Owning An Amazing Serval In The UK

by Jayne
(England)

Me and Nala

Me and Nala

I got my amazing serval, whom I named Nala from Hotspot Exotics -- link broken May 2013 here in the UK. They are the only producers of F1 Savannahs in the UK and have Serval cubs too.

For me I would have had to spend 4 to 6 thousand dollars buying one abroad from a respected breeder, with an additional six thousand on quarantine due to UK requirements.

I did see some servals that where a little less, but their parents where related and I didn’t want a cat who’s parents where brother and sister... there are a lot of breeders out there doing this and it can lead to problems down the line.

I spoke to a lot of serval breeders and vets prior to buying my cat, so I did my homework, so to speak.

If I had imported, I would have ended up with a not so friendly cat, costing approx 10 to 12 thousand pounds with the quarantine cost.

My serval came to me from a cub and has been hand reared. She is just amazing and is the sweetest in nature. She uses her litter tray like any domestic and follows me around like a dog.

People who say that servals like being on their own and that they don’t make wonderful pets need to come and see my cat.

She has a large enclosure, which she plays in the day with my other three domestics cats and she lives in the house, in the evening. I have a large house and grounds so she gets plenty of exercise, so she has a good home.

I believe you require the same amount of space for a serval/early generation Savannah as you would for a large dog.

My cat is just a dream come true. In the evening she empties her toy box and brings me all her toys to play. If you’re looking for a serval or early generation Savannah in the UK, Hotspots Exotics have the most wonderful cats.

The lady there does a lot for conservation and is a true animal lover. She only sells one or two servals/Savannahs a year and is very much concerned about the animals welfare and the long term home that you can provide.

She dedicated her life to her dogs and exotic cats, which started when she rescued some servals from Canada at a cost of forty thousand pounds to buy and bring home.

Her cats have a wonderful life and she has put tens of thousands of pounds in her enclosures, so you have the peace of mind of knowing, that you are buying your animal from a person who is respected and is a highly regarded breeder.

Her cats are unrelated, so there are no problems with interbreeding. If you’re looking for a big cat, with a domestic cat personality I can't think of a better place to go.

It has taken me three years to find my serval, who would of been better named "Shadow" given she follows me around so much...Lol However she was worth the wait. I can’t speak highly enough of these amazing cats which to own is such a privilege.

Update: some more photos..

Some pictures of my wonderful serval Nala. She is just the sweetest...

serval
Nala at six weeks of age.

serval
Nala bed hogging at six months.

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Nala at seven months.

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Nala with Charlie my rescue cat.

Jayne

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Owning An Amazing Serval In The UK

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Jan 29, 2012
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serval cubs
by: Anonymous

As far as i am aware the only people that do brother and sister mating is where you brought it from


Jan 29, 2012
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serval cubs
by: Anonymous

As far as i am aware the only people that mate brother and sister is where you brought your cub from


Jan 26, 2012
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dwal laws
by: Anonymous

I am amazed your dwal allows you to keep this cat free range in your house.


Nov 11, 2011
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reply
by: jayne

Dear friend

I have already rescued three domestic cats and I give to four animal charities and three children. I don't force my animals to live in a cage. Nala knows more freedom than most zoo animals. I wonder if you make such comments to people who have dogs. Nala is more dog like than cat and for the record servals where the first breed of cats thought to be domestic as kept by the egyptians. I don't buy into labels and my so called domestic cats have no less or more will than nala. I believe all animals should be treat with respect regardless of man made labels. If yoU have concerns about cats in rescue centres. Do something about it and reframe from directing your issues at me like I am the one to blame.I came on here to share my experience with those that are interested in these amazing cat. I know how happy my cat is and as a result I sleep soundly at night. I do not seek or need your approval dear friend and that's all I am saying

For those that are interested I will look to put some vídeo up


Nov 11, 2011
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Domestic cats homeless
by: TRUE cat lover

For every wild cat forcibly tamed for people with too much money and who selfishly who must 'own' one a domestic cat sits in a shelter cage for lack of a home.

That's all I'm saying.


Nov 11, 2011
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update
by: jayne

Thankyou for your comments. Nala is just amazing and the affection she gives my family and I is way beyond what I thought possible. When she comes in the house in the evening she is just a dream. She still uses her litter tray/baby bath and is really good with the furniture which is more than can be said for one of my domestic lol. She still enjoying getting in the shower and I believe I possibly have the cleanest serval in the UK. Everyday she goes out in her enclosure and has a run similar to a football pitch however once it start to get dark she is chirping to come in. This is not because she is cold as she goes out in ano enclosure which has heat building attached with my other cats. She chirps to come inn as she enjoys being with the family even if it does involve sitting on the coach watching the X factor. Lol

If anyone is looking to get a serval in uk. I whole heartedly recommend wildcat breeders as my girl has the most wonderful temperment


Nov 10, 2011
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adorable 🙂
by: shellie

i've been looking into servals now for the last year and hopefully will be getting one soon, as for the people that say "they should be kept wild ,as they are wild"...what about all these rotweilers biting childrens faces off, that sounds more wild to me yet you don't need a license for dogs.....anyway.......I LOVE YOUR CAT 🙂


Oct 17, 2011
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nala
by: Jayne

Nala is part of a family unit, she lives with two domestic cats and my f1 male savannah. she also enjoys a great relationship with my parents, brother and partner. I am very lucky to have great family support, so should something happen to me, nala will continue to live a secure and happy life. Although i am aware because of our special bond, she would miss me. Cant tell you in words, how loving these amazing cats are. On making eye contact, she has to come over, waging her tail with a head butt for me and kiss. I have provision in place to look after her should something happen, like i do for all my animals. It took me three years to find nala and as with any animale, people should be fully aware of the lifetime committment one makes, prior to taking that responsibility on.


Aug 19, 2011
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Nala is happy for now
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

I read up on Servals after reading your post. Servals obviously have been domesticated in the past. Nala has a better and probably longer life than she would have had in the wild, just as my little ex-feral domestic cat has a better life with me. Also, Nala's not a tiger. She's not going to kill anybody. She could hurt someone, but so could a poorly trained big dog that jumps up on people.

However, the one problem with adopting Servals is that they tend to bond with their first humans only and are not rehomed very easily. Think how often even ordinary domestic cats have difficulty adjusting to new situations! With Servals the situation is worse. They grieve for the loss of the human they bonded with and they end up in a cage forever, because they never again make a good pet for another person. This is food for thought-- if something happened to you, what would be Nala's fate? Has she bonded to anyone on your staff? Is there anyone who could take her and care for her if the unthinkable happened? It's hard enough to consider what would happen to our ordinary pets if we couldn't be there to take care of them! Too many people dump Servals when they realize they got more than they bargained for.

I really don't know if because some people do this it means no one should be able to have a Serval as a pet. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I like to climb the bluffs at Devil's Lake State Park, but every so often someone falls off and dies and the cry goes up that no one should be allowed to climb up there! Does this really mean I shouldn't be allowed to do it, just because some people have been careless? Consider that when someone dies in this situation people who knew the victim suffer grief and loss which could have been prevented. But if we make the bluff trails off limits, people could no longer enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in the state.

Some people do a lousy job of caring for their Servals and dump them, causing grief and pain to the Serval. Does that mean good caretakers shouldn't have them either? I have a hard time saying that. It troubles me that Servals seem to deeply grieve if separated from their human companions, but does that mean we can't have love because there might be grief? Nala loves you. What you have with her is what all humans desire-- a deeper communion and bond with an amazing animal. We're never going to stop humans from seeking that. All we can do is promote good cat caretaking, with a focus on the needs of the animal, not just on our own desires.


Jul 25, 2011
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shes lovely
by: Kathy W

I can see and understand fboth sides to this argument about the wild cats being kept as pets. I too am the owner of a Savannh and 2 bengals. Im glad that you are able to expierence this lovely creature. I look at it this way the cat already was born into captivity and what would have happened to her if you had not adopted her?? She would have ended up in a zoo or someones exotic animald collection or kept by the breeder as breeding stock. You did good to obtain her and give her such a lovely place to live. Too smany of these cats end up being abused because of their temperments. I had a savannah that had to be returned to the breeder because of an aggresive personality. I agree with the hand raising. Dont they hand feed certain birds so they are tame?? yes because I did it. The bird became part of the family and was very bonded to my son who was the caretaker of the bird. I also had a neighbor who loved ferrets and obtained them before the eyes were opened and hand fed them and they were her babies. We exchanged the agreesive savannah for a full sister to the cat and she is a friendly loving cat although she is not a lap cat she is a cuddleler and she is very bonded to me. She follows me everywhere.


Jul 21, 2011
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Anonymous is right
by: Ruth

www.pictures-of-cats.org/the-first-house-cats.html

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Jul 21, 2011
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SAD SAD SAD
by: Kath

I agree Nala is a beautiful cat but her breed belong in the wild and should not have to adapt to living in captivity because some people feel the need to own one.
All cats do adapt we know that because they have no other choice,it is not in their Nature to fight against whatever fate deals out to them,they quietly get on with life as best they can.
I am very unhappy that the trend for owning Servals and other exotic breeds is creeping in to the UK.
Even though there are laws here to protect all animals now there are always people who disregard the law and the animal is condemned to a life with someone who does not know how to care for that breed.
I imagine someone will read this article and think they MUST have one of those cats.
SAD SAD SAD


Jul 21, 2011
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Added Jayne's Photos
by: Michael

I have added Jayne's photos of Nala to this page. The idea of keeping or "owning" a serval or any wild cat in captivity (as she must be) is controversial and will provoke disagreeing comments.

I respect all people's views and am not being critical of Jayne because she obviously cares nicely for Nala and is sensitive to her needs, but my personal view is that we should focus all our thoughts and efforts to preserving the habitat of the wildcats and to leave them in the wild. They belong in the wild. That is their home and where they are in balance with nature and their natural drives and instincts.

Humans keep wildcats to satisfy their desires etc. Ultimately, it is not done for the cat. We should really do more for other creatures on the planet.

Thank, you Jayne, though, for posting your story of Nala. It is appreciated.


Jul 21, 2011
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No sour grapes
by: OJ

I don't see any sour grapes or judgemental comments.
All I see is concern by cat lovers that millions of already domesticated cats are killed because of the lack of homes for cats.
Yet some people just have to have a certain breed of cat born to live wild and free because they want to own one and because they can.
Yes Servals are beautiful and Nala has a good home but that isn't the point.
The point is another cat has died because a wild cat has taken a home it could have had and as more people just MUST have an exotic breed so more domestic cats will die.
It IS sad!


Jul 20, 2011
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Correction
by: Anonymous

The first domestic cat was NOT the Serval. It was the African wild cat, all domestic cats are relatives of this animal. Genetic research and scientific studies prove this.
This is why the most ancient breeds of cat, like the Abyssinian and domestic tabby, highly resemble the African wild cat.

If the Serval was the first domestic cat, the common tabby would be very large and have a golden, rather than a most commonly grey coat. Their coat pattern would be made up of only spots, and there would be no ticking in their coat.


Jul 20, 2011
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Thank you for your comment
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your nice comment, tried to add some pictures to the existing page and cant. So opened another page called "Pictures of my amazing serval Nala"


Jul 20, 2011
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Jayne
by: Ketzel

Your cat is beautiful, and it is non of anyone's business the details. It is a gorgeous story of love and affection. Try to ignore the sour grapes and share more pictures as Nala grows up. Not all of us are as judgmental as some of the below comments. Enjoy your happy home.

k


Jul 20, 2011
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responce
by: Jayne

I dont think i am exceptional. Sorry if my word "own" offends. However it is a legal requirement when having one of these cats to take legal responsability and state ownership under my licence. Zoo will also confirm ownership of their animals. Much the same as when i take Nala to the vets, i have to sign that i am the legal owner and consent to treatment, so she can receive her injections.

I only put a post up on here, as i wanted to share what an exceptional loving and affectionate cat, the serval can be. I appreciate how lucky i am to have nala in my life


Jul 20, 2011
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You are not exceptional
by: Rose

You will find that most of us who come to PoC are vegetarian and do and always have done charity work for people as well as animals.
Maybe we don't all go to India because there are plenty of deserving people in the UK including children who need our help.
I don't read the other replies as saying Nala doesn't have a good home with you,I read them that the writers are sad for all wild animals in captivity.
I'm afraid the heading of your page'Owning an amazing serval in the UK' got my back up too, like someone else said owning is possessing and you have no right to possess any other living creature.


Jul 20, 2011
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responce
by: Jayne


There is nothing SAD about me having Nala. As for me giving money to rescue establishments, what makes you believe that I don’t .... I am self made and i have given more to charities than the average person earns in twenty years, which isn’t bad for a girl that didn’t go to college, university or born with a silver spoon. For those that look at the world in somewhat a unreal light, i would like to point out the following. Servals in the wild on average don’t live beyond five years of age and are constantly prayed upon. I have better facilities than most zoos or sanctuaries. Nala like my horse gets to roam and known freedom, as her enclosure is half the size of a football pitch, with tress and her own waterfall. She lives in a rich environment, with lots of stimulation and companionship. Nala from a baby has mixed with my other cats, but it has always been her choice to come to me, I don’t force my affection on her. Servals, where the first domestic cats, kept by the Egyptians. Many painting feature the serval stood next to a human form, waist height with its pointy ear, serval remains have been found in tombs, as they where considers holy.

I am as big, an animal lover as any. In fact I haven’t eaten meat since I was 7 and I am 35 now, i don’t do things on a whim, I am committed to all my animals well being, for the rest of their natural life. I am against the keeping of animals, when people are unable to offer proper facilities, a stimulating environment and stability. Nala like all my other animals will only ever know kindness and understanding.

As for keeping wild animals as pets, all animals have a right to know freedom and just because we consider a dog, cat or any other animal domestic, doesn’t make it so. We live in a crazy world and it is man that has made it so.....

My home is more of animal sanctuary, than most animal sanctuaries. I have rescued two domestic cats from a shelter, in fact one had been hit by a car (not mine for the record) and I spent over four thousand pounds getting him right as he had a good chance of recovery and was only young. I wonder how many people; who call themselves animal lovers would have done that! In addition I create employment, as I also have two full time staff around to care for my animals, when I am working.

There are lots of terrible things that happen in this world, so please don’t feel sorry for a wonderful cat, that has an amazing loving home. If you have compassion in your heart, go to India like I did and do some work for Unicef and help feed and home starving children who are living on the streets in poverty with no parents. It is within all of us, to make a difference.

Every living thing has a free sprit, in life I believe we find equally free sprits to run with.


Jul 20, 2011
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Sad
by: Ruth

Nala is a beautiful cat and has obviously adapted to domesticity and has as happy a life as is possible out of her natural environment.
But I find it very sad that you talk about 'owning' her, we don't 'own' animals, we are merely their caretakers.
I find it sad too that the lady in Canada who rescued some Servals spoiled her kind act by breeding Servals as pets and encouraging the idea that they are pets when they are not, they are wild animals which should be living in their natural habitat.
People who spend huge amounts of money because they want to 'own' an exotic pet need to think how much good that money would have done helping a Cat Sanctuary and if they wanted another cat, could give a caged unwanted domestic one a home.
It breaks my heart that the 'owning' of wild animals domesticated has reached the UK and corruption will no doubt creep in with people breeding them for profit. They won't all be as careful about homing them to good 'owners' as the lady you got Nala from. Thankfully declawing is illegal in our country or those self same people would probably take their toe ends from them as well as their freedom.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Jul 20, 2011
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Servals - wild cats
by: Barbara

I just find it very sad that these beautiful animals are being treated like domestic cats and that people are paying thousands of pounds or dollars for them, encouraging the breeding in captivity of them while in this very country animal sanctuaries are full to bursting with cats desperate for homes, no there may be no celebrity in owning several older, tatty, abandoned cats but they are every bit as deserving of love and compassion as exotic breeds.

Barbara avatar


Jul 20, 2011
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Owning a Serval in U.K
by: Rudolph.A.furtado

Bizarrely, just yesterday i admired a beautiful photograph of a "Wild Serval" in Kenya, clicked by a photographer and displayed on "www.projectnoah.org" website.The serval is definitely a huge animal and would be difficult to maintain as a pet, besides the exorbitant cost that makes it a 'Millionaires Pet".I personally feel that wild animals shouldn't be kept as domestic pets, besides zoo's as "Inbreeding" is definitely a foregone conclusion in the long run. Its a fact that China and North America have more tigers confined to cages then in the Wild forests of India Most of these tigers are of genetically poor stock having been severely "Inbred", especially in China where they are treated like "Cattle" and are slaughtered for their body parts.
Hope the "Serval" doesn't become "CHEAP", as the years go by, being incessantly bred in captivity by "Exotic Pet Breeders".
As for "Nola", being a first generation "Serval", she is definitely a best of her breed.


Jul 20, 2011
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Nala
by: Maggie

Nala is a very beautiful Serval. You're lucky to be able to experience such an amazing animal. I didn't know that Servals were legal as companion animals in the UK.

However, they're wild cats, thus belong in the wild, not in human homes. 🙂


Jul 19, 2011
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Thank you for your comment
by: Anonymous

Nala is 9 months and she is just amazing. Getting a licence isnt as difficult as you would believe, if you have a reasonable size house and garden, much the same as owning a big dog. You need reasonable funds to make a safe and secure enclosure, When i compare the cost, its much the same as owning a horse as i spent similar money on building my stables as i did on my enclosure. Nala is just the sweetest and so loving. My enclosure is bigger than that required, approx 45 by 25 meters outdoor with a secure heated brick building which is 20 by 20 feet, with lots of play equipment in both. My house is a descent four bed, set in several acres of land. Under my licence i have to have a door on door situation, my side door is fine due to my utility and my porch at the front. Her enclosure has a door on door situation and i have annual visits from the council with the vet to ensure all is well. I had to have nala registered with a vet and have Dangerous Wild animal Insurance in place. This cost is approx £130 pounds a year and does not cover any vets fees of course. As i type this email, she is sat on the office chair at the side of me, her own choice as she has the run of the house. Its funny how much they enjoy your company, as when i get up to move, her head comes up to look and she pauses ready to get up and follow....Lol Keep telling her she is wild, but she just isnt buying it. If i put my face anywhere near her, she closes the distance with a head butt... i only have to look at her and she purrs at me.


Jul 19, 2011
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Thanks
by: Michael

Thanks for the information about adopting a serval in the UK.

How did you go about getting a license from the local authority?

How old is Nala now. When they become adults the serval is quite large (depending on the individual cat).

This makes them more demanding. I would be interested to know how you get on in the future.



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