by Michael
(London, UK)

Male Serval Morpheus Hissing - photo copyright Michael Broad - please respect it.

In this video showing the serval hiss, it is my fault that she hissed. I provoked her.

The reason for provoking her was to get her to move away from a homemade cat tease I made and was using. It had sellotape on it and she was chewing it.

Probably falsely, I had visions of her swallowing sellotape. The tease was under her as if she had captured prey. I felt that I had to get her off the tease.

Accordingly, I got close and provoked a response. While I did this I videoed it. Why not? I couldn't pass up the chance of a bit of video material. Serena, this fine serval cat, obliged.

Serena was in fact a very nice serval cat. But there is going to be the serval hiss whatever you do, really. This is because they are wildcats and you are invading their space.

Morpeheus, a close male serval neighbour to Serena also hissed at me a lot, basically for the same reasons. She also had a couple of swipes at me. I deserved it all.

Sometimes I think that servals hiss for reasons other then defensiveness. It is almost a sign of pleasure.

Associated pages:

Why do cats hiss

Cat Sounds

Serval Hiss to Serval

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • We do not hear much about ocelots these days. Are they becoming endangered?
    I do know that a long time ago it was not considered wrong to keep an ocelot or cheetah as a pet, especially the ocelot. What can you tell us about such practices? Many of us, myself included [as a lover of wild cats and feral domestics], love to dream of nurturing a cat bigger than our beloved domestics. My love of all cats sometimes gets the better of me, thinking that I could care for such a wild creature. Probably not. <3

  • Serena has such a long, elegant serval neck. It must have been tempting to put jewels and gold around it. I'm sorry that you had to suffer a bit of a slash, Michael. <3 We all know that is the price we pay when playing or conditioning, or just plain worried. It might be interesting to you to know that I do not put triple antibiotic or any kind of antiseptic on my cat scratches...and eventually they heal just fine. I have never handled a serval though. I cannot imagine the titillation nor overwhelming emotions that could produce. I can only imagine that... It must have been so awesome!

    • I have to say, the serval even when semi-domesticated is quite intimidating. They are large and strong. It was very interesting being very close to them but I don't know how some people can think of them as pets. I am sure that even when domesticated they retain this wildness. They can never be domesticated like a domestic cat unless they were pets for 10,000 years. I have carried a serval like a domestic cat. A smaller one. He was cute but he felt muscular and his fur was coarse.

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