can you own a serval cat

Eight states allow residents to own serval cats without obtaining a permit. You are free to own a serval cat in Alabama, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin. Twenty-one additional states allow you to own a serval cat if you meet certain requirements.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Serval Cat

In the US, you might not be able to own a serval even if you have the resources, the space, and the expertise to take care of one.

Many U.S. states prohibit the ownership of servals and other exotic animals. S. states, and others require special licensing or permits. Before buying a serval, make sure you are aware of the local and state laws.

If it is legal to own a serval where you live, and you are looking for a reputable source for adopting or buying a serval, contact the Feline Conservation Foundation for more information.

Serval Cat Care

Large, secure outdoor enclosures are necessary for serval care because they are solitary, highly active cats that travel several miles each day in the wild. It is known for servals to burrow beneath fences or leap out of enclosed spaces. Fencing must enclose an area from all sides, including the top, and extend several feet below ground.

Make sure there’s a swimming pool available for your serval cat to enjoy and maybe even go fishing for stocked fish. They are also unable to survive in a cold climate.

Due to their enormous size, high level of activity, and propensity for jumping, servals cannot live inside of a house. They can damage breakable objects and wires in addition to posing a threat to them. In addition, a serval cannot be fully litter trained. When they are confined to human homes, they mark their territory by urinating on objects such as walls and furniture.

Although declawing a serval as a pet is often done to protect humans from harm, it is an unpleasant procedure that leaves servals open to infection and leaves them defenseless against other animals (like vicious dogs).

Click Play to Learn More About the Wild Serval

Because they are cunning and fearless hunters, serval cats cannot be kept inside a typical house or yard. Once more, these cats are wild and have adapted to living in the savannas of Africa.

Because their legs are so long, servals can jump very well and dig a lot. Like ground squirrels, they can dig to find food and can leap over five feet into the air to catch birds. This tall, energetic predator requires more space to roam than most homes can provide, and meeting its food requirements is an enormous task.

They may not be very talkative, but they can make a range of sounds that could worry nearby residents, such as high-pitched cries, growls, and spitting hisses.

As for companionship, servals typically arent friendly. Theyre aloof and dont like being stroked or cuddled. Due to this, along with their enormous size (up to 40 pounds) and untamed temperament, this cat is not advised for households with children or other pets.

A serval, however, can form a strong emotional bond with a single person to the point where the animal would suffer greatly if it were to be rehomed. Owning a serval is a significant commitment because they can live up to 20 years in captivity.

Affection Level Medium
Friendliness Low
Kid-Friendly Low
Pet-Friendly Low
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize Medium
Amount of Shedding Low


Are serval cats good house pets?

While servals are undoubtedly captivating and beautiful creatures, it’s important to recognize that they don’t make good pets. Their wild instincts, specialized dietary needs, and enclosure requirements make them unsuitable for domestic life.

How much does a serval cat cost?

How Much Does a Serval Cat Cost? Many factors affect serval cat prices as they range from $3,000 to $10,000, and even more! But, once you bring one of these fiery cats home, have a look at some of the other costs involved in owning a serval.

What states is it legal to own a serval?

It is legal to own a serval without obtaining a license in Alabama, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Licensed exotic cat lovers can keep servals as pets in Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

Do serval cats cuddle?

Servals do not like to be cuddled and have razor sharp teeth. Their exceptional hearing leads them to startle and spook at loud or unexpected noises. Currently Servals and hybrid domestic cats like Savannah Cats are one of the most requested rehome / rescue cats once they have outgrown “cute” and reach maturity.