Cuteness Brand Ethics

What Does Ethical Pet Ownership Mean to Us?


We believe in positive reinforcement training, including high-value rewards, praise, and lots of patience, for all animals. We do not promote the use of any aversive on any animal. (Want to learn more? Read all about positive reinforcement training.)

We believe in LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) standards. 

We believe in force-free and fear-free principles. 

We believe in qualified experts. We recommend always asking your vet about any dietary questions, medical issues, or changes in your pet’s behavior, and consulting a qualified, certified trainer about any behavioral issues. 

We do not promote “dominance theory,” “alpha theory” or any similar dominance-based theories of training, as these theories have been thoroughly debunked.

Our positions are in line with those of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

Finally, we are learning all the time! As a culture, our understanding of animal behavior, cognition and best practices is constantly changing. We are committed to learning constantly, and we strive to provide a safe and understanding space in the pet sphere for everyone to keep learning with us. We understand that others in the space may have different levels of understanding. We encourage every company in the pet space to look into positive reinforcement, LIMA, and force-free methods.




Is 100% of your content up to these standards now?

No, it is a work in progress. We are committed to making all our content reflect our principles, but this is an ongoing process. If you find an article that doesn’t fit with the principles outlined here, please submit it to and we’ll take a look!

Do you work with companies that sell aversive items?

The majority of retailers in the pet space still sell some aversive items, and while we do continue to work with them, we encourage them to reconsider this practice. The shift toward positive reinforcement is a relatively recent one, and we believe that as culture shifts, companies will follow. 

Where can I find more information about these topics?

We strive to provide you with all the information here on Cuteness, but we’d also like to give a shout out to these companies and organizations who are important sources of information:

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Pet Professional Guild

Fear Free Pets


adorable shorthair cat lying on front in bed looking bored; image credit: Kilito Chan/Getty Images
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