One popular misconception about furries is the belief that furries choose their fursonas in a shallow manner. As such, the IARP have been asked whether furries change their fursonas frequently (e.g., waking up and deciding that they feel like a cat today). These misconceptions, however, run counter to our findings that, for many furries, their fursonas are personally significant and meaningful[tagcite tags=3.4-3.11-3.12] and, as such, are not likely to change on a whim.
To test this hypothesis, we’ve asked furries on several occasions to indicate how many fursonas they have had in their entire life, and how many fursonas they currently have. The results are displayed in the figure below.[tagcite tags=S13]
While one fursona is the most common number of fursonas to have had over the course of one’s life, about a quarter to one half of all furries (depending on the sample [tagcite tags=w11][tagcite tags=s13]) say they have had more than one fursona. This means that a significant portion of the furry fandom has changed their fursona at some point in their life. Future research will hopefully shed some light on the reasons that furries change their fursonas, including testing the possibility that significant life changes or changes in self-image may lead furries to change their fursonas over time.
About a quarter of furries say that they currently have more than one fursona, often alternating between them. It would be interesting, in future research, to determine the function of having multiple fursonas (e.g., for self-expression, in different contexts, to represent different genders /orientations).