Finally, your rabbit licked your hand. How do you feel about it? Are you anxious, confused, or bothered?
There is no cause for concern because licking in rabbits is common among wild rabbits. So when a bunny mimics the same behavior as its owner, it’s completely normal.
It can take owners several years to get their pet rabbit to lick their hands since trust comes with time.
This article will discuss the reasons your rabbit might lick and whether it’s a good thing.
Is It Good If My Rabbit Licks Me?
Yes, it’s good if your rabbit licks you. It’s perhaps one of the most adorable sights to see a rabbit licking your hands, but we understand if you feel uneasy about it.
There are several reasons why rabbits lick humans, but all of them are positive. Even though there are various forms of displaying affection, licking comes at the top.
However, your rabbit may not lick you right at the start. They need time to trust you and develop a bond.
Multiple studies suggest wild rabbits lick each other frequently, especially in the morning. So if they show affection towards their owners by licking their hands, there’s no cause for concern.
4 Reasons Why Your Rabbit Keeps Licking You
Research shows the importance of understanding animal behavior. Like humans, rabbits have a reason for doing everything they do. Here are a few reasons why your rabbit keeps licking your hand.
They Are Showing Affection
Animals rely on actions to express their feelings. Wild rabbits are observed displaying affection for each other. This is usually a sign that they want to mate. Nibbling and sleeping closely are also generally common among rabbits.
When your furry pal comes close to you or licks your hand, this indicates that they are trying to express their affection for you.
They Feel Safe Around You
Another reason your rabbit keeps licking you is that they are trying to tell you that they feel safe and secure around you.
Rabbits are timid animals. They are naturally shy, especially around new people. In the wild, rabbits watch out for themselves to avoid getting eaten by predators.
Your pet may shy away from contact during the first few days. To get them to lick you, care for your bunny’s needs. With time, your relationship will improve.
Research shows that bunnies have behavioral problems as pets, and they can display aggression if need be. You might want to watch out for that bite.
However, we’re talking about your pet licking your hand right now, so there’s no need to get alarmed just yet. If your rabbits keep licking your hand, good job. This means your buddy feels safe in your presence.
They Have a Strong Bond With You
Developing a connection or a bond with a new pet can be quite tricky. Like other pets, rabbits take their time getting comfortable around you.
But don’t feel demotivated just yet. Once your pet feels that they can trust you, things will speed up faster than you can realize.
To develop a stronger bond with your pet bunny, try interacting with them regularly. Just be gentle at all times.
Let’s say you’re cleaning your furry friend’s house, and suddenly you feel them gently licking your hand with their cute little tongue stretched out. This is a strong sign that the bunny trusts you, and you two share a strong bond.
Make sure you don’t force your hand on your pet. They could scratch or bite you in return.
In any case, what should be your response if you’ve just received your first lick?
As we mentioned above, don’t get surprised because this might scare your pet. Your pet just walked out of their comfort zone to tell you they love you.
This is a huge milestone, especially if you are a new pet owner. Your bunny might be delighted because you provide them with food, shelter, and a safe place to live away from predators. They’re just trying to tell you that they appreciate your efforts.
They Want Affection
In some cases, rabbits lick your hand because they require some affection in return. Try stretching your hand out to see whether your friend wants to be petted or not.
If you feel that they are retreating or turning their head, it might be too soon to express your love for them. It is pretty easy to annoy bunnies.
If you see that your bunny’s ears are standing tall, you might want to take a step back because that means your rabbit is alert, and they might even attack you if you stop.
Do Rabbits Understand Kisses?
Yes, but not at the same time. The answer to this question is a little complicated.
Since kissing is not common among wild rabbits, they are oblivious to what it means. However, you can teach your furry pal to understand that kissing is equivalent to you expressing your love to them.
In return, your bunny might nibble at you or bring their nose close to you, reaffirming that they share the same feelings.
However, launching a blanket statement would be unfair.
Some rabbits may take kissing as an act of pleasure, and they may immediately understand what you’re trying to communicate. They may not kiss in return since they have their own way of expressing affection.
Wild rabbits live in herds. They like to reside under the ground to avoid predators and such.
Since they live in enclosed environments, they are accustomed to showing affection towards each other. Unfortunately, they haven’t picked up on kissing each other yet.
Among wild bunnies, grooming is the most common practice.
You will usually observe a rabbit grooming another in the morning. This is like humans brushing their hair or washing their faces first thing in the morning.
However, learning can take quite some time. Don’t try to kiss your pet bunny or force them to show affection towards you.
They could take it as a sign that you are trying to harm them. The consequences of this might result in you getting physically and emotionally hurt. So be cautious and try to pick up on your rabbit’s behavior.
If you extend your hand and see that your bunny is shying away, it is in your best interest to keep your hand with you. This will make the rabbit realize that you respect their boundaries.
All in all, we want you to take things as they go instead of forcing or rushing them. If you end up making your rabbit comfortable and happy in your vicinity, then that will end up going a very long way.
So if you happen to get licked by your bunny, take a high-five from us because you’ve managed to get closer to your pet rabbit.