Fur Fam

Your fur fam consists of the non-human members of your household. The term is most often used to refer to cats and dogs, but is also broad enough to encompass other furry creatures.

What do you mean by "fur fam"?

Fur fam is a term of endearment used by pet parents when talking about the animals they love and live with.

In general usage, a fur fam consists of cats and dogs, but there’s no law against using this language to describe other furry pets that one might co-habitat with—including, but not limited to, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, foxes and/or wolves (in countries where this is legal), and mice (desired or otherwise).

Please note that, in the context of Lemonade’s pet health insurance policy, we’re currently only able to cover cats and dogs, despite intense pressure from the guinea pig lobby.

How do you use this phrase correctly?

Good question… Context is key. Admittedly, some people can get a little weirded out by the mention of a “fur fam,” in the same way that some critics have pushed back against a related coinage, “fur baby.”

If you discuss your fur fam via social media or elsewhere online, you should not encounter such difficulties, and will likely be showered with likes.

However, if you’re talking to strangers at the bar, grocery store, or bus stop, and suddenly say something like “I can’t tell you how much I love my fur fam” or “My fur fam always has my back,” it’s possible that these sentiments will receive a slightly chillier reception.

What if my "regular fam" gets jealous of my "fur fam"?

A classic dilemma! We can’t tell you how much domestic drama has been generated from this exact scenario… a husband feels neglected, anxious that his wife loves their Great Dane more than him. (In 12% of cases, this is actually true.) A daughter cries herself to sleep every night, because mom can’t stop accidentally calling her “Princess Penelope,” which is the cat’s name.

We would generally recommend the classic self-help book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, and My Cat Is So Fricken Cute OMG (2001)…but it sadly appears to be out of print. In the meantime, you might benefit from a “time-share schedule,” in which you designate fifteen or twenty minutes a day to spend quality time with your human family, so that they too can feel loved.

Can I count members of my fur fam as dependents, for tax purposes?

Would this be adorable? Yes. Would it be very illegal? Yes.

How can I show my fur fam how much I love them?

Pets, like humans, all have different “love languages,” so it’s tough to make blanket statements here. (For instance, some of your dogs might adore a cozy blanket; others might find them scratchy or irritating.)

That said, here are a few generally accepted ways of expressing love for your fur fam:

  • Hugs and soothing words on potentially chaotic holidays, like the 4th of July
  • Treats, treats, delicious treats
  • The use of obnoxiously cute nicknames (Pro Tip: Each pet should have 15 to 16 individual nicknames, rotated throughout the day.)
  • Peace of mind in the form of stellar pet health insurance (duh).
  • Physical affection whenever possible (for dogs); physical affection when determined appropriate by the recipient of said affection, depending on a complex web of emotional factors (for cats)

Should I feel bad for people who don't have a fur fam?

Yes, but you shouldn’t make a big deal out of it.

A life without pets can objectively be hollow and empty. But that doesn’t mean that everything is terrible! Plenty of human beings have managed to lead fulfilling lives in households that only include other human beings. To be fair, “plenty” might be an overstatement, but let’s just say that there have certainly been some people whose pet-free existences have been moderately happy.

Generally, individuals without a fur fam will not want to engage in discussions regarding your own pets. In fact, they have as much interest in hearing about your pets as they would in hearing you spend two hours relating an elaborate dream you had last night. This is sad, but true.

And one thing to avoid doing when speaking to anyone who does not have a fur fam? Using the term “fur fam” itself. Trust us.

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