Interested in Getting a Serval

Interested in Getting a Serval

by Lauren
(South East England, UK)

Photo by bzd1 (Flickr) - published under a Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

Photo by bzd1 (Flickr) - published under a Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

Hi there, my name is Lauren and i very very very much love animals and will most defintely be working with them when i grow up (i am only 14 now).

Me and my mum (and rest of fam) are very interested in getting a serval, but we need to know a few things first, i figured u could help us out! *beaming smile*.

  1. How much would i cost for it, shipping and taking it to the vets weekly/monthly/yearly?
  2. Does it need to be litter trained?
  3. Where would i keep it? would we have to get a larger house? (we live in a three bedroom, but its a very decent size and has a large back garden) would i have to change my back garden into a special play area? (i don't mind, lol) and can i keep it in my room at night? (leaving the door open for escape, of course)
  4. What kind of harness would i have to get?
  5. Where could i actually buy one?
  6. What would i have to feed it? and when would i have to feed it?
  7. I am in the UK. south east! Could we keep in contact VIA email msging, if i do get one so u could help me out?
  8. Thanx very much, hope u can help.

    laurenxxx

    From Interested in Getting a Serval to Serval

    Photo: by bzd1

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Interested in Getting a Serval

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Nov 03, 2009
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Thanks All!
by: Lauren

thanks everyone, keep it coming, LOL.

i have done a lota lota research on this animal and i know i want it for possitive. i might look into getting a savanh but my heart is set on the Serval...

And also, i am very very much commited to looking after an animal for a long time, i am quite a lonely person and don't make friends easily, so an animal is what i need. i did have two cats, and i bonded with one especially then it got givent to my friend, for personal reasons.

but yes, i want this animal - and i want it like hell!


Nov 02, 2009
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my opion
by: kathy

I recently became interested in the Savannah cat breed. In fact I put a deposit on a Savannah kitten. The couple that Im buying the kitten from have a Serval in their possession. They explained to me that he was only semi-tame until he reached about 7 months at which time he bacame sexually mature. He requires a very large enclosure since he is a very large cat. They have him enclosed in a very large indoor - outdoor run that is completly enclosed, with a tree branch for climbing. They didnt say anything about his litter habits. Their garage has been converted into an indoor outdoor cattery. The woman did tell me that they feed him raw chicken breasts which are very costly to buy. My suggestion is that you do a lot more research before making a decision to get a wild animal. Like Michael said they are a wild animal. Another suggestion would be to get one at a very young age and maybe finish off feeding it so it bonds better with you. I had a friend that kept ferrets as pets and she always got them before their eyes opened that way they bonded with her. I would think twice before adopting a cat with this kind of responsibility. Look at the Savannah Breed as an alternative. Our kitten exhibits a lot of the wild characteristics and she is an F-6. She swatted at me when I went to pick her up. She is very food aggresive and gets excited when she plays and acts like a little tiger. She growls when she dont get her own way. These are just some of the behaviors that we have observed in the few visits that we have had with her because she is not ready to leave her mommy. The couple also had their serval de-clawed for safety purposes because they said he is a very strong animal. Please research this animal a lot more before you make any decisions.


Oct 31, 2009
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Keeping a Serval
by: C. Kennie

You should also inquire how much food a Serval will eat per day. You need to know if it can eat cat kibble, canned food or does it need raw meat, fish, etc, and how much.

You need to know if the vet you will use is aware of how to treat a Serval, and are they willing to. You need to know if the Serval vet costs will be higher.

What will happen if you need to move to a flat which will not allow the Serval to live in the building. If your Serval gets attached to you, will it be aggressive with any children you may have, or with your visitors, or other animals.

What wild behaviour will this cat display? How much urine output will it have. Will it spray to mark it's territory? Where will it end up if you find that you can no longer keep it?


Oct 31, 2009
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Are you prepared to commit 25 years to this?
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Lauren. My personal view is that wild animals do not belong in private homes, but I respect that others see things differently. That said, before moving on you have to very seriously consider the time factor.

When you commit yourself to keeping an animal, your commit yourself for the duration of it's life. A serval has a life expectancy of 20-25 years in captivity. That's a very long time - actually until you're in your mid-thirties.

That time span covers the years when most people get an education, get a job, move away from home, marry and have children. And the serval must be fitted in with these changing circumstances.

It's your serval, so you can't rely on anybody else to take care of it, if for whatever reason you can't do it anymore - and that includes your parents. Finding somebody willing to adopt a wild animal (although tamed) will surely be more difficult, than finding a new home for a domestic cat.

If you are prepared to make that commitment, then go ahead as Michael has advised, but if you're the least in doubt, then wait a while and think things over once more. Good luck whatever you choose.


Oct 31, 2009
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Legal Stuff
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Hi Lauren, I have searched my own website! And I have found an article I wrote a little while ago about keeping wild cat hybrids and wild cats in the UK.

Keeping Wildcat Hybrids in the UK

Of course the serval is a pure wildcat not a wild cat hybrid. To keep a serval in the UK on my reading of the law, you will need a license from the local authority.

I would advise that you telephone your local authority before you do anything else and talk to the right person there. You might even go down to the offices and discuss the matter with them to get some real detail.

You might also like to read this article: Keeping Wild Cats, which touches on keeping servals in the USA. The same basic rules and problems apply of course.

And also this post: Serval Cat Escapes might help. You may have read them already. If they haven't put you off then you should proceed to the more detailed questions but first you should know what it takes to get a license.

I am a member of the Feline Conservation Federation (FCF) and I don't think that they will mind me mentioning a series of emails going around their Yahoo Group in which one member asks another about how to stop her/his serval biting. Various methods were advised with little success on the face of it. I am not saying all servals bite. I have held and met a serval at A1 Savannahs in the USA and he was fantastic but he was very well socialised (conditioned to accept people and other animals) but that will not always be the case with other breeders. See Tame and Socialised Serval Cat.

This is the beautifully socialised cat that I am talking about. I suspect you have already seen the video but other visitors might not have:

More to come.......Michael


Oct 31, 2009
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Hi Lauren
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Thanks for your post on "Interested in getting a serval". I'll be answering your questions over time. I will also ask the people at the Feline Conservation Federation to assist with advice. They are though based in the USA.

You ask good questions. One you have not asked, however, is the question of licenses. As the serval is a wild cat there are inherent dangers both for the cat and potentially for people and other animals.

To ensure that people know how to keep a medium sized wild cat the government in the UK run checks etc and grant a license if appropriate.

That is probably the first thing to check out. I'll get back to this page and answer that question fully soon.

In the USA, for example, some states prohibit the keeping of exotic species of animal while other states take a more relaxed view.



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