The serval is the exotic ancestor of the Savannah cat, which is still a young and rare breed of cat.
Although the serval looks almost like a big cat due to its size, the distinguished appearance and its resemblance to a cheetah, this wild cat belongs to the group of small cats. The extreme long legs, a small head with large ears and the short tail are striking. The fur is yellowish to orange with black spots and some bars.
Servals are living in Africa, the natural habitat covers mainly tall grass regions like savannahs. The prey of the serval consists of rodents, birds, lizards and frogs, sometimes small antelopes and fishes are also caught.
Servals have been bred in captivity for several decades and can get relatively tame when raised by humans. Most the time they closely bond only to one or two people and can have the tendency of becoming unpredictable once they are grown up to adult cats.
They are exotic cats that do not make good household pets and need their own suitable prepared inside rooms with free access to large outside enclosures. Males as well as females mark their territory and despite being altered use the litter box seldom on a regular basis.
Since the serval is an endangered species and listed in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), within the European Union strict laws and regulations apply; in some countries the serval is completely banned. In obtaining the permits and licenses to keep a serval, proof of special knowledge and comprehensive experience in husbandry and feeding is usually required. Furthermore species-appropriate facilities have to be provided that meet the regulations and conditions the responsible authorithies enforc.
Weight: 9 – 20 kg
Body Length With Tail: ca. 1,5 m
Shoulder Height: 50 – 60 cm
Sexual Maturity: 18 – 24 months
Gestation: 72 – 74 days
Litter Size: 1 – 3
Longevity: up to 20 year