Servals look very much like miniature cheetahs. Their base coat is yellowish and ranges from beige to a rich gold color. They have a sleek body and long legs. The spots on the servals vary in size but are very distinct and are black. The average size of an adult serval varies from 20 to 26 inches in height and about 24 to 36 inches in length. The weight of a female is around 20 pounds and the male is about 40 pounds. The approximate life span for servals is 15 to 20 years. They are ready to breed as early as 18 months and they breed at any time of the year, but spring and fall are the most common seasons for breeding. A serval litter usually numbers between 1-6 kittens at a time.
Servals have a really nice purr and can be extremely affectionate and playful. When servals are bottle raised from the time they are kittens they get along very well with other household pets. They are carnivores, so you might want to watch out for other pets you may have such as birds, hamsters and sugar gliders. Servals can be dangerous with small children. It is not recommended to have a serval as a pet in a house with children under the age of 6 as servals have a very playful nature and toddlers would be a lot of fun to stalk and play with.
When buying a litter box always keep in mind that no litter box is too big. So buy the biggest one available. In addition, make sure that you have more than one litter box, as these cats are slow to be toilet trained. You are therefore sure to have more than a few accidents. It is advisable to use recylcled newspaper pellets, sand, or pine as cat litter. If you have an enclosure for your serval make sure it is 100% secure with a chain link fence and roofing. Make sure you include a small pond or play pool as they love to splash around. The water and food dishes should be stainless steel and big enough to feed a large dog. Servals are slightly difficult to maintain as far as their diet goes, as cat food is not suitable for them. Ideally, whole prey should be fed, but franken-prey is also fine. If you choose to use franken-prey, at least 80 per cent of it should be meat. 10 per cent can be bone, and the remainder can be made up of equal parts liver and other organs. If you choose to use whole prey, you can use mice, rats, and guinea pigs, as well as whole chickens and other poultry make perfect meals.
You should take your serval to a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals. Check-ups should be biannual, in addition to visits whenever something is wrong. The only vaccine your serval needs is a rabies vaccine.