Pet-Owner’s Guide to Serval Cats

Serval cats, though beautiful and exotic, can be a source of concern for some people. After all, they are wild cats with sharp teeth and powerful jaws. So, how dangerous are servals?

Servals are large cats native to Africa and the Middle East. They have a reputation for being fierce hunters, but this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily dangerous to humans. Despite ther impressive bite force of 172 Newtons—which is significantly higher than that of a domestic cat (56 Newtons)—servals are generally not considered to be a threat to people. However, like any other animal, it is important to remember that servals can become aggressive if provoked or threatened.

The most common concerns regarding serval cats involve their hunting instincts. Although these cats don’t pose a threat to humans, they may be dangerous to other small pets in the household, such as rodents, birds, and fish. It’s important to remember that even domesticated cats retain their natural hunting instincts so it’s best to keep servals away from these animals just in case.

Another potential risk associated with serval cats is that they may hiss when excited or angry. While hissing isn’t necessarily an indication of aggression or danger, it can be unsettling if you’re not accustomed to it—especially if you’ve never interacted with a wild animal before! As such, it’s important to remember that although servals aren’t usually considered dangerous animals, they should still be treated with respect and caution at all times.

Overall, serval cats can make wonderful companions for those who are willing and able to provide them with the proper care and attention needed for any pet—wild or otherwise! However, it’s important to remember that although these animals may not pose a physical danger to humans when properly cared for and respected—they still possess wild instincts whih should always be taken into consideration whenever interacting with them.

The Dangers of Keeping a Serval as a Pet

Servals are dangerous because they have a significantly higher bite force than feral cats, which gives them the ability to take down larger prey. This increased strength and hunting prowess combined with their naturally fearless temperament means that they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous in close quarters if they feel threatened or provoked. While servals tend to avoid people, if a serval is not socialized properly or feels threatened, it may attack and cause serious injury. For this reason, it is important for those who own servals to ensure that their pet is socialized and trained appropriately.

are serval cats dangerous

Can Serval Cats Be Kept as Pets?

Yes, you can have a serval cat as a pet in some states in the US. However, it is important to check your local state laws prior to obtaining one, as they are not legal everywhere. In some states they are completely illegal to own while in other states such as South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Nevada, Wisconsin and Idaho you will be able to own one without needing a license. In other states you may need to obtain a license before owning a serval cat.

Are Savannah Cats a Threat to Humans?

No, Savannah cats are not considered dangerous to humans. While these cats are descendants of wild African servals, generations of selective breeding have resulted in a friendly and confident pet cat that can be trusted around people. They are highly intelligent and curious creatures who form strong bonds with their owners, which makes them excellent family pets. With proper training and socialization they can be very confident and affectionate companions. Although they do retain some of the hunting instincts of their ancestors, Savannah cats typically don’t show aggression towards humans and are generally more likely to become frightened than aggressive when faced with unfamiliar people or situations.

The Hissing Habits of Serval Cats

Serval cats are always hissing because it is a natural behavior for them. They use their hisses to communicate with each other and with their environment. Hissing is a way for servals to express emotions such as excitement, anger, or fear. They may also hiss when they feel threatened or when an unfamiliar animal enters their territory. Additionally, servals may hiss when they are hunting or just playing, as it is a way of practicing their predatory skills.

Are Servals Suitable as House Pets?

Servals are wild cats native to Africa and are not recommended as house pets. They are not easily house-trained, and their nutritional and veterinary needs in captivity can be difficult to meet. Without proper care, their welfare suffers and they may mark their territory with urine inside the home. For these reasons, servals are generally not suitable for a domestic environment.

are serval cats dangerous

Are Servals Gentle Pets?

No, servals are not particularly gentle. They are large cats, weighing up to 40 pounds and have a wild temperament. They can be very aloof and do not typically enjoy being stroked or cuddled. Therefore, they may not be suitable for homes with children or other pets.

Do Servals Use Litter Boxes?

Servals can use litter boxes, but it is not always a given that they will take to them. It is important to provide a large enough litter box for the serval, as these cats are larger than house cats and need more space. Additionally, it is best to provide several different types of litter and allow the serval to explore and find what works best for them. Patience and consistency are key when introducing a serval to using a litter box, and it may take time before they become accustomed to it.

Has a Serval Cat Attacked a Human?

Yes, a serval cat has attacked a human before. In 2019, Copper, a four-year-old serval at a zoo in Indiana, USA, attacked a young boy during an educational interaction. The boy sustained scratches to his head as a result of the attack. It is important to remember that wild animals can be unpredictable and dangerous even when they are in captivity and being interacted with by humans. It is important to always remain vigilant and respect the power of thee animals regardless of how calm they may seem.

Lifespan of a Serval Cat

The average lifespan of a serval cat is around 19 years. Servals are wild cats that typically stand 21-24 inches at teir shoulders and weigh in at 20-40 pounds. They have proportionally longer legs than other cats, allowing them to jump up to 3 meters in the air. With quality care and regular veterinary checkups, some servals may live even longer than 19 years.

The Ability of Savannah Cats to Protect Their Owners

Yes, a Savannah cat can protect you. While their fierce loyalty to their owners means they will often be wary of strangers, if they feel that their owner is threatened or in danger, they will certainly step up to defend them. This protective behavior is instinctual and is common amng all cats, though Savannahs may be particularly inclined due to their strong attachment to their owners. It is important to start socializing your Savannah cat with other animals and people from a young age so it can learn to distinguish between friends and foes.

The Cost of Owning a Serval

Servals are a wild African cat species knwn for their distinct spotted fur, tall ears and long legs. They can grow to be up to two feet tall and weigh up to 40 pounds. As such, they are a highly sought-after pet due to their exotic look and wild characteristics.

The cost of purchasing a Serval can vary based on the age and gender of the cat, as well as the breeder or rescue organization you purchase it from. Generally speaking, a Serval kitten (F1 generation) can cost anywhere from $3000 to $7000 USD. If you’re looking for an older Serval (F3 or F4), they typically range between $3000 and $5000 USD. Prices may also vary depending on the location of the breeder or rescue organization, so it is important to do your research when looking for a Serval.

In addition to the cost of purchasing the cat itself, there are other factors that may increase the overall cost such as transportation fees, spay/neuter costs, vaccinations and other health checks that must be done before bringing your new pet home. It is important to factor in all these costs when considering adopting a Serval so that you know exactly what you are getting into financially before taking on this commitment.

Creating a Savannah Cat Through Breeding Two Cats

The Savannah Cat breed is a hybrid of a domestic cat and an African Serval. The first generation of Savannahs was the result of breeding a domestic cat with an African Serval. This union produced kittens that had the size of a Serval but the tameness and friendliness of a domestic cat. Since then, Savannah Cats have been bred through generations to maintain this desirable combination. The Savannah Cat is created when two cats from diffeent breeds are bred together, usually an F1 (first generation) cat which is the result of mating a serval and domestic cat, or an F2 (second generation) which is the result of mating two F1 cats together.

Can a Serval Mate with a Cat?

Yes, a serval can mate with a cat. This process is called hybridization and it generally involves the crossbreeding of a serval, which is an African wildcat, with a domestic cat. The outcome of this mating will produce offspring that have characteristics from both parent species. For example, the Savannah cat breed has a spotted coat, tall legs, and ears that are longer than tose of most domestic cats. In many cases, these hybrids will also inherit the larger size and greater intelligence of the serval parent. It is important to note that hybridization should only be done by experienced professionals in order to ensure the safety of both the cats involved and their potential offspring.

Do Servals Make Purring Sounds?

Yes, servals do purr. Like cats, they use the same vocal cords and muscles to create a sound that is similar to a purr. Serval purrs are usually quieter than those of domestic cats, but they can still be heard if you listen closely.

Do Pet Servals Exhibit Spraying Behavior?

Yes, pet servals can and do spray. Both male and female servals are known to spray, even after they have been spayed or neutered. Spraying is a normal behavior for this species, as it is used to mark territory and communicate with othr servals. It is important to be aware of this behavior if you are considering adopting a serval as a pet.


In conclusion, serval cats are not considered dangerous to humans. However, teir strong hunting instincts mean that they can pose a risk to smaller pets in the household, such as rodents, birds, and fish. While servals may hiss when excited or angry, this is a normal behavior and is not a sign of aggression. Ultimately, it is important to note that servals require specialized care and are not legal everywhere in the United States. Therefore, it is essential to research local laws before considering owning a serval cat.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.