Animals, in general, may exhibit a variety of strange behaviors during a full moon. But how do the moon’s phases affect cats? Is it anything we should be concerned about?
Claims about the moon’s phases influencing feline behavior have not been scientifically verified by experts. Furthermore, many believe that any sudden, weird behavior in animals is more likely attributable to the bright light in the night sky than some magical make-believe associated with the moon’s cycle.
Nevertheless, we will discuss in this post some of the common moon-related cat behaviors, in an attempt to satisfy your curiosity. So read on!
Do lunar cycles affect cats?
For humans, the moon is a symbol of femininity, spiritual enlightenment, mystery, and rejuvenation. But for our feline companions, the monthly appearance of the full moon might have an impact on their moods and habits. But why is this so?
Now, this might sound like a superstitious belief, but believe it or not, the moon does seem to influence the behavior of our feline friends (and animals in general). Veterinarians have observed a 23 percent increase in cats being brought into clinics during the full moon due to injuries and sudden strange behavior. Researchers from the University of Colorado’s College of Veterinary Medicine also revealed that the likelihood of cats suffering injuries increases 30 percent before or during a full moon.
The thought of “full moon behavior” in cats might make you skeptical, but there is a chance that the weird, cyclical moods your kitty is showing might have something to do with increased night-time activity. These changes are more often observed in cats who are free to roam outdoors.
The most observed behaviors in cats during a full moon include increased mischievousness and playfulness, frequent and loud meowing, restlessness, frequent puffing of their fur (as if threatened), hiding, and sleeping more. Some cats might also show more fear or aggression than usual.
Some fur parents believe that, as well as impacting their cats’ behavior, the cycles of the moon also affect their circadian rhythm, body temperature, sensitivity to taste, and many other things! The different lunar phases are believed to bring different energies to our pets, hence the changes in their moods and habits.
So, the more aware you are of the moon’s phases every month, the more likely you are to pick up on your cat’s altered behavior!
Moon phases and behavioral changes
As we might know, the moon goes through different phases as it revolves around the earth. Although it does not have its own light, it appears to be illuminated as the sun lights up all or part of it. The result is the different lunar phases, each revealing its own magical brilliance in the dark night sky.
We have listed below the phases of the moon and how they might impact your fur-kid’s behavior:
1. New moon
The new moon is often seen to represent new beginnings. For animals, including cats, the low and passive energy that the new moon brings could translate to more time spent chilling. Their senses might be heightened as well, causing them to have better sensitivity during this phase.
The half-moon actually represents two different phases – the first quarter and the third quarter. While the moon is only half in both these phases, it may still impact the behaviors of cats. For example, the first quarter half-moon is similar to a “waking up” phase for most animals. That means your cat will likely be more active at this time. During the third quarter, meanwhile, it is believed that pets will start to calm down and relax. This is because the moon is now gradually decreasing in size as it goes back toward the sun.
3. Full moon
You have probably heard fictional stories about werewolves transforming and howling under a full moon. But did you know that both cats and dogs tend to vocalize more (meowing, howling, or barking) during a full moon? If you are a cat owner yourself, you may have witnessed your cat becoming more restless, mischievous, or anxious along with the vocalization.
So, make sure to watch out for possible behavioral changes in your fur baby as the moon becomes full. And, if you have an adventurous cat, it may be a good idea not to let them roam at night to ensure their safety.
4. Waxing crescent moon
At this point, the moon’s light is gradually increasing as it transforms into its curved sickle shape. Sensitive animals like cats are more likely to rest and allow themselves to heal at this time, while staying alert to their environment. It is also believed that cats will become calmer and more sensitive as they naturally tune into the waxing moon.
5. Waxing gibbous moon
The waxing gibbous phase means that the moon is transforming between a half-moon and full moon. It is also growing bigger. Cats are believed to experience the upcoming energies of a full moon, making them more focused and alert in their surroundings.
6. Waning gibbous moon
The opposite of the waxing gibbous, the waning gibbous phase is the moon’s transformation from full to half. It might still appear very bright, but at this time its illumination and size are becoming smaller. This means it is gradually traveling back toward the sun.
For cats, a waning gibbous moon means more energy to hunt. Their natural instinct is heightened, so they are likely to become mischievous and playful as well, and release their pent-up energy.
7. Waning crescent moon
During this phase, the moon might appear like a thin boat, and almost invisible. That means it has completed its orbit around the earth. The soft, final moon cycle also represents withdrawal and rest, so your cat will likely spend more time sleeping and seeking solitude.
A supermoon is a phenomenon in which the moon is at the closest point to the earth during its orbit, making it appear bigger and brighter. Due to the strong energy it brings, cats might also become twice as sensitive to their environment. Their instincts will also be at their peak, so you may notice they respond faster to the happenings around them.
9. Blue moon
You have probably used the common phrase “once in a blue moon” when you want to express or describe something rare. And, as the phrase suggests, blue moons are quite a rare occurrence!
Generally, full moons and new moons occur only once a month. But, when two full moons appear in the same month, the second event is termed a blue moon. So, how does this double dose of full moons affect our pets?
Cats experiencing the “full moon effect” twice in a month will follow the same behavioral patterns as with an ordinary full moon. So, make sure your furry friend is safe and sound indoors to reduce the potential for any injury they might suffer outdoors.
10. Blood moon
A blood moon occurs when the light coming from the sun passes through the earth’s atmosphere before reaching the moon’s surface. The moon appears to have a red tinge because of the sun’s light being scattered through the atmosphere where dust and clouds are present.
For animals, the energy coming from this rare phenomenon might be more intense than a regular full moon, causing them to become more agitated or strangely disoriented. Many cat parents report that their felines begin to hide in weird places or break their daily routines during a blood moon. Whether or not these strange behaviors are linked to the moon’s unusual color, it is best to keep an eye on your pet and not hesitate to call the vet any time your furry friend appears unwell!
What to do if your cat is acting weird during a full moon
While there is no scientific proof to link any of the moon’s phases with your cat’s behavior, it is best to talk to your vet if you think your kitty is displaying symptoms of anxiety or behavioral changes.
Calming sprays like Feliway might also help if you think your cat becomes anxious, depressed, or goes crazy during a full moon. Consider blocking the light coming from outside as well – you can use blackout curtains to cover your windows.
Lastly, remember to keep your furry companions indoors at night, to avoid accidents and dangerous animal fights outside your home!
Some cat parents report that their fur-kids show signs of agitation, restlessness, anxiety, and mischievousness during certain lunar phases. Vets have also recorded an increased incidence of pet injuries during full moon.
So, do the moon’s phases really affect our pets’ behavior? Due to a lack of scientific evidence, we may never know for sure! But, as their guardians, it is our responsibility to keep them safe and comfortable at all times. Thankfully, there are many ways to protect your cat from unnecessary injury, and one of the best solutions is to keep them indoors during full moon.
If your cat shows significant behavioral changes during a full moon (or any other time, for that matter), remember not to delay a consultation with the vet!
Image: istockphoto.com / photoschmidt