Here we go folks!
Let's get a little more indepth than base level definitions. Two sites previously found gave us very good sub categories to get started on.
First we had WikiFur with:
- Cartoons and games: interest can be as simple as the many popular furry cartoon characters. However, someone who merely happens to like these characters is not necessarily a furry; the degree and nature of one's interest is relevant here.
- Spirituality: Some furs believe they have a spiritual connection to a particular animal, which is typically their fursona, but also may be a totem. Strong spiritual believers may often say that they are "an animal in a human body" (otherkin, weres, and/or therians).
- Art and creativity: Some furs may be interested only in the creative aspects of the furry fandom. Furry content, both online and off, is easy to obtain, and available in vast amounts, and furs produce new works regularly. Furry artwork is also done by many nonfurries as well in targeting the fandom. Others may disassociate themselves from the fandom and refer to themselves as funny animal artists. Furries may also enjoy role-playing a particular furry character or fursona, sometimes writing about this character or recording their online interactions for posterity.
- Fursuiting: Some furries enjoy the practice of dressing up in a costume that is typically designed after a fursona. These "fursuits" are usually worn at conventions, and a few are even designed to accommodate sexual situations. Some furries opt to wear a "partial" suit, consisting of a head, tail, and paws, instead of a full fursuit; others may just wear a tail or various other pieces. While only a minority (about 15-20%) consider themselves fursuiters, they tend to be highly visible at events where many furries are present.
- Sexuality: Possibly the most controversial aspect of being a furry due to overfocused early media attention. This has spawned a few groups in response (such as the Burned Furs) with a desire to discourage this angle, or create a clear distinction between these furries and the rest of the community
Then we had Captain Packrat with:
- Realistic animals with intelligence – examples include the rabbits from the novel Watership Down, Darwin the Dolphin from Seaquest DSV, and the animals in Animal Farm
- Humanoid animals – examples include the mice in the Redwall series of novels, Mudge the Otter from the Spellsinger series of novels, and the bioengineered animals in the novel The Island of Dr. Moreau.
- Cartoon animals (a.k.a. funny animals) – probably the most familiar type of furry. Examples include Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, Tony the Tiger, etc.
- Animal-like aliens – The best known examples are Wookies and Ewoks, but there are many, many others in science fiction, such as the Kzin (Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars), the Quozl (Alan Dean Foster's Quozl), and the Sholan (Lisanne Norman's Sholan Alliance).
- Mythological creatures – for instance, centaurs (half horse, half man) and satyrs (half goat, half man).
- Anime cat-girls – a common feature in Japanese animation, basically normal humans with animal ears and a tail, most often feline, and usually possessing no other animal qualities
The WikiFur article breaks the community down into reasons for involvement, which Captain Packrat breaks it down into actual types of furries. Both methods of separation lead to subcategories that lend themselves to deeper study, but for the purpose of clearing up misconceptions about the furry community and lifestyle, it's easier for us to use the WikiFur divisions. I think I'll make that into its own separate page though.
Time to get down to the basics. What is a furry anyways? I've searched and searched to find as comprehensive a list as possible about what a furry is to different individuals. I've also included my own definitions. Hopefully this will help clear up some of the confusion about the initial topic.