Serval is medium-sized cat which lives in the Central and South Africa. It prefers wetlands and grasslands, but since it is highly adaptable, it can be found in other types of ecosystems. Although servals are eliminated from certain parts of Africa due to hunting and habitat loss, they are not considered endangered animals because their number in the wild is still high and they form stable population. Some people keep servals as pets, even though they are wild animals and may hurt them.
The Serval has yellowish or orange coloured fur that is covered with both dark spots and stripes (the size and placement of which vary wildly between individuals), that helps to camouflage the Serval into the long grass. Markings start on the top of the head, running between the ears and down the neck and forming four distinct stripes which break into spots on reaching the shoulders. The Serval's relatively short tail is banded with black rings and ends in a black tip. Servals have quite long necks in comparison to their body size and when coupled with their long legs, enables their head to be up to 75cm off the ground which helps the animal to both see and hear clearly whilst hiding in long grass. Like all other felines (with the exception of the Cheetah) the Serval is able to pull-back its claws into protective pouches of skin in their feet which means that they are able to keep their claws sharp to hunt with as they are not being blunted when moving around.
HISTORY OF THE SERVAL CAT
The serval cat is from Africa where tall grass and bushes can hide this tall cat from its food. They are known to resemble cheetahs but have shorter tails than their larger cousins.
They typically hunt where they can hide and stay near water. In the wild, they are solitary and cover a home territory of 4 to 12 square miles. African serval cats are not on the endangered species list.
Having the longest legs of any cat (in proportion to their bodies), servals are agile jumpers as well as experienced diggers. They can catch birds over nine feet in the air and dig a couple feet into the ground to get under a fence.
Servals make a variety of noises or vocalizations. They make a high pitched cry to call other servals, growl, make a spitting noise, purr, and more.
Serval cats have been kept by humans since the ancient Egyptians and are depicted in their art. However, they are not domesticated. Breeding stock arrived in the U.S. over a century ago and you may find serval cats that are many generations removed from African imports. Even such domestically-bred servals are subject to restrictions on the ownership of wild cats and exotic animals.
Breeders have also been crossing serval cats with domestic cats to produce hybrids. Savannah cats are one such hybrid and can be a choice if you like the look of the serval but need a tamer cat that easier to care for.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SERVAL CAT
Serval cats can bond with humans, especially if they are bottle-raised and hand-fed. Typically, they are a one-human cat and bond for life. You will need to spend time with the cat, playing with the cat on its level, eye-to-eye. They can be affectionate but require patience and a gentle hand in training. While you can try to socialize a serval, they will often remain shy of strangers and can be frightened by visitors.
These cats are usually shy during the day and more active at night. Servals can be very active in play and if you bring a serval into the house, it should be in a serval-proofed cat room that doesn't have breakable objects, wires, or other hazards.
While servals can be litter-trained, be aware that urinating on objects is part of their natural way of marking their territory.
For safety when walking your serval you will need a special serval harness since they aren't built like domestic cats.
BODY LENGTH: 70 TO 100 CM.
HEIGHT : APPROX 20 – 26 INCHES TO THE SHOULDER
WEIGHT: ANYWHERE FROM 20 TO 40 Ibs
JUMPING ABILITY : USUALLY UP TO 11 FEET IN THE AIR
(THE ADULT MALES CAN WIEGHT TWICE WHAT THE FEMALE WIEGHS)
LIFE SPAN: UP TO 19 YEARS IN THE WILD AND UP TO 30 IN DOMESTIC
GESTATION: 70 TO 79 DAYS
AGE OF MATURITY: 18 TO 24 MONTHS FOR FEMALE AND 24 TO 36 MALE
SERVAL REPRODUCTION AND LIFE CYCLES
Although there is no set breeding season for Servals, more mating tends to occur in the spring when a female will seek out and court the male for a few days. After mating, female Servals establish a safe den in dense vegetation where she gives birth to between one and three kittens, that are born after a gestation period that lasts for 73 days. Young Servals are born blind and weigh just 250g but within the first two weeks, their eyes open and they double in size. Female Servals suckle their young until they are weaned at 3 months when they begin to accompany her when hunting for food but don't tend to leave her for at least a year. Once independent, the kittens must find a territory to call their own which can take young males up to two years. Servals are thought to live for an average of 10-12 years in the wild with oldest recorded individual having reached the age of 23.
COMMON HEALTH CONCERNS
You will need to ensure you have access to a veterinarian who can care for exotic pets. Servals need the same annual immunizations and dewormings as domestic cats.
While many pet servals are declawed in the interests of preventing injuries to humans, this is a practice that can result in an infection. It also makes the serval more vulnerable during confrontations with other animals. One common veterinary emergency for servals is swallowing foreign objects, which can become lodged in their throats or difficult to pass.
DIET AND NUTRITION
Servals use their sight and hearing more than their sense of smell to find their prey. They often play with their food before eating it. Servals are highly intelligent cats. When feeding them, a game or puzzle that makes the cat problem-solve will cause the meal to be more rewarding for them (this is called enrichment).
In the wild, servals eat whatever is available, which makes providing the most natural diet as pets difficult. You may not necessarily have access to everything Africa has to offer wild servals, but rodents, rabbits, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, and frogs are all readily available to provide a varied diet of protein sources. Whole prey should be offered but don't be alarmed if your serval eats so fast that he regurgitates everything right back up.
A feline supplement, such as Mazuri's Carnivore Supplement for Whole Prey, should be added to the food as well. A formulated pelleted diet is acceptable for adding to a diet but should not make up the bulk of any meal.
Here at Luxurysavannahcats our Servals get several servings of raw chicken legs as well as the Exotic Feline wet food Zu Preem. The cats need that bone to give them the calcium and other nutrients needed to survive. Another very important element is SUN. Servals need and enjoy that sunshine. This is important for the depletion of extra nutrients and vitamins that they acquire too much of in the food that they eat. The vitamin D is important all around for their health and well being
All of our serval kittens here are litter box trained and we use a big box with pine pellets as litter. Servals like have two places to go to the bathroom so we recommend having two boxes if your Serval is living inside your home.
It is important to understand the risks involved in owning a wild animal. Ownership of a serval cat is illegal in many locales and requires licenses, permits, and inspections in others. You must check with local laws to know which will apply. As well, serval cats are difficult to re-home if you can no longer care for the cat.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that a Serval can be domesticated and kept as a pet. The care it requires is not much different as compared to other pets.
Like all pets, they need your time and attention. So If you are looking for a new family member, please contact us right now to Reserve your kitten. Whatsapp: +1 (828) 635-9498 / +380 663513868 or write to the following email address: email@example.com
Examples of Past Servals
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African Serval Kitten
African Serval Kitten
African Serval Kitten