How many cats and which species?

This is a bit of fun (mainly).  Light-heartedness after some heavyish stuff. There is a photo on Facebook taken by the Savannah Cat Shoppe called “Serval Cat’s photo” meaning a photo of serval cats. It is also captioned “All seven”. It may have been taken with a mobile phone. It is an interesting photo.

Initially, I thought that there were two caracals in the photo as well. Then I noticed that there were three caracals.

Then I noticed that there were six servals. But there may be a seventh. I am not sure. I can’t therefore agree with the photographer who might be the owner of the Savannah Cat Shoppe. It is not clear how the photographer had decided that he/she had photographed 7 servals. Not criticism intended – just a bit fun.

The picture could be “Three caracals and seven servals (maybe)!”

Here is the picture and my scribbles.

How many cats and what species?
How many cats and what species?
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

There are one or two lingering questions. What are these wild cats doing all bunched up in a conservatory? The picture is interesting, for sure, but it is a bit odd. The cats look sheepish and anxious or am I misjudging the cats’ demeanour?

They are medium sized wild cat species. Both are quite amenable to being domesticated or being around people. The caracal has been used to hunt with people in Asia and the serval is frequently domesticated and treated as a pet in American homes. There are downsides to that arrangement (a) servals are declawed when domesticated because they are strong cats and (b) they spray everywhere, we are told. If you like cat pee inside the home, fine, otherwise don’t bother and (c) servals can escape and that causes all kinds of problems (mainly for the cat).

Associated: Living with servals and caracals.

24 thoughts on “How many cats and which species?”

  1. I like this topic, combining Savannahs, Servals, Caracals, photo-imaging and photography in one. Okay, so here’s why I believed there to be only seven, rather than the 3 Caracals and 6/7 Servals. I spent some time looking at SavannahCatShoppe’s images on FB and their homesite. She has a lot of distorted? pictures up, such as this one. I think it could be blamed on her tiny, poor lens and one Serval and Caracal being chubby. (?) The cat ontop of the sink in this pic can also fool the eye if you stare for a few seconds. …can we get a higher pixellation? 😉

    • Well we are guessing a bit but I don’t believe either images are photoshopped. The image in the comment you refer to is (a) the cat on top is a serval and (b) the cat in the sink is probably and F1 or F2 Savannah cat (the offspring of the serval in the image). That is my guess.

      I don’t think these people are able to photoshop. It is not easy to do photo-editing and it can take a lot of time.

      • Michael, I was jumping round a bit there btwn jpegs in my comment, sorry. Was referring to the two in the article pic “Serval Cat’s Photo” being a bit chubby. What looks like two different bodies[upper right Caracal(s) and and lower second from far-right Serval(s). Well, now I’m with you, one extra Caracal bod, and one more Serval getting squished.
        I figured the two in the sink pic were Savannah and Serval in profile (or F1, judging by his somewhat-muted? ocelli and elegant black nose and coat). Anyway, the depth of field seems to be a bit screwy in both photos, do you agree? I’ve got to go pack now–guess I’ve put it off long enough! My isolating means that I need to immerse myself with old buddies. 😉

  2. Okay, this IS fun. Michael? Got to question this bit: I can’t therefore agree with the photographer who might be the owner of the Savannah Cat Shoppe. -Michael

    Might be? Well then, who IS the owner of the Savannah Cat Shoppe? 😉

    At first, I thought Marc’s right about that. Two “bodies” aren’t quite right. But after studying it with my readers on, and after comparing to various googleimages of caracals’ frontquarters, I’m thinking that the photographer knows what she’s talking about (even though, two Caracals + five Servals= 7 –the Servals outnumber, so they get the title!).

    As for the demeanor, it looks they’d been standing there alert for some time, waiting to be fed, and then slowly gave up on the prospect, knowing what their human is like w/ that cellphone camera. 😉

  3. I think Marc may be right. Some or all of it looks photoshopped.
    I saw a savannah once 2 years ago. A couple had him in their shopping cart at Petsmart.
    He was stunning and had a “presence”. I assumed that the almost growls he emitted were normal. He was as docile as a lamb and his people were very kind and didn’t mind answering questions.
    It was interesting to watch how many people looked frightened of him and wouldn’t go near.
    I loved it.

  4. They all look to me as if the light is hurting their eyes, or are they naturally squinty? I’ve never seen one in real life, nor do I want to, wild cats belong in the wild, not being interbred to sell for profit 🙁 and live in captivity.

  5. The amazing thing is that they look a lot more sedate than my Turkish cats who are always full of beans and up to something. It’s really hard to get my cats to stay still long enough for good single shots never mind all together. LOL.

    • Yes, I have a met servals close up and I’d say these cats are passive because they are anxious, unsure. They are being defensive. A confident cat is more active. A timid cat is more passive. Despite being impressive wild cats they are out of their environment.

  6. The serval is spotted and the caracal only has some faint spots on it’s underside and inside the legs. There appear to be 3 cats in the photo with plain solid coats which could be caracals. Also the caracal has those wonderful long ear spikes whereas the serval does not. Both species attain about the same adult size, up to 20kg in males.
    I can’t understand what they are doing all grouped together in a domestic situation.


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