Although it may seem strange, your rabbit is trying to get to know you by smelling your scent. Rabbits have an incredibly strong sense of smell and they use it to learn about their surroundings and identify other rabbits. By smelling you, your rabbit can familiarize herself with your smell and create a bond with you.
Don’t be alarmed if your rabbit starts to lick you, too. Rabbits use their tongues to scent mark their territory and identify other rabbits. So, when your rabbit licks you, she is essentially claiming you as her own.
If you’re not comfortable with your rabbit constantly smelling or licking you, there are a few things you can do to discourage this behavior.
You can try to groom your rabbit’s fur with a dry towel or brush when she tries to smell you. By grooming her, you’ll spread your scent on her body which will tell your rabbit that whatever she is smelling is already claimed by another rabbit.
If your rabbit continues to lick you despite the grooming, then you can try to get her attention by making a sharp hissing noise or clapping your hands.
Rabbits often start this behavior with their human family members because they enjoy being close and it feels good. There are things you can do to reinforce these feelings so that your rabbit is satisfied spending time with you without licking you all of the time.
You can provide your rabbit with plenty of toys to play with, a comfortable place to rest, and regular handling so she knows that she is loved.
By establishing a strong bond with your rabbit, you’ll make sure that she doesn’t need to rely on her sense of smell to get to know you better.
As long as your rabbit isn’t showing any signs of aggression or illness, there is no need to worry about her behavior. By understanding where her actions are coming from, you can keep the close bond you already share with your rabbit without adding constant licking to the mix!
Q: What should I do if my rabbit is licking me too much?
Q: My rabbit has been doing this for weeks, what can I do?
A: If your rabbit has been licking you for an extended period, she may be trying to claim you as her own. You can discourage this behavior by grooming your rabbit with a dry towel or brush when she tries to smell you.
By doing this, you will spread your scent on her body and tell her that you are already claimed by another rabbit. If your rabbit continues to lick you despite the grooming, try to get her attention by making a sharp hissing noise or clapping your hands.