OVERVIEW

The serval, scientifically known as the Leptailurus serval, is a wild cat native to Ethiopia. Now found in over 35 African countries, the serval prefers habitats like grasslands and savannas. A medium sized cat, it is slender with black spots and stripes. There are also markings between the ears that continue in four lines down its body. The serval is a solitary cat, so it prefers to be alone unless it is time for breeding.




HUNTING AND DIET

As far as diet, the carnivorous serval mainly eats rodents. It also eats birds, insects, and reptiles, though in lower numbers. Servals, unlike other cats, enjoy playing in water, so they also eat fish. It is preyed upon by hyenas, leopards, and wild dogs. To escape their predators, some servals climb trees.




MATING & FAMILY LIFE

Servals are very solitary wild cats that come together to breed. There is no specific breeding season, so the female serval communicates with the male serval via series of cries to alert him that she is ready to mate. Female servals raise their young on their own and only raise them for a short period of time. While female offspring stay with the mother serval for up to two years, male servals leave at about six months.


BEHAVIOR

Servals are solitary cats, but they are playful. They enjoy water, and are known for their impressive jumping abilities.