Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Living With a Pet Serval > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Living With a Pet Serval

Some sources seem to indicate that living with a serval is no more challenging than feeding your pet goldfish. At the other end of the extreme spectrum, many sanctuaries and animal rights activists paint servals and other exotic cats as unmanageable creatures that no ordinary mortal could hope to deal with successfully. As is usually the case, the truth lies in a rational world between the two extremes.

Servals are much more challenging and time consuming to raise than a domestic cat. In order to end up with a tame, safe, and loving serval that can live in your house, you are going to have to spend a lot of time socializing, training, and housebreaking him. These things don't happen automatically with a serval.

There will be problems to overcome. In order to do so you will need a solid understanding of how animals learn and how to humanely modify their behavior. This is not an animal for an inexperienced pet owner, or even for an experienced pet owner who has only had "easy" animals!

A Serval kitten is like a domestic kitten on speed! If you have ever raised a kitten you know how playful (and sometimes destructive) they are. Then imagine kittens the size of a full-grown domestic cat, with way more energy! Prepare to be playfully tackled, bitten, clawed, climbed, and otherwise wrestled with by a huge kitten, and make sure you have the training experience to teach your little fireball to be gentle with humans and your house.

However, if you have the knowledge of training and you put in the time, you will be rewarded with a wonderful, loving companion who is fun to live with and easy and safe to handle. A well-raised serval really is incredibly sweet and amazing. To me it is worth every bit of the time and effort.

Sirocco has an incredibly loud purr, and when he's feeling affectionate he looks at me with complete adoration written on his face, purrs, and licks me. When I get home from work he greets me with purrs and ankle rubs, and it is clear that he is very strongly bonded to me. I have had very affectionate domestic cats, but Sirocco makes his love known more intensely then any domestic cat I've ever had. However, he spends a lot less time overall hanging out purring and cuddling than a domestic cat (that high-energy thing). This may change, as I notice he gets more affectionate the older he gets. I have to say he seems really happy as a pet cat. He is very high energy and spends a lot of time on the go.

As a result of lots of early socialization, he is very tame and will let even large groups of people pet him. However, I have seen him purr only once for a stranger; he seems to reserve true affection for his family.

Living with a serval means having your sandal stolen from beneath your foot and carried out into the enclosure in the rain at 11:00 p.m.?. Then being forced to go outside to get it lest he ingest portions of it.

Sirocco had been playing out in his enclosure one evening, uninterested in being petted. When I got to bed I found myself sobbing away a heart-wrenching day's work. As I lay there, I felt a soft nose in my ear, followed by a thundering purr. When I didn't respond, he gently butted my face over and over until I said hi to him. When I spoke, he licked my cheek, then started rubbing his forehead against my face. He continued to lick my tears and "pet" me until I stopped crying. Once satisfied that I was okay, he lay down beside me, squeezing his body tightly against mine as we fell asleep.

I was sitting on the edge of my bed pulling on socks one morning, having finished petting Sirocco?. Or so I thought! Approaching from behind, he laid his head on my shoulder and commenced purring loudly into my ear, paws kneading on the bed beside me. Needless to say I abandoned my socks.

Shoes and sandals have been banned from serval-occupied regions of the house ever since he ate part of one and nearly had to have it surgically removed. In response, Sirocco has developed military-strength sandal-detecting powers. Sometimes my mother will be naive enough to enter my bedroom at night to watch a movie wearing the precious contraband. Relaxing in her chair, she unthinkingly slips off her sandals as Sirocco lingers nearby with feigned indifference. He strolls casually past, then seizes the prize on his teeth and bolts cheetah-like onto the dresser and out the door to his lair, having learned long ago that thieving humans can't follow. Even if one of us is lucky enough to cut off his escape route, he will not surrender. Jaws locked on, he closes his eyes contentedly and growls as we make futile attempts to pry, pull, twist, and coax the now tooth-marked sandal from his grasp.

Pouncing on the faces of sleeping humans and nibbling (that's putting it kindly) on their toes are also favorite nighttime activities.

I have a deliciously slothful habit of flopping down on my bed to eat dinner. This has a great deal to do with the fact that the bed is one of the few comfortable spots in the house, and it's within Sirocco's domain so I get to enjoy his company. One afternoon I neglected to prepare a portion (tomatoes, cheese, and refried beans) for Sirocco before I crashed with a plate of Mexican food. He came up to me and pushed his nose towards the plate a few times. When I blocked him, he lay down beside me purring, drooled a little, and stretched his head out close to my elbow, chin resting on the bed. I relented and shared a couple of tomato pieces. That wasn't good enough, so he got up again only to be blocked by my hand. He did what any sensible serval would do: he snaked out his paw and smacked my tortillas!

One night Sirocco had been awakening me with a karate-pounce every half-hour. I finally scooped up my rowdy serval and began to carry him out to the crate in my living room: the one now reserved for servals that won't let their humans get a wink of sleep. Trouble struck when my mother's Rottweiler mistook me for an interloper as I exited my bedroom door and charged out of the dark with a snarl. Exit serval. He was out of my arms, over my head, and back in the bedroom before the dog could take two steps. Enter bandages. I had a nice bloody welt across my jaw, and the gash in my neck caused people at work the next day to ask what I'd done to provoke Louie the Knife.

Before Sirocco arrived, I'd been adamant: no litter boxes in my bedroom. Now, I'm just content when he actually uses the giant box that so gracefully adorns the floor by my entertainment center rather than peeing on my bed.

One evening I came home from work to find the blankets dragged from my bed, one of them lying elegantly by the entrance to the litter box. As a thoughtful decorative touch, he'd also removed a German Shepherd figurine from my bookshelf and placed it in the litter box with one ear poking out.

I think I'm going to recommend servals to interior designers. They can sell or rent them to clients, on the condition that the designer is called in every time the serval "redecorates" the house. What a way to build repeat business!

One thing I'm quite proud of is the fact that Sirocco isn't very destructive indoors with his claws. For instance, he doesn't claw the curtains. He just yanks the curtain rod loose from the wall and drags the curtains under the bed. Good serval.

For more information on responsible ownership of wild and exotic felines, please visit my website,

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


On National Puppy Day: New Report On American Attitudes About Pets, And Their Lack Of Safety In Cars
And now, with National Puppy Day here, I wanted to post again on pet travel safety, focusing on the attitudes and actions of those who travel with their pets in cars. Volvo Car USA has teamed with Harris Poll across four core themes: design, safety ...

Miami Herald

Our pets now live longer, so it's more likely they'll develop cancer
Miami Herald
Knowing that there's nothing they did wrong and that cancer can be reasonably described as a natural breakdown process (albeit often untimely) can be helpful for some pet owners. Which brings me to the heart of your question: Are cancers truly ...
Pets living on the street get help from veterinarianUSA TODAY
A Paws for PetsYork News-Times
Does Your Dog Prefer You Over Anyone Else? It's Complicated.National Geographic
KJZZ -The Tracy Press
all 98 news articles »


Marijuana for pets — is it safe? Does it work?
You may have seen a sign in your local pet store or dispensary advertising CBD — the chemical compound in cannabis that doesn't get you high and has shown multiple health benefits in people — for pets. Cannabis businesses are flocking to the $30 ...
Lawmaker wants to allow medical marijuana for pets in NYWSYR

all 29 news articles »

Bad things happen to pets in Wes Anderson movies. 'Isle of Dogs' tries to make up for that.
Washington Post
A particular kind of darkness lurks in Wes Anderson's Technicolor dreamscapes. In “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Willem Dafoe throws Jeff Goldblum's cat out the window. Goldblum probably had it coming, because in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou ...
Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' is often captivating, but cultural sensitivity gets lost in translationLos Angeles Times

all 192 news articles »

Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog)

Bristol Virginia firefighters train to rescue pets
Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog)
“Then we also went online on the Invisible Fence of Virginia website and applied for the pet oxygen kits. We received both of those.” Mark Riehl, a local veterinarian at the Animal Medical Clinic, trained them on the new equipment Thursday at the city ...

and more »


The Pending Battle Over Cuddly Crypto-Pets | Fast Forward | OZY
In December 2017, an unusual traffic jam brought the Ethereum network that powers Ether — one of the largest cryptocurrencies after bitcoin — to a standstill. Daylong delays hit requests that would normally take minutes. But it wasn't the work of a ...

and more »


Transporting pets doesn't even make United that much money. Here's why they bother to do it.
Pet transport is a relatively tiny segment of United Airlines' business, but it was thrust into the spotlight this month as several dog incidents, including the death of a puppy on board, sparked an outcry on social media and scrutiny from lawmakers ...
Military family pets could be temporarily stranded on GuamMilitary Times
United Airlines suspends pet shipments, but what if you already have a reservation?Los Angeles Times
Military family pets stranded as United Airlines suspends shipmentsStars and Stripes -Fox News -Morning Consult -United Airlines
all 106 news articles »

WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Study: Millennials really love their pets - ClickOnDetroit
WDIV ClickOnDetroit
On this National Puppy Day, a new survey is showing just how much millennials love their pets.

and more »

It's National Puppy Day: Here are 16 you can adopt now
Beagle puppies. Beagle puppies. These beagle mix pups — Sterling Archer (from left), Miss Duchess, Lana, Barry, Cyril and Ray — are 7 weeks old and will be available for adoption in two weeks through Gateway Pet Guardians, Weylen ...

and more »

Jacksonville family fears they may have to leave their pets behind in Guam
Raymond told Action News Jax that they're being re-stationed to Virginia for her husband's medical treatment and a recent suspension to United Airlines pet shipping program indicates the dogs might have to stay on the island. "I know some people don't ...

Google News

Puppy Crate Training -- Fast Track to a Contented Dog

Puppy crate training is one of the most effective ways... Read More

Tips for Introducing Two Cats

Adding a new member to your feline family is usually... Read More

Scottish Terrier Dogs - Important Facts

Scottish Terriers are short-legged dogs, at a height of ten... Read More

The Basics of Dog Obedience Training for Your New Pet

Dog obedience training starts even before you get your puppy... Read More

Dog Flea Control Management: How To Prevent, Treat, And Kill Dog Fleas

Dog flea control and management requires an integrated approach. For... Read More

Analysis of Cat Behavior

The most important thing to remember in analyzing the behavior... Read More

Talk to the Animals? Yes! And Whats More, They Talk to Us!

Talk to the animals?Yes.And what's more, they talk to us!If... Read More

How To Toilet Train Your Cat

Tired of cleaning the cat box? Here are some tips... Read More

So are you ready for a Boxer Dog?...

An easier and more pleasant journey with your chosen Boxer... Read More

Glow Light Tetra - A Lovely and Peaceful Member of Your Community Tank

Brings live to your community tanksMany freshwater fish-keepers have a... Read More

Wormy Dogs? - Understand Dog Worms Infestation and Their Symptoms

Until a very recent period, dog worms were thought to... Read More

Thinking of Getting a Lhasa Apso Dog?

One of the cutest looking dogs around is the Lhasa... Read More

Horse Training Techniques From The 1800s

Was he the world's greatest horse trainer of all time?... Read More

Want to Feel Better? Go Stroke Your Cat!

Stroking your cat can be good for your health! It... Read More

3 Tips For Dealing With Dog Emergencies

Have you ever thought about what you need to do... Read More

Vaccinating Our Pets

I'd like to talk to you about pet vaccinations. I... Read More

3 Tips For Dealing With Dog Emergencies

Have you ever thought about what you need to do... Read More

PH Levels in The Discus Tank

Because it is imperative that discus fish have optimal water... Read More

The Importance Of A Proper Correction

There are headstrong dogs that know too well that a... Read More

America; You Are Over Feeding Your Pets

As many of you know America is serious about our... Read More

Introduce Your Puppy To New Situations And Ensure Good Behaviour For The Rest Of Her Life

They may seem to be bold explorers - sniffing at... Read More


Oscar is kind of a funny name and it fit... Read More

Symptoms of Pain and Illness in Dogs

Dog owners, who recognize the early signs and symptoms of... Read More

Does Your Dog Need Puppy Prozac?

Is your dog up to dirty no good again? Did... Read More

Boston Terrier - Special Concerns For This Adorable Breed

Beautiful as they are, Boston Terriers have some genetic traits... Read More