Why Do I Want to Bite My Pet? – An Overview of Cute Aggression
Picture this: You’re curled up on the couch binge-watching your favorite show, and your cat jumps up to snuggle you. Their eyes look huge and innocent, their purr is dialed up to a 10, and you clench your teeth and suddenly feel a crazy urge: “I want to SQUISH AND BITE THEM!” You feel overwhelmed and probably wonder, am I going crazy?
No worries, this feeling is totally normal, and it has a name. You’re experiencing cute aggression.
What Is Cute Aggression?
Cute aggression happens when you’re looking at something that is so overwhelmingly cute, you want to bite, squeeze, or pinch it—but without wanting to cause the animal any harm. It’s a confusing feeling for sure, but there’s science behind it.
Why Does It Happen?
There has been scientific research done on cute aggression, otherwise known as playful aggression. According to this study, “cute aggression has been discussed as an example of dimorphous expression of emotions.”
In other words, it’s an emotional reaction that occurs that doesn’t match the situation at hand—such as crying when happy or laughing when sad.
When looking at a very cute baby (animal or human), there is high activity occurring in our emotional systems, as well as the reward system. These two systems being highly activated cause the feeling of aggression.
To balance out that overwhelming feeling, the brain needs to stabilize, which explains why you feel aggression when looking at an unbearably cute thing. Simply put—the animal you’re looking at is far too cute and your brain needs to counteract to maintain an emotional balance.
Now That We’ve Got the Science Out of the Way…
Here are a few delightful Instagram animals perfect for those cute aggression feels.
Sesame the Opossum
The whole idea behind this account is to “melt hearts and change minds” about opossums, and quite frankly, they do a dang good job. A licensed wildlife rehabilitator shares baby opossums in her care—showing them off in cute outfits, eating little snacks, or taking a beauty nap.
Juniper the Fox
Juniper was born in captivity and lives inside with her adopted family and a bunch of other rescued animals, like racoons, opossums, dogs, and even chickens. Their antics are a joy to see, and of course, everyone is adorable.
Kiwi and Siouxsie
This is a match made in bird heaven – Kiwi and Siouxsie are a world-famous lovebird couple—follow their adventures and see how cute their little half-goth babies are!