cat looking at a full moon

Are Cats Affected By The Full Moon?

When there is a full moon cats may change their behaviour and seem a little more mischievous, but some might also be more likely to hide, meow, or just be noisier on the whole. 

Cats are not the only animals influenced by moon phases — dogs and birds change their behaviours too. 

While some people might be sceptical, the moon actually has a lot to say when it comes to our own behaviour. 

Given that our tides and plenty of other natural phenomena depend on its existence, it’s not so far-fetched to understand that all living organisms including your cat can be influenced by the activity of the moon. 

But not just the full moon influences your cat’s behaviour. Almost all of its phases do. 

For example, during the new moon, animals are more relaxed, while during the super moon, cats tend to have better instincts to protect themselves from predators. 

The waning moon influences cats to prepare their homes, so they have a tendency to nest more than usual. 

Most cats are sleepy during a waxing moon, while a blue moon, an event that happens once every three years, makes cats particularly playful and energetic. 

How does the behaviour of cats change during the full moon?

The full moon tends to make us all behave just a little strangely, but cats even more so. Unlike dogs, which are typically more agitated, during the full moon, cats can be split up into several different behavioural categories.

Some will be more mischievous than usual, but others will tend to hide more. They will also sleep more, actively seek out the company of other furry friends, and be more fearful than usual.

cat silhoette and moon

If you are the owner of a particularly anxious cat that regularly gets scared, you might notice that during the full moon, she seems to be even more jittery and can be afraid of a lot of things in her living environment, which aren’t even new to her. 

The other behavioural changes that some cats exhibit affects with how active they are. 

Some will be more playful than usual, run around the house or jump more than they regularly do. 

Other cats might hunt you down through the house, which isn’t that pleasant, especially if you want to keep your legs scratch-free. 

There’s also the possibility of your cat becoming slightly more aggressive than usual, but this doesn’t happen universally. 

What does seem to apply to most cats, however, is that they tend to make a bit more noise. They meow more and for no apparent reason, especially if they are scared or feeling a bit bloodthirsty. 

Are cats more likely to get injured during the full moon?


A study performed by researchers at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Centre revealed that the emergency room was visited by up to 23% more cats during a full moon than usual. 

The number is 28% higher for dogs, so the full moon clearly affects our pets. 

It’s difficult to tell exactly how your cat’s behaviour will change during the next full moon. 

a full moon

As you might have noticed, there are quite a few behavioural modifications and they might depend on whether the animal is neutered or spayed, their age, their health, and other such factors. 

However, what we advise you to do, especially if your cat was hurt during a full moon before, is to keep her indoors only. 

Outdoor cats have a much higher chance of sustaining injuries during this period, so keeping your cat inside your home can effectively keep her safe. 

By the way, indoor cats are generally healthier than their outdoor counterparts as they have less probability of catching diseases or parasites, let alone potentially life-threatening conditions such as FIP, FIV, or FeLV. 

The full moon and a cat’s sleep cycles

Cats do not have the same circadian rhythm as humans, and as much as we might want to believe that our pets sleep throughout the night just like we do, that is just not true. 

Cats tend to sleep more than us, but they also do it in shorter sessions. Some can sleep for as many as sixteen hours per day. 

cat sleeping under a full moon

So how does your cat’s sleeping habits change during a full moon? Well, considering that many other species have their sleep bothered by this event, it wouldn’t be unusual to assume that cats are the same. 

The most likely way things are going to go is this — at first, your cat might hide for up to a day. 

But then her sleep is going to be affected, so she will become slightly cranky or energetic, so she will come out and play or engage in some kind of mischievous behaviour. 

By the end of the 3-4 days when the moon can be fuller, cats might be exhausted. 

What other animals are affected by the full moon?

This moon phase influences other species, not just cats. For example, European badgers tend to mark their territory more than usual.

It’s also the time when these animals become more sexually active, so badgers are more likely to mate. 

Unfortunately, this also makes them more vulnerable to predators since a mating session around this time can last for as many as 90 minutes. 

monkey hanging from a tree under a full moon

A bigger relative of the cat, the lion, tends to hunt more during the day right after a full moon, even though this species almost always hunts at night.

African lions are also more likely to attack humans around the same time. 

Since scorpions glow in the moonlight they practically have no opportunity to catch any prey during a full moon.

This is why they tend to stay hidden rather than going for a hunt. 

Believe it or not, even corals react in a unique way to the full moon.

Researchers in Australia have determined that during this period, they tend to release massive amounts of egg and sperm, which makes them more likely to reproduce. 

Final thoughts

Some cats could be impacted by a full moon more compared to others. In any case, it is our responsibility as their pet parents to provide them with the safety that they require all the time, not just during a full moon. 

Most cats exhibit significant behavioural changes during this time. 

Some might meow more than usual, others might actively seek out the companionship of other cats or humans, and there’s also a fairly big share that will hide for a couple of days. 

Younger cats have a higher likelihood of wanting to play more. They have more energy anyway, so there’s a bigger chance they might be more active over this period. 

In general, outdoor cats can put themselves in potentially dangerous situations more frequently during a full moon, which is why we advise that you keep your cat indoors around this time.