Do Serval Cats Make Good Pets? What You Must Know!

Serval Cat side view close up_Pixabay

Normally, it’s the large ears that first seize your consideration. They make you cease mid-scroll if you come throughout a photograph of a younger unique cat, lined in spots, with large ears perched above their cute face. What is that this cute creature, you would possibly assume, and might I maintain one as a pet?

These ears and that face belong to a serval cat, a wild feline species native to Africa. Due to the worldwide obsession with discovering newer and extra unique animals to maintain as pets, many servals are bred and offered within the pet commerce. However do serval cats make good pets? Irrespective of how domesticated they could develop into, a serval cat will all the time be a wild animal at coronary heart and doesn’t make pet.

We don’t endorse maintaining serval cats as pets for a number of causes which shall be lined on this article.

divider-catServal Cats: An Introduction

Servals are medium-sized wild cats discovered all through a lot of the continent of Africa. Their lengthy legs make them quick, athletic, and the perfect hunters of all wild cat species. Serval cats are far-ranging, solitary animals. They eat all kinds of various prey together with rodents, birds, and fish.

Serval cats can develop as large as 40 kilos and reside so long as 20 years. They aren’t endangered within the wild and a sturdy captive-breeding inhabitants exists.

Why Serval Cats Don’t Make Good Pets

The explanations serval cats don’t make good pets boil down to at least one primary idea: they’re wild animals. Domesticated cats have had hundreds of years to adapt their behaviors to dwelling with people whereas serval cats haven’t.

Serval cats might be domesticated to a sure level, particularly when raised with folks since kittenhood, however they’ll all the time maintain their wild instincts. These wild instincts are what make maintaining a pet serval cat sophisticated and infrequently dangerous.

Serval Cats Are Escape Artists

Correctly and safely housing a serval cat is a monumental process. They’re used to roaming free on the plains of Africa and are highly effective, athletic animals, in a position to bounce excessive and dig deep. Pet serval cats want a roomy outside habitat, absolutely enclosed with a sturdy fence, together with the highest, with a number of toes of buried fence to forestall any tunnels to freedom.

The enclosure wants a water supply and loads of timber, grasses, and different habitat enrichers. Serval cats don’t tolerate chilly temperatures and wish a heat surroundings all 12 months spherical.

Serval cats are most lively at evening, and maintaining a serval cat in an insufficient enclosure might lead to a nocturnal escape with harmful penalties. Escaped serval cats pose a hazard to home pets and are themselves in jeopardy of being hit by automobiles or shot and killed.

Serval Cat side view_Pixabay
Picture credit score: Pixabay

Serval Cats Are Unhealthy Home Friends

No drawback, you would possibly assume, I’ll simply let my serval cat reside in the home and never have to fret about them escaping. Effectively, not so quick. Serval cats aren’t straightforward to maintain inside both.

Full-grown serval cats could be as large as 40 kilos. And that’s not 40 kilos of a sofa potato both. These cats are quick, lively, athletic, and might be extremely damaging in a house surroundings. Serval cats are playful slightly than deliberately damaging, however they play laborious and your home and belongings pays the worth.

If you happen to attempt to maintain a serval cat in your home, you’ll must be diligent about maintaining their surroundings protected. Curious serval cats typically injure themselves by swallowing home goods or shredding electrical cords.

Even in case you make all the things in your home protected, there’s one different obvious subject to beat when making an attempt to maintain a serval cat indoors, and that’s litter coaching.

Serval Cats Can’t Be Reliably Litter Skilled

The intuition of a wild serval cat is to mark its territory. Irrespective of how laborious you’re employed to litter practice a pet serval, their wild instincts will win out ultimately. Sure, they could use the litter field, however that received’t cease them from urinating elsewhere as properly.

Serval cats mark not solely their territory however something they need to declare possession of, together with their homeowners! One of many primary causes folks wind up eliminating their pet serval cats is as a result of they urinate on all the things, which is understandably not a fascinating high quality in a home pet.

Serval Cats Can Be Harmful

Whereas a serval cat can bond with a human, they often will solely be one-person animals. They’re able to being affectionate and aren’t normally aggressive in the direction of people however maintaining one as a pet continues to be dangerous.

As we already talked about, serval cats play laborious and tough. Even when they’re simply biting or scratching as a play conduct, serval cats can do painful injury to their human playmate.

Serval cats ought to by no means be stored with different pets or with children. These cats are essentially the most expert hunters of any wild cat species. These searching instincts by no means go away even in a serval raised with people. Small animals and small folks look and act an excessive amount of like prey to ever be protected with a serval cat in the home.

Different Issues to Holding a Pet Serval Cat

As wild animals, serval cats can’t be legally stored as pets in each space, in reality, solely in one-third of states within the US is it authorized to deal with one in all these animals. Totally different states and cities have completely different guidelines, and even in case you can legally maintain one, you could want a allow. Getting a allow might be costly and complex and infrequently requires you to permit an inspection of your serval cat’s enclosure to make sure it’s safe.

Holding a serval cat wholesome will also be sophisticated. Making an attempt to imitate their wild weight-reduction plan is hard as a result of it’s so variable, and plenty of pet serval cats are malnourished due to this. As well as, discovering a veterinarian educated in caring for serval cats could also be tough.

Serval cats have longer lifespans than your common canine or cat. Twenty years is a very long time to decide to any pet, particularly one who would possibly make a behavior of urinating on you! And in case you discover you’ll be able to’t maintain your pet serval cat anymore, you’ll be able to’t precisely drop them off at your native animal shelter. You’ll seemingly want to look out a devoted large cat rescue or sanctuary.


Wild animals belong within the wild, not in your yard or lounge. If you happen to’re tempted by that cute image of a child serval cat, keep in mind that all infants develop up, and grown-up serval cats don’t make good pets. Hundreds of homeless home cats want perpetually households in shelters and rescues all through the world. As an alternative of a serval cat, take into account bringing one in all these cats into your house and leaving the servals to the wild and your social media feed!

Featured Picture Credit score: Pixabay

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