A furry fetish is an interest in anthropomorphic characters, or animals with human-like tendencies and features, known as furries. Furries are usually humanoid mammals that walk on two legs. However, despite the name, humanoid reptiles and birds are also called furries. The characters from My Little Pony and Zootopia are examples of furries. Furry fetishists are usually called furries, just like the characters they are interested in.
Literally speaking, the term furry fetish refers to a sexual interest in these animal-like characters. However, the term means any strong and persistent interest in furries. People who are part of a non-sexual fandom for furry characters also say they have a furry fetish. These people don’t get aroused by furries, but they are interested in the characters and how they represent human values and characteristics. It is more common for a member of the furry community to have a nonsexual interest in furries.
Satisfying a furry fetish might involve drawing furry characters, wishing to become them, dressing up as furries, or interacting with other people who share the fetish. Some people with furry fetishes also dress up as original furry characters they develop, known as "fursonas." A costume modeled after a fursona is a fursuit. Furries may have a full fursuit, wear fursuit components such as a tail, or choose not to wear a fursuit at all.
Some furries feel turned on by the idea of specific animals with human traits, such as cats or bunnies. These animals are commonly represented in furry-related animated pornography. Furry porn is called yiff after the sound foxes make when they mate. Furry fetishists turned on by furries can easily satisfy their urges by watching and masturbating to yiff or role-playing with costumes. When two furries engage in sexual activity, it’s known as yiffing.
A furry fetish was once considered niche but is now widely accepted and accessible. The rise of the internet in the early 1990s was a key catalyst as it made it very easier for furries to find one another. Today there are many online communities and websites celebrating furry fetishism. Furries can also gather and meet at large furry conventions. These are fairly tame affairs, although people may form connections and explore sexual relationships away from the event. Some furries also dress up regularly and gather in parks or private homes.