Do Serval Cats Make Great Pets? Here’s What You Need to Know!

serval cat as a pet

Having a Serval Cat as a Pet is one of the most exciting things for many people, The serval cat is a beautiful animal, and some people keep it as an exotic pet because of their chape. serval cats are considered wild cats.

Before you think To own as Serval as a pet you must know pet a serval cat needs a lot of care you must create a large and safe outdoor fence and provide a warm environment all year round. They need to feed on complete prey food and require veterinary care from an experienced foreign veterinarian.

Serval Cat Overview

WEIGHT: 20 to 40 pounds
LENGTH: 2 feet
COAT: Short
COAT COLOR:  Golden yellow to buff with black spots and stripes
EYE COLOR: Brownish to greenish
LIFE EXPECTANCY: Up to 22 years in captivity

Do Serval Cats Make Good Pets?

Serval Cats Can make a good pet, Whether caught in the wild or bred in captivity, these animals, by their very nature, are wild and requires a skilled, responsible owner who can meet this cat’s very exacting needs.
Many Serval Cats are carefully and strategically trained to be around people and will go years without incident, but you cannot effectively predict the behaviour of a wild cat, as humans tried to domesticate Serval cats for years but they are still wild animals at heart.

Serval cats can bond with humans, especially if they are bottle-raised and hand-fed. Typically, they are one-human cats and bond for life. You will need to spend time with the Serval cat.

serval cat as a pet

Can you legally own a Serval Cat?

Own a Serval cat in USA

But is it even legal to own an exotic animal, like a Serval cat as a pet? Right now, states are responsible for setting their own restrictions on exotic animal ownership, but Wild Cat might lead some people to question why there is no federal oversight.

The documentary series explains that Exotic made much of his money by breeding tigers constantly so he always had baby animals to show. Montages of photos featuring visitors with baby cats swarm the series, and it’s noted that much of his funding came from touring the country with the animals.

Regarding the possession of Serval as a pet in the United States, each state has their own regulations on exotic cat ownership, which is why you should be properly informed beforehand.

If you suspect illegal trade in the US, you can contact the Department of Conservation to deal with the issue.

Own a Serval cat in UK and EU

The European Union also states CITES as the reason why an African serval cat or any other exotic pet cannot go through customs in any country of the EU.

If you decide to get a serval cat as a pet and later decide it won’t work, you may find it difficult to relinquish ownership of such an animal. This is because organizations or individuals receiving the animal will also need to hold the appropriate licenses.

About Serval Cats


Serval cats are medium-sized wild cats found throughout most of the continent of Africa. Their long legs make them fast, athletic, and the best hunters of all wild cat species. Serval cats are far-ranging, solitary animals. They eat a wide variety of different prey including rodents, birds, and fish.

The serval cat has incredibly long legs. These are relative to body size the largest of any cat’s legs. Their ears are also the largest relative to body size.

Having a Pet Serval will make you enjoy their company, they have a yellow coat and has a number of patterns on it. 4 main black stripes run from the head to the top of the shoulders. From the shoulders onwards the coat is dotted with spots in a pattern that varies between individuals. (Black and white variants of this species also exist).

The tail is banded with black rings and ends with a black tip. The backs of their ears are black and a white bar runs through the middle. This colouring helps them to blend in with the grasslands where they live. They also have long necks in comparison to their body size.

From the head to the base of the tail they measure 59-92cm (23-36in) long. The tail is short relative to their body measuring just 20-45cm (7.9-17.7in). Servals cat stand 54-66cm (21-26in) tall at the shoulder. Males are larger in this species measuring 9-18kg (20-40lb) while females weigh 7-12kg (15-26lb).

pet serval


The first thing to learn about when considering a Serval as a pet is how they behave in nature in order to assess if it is fine to keep it at home.

There is a difference between wild and feral cats as, although all feline, they descend from a different evolutionary branch and the latter have not been domesticated. The actual word says it: wild cats are wild, and thus need to live outdoors. A minimum outdoor surface of 800 square meters is required in order for the Serval cat pet to live happily and adequately.

Serval pets, like most felines, are crepuscular animals, meaning they are at their most active during dusk and dawn. During the hours when this cat is awake an average of 12 to 14 h, their main activity is hunting. Thus, other domestic animals in the surrounding areas can be prey for the African serval cat, if you have it at home. chickens or any other kind of birds or rabbits are commonly hunted by serval pets in semi-urban areas.

On the other hand, you should know that, like most New World cats, the domestic serval cat feces have a distinctly strong smell, as well as a highly damp texture. They are also prone to marking territory and can even do so in the places where they sleep. A serval cat pet at home will mimic this behavior too unless taught from a very young age.

Talking about Serval kittens, these tend to have infantile or juvenile behaviors for longer than most felines, as they will usually stay with their mother for longer, which is why separating a baby serval from its mother at a young age can be a huge mistake that can derive into behavioral problems. For one, a baby serval as a pet craves a lot of attention. If they do not pay attention, they will emit a loud noise, as if they were throwing a tantrum until their mother pays attention to them.

African serval pets in heat also have several behaviours that do not favor keeping them as pets. Female serval pets in heat produce a constant growl and will try to rub their scent against any object they find in their way, their calls, as you can imagine, are much louder than those made by common female cats. On the other hand, once male African serval pets have mated, they may be less affectionate with people.

All in all, the African serval pet behaviour makes it very dependent on their owner, which is why a potential serval house cat carer will have to be highly committed to serval pet care, as we’ll comment further on.

Serval Pet-specific Care

As you have read above, The African serval is not the most convenient pet to have at home, even though they may seem cute and exclusive, we have to remember their wild nature so, if you happen to find an injured Serval Pet in your back yard, work at a rescue center or similar, make sure you follow these basic care guidelines to look after a Serval Kitten pet:

In general, African serval cats are fairly sociable although they cannot be trained in basic commands, so it will be a challenge to stay on top of them when it comes to discipline.

Serval kitten Care

As mentioned previously, Serval takes longer to separate from their mothers, as they take longer to wean and are very dependent on their mother. Sucking fingers of their carers are something usual, as it reminds them of their mother, although you should avoid this behavior to avoid them from thinking that hands are actually toys. To teach them not to suck on fingers, make sure you distract them from this activity by offering them a treat or redirecting their attention towards play. You can use boomer balls, kongs (under constant supervision), or other toys suitable for cats to do so.

serval cat pet

What should I feed my Serval Cat?

As mentioned above, the African serval cat is a natural carnivore. In the wild, they will hunt for small rodents such as mice or rats as well as several types of birds and even fish. If you need to feed an ocelot, then their diet should be similar to those of cats. Thus, apart from organ meat, they will need to supplement it with taurine and calcium. You should also make sure you don’t give them any of the forbidden foods for cats, as they can be equally harmful for your serval pet.

The Serval house cat space

Although they can be indoors, Serval also needs their outdoor space. In general, they should have a space of at least 800 square meters. To prevent obesity in this type of feline, you should offer them an enriched space with all of their favourite features such as high climbing poles, platforms, and plenty of plants (make sure they are not toxic for them).

Don’t spay

Due to several programs for the conservation of serval cat pets in certain countries, it’s not advisable to spay. Remember the serval cat is an endangered species, so there are other things to take into account when making this decision. Contact your department of conservation and put them into contact with your vet so you can all take an informed decision.

Serval Toilet Needs

So where should my serval cat go to do their business? Although some can actually be trained to use litter, although other methods will be easier to teach your Serval pet. We should also warn you that this animal’s nature may lead them to swallowing cat litter and cause intestinal problems, another reason why this is not recommended.

Instead, a more recommended method is to teach them to do their business on some kind of paper.

Serval cats in the House

Serval pets love jumping, climbing, and digging, which is why you will need to be extra careful if you let your African serval pet inside your house. Make sure you get rid of any objects on display that this beautiful feline could accidentally drop when leaping around and any objects susceptible to nibbling and biting, as this is one of their favorite past-times. Remember to make sure you don’t have any toxic plants for cats in the house either.

Serval pet Activity

As mentioned above, your serval cat pet is prone to biting, which is why you should keep small children away from them. As with many other small Felidae, Having Serval as a pet in the house will make you have a hard time These wild cats will usually target specific areas of the body when attacking, such as the groin, elbow, armpit or neck. They are also extremely fast and agile, so beware. By this, we do not mean that the Serval cat is a violent animal, but if they are not socialized, they will still act according to their nature.

Serval cat Veterinary Care

You should take a Serval to an exotic pets vet that is specialized in wild cats. Regular vets will not have the knowledge to treat them, so make sure your vet has the knowledge they need. If you cannot find anybody specialized, it is best to ask your regular vet to contact a nearby sanctuary or zoo to get advice from professionals.

Purchasing an Exotic Kitten Costs Are Extremely High

If owning a big cat still intrigues you, you must consider a few factors before meeting with a reputable breeder. Exotic cats range in price from a $1500.00 Bobcat to a $7500.00 tiger cub.

African Serval Cat Price

Most of the mid-size cats, like Servals and Caracals, cost $1500.00 to $2800.00 and Serval pet can run as high as $10,000.00. The more rare the cat, the higher the price. Even though it may be acute and cuddly cub right now, within the year they will reach almost their full size and will be spraying (no matter how young you neuter him or spay her) so you must have some things ready when the cat comes home.

pet serval

How Much Serval Cat Cost?

How much it Cost for Housing Serval as a pet?

Most states have cage requirements of varying standards. In some states, you must have no less than 5 acres if you want to own a wild cat as a pet. Acreage, it can cost you for taking care of serval pet, is $50,000.00 per year, Most states and federal guidelines require then that you have an 8-foot perimeter fence which on 5 acres can easily run $8000.00. You are not allowed to use this outside wall as any part of your cage, so your cage will be another $5,500.00 for small to mid-size cats, like a lynx to $10,000.00 for a lion, leopard or tiger.

How to buy a pet Serval cat!

Keeping wild cats such as tigers, lions, bobcats, and cougars may be illegal where you live (either under local laws or by wider regulations).
you will need a breeder that provides exotic cats like Serval cats and you will also need a veterinarian that is willing to treat your animal, and it is difficult to find one.
The future for many big cats is a life of neglect and even abuse when their owners cannot handle them anymore. Deciding to own a big cat is taking on a high level of responsibility for these animals, one that most people find overwhelming after the first couple of years.

Are African Serval dangerous?

Serval Cats can run at 50 mph, outrunning such animals as antelopes and ostriches. They are also territorial and primarily nocturnal. They are skilled, tenacious climbers, and able diggers, with the ability to fend off predators twice their size. All of this means that you do not want to get on the wrong side of a Serval.

Do Serval Cats attack humans?

Serval Cats are notorious for attacking livestock, but rarely attack humans. Many people argue that Serval Cats can be cared for in a manner similar to traditional domesticated house cats, with regular levels of safety and affection. But it cannot be ruled out.

What is the lifespan of a Serval cat?

The average lifespan of a domesticated Serval cat is nearly 16 years, while the maximum captive longevity reported was just over 20 years, for a wild-born female raised in a captive environment. African wild Serval tends to live to about 12 years. This is in line with various other types of wild cats, such as Canada lynxes and wildcats, slightly longer than cougars, and slightly shorter than caracals.

Can I adopt a Serval cat as a pet?

It is so hard to find a Serval pet for adoption and There is no short answer to this, as it falls under state law, not federal law. States with a comprehensive ban on keeping large exotic cats include California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Georgia.

serval cat price


Trying to Own a Serval cat as a pet is not that easy and In the name of neutrality, it is important to state that there are some exotic cat owners who successfully, and happily, keep African serval as pets. However, they are relatively few and far between, and have made huge sacrifices in order to house these majestic animals. They cannot take vacations, as their pets require constant maintenance and cannot be left in the care of anyone without a license.

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Do Serval Cats Make Great Pets? Here’s What You Need to Know!

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