Contrary to what may be assumed, rabbits do not lick human fur because it may taste salty and seem “tasty” to them.
Mutual licking is a proof of love in rabbits, not only used for body care, but also to strengthen the pack. When your rabbit licks you, he is showing you his affection and is a symbol that “you are part of the pack”.
Some rabbits also show these signals if, for example, they feel uncomfortable and in danger, they make this gesture as a sign of appeasement.
It is a way for the rabbit to express “I’m very friendly, let’s be friends and don’t do anything to hurt me”,For rabbits, licking is an expression of peacemaking,
Different reasons for a rabbit to lick
Among rabbits, licking is a social, appeasement/calming act, and is used to mark the area. Therefore, it has many meanings, for example:
- Rabbits that lick each other clean each other and thus reinforce the group, show affection and develop a group scent. This is good, important and a perfectly normal act.
- If they lick each other, even if they live properly and with conspecifics, then they integrate them into the group; so that is positive. It happens rarely.
- Licking people and objects can also be a behavioral disorder that they develop if they don’t have conspecifics and/or are bored.
- If they lick as many objects as possible, then this is used to mark the area. Rabbits mark their territory by licking, rubbing with the kin gland on objects, and with urine/feces.
- If rabbits lick you when you hold them, then they do this out of fear and want to appease you, almost beg you, not to hurt them.
Why does your rabbit climb on you?
Rabbits like to play many games, one of which is jumping up and down while running at high speed.
It may also be that the rabbit climbs on you while playing, or it may even be that the rabbit is overly excited for various reasons.
The rabbit may also climb on you to get your attention, either for something to eat, a cuddle, or simply because it wants you to be there.
Do rabbits actually recognize their owners?
Contrary to what you may think due to their tiny size, rabbits are quite intelligent and can recognize their caretaker quickly for a variety of reasons.
If you give them food, take care of them, treat them with care etc, they will remember you quickly, they can also recognize you by your smell and your voice.
Rabbits recognize their owner, this has been proven by many people who call their rabbits and the rabbits come to the call, recognizing the voice of the caller.
A simple and effective technique, if you have a rabbit is to mention its name several times while feeding it, the memory of animals is efficient in this type of survival situations, when they are fed or cared for.
How to tell if your rabbit doesn’t like you?
First of all, you should keep in mind that just because a rabbit doesn’t like to be carried or picked up off the ground doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t love you or despises you.
Rabbits are not cuddly toys that you can cuddle and play with at all times, like a cat or a dog. Therefore, they don’t really like to be picked up.
Rabbits are animals that deserve to be looked at and respected, that watch and rejoice when they are happy. Dogs or cats are the preferred pets to cuddle and play with.
You should keep in mind that rabbits don’t really like to be picked up because the only situation in nature where they lose the ground under their feet is when they are caught (by a bird of prey).
Your rabbit is scared to death. Even if he is very calm, he is afraid, which is called paralysis.
Usually rabbits are skittish and squeamish at first so don’t be too concerned about their early behavior.
Most likely, you will find that your new rabbit may look at you with distrust and wariness, which leads you to believe that he doesn’t like you. At the very least, but this is actually quite common behavior in rabbits.
Despite their tender and loving appearance, they are simply animals with a high survival instinct like everyone else.
If you treat them as you should, you will gain their trust, some of the signs of anger or distrust of a rabbit are the following:
He constantly turns his back on you
Rabbits like to be petted, whenever they want to be petted they will come close to you and bend their ears, however, if you notice that they turn their back on you and walk away, it is a sign that they do not want you to touch them.
They grunt or attack you
Rabbits are very social animals, and as a social animal they tend to be territorial and establish a system of hierarchy.
A clear sign that you did something that displeases the rabbit is that if you approach the rabbit may growl and attack you with its legs or show aggression.
In this case it could be because the rabbit feels that you are invading its “territory” abruptly, or that you have not respected the hierarchy by “not having earned a place” in its environment.
The right way to earn your rabbit’s trust
Gaining the trust of a new rabbit is a gradual and patient process, the most important thing is to always treat it with a lot of calm, distraction, activity, reward.
No domination, no intimidation, a relaxed environment and opportunities to withdraw. And for every action you try, there should be enough water, feed, hay, space and distance.
Important to leave the rabbits on their own, but show them that you are the same and that you care for them.