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The Serval

Updated on February 8, 2013

The Serval As An Exotic Pet!

The Serval may be a member of the cat family, but it is a far cry from being the household cat that we are used too. The Serval is considered an exotic pet.

They are wanted as pets because of their beauty and grace, but the Serval has become extinct in some parts of the world because they are extensively hunted for their fur. While still common in East and West Africa, it has become very rare north of the Sahara and extinct in the South African Cape Province.

In 1986, a Serval and a domestic cat were crossbred. This produced the first Savannah, which is considered one of the largest breeds of house cats. Since then, the breeds number is in excess of 22,000.

The Serval

A medium sized African cat, the Serval is considered to be another animal that is becoming extinct because of hunters who kill them for their fur. They grow to be about 34 inches in length and about 21 inches tall at the shoulder, with a tail that averages 16 inches. The female Serval weighs in at 20 to40 pounds with the male weighing about 10 pounds more. They live about as long as a domestic cat, which is anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

The Serval has a beautiful tawny fur with black spots. This beautiful fur is what makes it so sought after as an exotic pet, and also why it's numbers are dwindling from being hunted,

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The Savannah

The Savannah is a cross between the Serval and a domestic cat. While most cats appear to be independent in nature, a Savannah usually has the loyalty trait of a dog and can be trained to walk on a leash and fetch. They have also been known to follow their owners around like a dog.

A Savannah can be very social-able when raised around other animals and people. However, they can act very timid or hiss and growl at strange people or animals if they are raised in seclusion.

Savannahs are very intelligent and inquisitive. They can teach themselves to open cupboard doors and get into areas that you might consider safe from them. They can jump as high as eight feet and may be found sitting on the refrigerator or on top of a high shelf. While most cats are known to fear water, a Savannah will play in water, even to the point of immersing themselves.

If you are tempted with the thought of having an exotic cat, you might get a Savannah. They are kin to the Serval and you will have less of a chance of having a wild animal turn on you. And, the Serval may survive better in the wild.

The Serval And Savannah Poll

Do you have a Serval or Savannah?

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Your Thoughts On Servals! - Tell us how do you feel about Servals as pets.

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    • Brewsterboy profile image

      Brewsterboy 6 years ago

      @DebonaireExoticA: No, I don't but have an aunt that has two. Beautiful cats!

    • DebonaireExoticA profile image

      DebonaireExoticA 7 years ago

      Hi Love the Lens. Do you keep the Savannah cat or Serval yourself ?.

      Best Wishes