When you are a first-time rabbit owner, many things can be puzzling for you. There will be days when you would ask yourself, “What is my rabbit telling me?” and the like. Perhaps there are days when you wonder what it means when a rabbit licks you?
It could be pretty confusing seeing your rabbit licking you, especially when he’s never done that before. What are they trying to say? Do they want something?
These questions can crowd your mind immediately when experiencing a new behavior from them. So, what does it mean when a rabbit licks you?
When a rabbit licks you, it’s their way of showing affection and love. They could be giving you tiny licks to tell you that they love and trust you. So, getting a lick from your rabbit is positive in your relationship with them.
Rabbits openly showing you their affection is a high-level compliment from them. As you may already know, they are prey animals and tend to be very protective and careful of their moves and the people they trust. So, getting a lick from them is a ticket to get closer to your pets.
Rabbit licks can also be their way of asking for attention or time from their owners
. When they lick you, they can be inviting you to play with them or show them your love through cuddles, head pets, or just spending time together. All in all, your rabbits are just softies that want to play and spend time with you.
Rabbit Behaviors That Show Affection
So, what are other ways by which your rabbit shows affection? Of course, there could be many ways, but you could be oblivious of them until now. Some of them might even seem confusing so it’s good to know what their behaviors mean.
This behavior can be pretty surprising because it could be painful for you. Perhaps you are spending some time with them, and they nip you. This rarely means they’re signaling you to stop.
Most of the time, it means they love you! It could be slightly painful, though, but they do not mean to hurt you. The nip would be soft and be done out of affection. It’s also a sign of gratefulness. They want to return the favor of taking care of them.
Nipping can also be an invitation for playtime. Perhaps you visit their space to bring them food or check on them, but they respond by nipping your hand. This could mean that they want to go out and play.
Stretching their feet
When you catch them stretching their feet, they feel comfortable with their environment. In other words, they feel pleased with you, and you make them feel safe.
In addition, this position makes them vulnerable to attacks, so when they do it around you, they trust and see you as their friend.
When you give your bunny toys to play with, and they happen to play with them a lot, this can signify that they are happy. Taking good care of them boosts their mood and improves your relationship.
More Rabbit Behaviors That Express Trust and Affection
A rabbit’s chin is quite exceptional. As you may already know, they are sensitive to scents, and their chins have special glands which they use for marking territory.
Different animals have their way of marking territories and distinguishing you as a friend, like how cats rub themselves on your legs. For rabbits, when they chin you, they are marking you as theirs.
This can sound possessive, but they are just being friendly and showing you that they trust you.
Sometimes your rabbit can give you small nudges of affection. Rabbits do this when they ask for attention, specifically when they want to get petted or enjoy some head rubs.
Yes, they like being petted and getting head rubs from humans they like, and so, when they give you nudges, this means they see you as a friend.
Just as how other animals, like cats, purr if they feel comfy around someone, rabbits do some tooth clicking to signal their fondness. However, you might not catch the sound of their tooth clicking immediately.
The clicks are far too mellow. In short, they are not loud. However, if you have the time, try to listen carefully to the sounds they make when you play together. You may just hear their affectionate tooth clicks!
Flopping is a sign of your rabbit being comfortable around you. Flopping onto their sides and exposing their belly is a major compliment for rabbits.
Does Your Rabbit Love You?
There are still many behavioral facts about your rabbit that you need to explore. This will help you know them better and identify their needs more clearly. Exploring their behavior is also a critical factor in building a stronger relationship.
Although the first days or weeks as a rabbit owner can be challenging as your rabbit still needs time adjusting, they can be very expressive and outgoing.
Once they learn to trust their human companions, they are likely to be very open about their fondness. Here are some things your rabbit would like to do to show you they love you.
Circling along your feet
When bunnies are comfortable and excited, you may find them circling your feet. As you may have observed, bunnies are animals that are full of energy, and they become especially giddy when seeing a friend.
They do not oppose sitting on your lap.
Rabbits are shy animals, especially people they do not know or recognize as friends. Thus, when they let you hold them and place them on your lap, they like you and consider you someone they can be comfortable and vulnerable with.
Binkying is when your rabbit excitedly does a happy leap. This is one of the typical “universal” ways of how a rabbit expresses happiness and excitement when seeing someone they like.
This is their way of releasing all their happy energy. You may even see them zooming around along with the binkying. They also do this when they play a game with you. For example, some rabbits like to play by binkying when they find their friend.
Bunnies tend to run around a lot when excited and when they feel playful. This shows their desire to play with you. When you decide to play with them, they will also start showing excitement because they are happy you are playing with them.
Gaining Your Rabbit’s Trust
Rabbits are naturally shy and very careful of their surroundings. They need time to warm up to their new home. While they may naturally get used to the environment at their own pace, it would be helpful to help them trust you quickly and better.
Getting a rabbit does not mean they immediately like you and would let you pet them and hold them. They need to undergo the process of trusting you slowly but surely. Here are some ways to tell them that you are trusted and only want the best for them.
Refrain from holding them too much
When your rabbit is still new to your place, make sure that you give them the space they need. Do not hold them too much while they are still getting used to the area.
In most cases, you won’t be able to pet them too much yet as they are likely very ready to run away in a blink of an eye.
Keep the peaceful silence.
Rabbits are pretty sensitive to sounds. A little non-ordinary sound can alarm them, and too much noise can easily stress them. They become skippy and nervous when it’s noisy. Thus, make sure that their place is nice and quiet.
Provide them with a comfortable space
Rabbits are also territorial, and they remember their place pretty quickly. You need to give them their own space to enjoy their time alone more peacefully and have fun too. If you keep them in a cage, make sure that they can stretch and move around comfortably inside.
Rabbits love the occasional treats their owners give them. When you give them treats, this sends them the message that you are harmless and is someone who provides food for them.
Be gentle in interacting with them as sudden and noisy movements will only shoo them away. Do not corner them in any way! They like to feel safe, and cornering them will make them feel like they are being threatened.
When they get too scared, you could get hurt, as they will bite or scratch for self-defense.
Now you know that there are several ways of telling whether your bunny is comfortable around you. One of the ways they show affection and trust is licking.
So, if you ever find your rabbit licking you, they are not hungry. Instead, they are showing their love. Rabbits groom their rabbit friends, so it’s the same when they lick a human.