African Serval

African Serval

The African Serval is often referred to as the cat of spare parts. This unusual, but beautiful cat is among the feline family’s most successful. African Serval have a small, delicate head and extremely large ears set on an elongated neck, long slim legs (hind legs longer than front), long slender body and a short tail.

The ears of the African Serval are black on the back with a distinctive white spot, and the tail has 6 or 7 black rings and a black tip. The hair coat color is pale yellow with black markings, either of large spots that tend to merge into longitudinal stripes on the neck and back, or of numerous small spots, which give a speckled appearance.

These “speckled” Servals from West Africa – called servalines – used to be considered a separate species Felis brachyura, until it was demonstrated that the speckled pattern was just a variation or “morph”.

The African Serval is found in well-watered savannah long-grass environments, and are associated with reed beds and other riparian vegetation types. African Serval occupy a variety of habitats all associated with water sources, they range up into alpine grasslands and can penetrate deep dense forests along waterways and through grassy patches, but are absent from rain forests. African Serval will make use of arid areas in extreme instances, and have occasionally done so in parts of South-Western Africa.