You guys, it's finally here. On Saturday, Sept. 22, the fall equinox is happening, which means you can now put out your pumpkins and turn the TV to Hocus Pocus without someone making fun of you. But it also means it's time for a shift in your life that doesn't involve pumpkin spice — it's time for some balance and restoration thanks to the star power of the fall equinox. But how will your feline friends fare? Turns out, the fall equinox affects your cat in the same way it affects a lot of animals.
OK, but really, there's also a big chance nothing's going to happen to your cat. But when you remember that cats and fall go together like Thackery Binx and Halloween, it's kind of interesting to think about how this seasonal shift affects your furry pal. The Washington Post reported that the fall equinox is the exact moment where the sun "appears directly above Earth's equator" and gives us the same amount of daylight hours and darkness hours. It's a perfect balance, and is the start of the big seasonal shift where we slowly begin to lose our daylight hours for more darkness as fall and winter approach. In the spring, the spring equinox begins the shift into more daylight hours.
A sweet change in daylight seems pretty normal, but animals are really intuitive to a lot of things. So can the fall equinox impact them? According to Live Science, it really can. The website noted that because this shift means there are roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, everything from animals to plants can take notice of the change. In fact, the article suggested that animals living in high altitude areas might notice an impact on their biology, especially reproduction, during the seasonal shift.
For your cat, however, the biggest change you might notice during the fall equinox is a change in their sleep pattern. Live Science noted that all mammals have "an internal clock" that dictates their sleep and wake cycle. When there's more daylight to be had, your clock can shift, "resetting" your clock so that you follow along with the natural rhythm of the earth. Which might mean that your cat's sleep habits are tweaked a bit as they adjust to the change in daylight and darkness. Of course, this probably won't last long as we push further into fall and winter, with less and less light each day.
Also, my cat is basically either sleeping or eating or meowing at me about the injustices of the world. Like the fact that I refuse to stand with him in the kitchen as he eats his kibble. I'm not entirely sure I'll notice if he starts sleeping more or less in a day.
I wish I could tell you that something crazy was going to happen. I wish I could tell you that your cat will suddenly become even more in-tune with the dark, crisp fall season than before and that you'll feel a little like a witch with your very own potion-brewing companion. But it turns out, the equinox is just going to change up your kitty's sleep habits. So maybe take the time to focus on your own balance and restoration, and get some more shut-eye, too. If your cat's anything like mine, they'll be happy to sit directly on you as you snooze.