your finger for food or a predator due to their low up-close vision.
It scared me when Thumper did this the first time. I thought he was dead!
But I eventually learned that they tend to do this when they are very happy or relaxed.
But not all bunnies flop. They only do this in environments where they feel safe and sound enough to let their guards down. If your bunnies do not flop around you, you need to spend more time bonding.
Flopping is their way of showing that they are full of joy, contentment, and peace. So do not be scared if you see your bunnies flopping!
#4. Stretched feet
In rabbits, they refer to it as the “happy feet.”
When they are lying down, somewhat in a position that they are exposed and vulnerable, and feet stretched or tucked behind them, this too is a sign of them enjoying themselves.
Keep in mind that even a little movement around them could get them running around again. So do not worry about that. Besides, they are rabbits, after all.
#5. Entering REM (rapid eye movement) sleep
A type of sleep occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements, faster pulse, breathing, and even dreaming. This is the lightest stage of sleep.
Their eyes will move around rapidly in different ranges of directions. The body can also twitch in different directions, similar to humans. If you want to read more on nose twitching in rabbits, you should read this article why do rabbit twitch their noses
Most animals have REM sleep, even humans too.
I know they are irresistible even in their sleep, but you should not disturb them.
These behaviors are acceptable, I assure you. They are just having the best time of their lives dreaming.
#6. Clicking their teeth
If you observe that they give a soft and fast sound by clicking their teeth, this is an excellent indication that they are happy.
You will usually hear this when you are petting and snuggling them, just like when cats purr when they are joyful. With bunnies, they click their teeth.
On the other hand, if you catch them grinding their teeth, this is a sign that they are stressed or in physical and even emotional pain.
This is often accompanied by bulging eyes and shaking. It would be best if you learned to watch out for the signs and distinguish the difference between them.
#7. Frequent Playing
If they play by pushing their rabbit toys around or by running and hopping around, it is a sign that they are enjoying their best bunny life. Make sure toys are soft enough and can’t hurt your pets in any way. You can know more by reading how to make soft toy rabbit
Although bunnies do best in pairs and play around with each other, spending your precious time with them is crucial.
Since rabbits are social animals, they love to interact and play with people.
Spending time with your bunnies is not only good for them, but it is also beneficial for you too.
#8. Nudging with their nose
When they are trying to get your attention, they might nudge their nose at you. It is also your pet’s way of saying “hello,” but in their rabbit. Again, this is their way of telling you that you are in their way.
Thumper would often his nose at me too asking for a treat.
If you ignore their nudge, they sometimes follow up with a gentle nip.
If you want to read more about different ways rabbits can show their love, this article is for you why do rabbit binky
Symptoms Of Stress In Rabbits
Rabbits have unique personalities. Signs of stress can vary in individual animals. Following are the most common behaviors that a rabbit may show in stress.
- Excessively nervous and jumpy
- Restlessness and difficulty to manage
- Lethargic and loss of appetite
- Rapidness and difficulty in breathing and panting
- Easily Excessive grooming
- Grunting or loud screeching
- Bulging eyes
If they are positive for one or more symptoms, please bring your rabbit immediately to a trusted veterinarian so they can be assessed appropriately and examined to rule out any possible medical health problems or diseases. You can do a basic assessment of any injury or wound at home. This article can help you teach how to palpate a rabbit.
As previously mentioned in this article, rabbits tend to be anxious animals. Here are some possible stressors.
- Sudden changes to the environment
- Confinement and boredom
- Social stress and lack of ventilation
- Insufficient food or water
- Over handling
Tips On How To Avoid Rabbits Being Stressed Out
Make sure to follow these tips to ensure that your rabbit is happy and healthy!
- Place them in a quiet and sheltered area
- Approach them calmly and slowly
- Avoid sudden movements
- Give them space and places to hide
- Establish a routine
- Keep them cool
- A healthy diet and regular exercise
- Keep them indoors
- Give them lots of attention
- Spay, neuter, or de-sex them
- Avoid rough handling or over handling them
- Use a soft voice or a calm voice to avoid startling when talking to them
- Do not invade their space
Rabbits do not have a signature sound like a dog’s barking or the purring or meowing of a cat; they express their happiness uniquely. It is up to you to be attentive. Knowing and acknowledging these signs is the first and best step to keeping your bunnies happy and healthy.
This article should’ve helped you understand why do rabbits lick you.
Have a great day. Thank you so much!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.