Is your rabbit licking everything around them? Is this behavior worrying you? Do you know what excessive licking can result in your rabbit?
Rabbit loves licking things and is a natural behavior. They lick things to show affection like the floor, carpet, wall, including people.
Even though this behavior, you have to look out for your rabbit to make sure the licking is not excessive. Keep reading to learn more about this.
Let us hop straight in…
Why Does My Rabbit Lick Everything?
Rabbits are very social animals. They lick themselves to groom. They lick other rabbits or people to show their affection. Rabbits lick sometimes to mark their territory or property.
Rabbits lick each other to groom. They are very neat and meticulous creatures. They are constantly grooming themselves. They lick their paws and use this to groom places they can’t reach. They groom themselves several times a day.
Licking is also a sign of bonding for them. If the rabbit licks another rabbit, it shows that they are bonding or pairing. Bonded rabbits lick and groom each other.
If the rabbit licks you, it means they trust and love you. If the rabbit is licking you then it expects you to return that care and love.
Licking is also a way of marking territory for rabbits. You will see the rabbit licking a few specific objects in a particular area. They do this to spread their scent, a sign marking their territory.
Licking themselves or other rabbits or people is very common and nothing to be worried about. But excessive licking is something to look out for in rabbits. Excessive licking in rabbits can lead to many problems.
Why Do Rabbits Lick The Floor?
Rabbits lick almost everything from furniture to even the floor. There’s nothing to be worried about if your rabbit is licking the floor as it is perfectly normal.
Bunnies like to lick the floor as a way of marking territory. Licking a particular area of the floor is their way of claiming that spot to themselves. They also lick the floor to show their love.
It is important not to startle your rabbit if it licks the floor as this is a very common behavior. If the bunny is at a new place then give it some time to adjust and then you can see it starting to lick the floor as a way of showing comfort.
You have to be careful what kind of cleaners and polishes you use for your floor because you don’t want to poison your rabbits who lick the floors. In case of any discomfort shown to the rabbit, you have to visit your vet immediately.
Why Do Rabbits Lick The Carpet?
Have you seen your rabbit licking a carpet or a rug? Well, this is normal and you have nothing to be worried about.
Rabbits like certain textures and get drawn to them. They feel most of the stimulations by licking. So they feel the fuzzy textures of carpets and rugs by licking them.
Rabbits lick carpets because they like the feel of the texture on their tongue. They might also like the stimulation the rugs and carpets give them.
It is perfectly normal for rabbits to lick the rugs and carpets. You have to let them do this as it makes them happy. You have to make sure there are no sharp edges or tags on your rug or carpet that can hurt your rabbit.
Why Is My Rabbit Licking The Wall?
By now you know that rabbit loves licking things. Just like that, rabbits also love licking the wall.
Rabbits lick the wall as a way of marking the territory. It also licks the wall to show they are comfortable in a certain new place or home.
Some rabbits lick the walls because they like the smell or taste of paints. Some paints can draw the rabbits to the wall. Make sure there is no excessive wall licking as some paints may contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to your rabbit’s health.
There is a chance that the rabbits will be drawn to the walls again and again as they can get addicted to the taste of the paints on the wall. It is important to make sure the rabbits don’t always lick the wall.
In case the rabbit ingests any toxic ingredient from the paint on the wall and shows any signs or symptoms of discomfort, make sure you visit the vet immediately as it can be hazardous for your rabbit.
Reasons For Excessive Licking In Rabbits
Licking is normal in rabbits. As they are constant groomers it is no surprise that they lick several times a day. But when the licking turns into excessive licking that can be for various reasons like anxiety, boredom, skin diseases, lack of attention, and so on.
1. Boredom or Anxiety
When rabbits are bored or get anxious, they tend to lick more often than normal. Rabbits are harmless creatures but when they get bored they show destructive behavior like extensive licking.
Rabbits are very energetic animals and wanted to do something all the time. If they get stimulated they resort to another destructive measure to keep them working, one being licking.
Excessive licking because of boredom can cause semi dampness in the skin causing the skin to fall out.
If the rabbits get bored, they will groom themselves more and more often causing them to ingest fur which will cause blockage in the internal organs.
You have to make sure that your rabbit is not under-stimulated and moves around more so that it won’t get bored.
Sometimes excessive licking can also be a sign of health-related problems. Make sure you visit a vet if you see abnormal licking in your rabbits.
2. Skin Disease
If your rabbit licks one particular area or body part then sometimes it’s a sign of any skin condition. If the rabbit licks the same area excessively, make sure that you check it out properly.
Most times, it can be skin conditions like a lump, rash, mites, fleas, fungal or bacterial infections, and more. Skin conditions in rabbits are common. While some of the conditions can be treated easily, some take time to be treated.
If you see any skin abnormalities in your rabbit, visit your vet immediately to treat them as some can be more dangerous than common skin conditions.
3. Lack Of Attention
Rabbits lick other rabbits or their owners as a way of showing their affection and love. If the rabbits lick you or other rabbits more than usual it might mean that they feel like they are not getting enough attention from you.
If that is the reason then make sure your pet, is comfortable and spend more time with your rabbit to make it feel safe and loved.
Excessive licking is destructive behavior. It should not be encouraged in rabbits. Sometimes excessive licking can also mean parasites or any other internal diseases.
How To Prevent Abnormal Licking In Rabbits?
When rabbits lick, it is completely normal. But when your rabbit overlick it is destructive behavior. In such cases, you have to step in and try to prevent the abnormal licking in your rabbit.
The best way to prevent them from licking is by keeping them worked up. If they are stimulated they tend to over lick.
Rabbits are very energetic animals and always want an outlet to let it out. So you have to make sure your rabbits are not bored.
Keeping company will also help them reduce over licking. When rabbits feel a lack of attention, they tend to over lick. In such cases, the best way to help them reduce the abnormal licking is by keeping them company.
Giving them rabbit safe toys to play with can take their minds off licking. This way they will play more with the toys and spend less time licking themselves or other objects.
You can also use anti-licking sprays which are rabbit friendly. These are completely safe and do not contain any toxic ingredients.
Every rabbit is different and what might work for one might not work for another. So make sure you try and test as many ways to prevent the abnormal licking as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the signs your rabbit is bored?
Hiding, lack of energy, alert posture, thumbing, and aggressive behavior are some of the signs your rabbit is bored. You have to give more stimulation to your rabbit to keep them out of boredom.
What does it mean when your rabbit licks its lips?
Excessive Licking of the lips can be a sign of oral or dental issues. But you cannot inspect the rabbit’s mouth as it is very dangerous. Make sure you visit a vet immediately in case the rabbit shows these signs.
Licking is a very common behavior in rabbits. They lick to groom, as a way of bonding, to mark territory, and so on. There’s nothing to be confused about or scared of with this behavior.
Even though that’s the case, you have to be on the lookout for excessive licking in rabbits. If you observe excessive licking then make sure you seek preventive measures to avoid that.
I hope this article solved all your confusion about licking in rabbits.
For more questions, comment down below.