Since ancient times, many have reported bizarre behaviors when the moon is at its fullest. These are intense and unexplained effects during the full moon each month. And did you know this occurs over a three day period during each lunar cycle? You got it! The full moon doesn’t just effect us for one night, it’s a 3-day roller-coaster. And many are left baffled about this powerful luminary that brightens our evening sky.
Fact: Lunacy and lunatic stem from luna, the Latin word for moon.
And because of this, it is believed that people are more likely to show erratic behavior during a full moon.
The full moon has been to blame for seemingly harmless behavior. Well known things like sudden bursts of random energy, insomnia, and sleepwalking are a few.
But it’s also been speculated that the full moon has been associated with dangerous and even deadly behaviors.
The lunar theory, otherwise known as the lunar effect, is the idea that there’s some correlation between moon cycles and human behavior. People often try to write off the speculated effects, but science has proven its powerful presence many times over.
There are myths and legends surrounding the effects of the full moon on human beings, but what about how the full moon affects our pets?
“From a scientific point of view the lunar effect on animals is obvious and absolutely uncontroversial,” says biological clock researcher at the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Dr. Tobias Kaiser.
For those who don’t believe in the full moon’s effects, visit an ER, hospital or county jail during that time!
(Just hopefully not as a patient or inmate!)
But what’s worse? Well, in a recent study it’s been shown that animal hospitals/wellness clinics see an increases in visits. There was a 23% increase in cats and 28% in dogs over the course of the three nights of full moons.
The moon has a powerful effect on the Earth even when it’s not at its fullest. The magnetic pull between the Earth, the Sun and the moon directly affect us each day we are here on Earth. As we all know, the Earth is largely made up of water (about 70% to be precise). Water is free-moving and the Earth does not have control over it. This enables the magnetic pull of the moon to largely influence the large bodies of water and create tides and ocean currents.
As water is not stationary and it remains in constant motion, the Earth does not have full control over it. This enables the magnetic pull of the moon to influence large bodies of water on Earth (like the oceans and seas that account for nearly 96% of the Earth’s water sources). This magnetic pull is so strong that it creates ocean currents, which in turn cause tides to form. Therefore when the moon is at its fullest, the tides are at their highest.
So, How Does The Full Moon Affect Pet Behavior?
Many pet owners will report the full moon’s effects on their pet’s behavior as it’s clearly noticeable to them. Many dog owners have reported that their dog will take a liking to howling at the big, beautiful luminary illuminating the night’s sky. (Dogs must be honoring their ancestor wolves here!) Other dogs have been reported to pace during the full moon. These poor creatures experience anxiety, and some have even experienced seizures (for those who are epileptic).
For cats, many owners have reported that their cat is fearful and hides in areas of the home hoping not to be seen.
Other cats will become erratic and act as if they are a different cat entirely.
One cat owner by the name of Barbara B. wrote to KittyHelpDesk.com saying: “My cat Benjamin is the most wonderful animal in the world approximately 20 out of 30 days a month. I truly believe he is a “lunatic” since I have noticed that his personality changes occur around the time of the full moon, when he becomes moody and aggressive. Do you believe my observation and if so what do you suggest?
And in big cat news, it’s been reported that lions who typically hunt in the evenings, will hunt during the daytime hours. It’s usually following a well-lit evening that occurs during the three day full moon span.
“One must remember that those three days of peak light from the moon often encourage night activities, which could lead to more pet owners having nocturnal outings with their pets” — Animal Behavior College
But why the sudden influx of vet visits during the full moon?
There is a theory that makes purrfect sense. The brighter moon means that more people and their pets are spending time outdoors in the evening. Enjoying the bright full moon only increases their risk of incidents occurring during these times.
Want an easy way to track the moon? You can do it here with the help of this online moon calendar. We’ve included a 2019 moon calendar for you below, feel free to share!
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP, MICROCHIP YOUR PETS & SPAY AND NEUTER!
Related Story: (With Update!!!) Police Officer Watching Lunar Blood Moon Eclipse Finds Kitten Buried In 3 Foot Snow Drift
Related Story: Moon Shines On Stray Cat Found In Middle Of The Street; Illuminates His Path To Rescuers
Dear CAM – I love science almost as much as our furry 4-legged friends and I think you do great work with this site.
Tides, however, are caused by lunar gravity, rather than its magnetic field as stated in the article. It isn’t likely that lunar gravity affects mammalian behavior as described, since tides are highest at BOTH the full and new (dark) phases of the moon.
Personal speculation that involves endorsing evolutionary theory: In our natural history, full moonlight would be a time of high activity for both predators and prey. The mammalian heightened state of activity during the full moon might, therefore, be a genetically encoded behavior that was evolutionarily advantageous for both predators and prey to hunt (for the former) or be ready to run away (for the latter) and, hence, preserved through to modern times.
I enjoy reading your posts. Please keep up the great work and the cute pics!