Serval

Diet

Ideally, you will need to replicate the wild diet. That requires study and care. Raw meat, poultry and fish must be the body of the diet. Breeders would probably suggest supplements such as vitamins and calcium. See Raw Food Diet.

Veterinary requirements

It is likely that any vet can deal with this wildcat but some vets will be better equipped than others. Do you know who they are? I would check this out thoroughly beforehand.

Serval cat called Serena
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

She is tame and her name is Serena

The Ears

If you click on the thumbnail photograph second from the left at the top of this page you will see in large format the interesting ear pattern on the back of the ears. There must be a reason for such a pronounced white marking, but what is it? An aggressive and hostile cat will display a special ear posture; the ears are rotated and slightly flattened so that they become visible from the front.

The position is half way between alert and defensive (flattened). This is a signal to another animal that the cat is ready to attack. The half flattened position says that you don’t frighten me such that my ears are totally flattened (defensive position to protect the ears). This special ear position also allows this wild cat to quickly fully flatten her ears if the opponent decides to attack and a fight ensues.

See also a Caracals Can Communicate With Their Ears

Declawing

There will be a huge desire to declaw as a this cat has big sharp claws. But declawing is in my opinion inherently wrong and can never be justified. It is a serious procedure that may well damage the cat emotionally. You will be adopting a wild cat and then taking away from the cat a very substantial part of his “being” and psyche.

Some breeders will have the operation done automatically; shame on them. Do you want to adopt a wild cat or not? This website has some articles on the subject and there are many on the internet. All right minded people say, “don’t do it”. See Declawing Cats.

A Story 

This is an interesting story because it concerns a court case of November 12th 1923 in which a race horse trainer sued a person who had taken a tamed Serval into a central London restaurant (the West-End), the Cafe Royal, which is very near Piccadilly Circus. This is right in the middle of London.

The race horse trainer had been allegedly bitten by the Serval as he sat down in the restaurant. He sought damages and the legal action threw up some interesting “evidence” about the domestication of this wild cat. It is also interesting to note how long ago that Servals were considered to be suitable as a domestic cat, at least by some people.

The evidence given concerned whether such a cat could be truly tamed. It was suggested that the wildness in this cat could not be completely “eradicated”. When they were young things were alright. The cat concerned was given to the “owner” in South Africa when 8 months old (and subsequently imported into England). As the cat became an adult, it was argued, (for the person who was bitten) that their wildness was more likely to be revealed.

A book entitled, “Animal Life in Africa” by a Major J Stephenson-Hamilton had stated that this cat did not lend itself easily to domestication. The food of the Serval was large rats and guinea fowl.

I had thought that the tamed Serval as a domestic cat was an American idea. I was wrong.

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