If you’re looking for an exotic feline companion, the Serval cat may be just what you want. Known for their striking appearance and unique personality, these cats have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years.
Though this cat is not allowed in several states of the US, it is legal to own certain states. This cat is known for many things you would want to know if you want to own it or a cat lover. In this article, we’ll explore the nature, behavior, price, and size of the Serval cat so you can decide if this is the right pet.
History of the Serval Cat
The Serval Cat, also known as Leptailurus serval, is a wild cat native to Africa. These cats have been present in Africa for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated in the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa.
Many African cultures have revered Serval Cats for their grace, agility, and unique appearance. The Ancient Egyptians worshiped the serval cats and sometimes kept them as pets by high-ranking Egyptians (such as Scribes and Priests). They were associated with the cat god Bastet.
Today, Serval Cats are still found in the wild in sub-Saharan Africa but are also kept as exotic pets in some parts of the world. It is important to note that owning a Serval Cat as a pet is illegal in some states and countries due to its wild nature and the potential danger they pose to humans.
More About Serval Cat
In the previous section, we came across the characteristics of the serval cat, but here in this section, we will know more about them in terms of their price, size and weight, health, food, color coat, and grooming.
Knowing these facts will help you stay updated if you want to keep it as a pet. Apart from that, if you are interested in gaining knowledge about this species, this is the best place you have engaged your time in reading, so let us jump in right away!
Servals are African wildcats that are legal in some areas of the US. Servals are known for being playful, affectionate, and loyal. They require a lot of attention and care, but they make great pets for those willing to put in the effort. Here are some characteristics of the cat that everyone must know:
Serval cats have a distinctive appearance with long legs, small heads, and large ears. They have a spotted coat that ranges from golden to orange-brown. Servals are medium-sized cats; the male servals weigh up to 40 pounds, and females weigh up to 25 pounds.
These cats are intelligent, curious, and love to explore their surroundings. They are also very social and enjoy interacting with their owners. However, they are only sometimes the best choice for families with small children or other pets, as they can be pretty rowdy and may only sometimes play gently.
3. Behavior and Temperament
Serval cats are natural hunters and have a strong hunting drive. They should be kept indoors or in a secure yard to prevent them from escaping. They are verbal cats and communicate with their owners by making different sounds like a high-pitched meow, mwa-mwa via their nose that will be repeated multiple times, and a low, purring growl.
Serval cats are not domesticated and have wild instincts. They require a lot of attention and socialization from a young age so that they don’t become aggressive when they grow up. They can also be destructive if they do not have enough stimulation or become bored.
4. Weight and Size
|Body Weight||9-18 kg (20-40 lb)||9-12 kg (20-26 lb)|
|Head/Body Length||59-92 cm (23-36 in)||59-92 cm (23-36 in)|
|Tail Length||20-38 cm (8-15 in)||20-38 cm (8-15 in)|
|Shoulder Height*||0.6 m (2 ft)||0.6 m (2 ft)|
Serval cats are generally healthy but can be prone to specific health issues such as dental, heart, and kidney disease, because of which regular check-ups, consultation with a veterinarian, and updates on their vaccinations are a must.
Serval cats require a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. They should be fed a balanced diet of raw or cooked meat supplemented with vitamins and minerals. It’s important to avoid feeding them commercial cat food, which is not suitable for their nutritional needs.
7. Coat Color and Grooming
Serval cats have short, dense coats that make it easy for the pet parents or them to groom. They shed seasonally, so regular brushing is necessary to avoid losing fur and prevent matting. They come in various coat colors, including golden, tawny, and black, with distinctive spots and stripes.
Serval cats are expensive, ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. This is due to their rarity and specialized care. Serval Males can vary from $5,000–$9,000! Whereas Females would cost around $5,000–$9,000!
Can a Serval Cat kill a Human?
Serval cats are not considered a significant threat to human life. However, it is essential to note that any wild animal has the potential to be dangerous, and serval cats are no exception.
In rare cases, serval cats have been known to attack humans, particularly if they feel threatened or protect their young. While their small size may make them seem less intimidating than larger predators, serval cats can still inflict serious injury with their sharp claws and teeth.
It is important to exercise caution when encountering serval cats in the wild and to avoid approaching or attempting to touch them. If you meet a serval cat, it is best to give them plenty of space and retreat slowly if they appear agitated or aggressive.
Potential Dangers of Serval Cats to Humans
Well, there are risks of being attacked by serval, which may cause serious illness. But what are the potential dangers of a serval cat, and in what way is it dangerous to human life? In the following section, we will know them all, so continue to read.
1. Physical Threat
Although servals are not known to attack humans unprovoked, they can become aggressive if threatened or cornered. Servals can jump up to 9 feet in the air, which means they can quickly reach a person’s face or neck.
The cat may hiss, growl, or lash out with its claws if it feels threatened. If a serval attacks you, try to protect your face and neck and seek medical attention immediately.
2. Disease Transmission
In addition to the physical threat posed by servals, there is also a risk of disease transmission. Like all wild animals, servants can carry diseases that harm humans.
If you are scratched or bitten by a serval, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor may recommend a rabies vaccine or other treatment to prevent the spread of the disease.
It is important to remember that servals are wild animals and should be treated cautiously and respectfully.
Precautions and Safety Measures
If you live in an area where serval cats are present, it is important to take precautions to avoid any potential danger. Here are some safety measures you can take:
- Do not approach a serval cat if you see one in the wild. Keep your distance and then observe from afar.
- Do not try to domesticate a serval cat. They are wild animals and cannot be fully domesticated.
- If you own a serval cat, provide a secure enclosure that is escape-proof and large enough for the cat to roam and exercise.
- Always supervise interactions between a serval cat and other animals or humans.
- Keep your serval cat up-to-date on vaccinations and regular check-ups with a veterinarian.
- Educate yourself on the behavior and needs of serval cats to ensure you are providing proper care and meeting their needs.
Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, servals are categorized as dangerous animals, and to keep them private, a license is mandatory.
Servals do not like to be cuddled. They have razor-sharp teeth that make them quite dangerous to be held so close.
Serval cats require a significant amount of care and attention. They need space to run and play and regular mental and physical stimulation. Considering the time and financial commitment before adopting a serval cat is important.
Now that you have learned about the personality, behavior, price, and size of Serval Cats, you understand what it takes to care for this exotic feline.
Serval Cats are known for their playful and curious personalities, making them great pets for those willing to put in the time and effort to train and socialize them. Regarding behavior, Serval Cats are energetic and require much attention and exercise.
Meet Fabian Wright, our guide into the animal realm at PetLoversArena.com. Having served as an Animal Care Specialist for the Ruwenzori Team at the Kansas City Zoo, he prioritizes conserving exotic species by replicating their habitats. Fabian aspires to share captivating stories of creatures, big and small, through PetLoversArena.com.