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Comparison of Locomotor and Feeding Rhythms between Indoor and Outdoor Cats Living in Captivity

Abstract : The plastic nature of cat behaviour allows this “friendly symbiont” of humans to adapt to various housing conditions. Beyond daylight, one could wonder if other environmental factors affect its patterns. Yet, how its activity and feeding rhythms are impacted by its environment is rarely studied in standardised conditions between populations. We compared the behaviour of cats living in a 29 m2 indoor room and cats living in a 1145 m2 outdoor enclosure, tracking them simultaneously in summer for 21 days, with advanced technologies. Both populations received daylight but weather fluctuations only occurred outdoors. Bimodality was detected in the activity and feeding rhythms of both groups, while twilight triggered crepuscular peaks. Daily, the outdoor population covered more distance (4.29 ± 0.27 km; p < 0.001) and consumed more food (67.44 ± 2.65 g; p < 0.05) than the indoor population (2.33 ± 0.17 km, 57.75 ± 2.85 g, respectively), but displayed less rhythmic behaviours, assumedly because of rhythm disruptors met only in outdoor conditions. Finally, outdoor housing seemed to promote the exploratory behaviour of the cats at night, while indoor housing increased both meal frequency (p = 0.063) and the impact of human interactions on the feeding rhythms of the cats.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03842394
Contributor : Etienne Challet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, November 7, 2022 - 3:14:54 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 3:59:45 AM

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animals-12-02440-v3.pdf
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Marine Parker, Jessica Serra, Bertrand L Deputte, Brunilde Ract-Madoux, Marie Faustin, et al.. Comparison of Locomotor and Feeding Rhythms between Indoor and Outdoor Cats Living in Captivity. Animals, 2022, 12 (18), pp.2440. ⟨10.3390/ani12182440⟩. ⟨hal-03842394⟩

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