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Okami July 25th, 2005 06:35 AM

Help! Having trouble finding if a certain breed is legal in a city
I'm having alot of trouble finding out if a certain breed of cat I want to buy is legal or not in my city, I know the cat is legal in Canada but I'm not sure about my city. I've searched for by-laws on cats for my city and all I have found is Cat regulations (what cat's can and cannot do). I've also tried contacting animal control and the only reply I have gotten so far is "we'll get back to you".
If anyone can please lead me in the right direction it would be great~
And for anyone who can help

Cat Breed : Serval Felis (Leptailurus) serval / African Serval
City: Calgary
Province: Alberta

Is it legal?, and if so what requirements(ex. types of caging/fencing) or permits do I need.

Thank you so much for your time

BMDLuver July 25th, 2005 07:35 AM

Isn't this cat considered an endangered species in some parts of Africa, in one area I believe they are extinct? I'm a little confused as to why you would want to have one? I would think that you would have to address this with Ag Canada. I think you may find that this is illegal and purchasing this cat could very well be supporting something not above board.

shannon1233A July 25th, 2005 08:24 AM

Please read this from and seriously reconsider:

I am surprised by the percentage of survey respondents who don't know about servals. has avoided posting overviews of the cat species because this information is available ad nauseam online. However given the results of the survey, I'll go ahead and talk about the serval basics.

Servals are mid-sized wild cats from parts of Africa, primarily Sub-Saharan Africa. The average size is 11 kg (24 pounds), with a weight range of roughly 9-18 kg (20-40 pounds). This is about 2-3 times the size of a domestic cat, but servals can appear even larger due to their proportions.

Servals are delicate cylindrical looking cats, with petite heads, long necks, and long slim legs. When looking at a serval head-on, their ears dominate, raising high up in proportion to the head. The coat color is a rich fawn on top spreading down to areas of creamy white. Solid black spots of various sizes adorn most of the fur and merge to form bars on some areas of the body. In some parts of Africa, servals can be melanistic (very dark, appearing black, but the spots are still there).

Servals can live up to 20 years or so, which is similar to a domestic cat, although most don't live nearly that long due to the dangers of living in the wild.

Servals eat primarily small mammals such as rodents (preferably larger rodents), but they aren't picky and will take birds, reptiles, fish, and even insects. Presumably due to their delicate bodies, they rarely take larger prey. A documentary from years ago (sorry I don't remember the name) referred to servals as "pouncing radar", which is a nod to their hunting style. Servals disguise themselves in tall grass and use those huge ears to pick out their prey by sound. When the moment is right, they leap in a high arch to pounce down upon and incapacitate the target. A similar technique works quite well for flying prey.

Servals favor but are not restricted to water-rich environments with tall grass. Since people also like to live near water, this arrangement has the potential to create conflict, especially for farmers with poultry, because poultry is the right size of prey for a serval. However, since servals usually prefer rodents, coexistence can actually benefit both servals and people - people want to be rid of rodents, and servals want to eat them.

As an entire species the serval has not yet been categorized as endangered, and in most areas they are not protected. However their global population is falling and they will ultimately need protection. The key to long-term survival is the conservation of wetlands (their favored habitat), as well as the conservation of grasslands which have been damaged by livestock and agriculture. On a more repugnant note, some people hunt servals for their pelts, which can be sold to ignorant tourists, sometimes labeled as cheetah or leopard fur. I guess more people know about cheetahs and leopards, and therefore prefer their fur over that of a serval.

I don't know how many people keep servals as pets, but in the United States at least, serval breeders are fairly easy to find. The resulting kittens are going somewhere, presumably in to homes since servals are not a big attraction at zoos. (Perhaps that is why people don't know what they are.) Servals as pets are certainly not rare. You can verify this with a quick search online, which reveals photo galleries of servals in the home as well as discussions about serval care and legal requirements.

[B]I have to admit that I can see the appeal, that having a serval might give a person the illusion of being more exotic. The reality, from what I've read about serval care, is more like having a two year old child that never grows up, with all of the loss of personal freedom that goes with that type of responsibility.

From a conservation perspective, serval ownership does absolutely nothing to protect the serval species. Serval breeders select the best natured animals for breeding pets, leading to servals that are a little more domesticated with each generation. In time, pet servals will be as different from wild servals as house cats are from wildcats.

If you are seeking furry companionship, consider adopting a shelter cat[/B]

Prin July 25th, 2005 05:56 PM

I don't know why you want such a rare, endangered animal, when there is an overflowing, overabundance of the "regular" pets...

mona_b July 26th, 2005 11:06 AM

Please stick to a regular domestic cat that is need of a loving home.... :)

DogueLover July 26th, 2005 11:59 AM

Did some investigating for you.
I did some research for you this morning and finally contacted the proper authorities and the following is what I have found out regarding keeping a Serval Cat in Calgary ( or anywhere in Alberta).
Serval Cats are considered exotic wild animals and therefore you would firstly need an import permit to bring one into Alberta. As they are considered "wildlife" it is illegal to keep one as a pet in Alberta.
If you have any other questions please contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife in Edmonton.
The number is 780 944 0313.

Hope this answers any questions you have and I would strongly suggest that you find a domestic cat, servals belong in the wild where they began.
If you choose to keep one and you are reported you will be fined and can face prison time for keeping an exotic cat as a pet.

Lucky Rescue July 26th, 2005 12:05 PM

Servals are large, wild animals and should never be kept as pets. When people try and keep wild cats as pets, the ending is always tragic, mostly for the cats.

Even when raised from kittenhood, they are never truly tame and cannot be trusted not to rip your face off in a fit of annoyance. The damage they can do must be seen to be believed.

If you want a cat with a "wild" look, get a Bengal! They are descended from Asian Wildcats, and are gorgeous.

There is a breeder in AB, you can check it out here:

Okami July 26th, 2005 08:31 PM

my apologies I posted the wrong name for the type of cat. I copied instead the breed of cat that breeds the one I was intrested. Sorry for all the confusion.

The type of Cat I was intrested in was in fact a Savannah. I know this cat is allowed in canada but I have no idea if it's allowed in my city. The Savannah is a type of cat mixed with a Serval and a domestic cat. Sorry again for the confusion.

BMDLuver July 27th, 2005 07:58 AM

Contact the zoning commissioner for your city. They are responsible for knowing what is allowed where.

mona_b July 27th, 2005 08:30 AM

It's ok Okami.We all get confused at times..... :D

Here is some info on this breed....Please research it carefully.

I must say though,they are beautiful cats.
And what I can see,they don't seem to be ilegal to own.




What made you want this paticular breed?

Okami July 27th, 2005 01:30 PM

Well I considered getting a cat from the shelter, but my family has had a bad experience with a shelter animal. We purchased a small dog from the shelter once, and we loved it so much. Whatever the previous owner had did to the poor dog caused it to be afraid of people when they raised their voice a little even if it wasn't to the dog, it would be so terrified it would pee on the spot, or run away and it'd be scared for hours. We couldn't bear watching the dog like that. So we had to give it away to an owner that had an outdoor pen and could take care of the dog, and maybe slowly coax it into liking humans again. It broke my family's heart to loose their first family pet. I was requested to not find an animal from a shelter because of that. Another reason I want to buy a kitten is because I have other pets in the house that I want the kitten to grow up around, so it gets used to them and knows how to act around them. I choose the savannah because of their personality, they're very playful and intellegent cats. They're good around dogs, actually they love playing with dogs. I don't really care that they look exotic or not, but I just love their characteristics, it's like a mix between the personality of a dog and a cat.

Prin July 27th, 2005 01:41 PM

Wow, that is a really pretty cat! :)

And not all shelter dogs are that messed up. These days, you can adopt a dog from a rescue, where the dog has been at a foster home. The foster parents can tell you more about the dog, so you'll be better able to determine if the dog is right for your family. :)

mona_b July 28th, 2005 08:51 AM

Okami,this breed is going to be expensive....Just so you know.... :)

I'm sorry to hear about the dog you had.But what you need to know is that when you rescue a dog from the shelter,they are there for a reason.And anyone who adopts one needs to have the time and patience to help them deal with their problems.And I am sure this new owner is not making much progress by leaving the dog in an outdoor pen.There are MANY on this board who have adopted their dogs from shelters.

Another thing,shelters do have kittens.My 2 cats where adopted from my SPCA.And my one is deaf.There is no way I would have even considered bringing him back.

Please check out your shelters for kittens.... :)

DogueLover July 28th, 2005 10:52 PM

Please call the number I left.
That is the only way for you to know if they are legal in Alberta, let alone Calgary.
You may need an import permit. I know that sounds ridiculous, but to tell you the honest truth, we live less than an hour from the Alberta border and make trips to Medicine Hat often to shop.
Believe it or not, if we purchase a pet, even a goldfish, we are by law supposed to get an export permit from the fish and wildlife office to take the dang thing home, and an IMPORT permit to bring it back to Sask with us. Now, they are not really going to MAKE you get one, but believe it or not if they were to stop us we could end up with the fish being taken from us because we didn`t have the permits.
Just call the number I left on my post, then you will know if you can legally keep it in Calgary.

Okami July 29th, 2005 03:54 PM

After phoning the Fish and Wildlife number, being fowarded to the spca, then being forwarded to the animal control, and then sent back to the fish and wilflife. I was told, "we don't handle cats" I told them it was a hybrid cat, that was a mix between a wild and domesticated cat, I recived an answer "I don't know.....I'll get back to you".
I'm not sure if they'll have my answer but the answers I've been given by the spca and animal control have been "I don't think the city of calgary has any laws against it".
I'm not so sure how long the fish and wildlife will take to respond back it's been a few days now..., I'm not so sure that they'll even be able to give me an answer.
Still I'm not sure if I should purchase the cat, I really don't want to depend on "I think it's legal" answer when I purchase my cat.

chico2 July 29th, 2005 04:11 PM

Mona,thank you for the sites,it sure is a beautiful cat,I've never heard of them :confused:
Most people,like me,who love cats,never really have a choice,you just fall in love with some and make them part of your family,no matter what breed,but I sure would love to have a Savannah,however I don't think that will ever happen.

doggy lover July 29th, 2005 08:06 PM

Question how much would one of these babies cost you? They are beautiful.

mona_b July 29th, 2005 11:48 PM

chico,they definately are beautiful.

As for the price,are you ready for this.

The prices for a F-1 male kitten start about $3500. Some F-1 females will start about $4500. The F-2 and F-3 kittens will sell for considerably less than the F-1's. Their prices will vary depending on the sex, generation and quality of the kitten.

Holy flippin crap..... :eek: :eek: :eek:

I said they would be expensive..LOL

Okami,you still interested in this breed?????.... :D

Apperently this is the reason why they are so very expensive.

Savannah Cats are very difficult to breed. There are several factors involved in this difficulty. The first is the that these are two different species and with a great difference in size. Sometimes they just won’t breed. Also the gestation period is very different and the kittens frequently are born premature or they may be miscarried. Because of the difficulty, there are very few Savannahs that are born. The result is that they have a price that may seem high.

And I'll add this too while I am at it....LOL

Registration of Savannah Cats can be done through TICA (The International Cat Association) as an experimental breed. Another option is to register them with I.P.C.B.A.(International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance), this gives you the convienience of having them registered as Savannah but as a domestic giving protection from wildblood prohibition laws. REFR(Rare and Exotic Feline Registry) also recognises this breed and allows registry. It will take some time before the Savannah Cat is recognized as a breed with some of the other cat registries such as CFA.

Okami July 30th, 2005 04:29 AM

:) I'm still intrested, you see it's just a habit of mine that I take a certain % of money I earn each month, just in case anything sparks my intrest and I want to buy it. I've been saving for a while now not knowing what to use it for, well about a few years. I've always wanted a cat since I was a little girl, and just this year I've been given permission too. So money is not a problem to me, people can ask why spend it on such a expensive cat? Mostly because of this cat's unique personality, it likes water, loves a dogs company more then other cats, enjoys walks. You can actually say this cat is a dog in catform.

Also I've recived an answer from the fish and Wildlife department. The answer was no, no spotted cats whatever type they are, are not allowed anywhere in alberta.

Mono with what the Frish and Wildlife said do you think if I register the Savannah I could still bring it into Alberta. Also I was wondering, since the Fish and Wildlife said "no spotted cats" the savannah does come in a marble pattern, like a bengals marble coat, do you think that could get around the "no spotted cats" rule?

mona_b July 30th, 2005 07:41 PM

The only thing I can suggest it to talk to a breeder.I'm sure they can give you all the infor you need..... :)

Okami August 2nd, 2005 02:34 PM

-_- well aparently my province bans Any Type Of Hybrid Breed Whatsoever.
How unlucky :(. I hope that laws egts changed sometime.

rifleman22 September 14th, 2012 11:08 PM

you can get F4 savannahs in alberta but you must be able to prove they are 4th generation (registered) its 100% legal with no permits needed

now heres my question what permits do i need to get a cheetah, i already know they are wild animals and anyone who feels like bringing that up please go to the cites website and realize its highly regulated and anything that i would be purchasing would have been bred in captivity because otherwise it is IMPOSSIBLE to get it imported 2nd i want a cheetah you want a housecat we both have our reasons, i am against the cruel treatment of animals as well the man i am in contact with in brussels has cheetahs that have been bred in captivity for the past 600 years and doesnt seem much like itd be a useful wild animal anymore thankyou :)

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