1. This cat and this tortoise.
Why: This cat is a classic protective cuddler. Do you want to give that tortoise a hug too? Well, it’s not happening. That tortoise is her cuddle buddy and she’s not into sharing.
2. This hen and her puppy.
Why: Ever heard the term “mother hen”? Well, hens will mother the heck out of you if they’re given half a chance. Luckily for everyone, this puppy is totally game for it.
3. These squirrels.
Why: Scientifically speaking, a pile of squirrels sleeping together is exponentially cuter than a single squirrel sleeping alone.
4. This mouse and this bird.
Why: Is there anything more endearing than interspecies friendship? Just look at that bird sheltering that mouse under its wing. They’re buds. Best buds. Best buds forever.
5. These owls.
Why: I tried my best to be objective about this, but OH MY GOD HIS EYES and HOLY CRAP her dreamy expression. These goddamned owls are making my heart explode.
6. This otter and this goat.
Why: Everyone knows that otters are superior cuddlers and we’ve obviously got a bashful goat here. So the otter is teaching the goat the art of cuddling. Have a pen and paper? Because you should be taking notes.
7. This dog, cat, and fox.
Why: Because three animal friends cuddling is better than two animal friends cuddling. It is a scientific fact.
8. These penguin chicks.
Why: Is there anything more adorable than the bond between young siblings? Think about the last time you had a family portrait taken. Were you nearly as cuddly? I didn’t think so.
9. This fox and this human.
Why: Because any occasion where you can legitimately claim to have a “lap full of fox” is a good one.
10. These frogs.
Why: Because they’re frogs and I bet you didn’t think frogs could cuddle, but they damn well CAN cuddle so just shut up and enjoy it.
11. These husky pups.
Why: Synchronized cuddling.
12. These koalas.
Why: You get cuddling bonus points for cuddling in a tree. Points are allotted based on height and botanical species.
13. These fawns and this dog.
Why: The sly look on the dog’s face. I mean, apart from the fact that this is an actual thing that happened.
14. This sheep and this goat.
Why: You can tell from the look on their faces that they’re really into this particular cuddle session.
15. This kitten and this dog.
Why: The kitten scored creativity points for “best use of floppy ears.”
16. These pandas.
Why: Refer back to the koalas and the previously stated rule about tree cuddling.
17. This kitten and this dog.
Why: This kitten is obviously exploiting the “big animal, little animal” rule of cuteness, but we’ll let it slide this time.
19. This tortoise and this puppy.
Why: Because that tortoise is all like “well, aren’t you a nice puppy?” and… and well, I’m too choked up to go on.
20. This cat and these ducklings.
Why: The fluff to fur ratio is about even. Symmetry is ideal.
21. These otters.
Why: The middle otter. Also, I reiterate my point about otters being superior cuddlers.
22. These bunnies.
Why: Stackable cuddling requires both artistry and effort.
23. These polar bears.
Why: Momma bear’s blissful slumber paired with baby bear’s cautious curiosity makes for one damned adorable cuddle session.
24. This sea lion and this penguin.
Why: I’m pretty sure they’re reenacting that scene from Titanic.
25. This kitten and this bird.
Why: Because that bird doesn’t give a crap that the cat might grow up and think about birds as lunch. It wants to cuddle so it’s going to cuddle. Love transcends all diets.
26. These geckos.
Why: Geckos are the happiest cuddlers. Keep smiling, you guys!
27. These dogs.
Why: 1. That can’t be comfortable, but that dog is in cuddle-mode and obviously doesn’t give a fig about comfort. 2. That dog is wearing a jacket.
29. This cat and this sloth.
Why: It’s a cat and a sloth. I want to say “internet over, everyone go home” but we’ve still got quite a few cuddlers to get through, so you’re going to have to suck it up and suffer through the rest of this list.
30. This orangutan and these lion cubs.
Why: Because any time any animal adopts other orphan animals and looks that happy about it you’ve got a winning combination.
31. This bunny and this capybara.
Why: Because I am pretty sure this is a Tove Jansson illustration come to life.
32. This hamster and this duckling.
Why: Tiny animals cuddling together always works well. Also, that sparkle in their lovely eyes.
33. This piglet and this bunny.
Why: Role reversal. Normally we’d expect the pig to be bigger than the rabbit so the pig’s diminutive size is what prompts the “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
34. These baby raccoons.
Why: There is something inherently adorable about notorious troublemakers appearing so innocent.
35. This monkey and this bird.
Why: It’s all in how the monkey is gently caressing the bird’s back.
36. These cats.
Why: The mother cat is forgiving the kitten. This a classic example of a redemption cuddle.
37. This kangaroo and this wombat.
Why: These orphan animals created their own cuddly family with each other.
38. This dog and this pony.
Why: Puppies grow up to be dogs and puppy love and then blossoms into something like this.
39. This kitten and this potato.
Why: Look, love is love. I don’t ask questions. I don’t judge. All I care about is their mutual happiness.