Recent studies have shown that acute systemic administration of the selective orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 significantly reduces food intake in rats. Although this anorectic action of orexin-1 receptor blockade is associated with an acceleration in the transition from eating to resting, it is widely recognised that the behavioural indices of satiety are not dissimilar to those of illness. In this context, Experiment 1 confirmed a significant anorectic effect of 90 (but not 60) mg/kg lithium chloride (LiCl) in male rats presented with palatable mash in the home-cage environment. Experiment 2 employed a continuous monitoring technique to contrast the effects of LiCl (90 mg/kg) and SB-334867 (10 and 30 mg/kg) on food intake and behaviour during a 1-h test with palatable mash. SB-334867 dose-dependently inhibited food intake, with the higher dose producing a comparable degree of appetite suppression (approximately 40%) to that seen with LiCl. Despite equivalent anorectic action, the two compounds produced very different effects on behaviour. LiCl reduced active behaviours (locomotion, rearing, grooming and sniffing), slowed the rate of eating and disrupted the behavioural satiety sequence (BSS). In contrast, SB-334867 (30 mg/kg) decreased the duration of feeding and grooming, and modestly accelerated the transition between eating and resting. Furthermore, whereas LiCl failed to alter posttreatment bodyweight gain, SB-334867 (30 mg/kg) produced a significant weight loss in the 24-h period immediately following injection. Overall, the divergent profiles obtained with equianorectic doses of LiCl and SB-334867 provide convincing evidence for the behavioural selectivity of SB-334867-induced anorexia.