Sensory Shifting (Se): occurs when the Therian’s senses temporarily become more like that of the therioside. The physical body remains unchanged.[1][2] This is different from a mental shift, but It can occur along with mental shifts and other types of shifts. The Therian experiencing a sensory shift will feel somewhat animalistic, alert, and often have a pleasurable heightened sense of their physical body.

Sensory shifting does not make the senses more powerful. Focusing attention on a certain sense, such as smell, can allow us to pick out more smells than usual. It is important to note that this is a heightened focus rather than a heightening of the sense itself. Our senses may feel more keen during these times of focus, but sense shifts cannot increase perception beyond the physical limitations of the human body.

Hypersensitivity is a similar experience which can also occur in humans for various reasons. This is why a person should not identify as a Therian due to a few shifts alone. Identifying as Therian is an accumulation of years of non-human experiences.

See also: Shifter's Disease

Sensory shifting can be helpful in determining a theriotype, as different animals use a certain sense over others. Ask yourself what senses are most prevalent during a shift. Canines, for example, understand the world primarily through smell. 

Sensory shifting was first mentioned in the community circa 1999 on Alt.horror.werewolves. It's not really one of the most discussed types of shifts, but it is mentioned regularly in the community today.


  1. Orion Scribner, “Otherkin lexicon: A multi-lingual dictionary of jargon used in the communities of otherkin, therianthropes, and other similar peoples, v. 0.1 Abridged.” The Art and Writing of O. Scribner. 8 September, 2012.
  2. Encyclopedia (2006 web archive) -
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