The basic answer is yes. And no.
If your pet should stare fixedly at the sun during a solar eclipse, the animal could go blind just as a human could. And lest you think that's an old legend, be aware that doctors can observe the exact moment someone stared at an eclipse by noting the width of the crescent-shaped retinal burns on their eyes. So it's possible your pet could lose his or her vision in an eclipse.
It is highly unlikely, however, that your pet would stare directly at the sun. It's as painful for cats and dogs as it is for us. During the Great American Eclipse of 2017, some pet parents took extra caution and either kept their animals inside or provided them with sunglasses, which made for super cute pictures. Remember, however, that farm animals and wildlife all remained outside during the eclipse, and few - if any - lost their sight.
Animals can behave oddly during a solar eclipse. Last year, there were reports of cows that headed toward their barns when the sky darkened around midday. Frogs began their night songs. And even birds started chirping like it was their bedtime. There were few reports of animals running in circles or behaving strangely, though, unless they were excited by their human friends' enthusiasm for the event.
Some who describe themselves as highly sensitive people or empaths say they can feel the effects of a solar flare. In some cases, they say their cats also respond to the flares by acting especially needy or clingy. Have you noticed this behavior in your cat?
The word "lunacy" comes from "luna," which means "moon." A full moon affects our emotions and our bodies as well as the ocean's tides. It also affects our pets. Dogs, of course, are notorious for howling at a full moon. Cats, on the other hand, tend to hide. Actually, cats can do a lot of odd things during a full moon.
A study out of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2007 showed a strong correlation between pet medical needs and lunar cycles. Did you know cat visits to animal hospitals increase by 23% during a full moon's 3-day cycle?
What about those really weird moons - supermoons, blue moons, blood moons, and super blue blood moons? Do these affect cats' feelings or behavior?
In a supermoon, the moon is as close to the earth as it can be. A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. And a blood moon happens during a full lunar eclipse, when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned in that direct order. Could a supersize, doubled-up, bright-red full moon have a larger-than-usual effect on your cat?
There's just one way to find out: monitor your cat.
The next supermoon is on July 13, the next blue moon will be on Halloween Night in 2020 (spooky!), and the next blood moon will come out on July 27. Watch your cat on these nights, see if anything unusual happens, and let us know.
We love to learn anything we can about cats and how to keep them healthy and happy.
At Modkat, we like things to be simple, minimal, and modern. We're like cats in that way. So when we talk about setting up a litter box, we don't look for the latest bells and whistles. We just ask what's best for your cat.
Dealing with litter is part of loving a cat. But you don't have to cope with pebbles scattered all over your home.