African servals, exotic cats as pets

Serval Behavior and Temperament
What If I Have to Find a New Home for My Serval?
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Servals generally do not adapt well at all to being placed in new homes. They bond completely and intensely Ė once.

If they lose their original home they probably will not bond to anyone again, and may well not even be tame.



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

If unforeseen circumstances force you to find a new home for a domestic cat, it will be a very stressful experience for him. However, in most cases domestic cats will adapt fairly well to their new home and bond with their new family. Wild felines have a harder time with it, especially servals.

When I was looking for other serval owners in my area, I talked to a woman who had adopted an adult serval from an acquaintance. When she visited him in his original home he slept with his owner, was leash trained, and went for car rides. His owner decided to place him elsewhere because his two servals did not get along. He failed to bond with his new owner, and after several years she cannot even pet him. She thought that given time and coaxing he would grow to accept her, but unfortunately that hasnít happened.

Servals generally do not adapt well at all to being placed in new homes. They bond completely and intensely Ė once. They become heartbroken if they loose their family. If they lose their original home they probably will not bond to anyone again, and may well not even be tame. This means that if you find yourself in a position where you can no longer keep your serval, he will go from being a loved household pet to being stuck outdoors in a pen without the enjoyment of human companionship for the rest of his life. This should give you pause when deciding whether you will be able to keep this animal for a lifetime. If you are not certain, please donít get a serval.

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© Jessi Clark-White, 2004
What If I Have to Find a New Home for My Serval?