Serval cat


The serval is a predator of the feline family. Outrage, luxury, exoticism - these are the associations that come to mind at the sight of servals. If you like to surprise and are attracted to everything unusual - these cats are exactly for you. But you should remember that servals are divided into wild and domestic.

Origin story

Servals are mostly wild animals. Widespread in almost all of Africa, with the exception of the Sahara and the south of the continent. They inhabit savannahs, areas with bushy thickets, choosing an open place to live close to water. Servals are crepuscular animals. They hunt either at dawn or after sunset. Their prey are hares, rodents, birds and small antelopes.

For many years these beautiful animals were hunted for their skins, which led to a significant decrease in their numbers. However, not so long ago it became known that the serval can be domesticated and can live at home without any problems.

Domestic servals are cats with very close wild ancestors. That is, it takes only 8-10 generations from the time the animal is domesticated from the wild to the final domestication. Domesticated Servals are expensive, this breed of cat is recognized as one of the most elite in the world. Only very wealthy people can afford a kitten serval.


There are about 15 species of serval, they differ in habitat and shades in the color of the coat. In the mountains of Kenya, there are black servals (melanists), and no albino servals have been found in the wild.

The serval is a slender cat with a long, elongated body and tall, strong paws. The height of the animal varies from 90 to 130 centimeters, weight - from 12 to 16 kilograms. The head of the serval is miniature, especially against the background of the body and long neck. The tail is relatively short, 30-40 centimeters. The coat color most resembles that of a cheetah - a light, milky to sandy shade of fur with small dark spots and stripes. The muzzle, chest, and belly are white. The nose - on a small muzzle large, black. The ears are large, marked the back of bright white spots. The ears end in black tassels, which makes the serval look like a lynx, and genetically they are closely related.


Servals are carnivores. In the wild, their long paws help them develop an extremely high running speed and quickly catch up with their prey. Large ears help them pick up even the quietest rustlings in the thickets of grass where servals live.

These felines are the only animals that are easily domesticated and can live at home. When a cat is constantly accustomed to its companionship, they become accustomed to their owner and become attached to them like no other pet can.

It should be emphasized that you should buy servals for home life only from proven professionals who are exclusively engaged in breeding domestic servals. Otherwise, there is a risk of buying a wild cat that is not adapted to live in captivity. An adorable kitten will grow into a wild animal. There is an opinion that any wild serval can be tamed to a peaceful life in captivity, but in fact, this is not true. Either a wild serval is raised in an aviary, or a kitten bought exclusively from breeders is taken into a home where people live.

Serval Care

Serval kittens must be taken not earlier than one and a half months of age and not older than five months. The younger the kitten, the faster he gets used to the environment and routines in the house. One must be patient when raising a serval - he, like any domestic cat, can be naughty.

Servals are very playful and very active. They need to move a lot, run and jump, therefore it is best to keep the serval in a country house and give it at least one room where there is enough space and where the interior of the room is not spoiled.

Keeping the serval active is aided by games with the serval, and they are no different than games with a regular house cat. Balls, ribbons, toys, and the presence of an owner are all the serval needs.

Like their wild ancestors, Servals mark territory, so it is recommended that they be spayed. Males are spayed at six months of age and females at one year of age.

Fostering the Serval

The myth that servals are dangerous is unfounded. In the wild, servals hunt small game, humans are too big an opponent for them. The serval may be frightened and hiss, but it will never show aggression.

If there are small children at home, you should keep them separated for their safety and that of the animal. Small children do not control their actions and do not understand when they start to hurt the animal.

When playing with a serval, it is important to watch your hands. You should not forget to let the animal chew the toy in your hand and start biting your hand. An adult serval will get used to the fact that the hands or feet of a human being are also a “toy” and it will be difficult to wean it off.

Most importantly: It is very important not to shout at or hit the serval. No animal can be raised affectionate by such methods. Servals are grateful animals, the task of the owner is to support and develop this quality.

**Judgment, patience, and understanding of the serval’s character will allow you to acquire not only a fine animal, but also a devoted friend.