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What is furry?

The topic of "What is furry?" comes up frequently, and there are about as many answers as there are people answering the question. Although there is no one true definition, I will attempt to summarize the most common answers, and this guide should be reasonably close to how most people would answer the question.

Who is furry?

  • People with an interest in anthropomorphic literature, art, comics, or cartoons.
  • People who feel a connection with animals.
  • People who find fluffy tails and pointy ears remarkably cute.
  • People who long for a simpler life free from the problems of human society.
  • People who have a hard time believing most people are actually human.
  • Anyone else who feels they associate with any of the ideas on this page, or thinks of themselves as furry for any reason.

What kind of people are furries?

  • Although furries come from all walks of life, a large percentage of furries are engineering or science experts. If you ask a random furry what he/she is working on in their spare time, you'll frequently get answers like "Nothing much, just a 15ghz computer-controlled phase shifter," "lately? I've been developing a new cross-platform programming language," or other answers along the same lines. Other common professions include authors, artists, musicians, animators, and just about any other job under the sun.

  • Many furries have a hard time relating to the inhumane things most humans do, and long for a simpler life free of the greedy, selfish, thoughtless, uncaring, unthinking, and unintelligent individuals that make up the majority of the human race. These furries have a hard time seeing themselves as part of a race of people whose actions are completely nonsensical, and try to distance themselves from it.

  • Furries, as a group, tend to be sensitive, emotional individuals, who are very accepting of others, and don't like to see people hurt. This isn't to say this is a requirement for being furry, but it does describe a significantly greater portion of furries than of the general population.

Some furry facts

(These are from the UCSC Furries' fliers, and local refers to Santa Cruz, California)
  • Estimates of the furry population show there to be least a quarter million furs worldwide. This number, of course, only counts people who know they're furry and tell others about it.
  • A local annual furry convention, Further Confusion, was attended by over 1,400 furries this year.
  • A local annual furry convention, Further Confusion, had over $60,000 in art sales this year.
  • A local furry convention, Further Confusion, has raised over $34,000 for local charities and organizations, including UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory.
  • Many open-source software programs are developed by furries, including parts of the Linux kernel.
  • Sunnyvale and Santa Clara have entire apartment complexes inhabited mostly by furries. (Metroactive, "Furries of the Valley")
  • In silicon valley, many companies are considered to be "Furry Friendly" by local job-seekers. (Metroactive, "Furries of the Valley")
  • Furries can be found as engineers, artists, writers, teachers, or on virtually any other path of life.
  • FurryMUCK is the longest-running MUCK on the internet, of any subject. Before it (and home internet) was FurNet, one of the oldest uses of FidoNet for BBSes.

What is NOT furry?

Unfortunately, thanks to some laughably ridiculous media "coverage" from the ilk of MTV, CBS, and the like, many people have a completely incorrect idea of what furry is. Below are some of the ideas that the media commonly propagates,, ranging from exaggerations to sheer fabrication:
  • "Furries are people who have sex in fursuits." This one is laughable. Unfortunately, virtually every TV show that has mentioned furries has portrayed the community as being like this. Their version is simply a ploy to increase ratings, and has no relation to reality. As mentioned below, only a small percentage of furries have fursuits, and those that do don't have sex in them.

  • "All furries have fursuits." Even at furry conventions, where you'd expect to find the largest number of people in fursuits, less than a quarter of attendees have fursuits or any other type of accessory. Probably only 1 in 1000 or fewer furries have fursuits, although many more may have a pair of fluffy ears and a tail.

  • "Furries rape animals." This is another completely laughable myth, and it's sad how many people believe it. The vast majority of furries are strongly against any abuse of animals, and many would view it as equivalent to raping a human.

  • "Furry is a sexual fetish." By far the most common myth, and covers many of the other myths in this section. For the vast majority of furries, being furry has absolutely nothing to do with sex, and most furries are insulted if you think about them this way. Just to repeat myself: For the vast majority of furries, being furry has nothing at all to do with sex.

  • "Furries are middle-aged bald gay men." There are no more middle-aged bald gay men in the furry community than there are in the population at large.

  • "All furries are gay." A recent survey found only a few percent of furries are gay, and it's expected the number is only slightly larger than the population at large, if it's larger at all. This myth is further propagated by the mistaken idea that any male who shows emotions is homosexual, an idea that has no basis in reality.

  • "Furries are people who think they should have been animals." While some furries do believe this, the actual number is rather small, and certainly isn't representative of furries as a group.

  • "Furries are people who modify their bodies to be animals." Very, very few furries do this. 1 in 50,000 or less? Yet somehow all 5 of them have had a total of 3 TV shows made about themselves.

  • "Furries are people with social problems who relate better by pretending to be animals." Aside from the previously mentioned facts that very few furries pretend to be animals, this is another incorrect stereotype. Most furries have perfectly normal social lives, despite what the media seems to think helps their ratings.

  • "Furry conventions are giant orgies." Related to the myth that furries have sex in fursuits, this is another completely laughable media fabrication. More sex probably goes on at a Star Trek or Pokemon convention. Actual convention events usually include a wide range of art classes ranging from beginning sketching to inking to painting to advanced metal casting, writing classes, educational lectures on a wide variety of subjects (sometimes ones not even related to being furry... for example, a recent convention had a class on copyright law), a costume contest, classes on fursuit construction or on apparel accessories such as ears and tails, and sometimes a variety show or a dance. No nudity, are certainly no orgies and wild parties.

More information?

Please see our Furry Info Links page to learn more!