Wild At Heart: The Truth About Serval Cats And Savannahs

In the wild, the heart of a Serval cat beats with the rhythm of Africa, embodying the untamed spirit of the savannah. Similarly, the allure of the Savannah cat, a crossbreed between a domestic feline and a Serval, captivates many with its exotic and majestic appearance. However, it is imperative to uncover the truth behind these wild at heart felines before considering them as pets.

Serval cats, with their lithe bodies, elongated limbs, and prominent ears, are undeniably captivating creatures. Yet, their natural instincts for hunting and their need for ample space make them unsuitable for small abodes.

On the other hand, Savannah cats, bred to exhibit less aggression, offer a more sociable demeanor. Nonetheless, the specific requirements and considerations for owning these wild-inspired companions must be carefully evaluated.

This article will delve into the fascinating facts about Serval cats, uncover the defining characteristics of Savannah cats, and shed light on the essential factors to ponder before welcoming these untamed souls into our homes.

Facts about Serval Cats

Serval cats, being medium-sized wild cats native to Africa, have gained popularity as pets in North America and Europe despite not being domesticated animals bred over generations to live peacefully with humans.

Servals are known for their distinctive size and habitat. They are tall and slender, with long legs and large ears. The largest servals can weigh up to 40 pounds.

In their natural habitat, servals inhabit grasslands, savannas, and wetland areas. However, it is important to note that servals are not suited for small living spaces as they require plenty of room to roam and explore. Due to their wild nature, servals have specific needs and can become restless and destructive if kept in confined environments. Therefore, providing a large outdoor enclosure is crucial for their well-being.

Characteristics of Savannah Cats

Characteristics of Savannah cats include their larger size compared to most domestic cats, their long legs and large ears, and their spotted or striped coat.

Savannah cats are a crossbreed between a domestic cat and a serval, resulting in their unique appearance.

Despite their resemblance to servals, Savannah cats have been bred to be less aggressive and more sociable towards humans. However, their behavior and temperament can vary based on their breeding history and individual personality.

Some Savannah cats may be sociable and pleasant with new people and other pets, while others may be more cautious or aggressive.

It is important to note that although they have been bred for domestication, Savannah cats are still not fully domesticated and have specific needs that must be met. Owners must provide them with ample space and attention, as well as an escape-proof enclosure to ensure their safety and the safety of other animals.

Considerations for Ownership

One important consideration for potential owners is the level of commitment required to meet the specific needs of these unique feline companions.

Both serval cats and Savannah cats have their pros and cons when it comes to ownership. On one hand, servals are wild animals and their instincts to hunt and kill can pose a danger to small children and other pets. They also require a large outdoor enclosure and cannot be litter box trained.

On the other hand, Savannah cats, being a crossbreed, offer some of the characteristics of servals with a more domesticated temperament. They can be taught to walk on a leash and retrieve things, and some are sociable and pleasant with new people and other pets.

However, it’s important to note that both servals and Savannah cats have legal requirements that potential owners need to be aware of, as not all jurisdictions allow ownership of these exotic pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are serval cats legal to own as pets?

Serval cats are not legal to own as pets in many countries, including the United States. This is due to concerns about the welfare of the cats and the potential threats they pose to native wildlife. Serval cat breeding is regulated to ensure conservation efforts are prioritized.

Can serval cats be trained to do tricks or obey commands?

Serval cats can be trained to some extent, including agility training, but their wild nature makes it challenging to fully train them. Savannah cats, on the other hand, can be taught commands and tricks more easily due to their domesticated nature.

How long do serval cats live in captivity?

The lifespan of serval cats in captivity can range from 12 to 20 years. Serval cat behavior is influenced by their wild nature, which includes hunting instincts and a need for ample space to roam and explore.

Do serval cats require a special diet?

Serval cats have special diet requirements due to their wild nature. They need a diet rich in meat, including whole prey items, to meet their nutritional needs. Meeting these requirements is crucial for their health and well-being.

Are Savannah cats hypoallergenic?

Savannah cats are not hypoallergenic. While they may produce fewer allergens than some other breeds, they still have the potential to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It is important to consider individual allergies when choosing a pet.


In conclusion, Serval cats and Savannahs are captivating wild cat breeds with distinct characteristics.

Serval cats, originating from Africa, possess a tall and slender build, long legs, and large ears. Their wild nature, need for ample space, and instinct to hunt make them unsuitable for small homes and potentially hazardous to children and other pets.

On the other hand, Savannah cats, a crossbreed of domestic cats and Servals, are larger in size and have been selectively bred to be less aggressive. While they still require space and attention, they can exhibit sociable behavior towards new people and other animals.

When considering these exotic feline companions, it is crucial to acknowledge their specific needs and requirements.

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