What is a Serval?

A brief overview of the Serval Cat


Sleek, spotted, and stealthy, the serval cat stands as a mesmerizing embodiment of wild beauty. Native to the expansive grasslands and savannahs of Africa, these medium-sized felines have captivated both wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking unique, exotic pets. It’s the 5th largest cat in Africa and display a unique beauty.

But what exactly sets the serval cat apart?

Serval chaton

Why are they so intriguing?

Serval Cat • Dragonflycats

Physical Characteristics

The serval cat boasts a distinct appearance that immediately catches the eye. Their slender, elongated bodies are supported by long legs, giving them an unmistakable grace as they navigate their natural habitats. Standing between 20 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighing anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds, these cats exude a lithe elegance.

Coat and Markings

What truly defines the serval’s aesthetic allure is its striking coat. Covered in vibrant golden-yellow fur adorned with bold black and white spots and stripes, their coats provide effective camouflage amid the tall grasses they frequent. This pattern of spots and stripes isn’t just for show—it serves as nature’s artwork, aiding in their stealthy approach while hunting.

Ears and Facial Features

One of the most striking features of the serval cat is its disproportionately large ears, which can grow up to 6 inches in length. These oversized ears aren’t just an aesthetic quirk; they play a vital role in their hunting success. Exceptional hearing allows them to detect the faintest rustle of prey, enabling precise and efficient strikes. Complemented by keen eyesight and sharp retractable claws, servals are finely tuned predators within their ecosystems.

Where are Serval cats typically found in the wild?

Serval cats are originally from Africa

Savannah cat are pretty much found everywhere in Africa where there is water close. They prefer inhabit semi-arid aread and cork oak forests close to the Mediterranean Sea. They avoid rainforests and arid areas. 

Behavior & Lifestyle

Serval cats are solitary animals. They prefer long walks (can be up to 4 kilometers- 2 1/2 miles per night). They will find other serval cats only on mating season  and only the mother will stay with the cubs until they are about 1 year old. 

Hunting habits

The Serval cat is a carnivore which prefer rodents such as vlei rats, small birds, frogs, hares, reptiles. As the domestic cat, they like chewing on grass who acts as an emetic and facilitates digestion. Its big ears aren’t there as a decoration and their preys stand no chance when they enter a serval cat’s radar. It can jump up to 13 ft (4m) in the air and attack with its front paws. 


Males and Females Serval become sexually mature between the age of one and two. In the wild, when a female enters oestrus, the rate of urine-marking increases in her as well as the males in her vicinity.

Serval Cat • Dragonflycats

Things to know when adopting a Serval cat


The best way to feed your serval cat is to copy what they are eating in the wild and to give them a similar menu. Small whole prey aren’t inexpensive but this is what we recommend: quails, hare/rabbit, mice, rats, chicks, chicken and fish.

Health Care:

They are not cats or dogs and needs to be treated accordingly, make sure your veterinarian has done his research on serval and exotics before doing any procedure that involves sedation, anesthesia or pain killers.

Litter box:

We train our cubs to use the litter box and we are using pine pellets as litter. We always recommend 2 boxes and training pads.


You need a completely secure and extensive outside environment for your serval. Their facility must include an indoor and an outdoor fenced area with trees and plants for natural shading and climbing. They need fresh running water all the time so a pond is a good idea.

Before committing to a serval you need to do your homework and  do lots of reading and research. Servals are not lap cats and they eats a lot and takes a lot of time for their constant socialization and quality time. If you work a 9-5 job , serval is probably a bad decision for both of you.

Thank you!

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