African servals, exotic cats as pets

Serval/Exotic Cat Care
Bottle Feeding Serval Kittens, by Janet Syperda
Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....


Many thanks to serval breeder Janet Syperda of Mystique Miniatures and Exotic Spots, for allowing the use of this article on AfricanServal.com.







Grateful for the information? Click here to see how to support this site at no cost to you!

Over the years I have found that nothing is written in stone. At times you may have to change an ingredient or the amount of that ingredient, to best service your kitten. I have found that none of my Serval kittens are the same. Most do well on my formula, but once in a while you have to adjust the powder formula, the food product you use, etc. Some kittens have more sensitive digestive systems than the next. The first thing to remember is, If your kitten has loose stools, or diarrhea, cut the powder formula down, making it less rich, or increase the water.

Things have come a long way since I adopted my first Serval in the 1970's. So much more is known about exotic cats, their needs, and their diet. When I was adopted by my first Serval, no one hardly had ever heard of a Serval, much less seen one. Formula was canned Carnation Evaporated Milk, half milk half distilled water. Even later when the regular kitten and puppy formulas became available, I had trouble with them, being too rich, and a lot of diarrhea.. Am I ever thankful for Milk Matrix and the different formulas for different breeds. They have a different ratio of protein to fat. This is the basic formula I use, and adjust from there depending on the kittens. Do not be afraid to adjust where I indicate if you feel it is too rich or not rich enough.

Serval Formula

  • Milk Matrix 33/40 ( I purchase from Jeffers Pet Catalog, or on line)
  • 2/3 part distilled water to
  • 1/3 part milk matrix

Blend the above into smooth mixture.

I feed this for the first 3 - 4 weeks. Kittens will let you know when they need additional added to their milk formula. As they approach the 3 - 4 week age, plain milk matrix will not satisfy them. They will eat or suck more and be hungry more often.

At (4) weeks of age I start adding baby Gerber Rice Cereal. Start with about 1/4 cup to the above mixture of milk matrix . Observe their stool and make sure everything is going as it should. If diarrhea, cut the amount, or wait a couple more days before trying again. After a few days you can gradually increase this amount, if they are eating and everything is normal.

Approximately 5 - 6 weeks of age I start adding 1 Tsp. of Iams Chicken cat food to this mixture, and blending. Again wait and see how their little system handles this. Gradually increase this amount also, or decrease, if not agreeing with them. Here is where I will add that, you can use what ever you are comfortable with. Iams, Zupreem, or Baby Food Chicken. ( a lot of times I use Baby Food Chicken to get them started if they do not like the texture of the Iams or Zupreem. It is a little grainy and some just gag at it.)

I might add here, when you start to add other foods to the Milk Matrix, that is when I start to use my Mazuri Supplement, or many of you prefer the Oasis, to the formula mix. When they are on the Milk Matrix only, I do not add anything to that until I start adding other foods.

When I make formula, to make a blender full I use the above mixture X 5 or:

  • 3 1/3 cup distilled water
  • 1 cup Gerber Rice Cereal
  • Blend, Add
  • 5 Tbls. Iams Chicken Flavor Cat Food, (or Zupreem or your choice)
  • Blend, Add
  • 1 2/3 cup Milk Matrix, a small amount at a time until blended.

YOU WILL HAVE A VERY THICK CAT FOOD MILK SHAKE!!!!

When the kitten is ready for some kind of solid food, I use the above thick shake, to pour on, or stir in, to get them to eat the more solid food. Most times I will start by putting a small amount of the Iams, Zupreem, or your choice, in a saucer, pour the thick shake over, heat a little, dip your finger in and touch the nose of the kitten to get it to lick. As it licks your finger, lower your finger down to the saucer. In a very short time the kitten will be sucking up the mixture from the saucer, standing in it, and laying in it, Oh, what a joy!!!!!! Another item that you can use in the mixture that they really go for is fine cut up cooked chicken.

I will get many who disagree at this, but let me explain. I feed my older, and grown Servals raw meat. I have fed my kittens raw meat too. But, in some cases I have had the kittens get ill when I add the raw cut up chicken to their food at a very young age. Bacteria sets in easy in a tiny kitten, so I cook the chicken at first, only.


Many thanks to serval breeder Janet Syperda of Mystique Miniatures and Exotic Spots, for allowing the use of this article on AfricanServal.com. This article is copyrighted 2004 by Janet Syperda. All rights are reserved.



 

Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....
© Jessi Clark-White, 2004
Bottle Feeding Serval Kittens, Serval Kitten Formula, Raising Serval Kittens