African servals, exotic cats as pets

Serval/Exotic Cat Care
Catching an Escaped Serval
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An escaped cat is a responsible serval owner's nightmare

Servals cannot be allowed to run loose, even if you live in a rural area!



Sandi Cossette of Cossette's Exotics takes a very sound approach to the possibility of an escape by conditioning her servals to be recaptured easily. She says "If a serval should escape, they may very well return on their own, as they have just left the only territory that they are familiar with and feel safe with and could very well return as they will be scared on the loose and will want to return to safety and food.

Leave the door that they escaped through or whatever open so they can return. I always feed my cats, from kittens up, in a kennel and I shut the door while they are eating. This way they learn to like a kennel and as adults, all I have to do is set a kennel down and they will go into it very willingly. I had a bobcat escape one time and all I had to do was set the kennel down and call him and he came running and went right into it."

As this example shows, the time and attention paid to training can really pay off.

Deborah-Ann Milette of Telling Felids has the following advice to offer: "When you are trying to catch escaped servals DO NOT CHASE them, this is a game to them. Second if he/she is within distance and sees you, (this may sound crazy) lay down on the ground and pretend you are hurt, ill or whatever sound it may respond to you. Third, (again sounds crazy, but try this in your home if you are sceptical) scribble ink from a black ballpoint pen over a piece of paper, not just a small spot I mean till you can smell the ink. This is catnip to a serval. Fourth, when all else fails, use a dart gun."



 

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© Jessi Clark-White, 2004
Catching an Escaped Serval