Pet Servals – Pet tip 208
There are millions and millions of cat lovers across North America and this is because cats make great pets. In general they are easier to take care of than dogs and much more independent than dogs. They are normally affectionate, cuddly, cute, they don’t eat that much and they don’t put too many demands on their owners. In terms of pleasing our human senses, house cats come in different breeds with different shapes, colours, fur lengths and personalities. But what if you want something a little different, more unique? What if you want a different type of cat, maybe a much larger cat? If you have a flair for the exotic you might consider getting a serval.
Servals are slowly becoming more popular as pets. Servals look like cheetahs but they are much smaller. They typically weigh anywhere from 20-40 pounds depending on their sex (males are heavier) and ancestry. Their body length is anywhere from 2-3 feet and they are about 2 feet tall. The come from Africa and still roam wild in many rural places. They are also slowly starting to become more known as house-pets but they are still quite rare and not for everyone.
Servals are both similar to and different from domestic house cats. Servals, like house cats, purr, use litter boxes, are affectionate and love jumping (sometimes up to 8 feet or more) and pouncing. They are different than house cats because they can be leash trained, they generally love the water and they are much bigger chewers of common household items than regular house cats. They mark much more frequently than domestic house cats and this is an issue that you need to be able to deal with. They don’t meow in the same way as house cats, instead their vocalizations sound more like bird calls than meows. Although they normally bond with much greater intensity (and suffer anxiety when humans are absent for long times) to their owners than domestic house cats, they are timid and weary of strangers and should not be left alone with children.
Before you say “Sounds like this might be for me” there are a few things you need to know up front. Servals are more of a commitment than regular domestic cats. First off servals are expensive when compared to the average house cat. You are likely looking at around $2500.00 or more for a serval. Another crucial thing to know is that servals are considered an exotic cat and may be prohibited in your city. You must check both municipal and provincial/state bylaws to make sure you are allowed to own this cat. Cities in particular often have restrictive bylaws, so be sure to double check. Finally, many serval owners will tell you straight out that taking care of a serval is much more difficult than a regular cat due to their size, energy level and playfulness. Houseproofing is essential.
Another key thing to check out is veterinarians with experience with exotic cats that work nearby. Although they are similar to domestic house cats, you want to make sure that a vet in your area can properly treat your serval when needed. This article only lists the most basic information about pet servals; there is so much more to know about these wonderful cats, so please research further if you find the prospect of owning this exotic cat intriguing.