Serval cat: characteristics

Serval cat, fascinating feline certainly not among the most common but undoubtedly among the most mysterious and beautiful. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information about it, about its origins and also about its current distribution. As a good feline he takes care to let us have news of him and he stays on top of him. The Serval Cat is part of that collection of  rare cats to be discovered.

Serval cat

It is also called African Leopard and is a feline belonging to the Felidae family. Compared to his other “colleagues” he is of medium size and among the felines most similar to him, not only in the outward appearance, there is the Caracal.

This African ocelot of ours is about 85 cm long and has a very slender body, like a slender and agile animal.

As for the size, it is necessary to consider separately the males and females, the former weigh about 10-18 kg, the females range from 7 to 12 kg. Morphologically, however, they are similar, they have very close, elongated and oval ears and a nice coat, one of their most fascinating characteristics, with various and sometimes unpredictable colors.

Serval cat: price

Buying a Serval cat is not the easiest thing to do and not even very logical being, as we will see, a feline who loves to live in nature and has no intention of being a sweet and good house cat. However, the Savannah cat derives from the Serval cat, a domestic breed but still very rare, so much so that a specimen can cost as much as 21,000 USD.

Our Serval, on the other hand, stays in the savannah, near water sources because it needs to drink a lot. To survive, it eats small rodents, small antelopes, birds, large insects, such as locusts. The night is his active hunting moment, he wanders around the savannah ready to leap at long distances to grab the victim, capture it, kill it and tear it to pieces.

Serval cat: domestic

It has very little domesticity, but we find this cat in most of Africa, even in areas very close to the north of the Sahara desert. Among the dangers that threaten this species there are leopards that hunt them, but man remains the main enemy. The reason we are going to kill this beautiful animal is, as you already suspect, the beautiful fur. By doing so, we have already caused the Serval to disappear throughout the southwestern area of ​​South Africa.

In spite of what has been said, about the possibility of keeping the Serval at home, some Americans do, especially in the United States. In our part of Italy, the detention of this and all animals taken in the wild or in captivity, which may represent a danger to others, is illegal and punishable by imprisonment.

Serval and Savannah cat

If we love the Serval we can console ourselves by adopting the Savannah Cat, born from the crosses made in the past and not well reconstructed, between male Servals and females of domestic breeds. Always making crossings between felines, Servical and Caraval were obtained, both, as can be guessed from the name, sprouting by crossing Serval and Caracal. They are two distinct hybrids.

Black Serval cat

There is not a single color or a single type of coat that characterizes this African feline, it can have brown and orange fur and large black spots arranged asymmetrically, others can have much smaller spots. There are even some specimens that sport entirely black coats, they are the least common and perhaps the most fascinating, it is often difficult to understand that they are “relatives” of the more common Servals with large black spotted fur.

In 2017, therefore recently, there was a sighting of black Serval, a naturalist photographer therefore always on the hunt for rarities to photograph. A photographic tour in Lualenyi Camp in Kenya, inside the private reserve near Tsavo National Park, when “a black cat” crossed his road. He was no ordinary black cat and it was not at all unfortunate that he did because he was a rare specimen and for the photographer it was clearly a great adventure.

A Serval of this color is rare and is the result of a genetic mutation, we speak of a melanistic animal. In this black cat as well as in the black panther and other similar felines with these characteristics, there are genes with a mutation that leads to a predominance of dark pigments over light ones.

To date there are less than a dozen sightings of black Serval and always between Kenya and Tanzania. As for the reason for this characteristic, there are those who hypothesize that it is a way of the animal to camouflage itself, to camouflage itself in the dark, when hunting at night or in poorly lit environments. It is only a hypothesis to be tested but it remains true that this feline wanders in search of prey especially in the moonlight.

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