Caring for your Serval
Servals require minimal special care. Being an African species, they do appreciate a warm nest box in cold weather, but they can take quite cold weather. They eat 1-3 pounds of meat per day.
Domestically bred African Servals are raised as pets, and are often available. Like domestic cat breeds, they are lively and playful, and become very affectionate and devoted to their owners. They have a loud purr and express affection with endearing head butts. Rather than a meow, they make a chirping sound. Some of their traits can be likened to that of a dog. They can be trained to walk on a leash, and love to play fetch.
Serval cats make fascinating pets, but they are not for everyone. They are very active, but are also shy and will take dedicated time and attention from their owner to develop a close bond. Once they become your friend however, you have a companion for up to 20 years. Their size and active nature takes forethought to make your home cat proof. Their nature is such that to keep them in a household with children, or with other pets also takes special consideration. Serval cats can be a dream come true for a devoted cat lover, one dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of this animal as well as the other members of the household.
My Serval Duma has adjusted to living with other pets very well. She loves the 2 dogs and our other smaller cat like they are part of her pride.
Caring for your Servals is a little more work then your average cat. A raw diet is very important for your cat as well as extra calcium and minerals. I use a liquid calcium in a small syringe and give extra to my Serval every day. There are different kinds of minerals but the best is Wild Trax supplements.
The very best diet you can give would be whole prey. That means the whole animal, innards, fur, everything. If you can find a supplier of feeder rats, or chicks over 3 days old (because they have more nutritional value than younger chicks), that would be the best diet you can feed your serval. You don't need to add supplements because everything is there in a whole prey diet that they need.
The rule of thumb for the amount to feed a healthy adult serval would be 3% of his body weight. For a growing kitten it can be as much as 5% of his body weight. The 3% pertains to real meat weight. Commercial diets like Zupreme and Mazuri are condensed/concentrated and therefore fed in lesser amounts. I personally avoid the commercial made foods for my cat but if you are feeding diets that are commercial Zupreme and Mazuri were designed for these cats.
Probably the most common diet fed to exotic cats is raw chicken leg quarters with a vitamin supplement. A chicken leg quarter (w/the bone) is pretty well balanced in CA:Ph by itself, but it is not really a "whole" diet and needs a multivitamin with taurine supplement added. You can use any number of vitamins made for domestic cats, and there are only a few vitamins out there made specifically for wild felines.
I got my Duma (my Serval) when she was only just 5 weeks. I started feeding her a blended mix of extra lean ground chicken, 1 big scoop of KMR (Kitten milk replacement) , a sprinkle of Wild trax, a table spoon of Baby food (Baby Gourmet- Pear, Pumpkin and banana) and one ground calcium pill. I added all the ingredient to a small food possessor and added warm water so it was like a mush once blended. She just loved it and eat it until she was 6 months. This I gave her 3 times a day when tiny but once she was eating solids I only gave it in the morning when she was the most hungry.
As you can see by the picture below it did not take her long before she was eating whole meats but I still gave her the mush every morning with all her minerals, calcium and goodies.
Another very important thing about Servals is the Veterinarian care they get. First off make sure when you go to the Vet for their vaccinations they always get a (Killed Virus). Find a Vet that is also has experience with exotic cats.