THE AFRICAN SERVAL – Leptailurus serval

Servals and their domestic hybrid cousins, the Savannah Cat, are still commonly owned in the United States. As kittens they are similar to domestic cats in size and behavior, but as they mature the wild and highly active nature develops. These cats can leap straight up to most household ceilings putting items at all levels accessible. They naturally stun and kill their prey by violently striking and stunning it with their front paws. Servals do not like to be cuddled and have razor sharp teeth. Their exceptional hearing leads them to startle and spook at loud or unexpected noises. Currently Servals and hybrid domestic cats like Savannah Cats are one of the most requested rehome / rescue cats once they have outgrown “cute” and reach maturity.

Meet Our Servals

OZZY – Also known as “THE BOSS”

Ozzy, a young African Serval, arrived in December 2020 and has already won the hearts of our crew. Ozzy’s family loves him very much, but due to regulations regarding ownership of Serval cats they knew it was better to place him with us than to risk having him taken and euthanized due to restrictions on owning a Serval. We appreciate their putting Ozzy’s future and best interests ahead of their love of having him with their family and entrusting him to Cat Tales for his forever home. We wish to thank them also for their generous donation to our year end fundraiser, which helped to fund setting Ozzy up in his new forever home. Born April 7, 2019.


Ginger is a young female Serval who came to Cat Tales when her former owner could no longer keep her. She was moving to an area where ownership of exotic cats is illegal. Ginger was released to us for care with Ozzy. Ginger and Ozzy are not compatible as Ozzy attempted to kill Ginger when she was a kitten and they both remember the trauma. Along with injuries sustained in the attack, Ginger was very sick upon arrival and required months of intensive care to maintain quality health. Ginger has grown into a beautiful, typically hissy Serval. Her pink nose indicates she may have domestic cat in her genetics. Born May 23, 2020.

Habitat: Africa, mainly grasslands, marshy areas, and riverine;
Lifespan: In the Wild 10-20 years; In Captivity 15-20 years;
Diet: Carnivore;
Status: Least concern;

Interesting and little-known facts about servals:

Servals are medium-sized wild cats that live in the grasslands and savannas of Africa. They are known for their distinctive long legs, large ears, and spotted fur.

They are excellent hunters and can leap up to 10 feet in the air to catch birds in flight.

Servals are also great swimmers and are known to catch fish and other aquatic prey.

They have a unique hunting technique where they use their large ears to locate prey, then leap into the air and pounce on it with their front paws.

Servals are solitary animals and only come together to mate.

They are also very vocal and can make a variety of sounds including hisses, growls, and meows.

Myths and Misconceptions:

Myth: Servals are exotic pets that make good house pets. 

Fact: Servals are wild animals and are not suitable as pets. They require a specialized diet, housing, and care that is beyond the capabilities of most people.

Myth: Servals are dangerous to humans. 

Fact: Servals are generally shy and avoid humans. However, like all wild animals, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

Myth: Servals are a threat to livestock.

 Fact: While servals may occasionally prey on domestic animals, they primarily hunt small rodents and birds.

Myth: Servals are endangered. 

Fact: While servals are not currently considered endangered, they are threatened by habitat loss and hunting for their fur.

Myth: Servals are closely related to domestic cats. 

Fact: While servals belong to the same family (Felidae) as domestic cats, they are a distinct species with their own unique characteristics and behaviors.

Follow this link for more about Servals

Welcome to Cat Tales Wildlife Center!
  1. About Us
  2. How You Can Help the Animals
  3. Black Bears
  4. Bobcats
  5. Canada Lynx
  6. Coyotes
  7. Red Fox
  8. Arctic Fox
  9. Northern Gray Fox
  10. Pumas - aka Cougar. Mountain Lion
  11. Raccoons
  12. Servals
  13. Bengal Tigers
  14. Siberian Tigers
  15. White Tigers
  16. Wolfdog Hybrids