Circadian rhythms of the physiological and behavioral variability are an inherent property of mammals, and closely related to environmental factors. Light is the best-known environmental entrainment of the circadian pacemaker. The aim of the present study was to investigate the light/dark (L/D) cycle role on the entrainment of the total locomotor activity daily rhythm recorded by means of an activity data logger in felids. 5 Geoffroy’s cats, 5 jaguarondi, and 5 domestic cats were subjected to 12/12 light/dark cycle (L/D1), constant light (L/L), and 12/12 light/dark cycle (L/D2). Food and water were available ad libitum. Four rhythmic parameters (mesor, am- plitude, acrophase, and robustness) were assessed and compared among the 3 species, the L/D schedules, and the days of monitoring. Daily rhythmicity of total locomotor activity was observed in all L/D schedules, in the 3 species. An influence of L/D schedules, species, and days of monitoring on the circadian parameters of total locomotor activity daily rhythm was observed. Mesor, amplitude, and robustness of rhythm were statistically different among L/D schedules, species, and day of monitoring. Acrophase was statistically different among L/D schedules and species. Acrophase was observed during the scotophase in Geoffroy’s cats and domestic cats. A significant effect of photoperiod was observed in Geoffroy’s cats with a shift in L/L respect to L/D1. Our result showed that locomotor activity in felids is endogenously generated, it is peculiar to each species investigated, and that 9 days were not enough to re-establish the daily rhythmicity due to the L/D cycle.

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Journal: Journal of Veterinary Behavior. 2022 Apr 1;50:30-5.

Keywords: captivity, cats, Circadian rhythm, constant light, felids, light/dark cycle, veterinary,

Applications: Veterinary,

CamNtech Reference: AM22001

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