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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Managing repetitive locomotor behaviour and time spent off exhibit in a male black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) through exhibit and husbandry modifications

Published source details

Leeds A., Stone D., Johnson B., Less E., Schoffner T., Dennis P., Lukas K. & Wark J. (2016) Managing repetitive locomotor behaviour and time spent off exhibit in a male black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) through exhibit and husbandry modifications. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 4, 109


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Carnivores: Provide food on a random temporal schedule Management of Captive Animals

A before-and-after study in 2013 of a black-footed cat Felis nigripes in a zoo in the USA [7] found that when feeding schedule was unpredictable, alertness increased compared to the baseline of no enrichment. Alertness increased (24%) compared to a baseline of no enrichment (16%). Additionally, locomotion (48%) and investigatory (4%) behaviours increased and alertness decreased (24%) compared to when diet was changed from dry and wet commercial cat food and mice to a low starch diet (locomotion: 28%; investigating: 1%; alertness: 44%). Instantaneous focal sampling was used every 30-seconds during 20-minute periods to record behavior of an individually housed cat. Data was collected at least once per week over 10 months. Four treatments included: 1) baseline, 2) random feeding times twice daily, 3) increased exhibit complexity, 4) changed diet to completely wet food (lower starch).