If you have a pet rabbit, you’ve probably noticed how much they love to lick! Be it the carpet, the floor, or your clothing, your pet rabbit will, at some point or another, be found licking it.
Throughout this article, we break down the ten different things your rabbit loves to lick and why they are doing it!
Understanding the behavior behind a bunny’s lick is essential to learning more about your pet and creating a better bond!
Why Do Rabbits Lick Things?
At the core of your rabbit’s behavior, licking is an instinctual behavior they do. They just love to lick! For the most part, rabbits will lick objects to show dominance or claim it as theirs, which is a form of territory marking.
Rabbits also lick objects for a few other reasons. If you notice your rabbit is licking your clothing, pillows, or blanket, this could be because they are trying to show affection. They smell your scent on the object and can’t help but lick it!
Sometimes, rabbits love to lick certain textures because it feels good on their tongue. If you notice your rabbit licking leather, carpet, or velvet, this is most likely because they love the way it feels! This is a great sign your bunny is super happy in its environment.
Because licking is an instinctual behavior in rabbits, some will lick to explore environments. They’re exploring and getting a better understanding of the world they’re in! They don’t just use their tongue for this either; they also use their teeth and whiskers! If you see a bunny licking its environment, this is perfectly normal!
Why does my bunny lick me so much?
Rabbits can be incredibly affectionate pets once they bond with you. If you start noticing your rabbit licking you more and more, don’t be alarmed, they’re showing affection to you.
Rabbits love to lick their owners as a way to show them their love and happiness. Licking can be a form of them trying to groom you as well, especially if they’ve bonded with you. They also might lick you to show dominance if there are other animals in the area.
Rabbits licking their owners is an excellent sign that they are happy, healthy, and perfectly content. You should be proud as a pet owner if your bunny starts licking you!
Why does my rabbit lick the carpet and rug?
Rabbits are drawn to certain textures as it can create a great feeling on their tongue and in their mouths. This stimulation can come from carpets and rugs due to the fuzzy texture.
If your rabbit is licking your carpet and rug, they are just enjoying the texture and how it stimulates them. They can also be doing this if they smell your scent and are trying to assert dominance.
Make sure that there are no sharp or rough objects in the carpet that can potentially hurt your rabbit if it’s licking in a particular area. We want to make sure our rabbits can enjoy their environment safely and happily!
Why does my rabbit lick the floor?
Rabbits love to claim their territory, especially in certain places around the home. Licking in a specific area on the floor is a sign that they claim that area as theirs.
Rabbits claim territory the most in new and unfamiliar areas to feel safer and to know they have a place of their own. When you bring your rabbit somewhere for the first time, give it a few moments to explore, lick, and get settled.
It is vital to allow your rabbit to find its own area so it can get integrated into the new space and not get too overwhelmed.
Why does my rabbit lick my pillows?
There’s nothing better than playing with your rabbit in the comfort of your bed! Rabbits love to hop around and play around your head and pillows.
If you see your rabbit licking your pillows, it smells your scent on it and is trying to either show you affection or dominate the area to claim you as theirs.
Rabbits love the smell of the owners they bond with, so if you notice your bunny licking something that smells like you, especially pillows, you can be sure they’re doing this out of love and affection towards you! A happy bunny is a licking bunny!
Why does my rabbit lick my blanket?
Depending on the texture of your blanket, rabbits can be licking it due to the stimulation and enjoyment of the feeling it causes them, or they can be doing it out of love for your scent.
Licking the blanket is a great way your rabbit can show how much they love you. Licking can be so instinctual that they’re immediately drawn to lick the second they smell your scent!
Certain textures like velvet or a woven knit can really stimulate your rabbit! If you have one of these blankets, you can be sure to see your rabbit licking this quite frequently.
Why is my rabbit licking the wall?
Rabbits love to lick things and sometimes chew on them if they are underestimated and bored. When your rabbit licks the wall, it can be due to the paint coating or boredom.
Some paints have a specific taste to them that your rabbit can be drawn to. Be sure to minimize the amount they lick the walls as some paints or wallpaper glue can be toxic to your pet. They might want to try it over and over again but make sure to move them to another area away from the wall.
Rabbits also love to lick walls and baseboards out of boredom. Be sure to keep your rabbit stimulated as this can cause them to turn to chewing, which can destroy your wall!
For the most part, we recommend keeping your rabbit away from the walls if you notice they’re starting to lick in a particular area!
Why is my rabbit licking metal?
Have you ever touched a metal when it was a bit cold and enjoyed that feeling? Well, so do rabbits!
Rabbits love the feeling of cool metal on their tongues and can be found doing this during hotter months of the year if AC is blowing on a certain metal.
Licking metal can also come from the coated paint’s taste, which can become dangerous if you notice your rabbit licking the paint off the metal. If this happens, fill a spray bottle with lemon and vinegar and spray it on the metal to deter them from licking/chewing this area.
Why is my rabbit licking wood?
Much like blankets and carpets, rabbits like to lick and chew wood. Specifically, chew.
Rabbits will naturally gravitate towards wood products to chew them if they are understimulated, hungry, or need to file their teeth down.
It’s important to remember that a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing, which causes them to need to wear them down, so it doesn’t get too long and threaten their health.
If you notice your rabbit licking wood, it could be they are preparing to start chewing it to help their teeth.
Make sure whatever wood they’re licking is a nice softwood that is healthy for them to chew. If not, try to place some of this wood in their pen so they can take care of their teeth!
Why do rabbits lick their urine?
Rabbits don’t naturally love to lick their urine, and this can be a sign of neglect sometime in their life, especially from their early life.
If a rabbit was deprived of water at a young age, it might have resorted to licking and drinking its urine as a survival tactic. They needed to stay hydrated, and that was all they had.
Rabbits also might just lick their urine from time to time. Not all rabbits do it, but some do, and it can be a developed behavior or lack of a nutrient.
We highly recommend calling your vet when you start noticing your rabbit licking their urine. They need to get checked up by a professional to make sure their nutrient and vitamin levels are at a healthy standard.
Why do rabbits lick their paws?
Rabbits love to groom. Whether it’s grooming themselves, other rabbits they’ve bonded to, or you, licking can be their way to groom.
When rabbits lick their paws, it’s either trying to clean themselves from whatever dirt/dust might have gotten on there, or they are licking them to be able to clean their face.
Grooming is a great way your rabbit keeps itself in tip-top shape! It is important to note how much your rabbit is licking themselves. Over-grooming can cause a host of health issues in your pet.
Be sure to consult your vet if you notice they are beginning to lick the fur of their bodies, as clearly something is going on!
Why do rabbits lick each other’s eyes?
Rabbits can be found licking the eyes of other rabbits that they have bonded to or are fond of. Eye licking between rabbits can be a sign of affection and love.
Eye licking is a compliment between rabbits but can also be how they groom one another. As long as no excessive licking or harm is happening in the animals, you can let them do their thing!
How to Stop Rabbits from Licking Something Too Much?
For the most part, when rabbits lick, it usually should not be a problem, but if your rabbit is beginning to overlick, you might want to take some steps to get it to stop.
First, consult your vet to ensure no underlying health issues are causing it to lick too much. Sometimes, this can be a result of low nutrient levels.
Second, check your environment. If it’s licking particular objects too much, you can purchase special deterrent sprays like Bitter Apple Training Spray or Anti-Lick Spray. These are not harmful to your pet and will just cause a distaste in their mouths, deterring them from continuously licking in that spot.
When it comes to overlicking, it’s crucial to find out why your rabbit is doing it to put a stop to it. Your rabbit will lick no matter what. It’s just in their nature, but noticing when it becomes too much is key. With the help of your vet and special deterrent sprays, your bunny will be back to normal licking in no time.
Rabbits love to lick, and in fact, it’s instinctive! Sometimes they just can’t help it! But usually, rabbits will lick because of grooming, affection, territory marking, dominance asserting, and stimulation.
As long as there is no excessive licking from your rabbit, you can usually let them be and allow them to lick. Always make sure you research the objects your rabbit is licking to make sure it is safe and won’t cause your pet any harm.