We know what puppies, kittens and babies all have in common – the “awww” factor. But what is it about puppies, kittens and babies that cause us to utter awww whether we see them in person or in pictures? To drop to our knees in their presence? To reach out to touch their soft bodies?

Apparently, the awww factor is not limited to puppies, kittens and human babies. Babies of all species elicit the same reaction in us. And so do Pandas no matter how old they are!

Why do we react this way? It’s called pedomorphism. That’s science-talk for the evolutionary reason the sight of cute baby humans and animals flood our bodies with feel good chemicals. We’re a nurturing species. We’re programmed to care for babies. We want our DNA to survive. And there’s something about a human baby’s big head and large round eyes that melts our hearts and arouses our instinct to nurture.

Guess what? Puppies, kittens, other baby animals and Pandas all have large bobble heads, podgy bodies and big eyes. The very recipe that reduces our hearts to gooey mushes of awww.

The antics of puppies,.kittens and human babies make us laugh. Then there’s that new baby/puppy smell. The common sounds of whimpering. The cuddles and kisses. Need I say more?

Seeking a little (non-addictive) stress relief? Look at pictures of puppies, kittens or other baby animals and you’ll feel much better. I guarantee it.

Awww.