Why do we find animals to be so cute?

It’s no secret that most people find many types of animals irresistibly cute. 

Human favorites include cats & dogs, which are now so common. According to a U.S. study, ⅔ American homes have some type of pet! 

Why is it that we find animals to be so adorable, such so that we go out of our way to domesticate and take care of them? 

Why is it that baby animals are particularly cute, just like baby humans? 

Our video version of this post has super cute animal footage, which you can review right HERE

You can also listen to the audio-only podcast by pressing the download button above. 

Irresistible Features

Science has proven that certain genetic features make some baby animals more likely to survive than others. A baby dog which is more cute is more likely to thrive than a baby dog considered “not cute.” 

Some of these features include soft skin, big & rounded eyes, large head + small face, small ears, and chubby cheeks. 

Human babies have many of these similar traits as well, which is one reason we find them quite cute! 

Science has also shown that when humans (or other animals) are around a creature deemed “cute,” they are more likely to act less aggressive, and more likely to want to take care of that creature. 

Why Do We Find THESE Features “Cute?” 

We know many of the “cute” features that make us find pets (and babies) so adorable, but why do we find these features cute compared to other features? 

There are a couple different theories, and they both could be working to influence our behavior. 

Theory #1: They Remind Us of Human Infants 

In the same way that we feel a desire to take care of human infants, it’s possible that animals with cute, baby-like features also trigger that same desire. 

It could just be a function of the brain to see features which appear cute, and then want to help these creatures! 

This would also explain why some adult creatures appear cute to us, such as pandas. It might not have any deep meaning to it other than it just “happening” via evolution. 

Theory #2: Interaction 

The second dominant theory about why we find many types of animals “cute,” in addition to the human infant theory, is that humans that saw animals to be cute were more likely to act kindly towards those animals, which made them more likely to survive. 

Think about it: if someone saw animals as evil and attacked all of them, the animals would fight back, so that person would be more likely to die early and not pass on their genes. 

By viewing other types of creatures as “cute & adorable,” we become more cooperative with them. 

For example, wolves evolved alongside us and turned into dogs. Cats also hung around us for thousands of years, especially when we started agriculture- they would eat up any rodents or insects trying to eat our crops! 

This would also explain why we find some creatures such as insects repulsive. 

Cute Animals are Cute Animals

Regardless of the theories, cute animals are cute animals, and we are gifted with the ability to appreciate that! 

Wildlife & pest infestation is not good for your cute pets (or attracting other cute animals to hang out), so we highly recommend contacting us if you think you have a wildlife or pest-related problem. 

Our phone is 855-WILDLIFE or you can visit www.wildlifexteam.com

-Wildlife x Team International 

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