Cat Behavior During Full Moon Explained

The moon influences all living things on the planet, including the instincts of our cats. That’s why during certain phases of the moon cycle, they might act very differently than usual. Some of the common behavior changes include restlessness, moodiness, mischievousness, or a tendency to hide.

For years, the moon has been the center of many theories, myths, and legends about its magical effect on humans, animals, and our planet in general. It makes us restless, emotional, anxious. It makes our pets energetic, wild, hostile.

Is there really a pattern connected to the moon’s cycle? Can it really be proven scientifically to be the moon’s fault that our pets are acting weird? Or are pets weird when they want to be weird? I wouldn’t be surprised by any of the above, honestly.

It’s not a coincidence that the word “lunatic” finds its root in the Latin word “luna’” which means moon. To be a lunatic means to have phases of erratic behavior because of the phases of the moon, and studies have shown cats can be just as erratic and prone to lunacy as other animals.

There is also the lunar theory with its own following of theorists that are working hard to prove the correlation between behavior and that big, mysterious celestial body we see in the sky every night.

Science may not have all the answers yet, but one thing we know for sure – even if the moon is just simply existing, standing there, it is still a strong presence with a powerful influence over the Earth and all the living things on it.

It will be harder to believe for some more than others. So, to fully explain why you shouldn’t rule out the moon too quickly, we need to start with the proven science facts. You have no choice but to trust those, right?


The Earth & Moon Magnetically Pull Each Other

There’s lots of things happening between the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon that we don’t realize. It’s all because of the way they magnetically pull each other.

A huge part of the Earth is made up of water. All of those oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers are bodies of independent free-moving water that is not controlled by the Earth. That’s why it’s all up to the magnetic pull of the moon to dictate where the water goes, since there’s no other influences involved.

The magnetic pull is so strong that all of the water on the planet is constantly in motion. It’s what we call currents, and those currents result in the forming of tides. If that’s all due to the moon, then logically, when the moon reaches its full phase, the tides will be the highest.

What a mystical presence the moon turned out to be. If it can do all that, then it shouldn’t be surprising that it may also affect you and your cat.  


The Moon Changes a cat’s circadian rhythm

In short, your cat’s circadian rhythm is the changes in their physical and mental health as well as their behavior during a 24-hour cycle. For example, heart rate, blood pressure, hormones, temperature, and so on.

There are theorists who believe the moon has something to do with the cat’s circadian rhythms. If the moon has influence over powerful things such as gravity and the oceans, then our little pets could totally be under some kind of control without realizing it.


There are more vet visits during a full moon

A study at an English general hospital analyzed data of how many patients with animal bites they got, and the number rose during full moon. About 3% of that rise was from cat bites. If you see your cat being moody at full moon, be extra careful around them.

The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published another study about the effects of the full moon on pets. What they found out is that there is a higher number of pet visits to the emergency room during the full moon nights. For cats, the risk was 23% higher than normal.

There might be an easy explanation for this rise in numbers. A full moon means the moon is at its brightest. More people and more pets are spending time outdoors to enjoy the bright evening.

The cats, which are allowed to go outside by their owners, will have a bigger urge to play around and hunt in the night. The increase in injuries is most likely not because of increased aggression or fighting. It’s just the bigger probability of being exposed to things that could accidentally injure them while they’re enjoying themselves.

The more energy cats have, and the more time they can spend outside under the bright moon, the more likely it is for them to get in trouble. Plain and simple. Whether the moon’s magnetic pull has a part to play in that, we can’t be absolutely sure yet.

Some cats’ energies may manifest in other ways. They might get extra anxious. A visit to the vet can also be helpful in that situation if the symptoms are getting too bad. The doctor can prescribe some medication to calm your pet down until the full moon has passed.

This is just one example of some of the changes that may occur in your cat’s behavior during a full moon. You may be wondering what the other ones are and if your cat is showing any of them. Well, let’s find out.


6 Changes in cat behavior during a full moon

Your cat is fearful and trying to hide

Because of induced anxiety, your cat might be prone to hiding from everyone during the full moon night.

Even if your cat naturally gets scared easily, this will heighten their sensitive senses even more and make them hyper-aware of their surroundings to the point where it will make them nervous and jittery.

A lot of things at home could frighten them, things that are not new to them at all and they usually don’t notice. They might puff up their fur along their back and tail as a sign of being on high alert.

In these situations, it’s better to just leave them alone and not stress them more than they already are. It’s not a good idea for their health, nor is it good for yours.


Your cat becomes erratic and acts different

Some cats can change their whole personalities during that time of the moon cycle. They can become fully unpredictable.

While in some cases, that is entertaining to watch and would make some funny cat video content, it also could be intimidating because you have no idea what they can do next.

If you have noticed that your cat falls into this category, and you haven’t cat-proofed your home yet, then now’s the time to do it. Make sure it’s a safe environment just in case, and it would be a good idea to keep an eye on them as much as possible.


Your cat is restless and more mischievous

We talked about how much the full moon can gift cats with boosts of energy. There’s a reason why cats have the famous reputation of being mischievous and doing whatever they want. And I won’t be surprised if that trend started from observing the mischievousness of cats during a full moon.

Of course, the more energy they have, the bigger the urge will be to spend it. Jumping around, running around, hunting their owners , and in the process of all that – pushing things around that they shouldn’t.


Your cat is more aggressive or hostile

Their hunting instincts might become more sharpened. That is especially bad if they are an indoors cat, with the only thing available to hunt being their humans.

Just leave them alone and don’t bother them until they become less moody. Give them their own room if you have to, but don’t interfere.

It may not be pleasant for a cat to be limited in such a way, especially when their natural instincts are not letting them rest, but you have to keep yourself safe after all. It’s the lesser of two evils.


Your cat is looking for other cats

It’s not a surprising coping mechanism. The only other creatures who can understand what they’re going through, or might be going through the same thing even, are other cats.

They are often independent animals, which like to spend their time alone, but during full moon when they are the most active, they might want to look for some company, especially if they are allowed to go outdoors and explore.

So how do they call for company?


Your cat is noisier and meows loudly

One of the most commonly observed behavior changes in cats during full moon is, of course, how much more noise they make. If they have limited opportunities to spend their energy in the late-night hours, and domestic cats often do, they can start meowing pretty excessively.

That can often disturb your rest. Even if they did try to sleep, it’s probably very difficult, so they might as well wake up everybody in the house.

We all know the stereotype of werewolves and wolves howling loudly at the full moon. Cats can try to make that call to the bright moon in their own way, in a desperate attempt to call for other cats, or for anyone to hear their needs.


Stories from Cat Owners

Barbara’s cat Benjamin changes his personality to be completely opposite during the few days when the moon is fully out. He’s usually very sweet and loving, but once his “lunatic” period hits, he becomes moody and aggressive.

No one can know with 100% confidence that the moon is to blame for this sudden change, but Barbara has clearly noticed a pattern, and she’s not the only one.

Another cat went to hide in a dryer for over a day and scared their owner so bad that he began a search party around the neighborhood – anxiously patrolling the streets and the house yards for almost 24 hours.

Once it was time for the next meal, the cat woke up and went to look for some treats as if nothing had happened. Always look for your cat in the dryers or washing machines.

A third cat Misty, an outdoor cat that only goes indoors to sleep at night, forgets about those habits if the full moon is shining brightly in the sky. Sometimes, they come back way later than usual or not at all until the next morning. They either have more energy to hunt, or they’re seeking another cat for company, or both.

There are many more examples of cats around the world that display rebellious or non-typical behavior only during full moon.


What you can do

According to The Cat Kitty Blog, there really isn’t much cat owners can do about it. You can’t prevent or change how the cat is feeling or being affected. These are all instincts engraved in their nature, urges, and needs that naturally appear and disappear, and cats follow them to survive.

Unfortunately, all you can do is just try to keep your cat safe and out of trouble. If you want to know for sure when the next full moon is approaching, track the lunar cycle online  to be ready for it and not let it come as a surprise.

It’s advisable to keep your kitty indoors until the sensitive period has passed. Like I mentioned earlier, the brighter moon means a bigger risk for injuries, especially with this new boost of energy and bloodthirst.

Reduce the risk by keeping an eye on them. It might get tough with all the running around, hostility, and the noisy meowing, but it’s the better alternative than going to the vet’s emergency room.

If you really want to let them outdoors, then the only thing you can do is give your cat a reflective collar with contact information. You know, just in case. You can never be too careful.


The other moon phases

Astrologers have also come up with theories about the rest of the moon stages. You may not believe in all of them, and that’s alright. It’s still worth keeping them in mind and paying attention to how your cat’s behavior changes over time.

If the full moon has such a huge effect on the planet and us, then why wouldn’t it be true during the other moon phases as well?

New Moon, which is when the moon is not visible in the sky at all, unless it’s during a solar eclipse, cats might feel the need to just relax and not do anything. That may be difficult to notice since they do that all the time anyway.

Super Moon, when the moon is at its closest point to us, the cat’s senses might be heightened. They might be extra cautious with avoiding potential danger and staying where they feel safe.

Waning Moon, the period after the full moon and before the new moon when the lighted area is decreasing, the nesting instinct is amplified. Animals and outdoor pets may try to hunt for food.

Waxing Moon, when the lighted area is increasing, it’s another calm and relaxing period for cats.

Blue Moon, the rare event of having two full moons, all the effects we discussed from the very beginning – just imagine all of them doubled. Good luck!


Black cat superstitions

There is no scientific or logical proof that black cats are affected by the full moon in any different way than any other cat, no matter the color of their fur.

The fact that both the full moon and the black cats have been victims of cultural superstitions and media stereotypes doesn’t mean they are tied together.


In conclusion

All of the full moon theories are just one way to explain strange occurrences of cat behavior that might be out of the ordinary. The full moon could be the reason for your cat acting weird or funny, but we still have a lot more to learn about the complex nature of cats and the things that drive them.

So, keep it in mind, be aware of the patterns if there are any so that you can keep your cat and yourself safe. As for the rest of it, just let them jump around. At least it’s entertaining.

Writer: Georgi Petkov

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