African servals, exotic cats as pets

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There are 38 species of exotic cats, many of which most people have never even heard of.

Wild feline species vary in size from 6 pounds to over 600.

Click on any link to learn more about each species.

African Wild Cat
African Golden Cat
Andean Mountain Cat
Bay Cat
Chinese Desert Cat
European Wildcat
Fishing Cat
Geoffroy's Cat
Jungle Cat
Lynx, Canadian and Eurasian
Pallas Cat
Pampas Cat
Rusty-Spotted Cat
Sand Cat
Exotic Hybrids
Asian Leopard Cat
Black-Footed Cat
Flat-Headed Cat
Iberian Lynx
Irimote Cat
Marbled Cat
Temminck's Golden Cat
Clouded Leopard
Snow Leopard

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This page contains information on various exotic cat species including tigers, ocelots, caracals, cougars, bobcats, and servals both in the wild and as pets. They are broken up into groups: non-endangered small cats, hybrids, endangered small cats, and big cats. In most cases it is not legal to have an endangered feline as a pet. Brief overviews appear below; Click on the name of a species to find more detailed information and articles by expert owners and breeders. Authors are needed to help complete this section! If you are knowledgable about any of these cats, please consider contributing an article.


pet african wild cat African Wild Cat

pet african golden cat African Golden Cat

pet andean mountain cat Andean Mountain Cat

pet bobcat Bobcat
A 12-25 pound bobtailed cat native to North America. Bobcats are often considered as pets because of their small, managable size and familiar appearance. However, a propensity for spraying can make the adult bobcat an outdoor-only pet. See detailed information....

pet caracal Caracal
A 20-40 pound cat with spectacular tufted ears, caracals look like small lynx with cougar coloring. They are popular as pets, although not as common as the serval, and are comparable in size and care requirements. See detailed information....

pet chinese desert catChinese Desert Cat

pet cougar Cougar / Mountain Lion / Puma
The largest "small cat," cougars range from 75-250 pounds. They can be very affectionate, and although their size and strength should not be underestimated, they are more suitable pets than other large cats like tigers. Petting a cougar and hearing him purr in response is an unforgettable experience....just don't let the attraction blind you to the realities of owning a powerful predator who eats pounds of meat daily and needs a large enclosure to roam in. See detailed information....

pet european wild catEuropean Wildcat

pet fishing catFishing Cat

pet Geoffroy's cat Geoffroy's Cat
This diminutive South American cat is the size of a domestic cat or smaller, with a striking spotted coat. This highly energetic little cat is fairly rare in captivity, and is not maintained in AZA zoos. Private breeders maintain the only viable captive populations. See detailed information....

pet jungle cat Jungle Cat
The jungle cat often used in creating hybrids known as chausies, but full-blooded jungle cats can also be kept as pets. They are only slightly larger than a domestic cat and breed readily in captivity.See detailed information....

pet kodkod catKodkod

pet lynxLynx
Resembling a large bobcat, the many subspecies of lynx can be found across the world. See detailed information....

pet oncilla catOncilla

pet pallas catPallas Cat

pet pampas catPampas Cat

pet rusty-spotted catRusty-Spotted Cat

pet sand cat Sand Cat (Pakastani subspecies endangered)

pet serval Serval (Popular as pets)
A 20-40 pound spotted cat native to Africa, the serval resembles a miniature cheetah. Intelligent and affectionate, servals are the species most often found in pet homes and reccommended as a "beginner's" exotic cat. They tend to adapt well to life with humans. See detailed information....


pet savannah cat Exotic Feline Hybrids
There are a variety of hybrids (the result of mating a domestic cat to an exotic cat) available. They include the chausie, savannah, and safari. Hybrids can be perfect for people who are fascinated by exotic cats such as servals and want their wild look without the difficulties and permit requirements that often accompany exotic feline ownership.


pet asian leopard cat Asian Leopard Cat

pet bay catBay Cat (Although not on the endangered species list, this is one of the rarest of all cats.)

pet black footed cat Black-Footed Cat

pet flat-headed cat Flat-headed Cat

iberian lynx Iberian Lynx
The Iberian Lynx is the world's most critically endangered feline, with under 200 cats remaining. We provide infomation about what needs to be done to save them from extinction and how you can help. See detailed information....

pet irimote cat Irimote Cat

pet jaguarundi Jaguarundi

pet marbled cat Marbled Cat

pet margay Margay

pet ocelot Ocelot
This small, endangered South American cat boasts a spectacular velvety coat and a macho personality. Ocelots were popular pets until the Endangered Species Act made ownership a legal nightmare. See detailed information....

pet golden cat Temminck's Golden Cat


pet cheetah Cheetah
These endangered African cats are the fastest mammal in the world. They tame easily and form close bonds with "their" humans, but they are not available as pets due to strict permit requirements and difficulty breeding. See detailed information....

pet clouded leopard Clouded Leopard
The smallest member of the "big cat" family, clouded leopards have long canine teeth reminiscent of a sabre-toothed cat. Since they are both rare and endangered, they are rarely kept strictly as pets, although there are some private breeding programs.

pet jaguar Jaguar

pet leopard Leopard (Only one population endangered, others listed as threatened)

pet lion Lion

pet snow leopard Snow Leopard

pet tiger Tiger
Rare in the wild but common in captivity, these magnificent cats require no description. The charismatic tiger attracts many, but the challenges, hazards, and regulatory complications of owning a tiger may make you reconsider. See detailed information....

You remain responsible.. Forever...
For what you have tamed.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery



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© Jessi Clark-White, 2005
Servals, Bobcats, Caracals