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New serval at home?

manaci

Savannah Kitten
#1
Hello everyone, we are looking to buy a new serval *kitten. I know this is a savannah chat but since they hve similar genetics I thought you guys could help,

We live in a 200 squared netter apartment. Is it ok to keep him as indoor cat? I hve read that if raised from young they act lie refuse cats just with the need of more exercise.
I hve a friend who owns lions and tigers (licensed private breeder) he ha over 16 hectareas and the lion himself. Has over 1000 sq meters. And so for tigers. He has servals and told me he had them indoor until he got his presa canary dogs and they started fighting, he put them in the garden. But he told me it ok to have them indoor. As he had them. He said they act like cats just a bit bigger. Nevertheless I wanted your advise.

What do you guys think? Can anyone give some advise?


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admin

Paige
Staff member
#4
Hi Manaci...welcome!!! And thank you for asking in advance before actually getting your serval...

We do have several savannah breeders on here who also own servals and I'm sure they will jump in...my understanding from friends who own servals is that they are good in the house for the first year or so and then not so much...I'm assuming you will have your serval spayed/neutered?

No matter what your friend says, I am of the opinion that they need room to play and jump and roam and be the cat they are and I do not think they can do so in a house that is only 2000 sq ft...

Ultimately, it will be your decision to make...but please remember that owning a serval is a lifetime commitment, so the decisions YOU make will affect this cat for the rest of its life...
 
#5
Hello Manaci,

I applaud you for doing some research and reaching out for answers to your questions. Servals are wonderful animals and do make awesome pets, but I am not so sure they would live happily ever after in your apartment. They are great for most of the first year and then, even though they may be spayed and/or neutered, they still become different. Almost all Servals, male or female will mark their territory including you! They will not poop or pee where you want them to. They will go potty where they feel like it. This could be a major issue. They also become very attached to whomever is raising them, and sometimes their attachment is just one person. You can pretty much forget about ever going on a vacation because they will not let anyone but you take care of them. They can do severe damage to your home and furnishings. There is almost always an age when they must go out to a nice outside enclosure, they do enjoy that, and so will you. Does not mean they can never come in, but supervised is OK. It is a major 18 to 20 year committment to own a Serval, or rather, for a Serval to let you own them! Yes, it is awesome, they are truly amazing and incredible animals, but I think I would wait if I were you until you are in a home with a backyard where you can build an enriching enclosure. Hope this helps.
 

manaci

Savannah Kitten
#6
Well. In my country it's legal. And regarding the commitment I have two cats for the past years. And I have had a golden retriever until her death at 13. A mastiff for as Long a his life. And several other pets. What I mean. Is thtas commitment isn't a problem. I just want to make sure that the pet can be fine indoors.


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admin

Paige
Staff member
#8
Well. In my country it's legal. And regarding the commitment I have two cats for the past years. And I have had a golden retriever until her death at 13. A mastiff for as Long a his life. And several other pets. What I mean. Is thtas commitment isn't a problem. I just want to make sure that the pet can be fine indoors.


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Thing is we don't know you and have seen many servals tossed out and abandoned for the reasons sue has outlined

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#9
You are Welcome Manaci. Not knowing you and or your situation makes it hard to figure out what all you must know. If you are not married and plan to do so, and or if you plan on having children, could be another deciding factor. Not that Servals do not get along with children, although not all of them do, but it is something to think about. What if the Serval does not like the girlfriend, wife or children? They can be picky little buggers. These are some of the reasons people end up rehoming their Servals which is so sad, as Servals are so devoted to their owners and DO NOT rehome well at all. They are not like your common cat at all in this respect. They do have a tremendous amount of love to give you, they are trusting you will forever take care of them, and are heartbroken if you leave them. Not something any of us want to see happen to them.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#10
I've attached a flyer we made up some years ago, as it is a subject that does come up regularly...many think that if a Savannah is cool then a Serval as pet would be even better. The commitment to owning an exotic cat is huge, I am sure your friend that owns lions, tigers and servals has given you a good account of the downsides to ownership as well as the benefits.

I have never owned a Serval (and owning a 62.5% F1 is quite enough for me!), but I had heard as the others have commented that for the first couple years yes your serval likely could live in the apartment with you but at some stage he WILL need an outdoor enclosure.

What I know from having owned three F1s is that their intensity and determination is worlds more than later generations of Savannahs...so by extrapolation a Serval is going to be way way more than an F1. That does mean that they could easily love you and hate your partner. My first F1 adores me but for the first five years here she detested my husband. I am fortunate that he understood and persisted. She eventually grew to tolerate him and now I think loves him too...but not everyone wishes to live with a cat that hates them with the passion of an F1 let alone Serval.

I would advise finding forums for exotic cat ownership... a Serval is much MORE in so many ways than a Savannah... hence our advice may not truly work for your situation. I know that there are groups on Yahoogroups and on Facebook for Serval owners... Good luck with your research!
 

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