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Leptailurus serval
(Schreber, 1776)
Range Sub-Saharan Africa
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Subfamily Feline
Genus Leptailurus
(Severtzov, 1858)
Species L. serval
Conservation Status
(IUCN 3.1)
Least Concern

The Serval (Leptailurus serval) is a wild cat native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite being a wild cat, servals are often kept as pets in North America and Europe, however a permit is needed. Savannahs are suggested as an alternative to servals.

Physical FeaturesEdit

Servals grow to 23 to 36 inches and have a yellow or brown (or, occasionally white) fur covered in spots that enlarge on or near the legs and tail. Their ears are black with a pair of white spots. Exact appearance can vary through the servals many subspecies.

Personality and TemperamentEdit

Servals are wild and will eat many animals they come across, they will also nip young children and are not lap cats, nor do they usually want to be petted. Servals will tend to bond to a certain person in their human family, and will not take being separated lightly.


Servals were worshiped by the Ancient Egyptians and sometimes kept as pets by high-ranking Egyptians (such as Scribes and Priests). They were associated with the cat god Bastet.

Recently some cat-owners have once again become interested in servals, and in 1986 this produced the Savannah cat breed.

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