Factors influencing the prevalence of stereotypical behaviour in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

  • Published source details Quirke T., O’Riordan R.M. & Zuur A. (2012) Factors influencing the prevalence of stereotypical behaviour in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 142, 189-197.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Carnivores: Provide food on a random temporal schedule

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Carnivores: Provide food on a random temporal schedule

    A replicated, controlled study in 2012 of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Canada, UK, Ireland, Namibia and South Africa [5] found that an unpredictable feeding schedule decreased the levels of stereotypic pacing compared to a predictable regime (results of statistical models). Increasing size of enclosure also decreased stereotypic pacing, whilst being solitary and having the ability to view other cheetahs in adjacent enclosures increased it. Factors that did not have a significant effect included visual barriers, presence of raised areas, visitor numbers, sex, vehicle disturbance, presence of enrichment, age and diet diversity. One hundred and twelve cheetahs in 88 enclosures, maintained in nine zoological institutions were studied. Data were collected on stereotypical pacing using instantaneous scan sampling with five-minute intervals. Each day was divided in to two-hour periods consisting of eight 15-minute time periods.


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