The popularity of keeping rabbits as pets has skyrocketed over the last year or two and the popularity of keeping rabbits as pets just keeps on increasing with each year that goes by.
With there being so many people out there who are first time rabbit owners, we see a number of commonly asked questions each month about taking care of a pet rabbit and their various behaviors.
One of the behaviors that we see people reaching out and asking about constantly is due to their rabbit licking them.
Every month we see a number of people reaching out about their bunny licking them all the time and wondering what it actually means as well as why some bunnies are so adamant about licking their owners so much.
With so many people reaching out with these various questions, we decided that we should probably publish a dedicated article going over the topic as we really do see a large number of people from the rabbit owning community reaching out about their rabbit licking them so much.
Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers better understand what the behavior means and help you understand why your rabbit is licking you so much.
Why Does My Bunny Lick Me All The Time?
The majority of bunnies lick their owners to show affection and to groom you. Wild rabbits often groom each other by licking the coat of the other rabbits and this instinct does seem to be strong in some domesticated rabbits too.
Some rabbit species can have social hierarchies too with rabbits licking the dominant males and females of the group so your bunny may lick you as a way to show submission.
In addition to licking your hands and arms, bunnies may also start to lick your clothing too and this can cause a little confusion with some people.
Your pet rabbit does not know what clothes are and we would guess that they just presume that human clothes are the equivalent to a rabbit’s coat so they will happily lick your clothing to show affection too.
We have seen some situations where a bunny may lick your hand due to you having food or a sugary drink spilled on you.
If you do think that your rabbit is only licking you due to you having the flavor of food or drink on you then you should stop your bunny from licking you as some human foods, even in small amounts can potentially be toxic to rabbits.
Makeup and perfume can also cause issues with rabbits too with the scent of the product encouraging your rabbit to lick you and this should also be discouraged.
How Can I Stop My Bunny Licking Me All Of The Time?
If you don’t like your bunny licking you so much then there are a number of things that you are able to try to discourage the licking like using a bitter apple spray.
The issue with this is that you are not able to use these sprays on clothing as it can easily stain and some rabbits will just lick your clothing instead of your skin as they think it is your fur.
As we covered in our article on using vinegar to stop rabbits licking, there have been a number of home remedies developed over the years to discourage rabbits from licking or chewing things.
Some of them will work for some rabbits but won’t work for others and the personality and taste preferences of your own rabbit really do come into play.
For example, bitter apple sprays are considered to be one of the better options on the market to stop your rabbit from licking or chewing things and it can work on many rabbits.
Some rabbits, for whatever reason, seem to actually be attracted by the bitter apple spray and will happily come over and lick or chew whatever you spray it on as soon as you spray it.
This is why you will have to do a little testing with different methods if you do want to find something that will get your rabbit to stop licking you all of the time.
Should I Discourage My Bunny From Licking Me So Much?
The majority of the time when your pet bunny licks you it is just showing affection, trying to groom you or showing submission to you so there is no real reason to discourage your bunny from licking you.
If you think that your bunny is licking you due to it enjoying the taste of smell of your makeup or perfume then we would recommend that you try to discourage the behavior though.
It is generally very easy to work out if your bunny is only licking you due to a specific makeup or perfume product though as your bunny will often pay you minimal attention and not lick you when you don’t have that product on.
Then when you do have the makeup or perfume that your bunny likes the taste or smell of on you, it will pay you lots of attention and constantly lick you.
Not all makeups and perfumes are toxic to rabbits but for the most part, it’s just not worth taking the risk so if you do manage to work out that your bunny is constantly licking you all of the time due to your perfume or makeup, you should take steps to try and prevent it from licking you.
This can be as simple as placing your bunny on the floor of the room rather than on the couch near you but in some extreme cases, you may need to get a water spray bottle to spray your rabbit with a gentle water spray when it displays undesired behavior.
That brings our article going over why your bunny licks you all the time to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand what it means when your bunny licks you so much and most rabbit owners usually find it cute that their rabbit likes them so much that it will sit there and lick them for an extended period of time. Although it is rarer for a rabbit to lick you due to your makeup or perfume, it is still pretty common so you should usually try to workout if this is why your rabbit is licking you and try to discourage the behaviour.