What do cats and psychics have in common?
Many people feel a heightened sense of energy during full moon periods, such as the one coming up this weekend. Mystics from many traditions like to use the full moon as a time to deepen their psychic awareness. Yet many scientifically minded people scoff at the notion that phase of the moon differs from its other phases in any way except offering more brightness. In one way, however, science has begun to perceive what poets, psychics and other mystics have said for centuries—that domestic animals may behave differently during the time when the moon shows earth her full face.
William Butler Yeats once described a black cat as “the nearest kin of the moon.” While that description obviously derives from a bit of poetic license, people have long observed that the moon does seem to exert an influence on animals. A recent study may verify a link between the phases of the moon and the behavior of cats and dogs.
A team of researchers from the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences looked at data compiled from case histories of nearly 12,000 cats and dogs who received treatment at the university’s Veterinary Medical Center. They found that full moon days had a greater number of pet emergencies compared to other days of the month. Statistically, the risk for emergencies was 23 percent higher for cats and 28 percent higher for dogs during periods when the moon was full. The conditions responsible for animals coming to the clinic during full moons included traumatic injury due to accidents or fights with other animals, as well as cardiac arrest and seizures.
Interpretation of Findings
The veterinary research team published their findings in a 2007 issue of “The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.” Lead researcher Raegan Wells, DVM, emphasizes caution in reading too much into the evidence of the study. “While the results of our retrospective study indicate that there is an increased likelihood of emergency room visits on the days surrounding a full moon, it is difficult to interpret the clinical significance of these findings.” Skeptics say that rather than any “full moon effect” on animal behavior, it may simply be that increased light available on these nights draws more people and animals outdoors, leading to increased opportunities for accidents.
Veterinary Clinic Observation
The observations of personnel who work in veterinary hospitals seems to favor the theory that the full moon alters animal behavior Wells notes, “If you talk to any person, from kennel help, nurse, front-desk person to doctor, you frequently hear the comment on a busy night, ‘Gee is it a full moon?’ There is the belief that things are busier on full-moon nights.”
Other Anecdotal Evidence
Cat owners and people who work at animal shelters also report noticing a difference in animals during full moons. They notice animals seem more restless at the full moon phase each month. Cats usually content to stay at home suddenly yowl to go out. Normally well-behaved dogs may start chasing cars. Males of both species go out seeking females in heat. Overall, according to people who spend a great deal of time with animals, four-footed fur-bearing friends become more aggressive when the moon is a round orb in the sky, engaging in behaviors more likely to result in a trip to a veterinary emergency clinic.
Other Lunar Studies
Researchers in various fields have conducted many studies over the years attempting to pinpoint whether stories about the effects of the full moon have any scientific basis. The results have been inconclusive.In 2001, two separate studies investigated whether the incidence of animals biting humans increased during the full moon. While British researchers found a possible lunar link, although scientists in Australia found no connection between biting and the full moon. Previous studies have also looked at a possible lunar connection between human animals–including traffic accidents, employee absenteeism and women’s menstrual cycles.
What do you think? I assume many of you reading this are psychics, or at least aspire to develop your psychic abilities. Do you feel a different energy around the time of the Full Moon? Do you sense that your companion animal also perceives this shift and behaves differently?