Categories: Serval

Do servals purr?

Serval Morpheus hissing at me in his cage in Oklahoma 2008. Photo: Michael

Do servals purr? Yes, they do purr. But don’t expect a purr that sounds exactly like the purr of a domestic cat. It is deeper and richer. Other sounds that they make are: growl, hiss, wah wah call and “a curious ‘swallowed meow’ that seems to signify friendly recognition”. The serval also has a high-pitched chirp according to Wikipedia.


  • Peters G. 1981. Das schnurren de katzen (Felidae). Saugetierk. Mitt 40: 30-37
  • Peters G. 1984. On the structure of friendly close range vocalisations in terrestrial carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae). Z. Saugetierk. 49: 157-182.
  • Peters G., and M.H. Hast. 1994. Hyoid structure, laryngeal anatomy, and vocalisation in felids (Mammalia: Carnviora: Felidae. Z. Saugetierk. 59: 87-104.
  • Peters G. 1987. Accoustic communication in the genus lynx (Mammalia: Felidae): Comparative survey and phylogenetic interpretation. Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 38: 315-330
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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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