Serval Info

Genus: Felis Serval

Range: Africa, South Of The Sahara To South Africa. S. Transvaal.


Length: 2 - 3 ft

Height: 1 1/2 - 2 ft

Tail: 14 - 17.5 in

Weight: 31 - 40 lbs


Mating Season: Varies according to region and climate

Gestation: About 74 days

No. of Young: 1 - 3


Habit: Solitary,territorial,Active mainly at dusk and night.

Diet: Small mammals,birds,lizard,insects,occasionally fish and plant matter

Lifespan: 13 yrs


Widespread in Africa south of Sahara,through absent from dense rainforest and dryer regions.

The serval is slender,long-legged cat with a small head and broad ears,the serval has a graceful,sprightly air.coloration varies from yellowish-brown to dark olive-brown, lighter-colored animals tend to have rows of large black spots on their fur,while darker undividuals are dotted with many fine spots.


The serval is widespread in Africa, and inhabits much of the sub-Saharan African Savannah.It also occurs in high-altitude moorland,bamboo forest,and the edges of the shuns very dry terrain and is most common under dense cover near water .Its long legs help it to stride across the swampy ground of reedbeds and marshes.Although it can climb and swim well, the serval spends most of its time on the ground resting or hunting.It runs swiftly,and if disturbed it races away with high bounds over the tall grass.Like all small cats, the serval lives alone in a well defined territory marked by the scent of urine.The female keeps her cubs for a short time before forcing them out.They wander long distances over rough terrain before establishing their own territories.The serval remains close to the area for many years.Servals fighting with each other use threat postures,loud calls and slashing movements with the fore-paws.As well as emitting shrill cries.The Serval often growls an purrs.

Food & Hunting

The serval usually hunts at dusk and night,but it will sometimes hunts prey that is active during the day.In populated areas such as farmland,the serval reverts to its nocturnal habits.when hunting, the serval covers two to three miles of its territory searching for food.It preys mainly on rodents but will eat hares,hyraxes,and small antelopes such as duikers and oribi.It kills birds the size of guinea fowl,along with frogs and lizards.Occasionally it eats termites,grasshoppers,and plants.It has been estimated that a Serval eats about 4,000 rodents 260 snakes,and 130 birds a year.The serval uses many hunting techniques.Because its hearing is so acute,the serval hunts by stealth.It lies hidden in the cover of dense vegetation and waits for prey to approach.It also stalks larger prey through cover,lunging forward over the last few feet in a surprise attack.It sometimes moves through tall grass,listening for prey.Standing pn its long legs,the serval accurately pinpoints the exact location of its prey before leaping with a powerful thrust, forming a graceful arc,and landing on its victim.With a 50 percent success rate


The mating season varies in differnt regions,and some females give birth twice in one year.The female attracts the male with a call to mate.She purrs and rubs her cheek against the male.The female gives birth to one to four cubs in a den hidden by dense vegetation and lined with dry leaves.At birth the cubs are blind and helpless.The mother suckles them for many months until they learn to fend for themselves.

Did You Know ?

  • The Serval was once thought to be a separate species.

  • An all black species of the serval lives in the highland area of East Africa
    Such as the Aberdares Mountain range in Kenya.

  • A serval can leap up to 10 feet in the air to catch a bird.

  • Servals Can Purr.

  • Serval Subspecies

  • Leptailurus serval kempi (Uganda)

  • Leptailurus serval kivuensis (Congo)

  • Leptailurus serval lipostictus (northern Angola)

  • Leptailurus serval lonnbergi (southern Angola)

  • Leptailurus serval mababiensis (northern Botswana)

  • Leptailurus serval serval (Cape Province)

  • Leptailurus serval constantinus (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia)

  • Leptailurus serval hamiltoni (eastern Transvaal Province)

  • Leptailurus serval robertsi (western Transvaal Province)

  • Leptailurus serval beirae (Mozambique)

  • Leptailurus serval tanae (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia)

  • Leptailurus serval togoensis (Togo and Benin)

  • Leptailurus serval brachyurus (West Africa and the Sahel region to Ethiopia)

  • Leptailurus serval hindei (Tanzania)

  • Leptailurus serval faradjius

  • Leptailurus serval ferrarii

  • Leptailurus serval pantastictus

  • Leptailurus serval phillipsi

  • Leptailurus serval pococki


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