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Behavior of Cats During a Full Moon

Updated September 05, 2018

Historically, throughout the years, there has been belief that the full moon caused people and animals to act quite bizarrely. The term ''lunatic'' derives from the word ''luna'' the Latin term for moon, and is used to depict a person affected by periodic insanity, as if affected by the phases of the moon. Cats have been reported to behave erratically as well -- and there are interesting studies to support that.

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Investigative Behaviors

There are theories suggesting that since there is more light on a full moon night, pets may be more likely to roam about and get into mischief. While a cat's vision is known for being superior than humans at night, they cannot see well in the night when it is pitch black with no source of light. Also, a cat's interest in exploring the great outdoors on a full moon night may be triggered by the fact that there may be increased activity of outdoor critters facilitated by the moonlight.

Reckless Behaviors

It may make sense to keep a watchful eye on your cat on a full moon. An interesting study conducted on the effects of the full moon on pets published on the July 15th, 2007, issue of the "Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association" provided evidence that more emergency room visits occurred on fuller moon days for both dogs and cats. The risk of emergencies for cats on full moon days was 23 per cent greater, compared to all other days.

Aggressive Behaviors

If your cat appears to be moody on a full moon night, your observations can be actually on target. A study was conducted on the incidence of animal bites at the time of a full moon at a general hospital in an English city. The collected data reported that animal bites rose significantly at the time of a full moon with 56 cat bites making up 3.4 per cent of the total animal bites.

Owner Reports

Cat owners as well can attest that their cats behave strangely when to moon shows its whole face. In a poll created by Petplace, 42.19 per cent of cat owners reported that their cat engaged in some strange behaviours during a full moon, 29.69 per cent claimed that no odd behaviours took place, whereas 28.13 per cent were not sure. Reported behaviours consisted of staring at nothing visible, running around, increased vocalisation,and acting aggressively towards other cats.

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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.

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