Sunday, January 11, 2009

Serval Cats

Water colour painting

The Serval cat, an animal about twice the size of a large domestic cat is distributed widely throughout Africa. They have unusually long legs, small heads, very large ears and short tails. Their coats are a yellowish sandy coulor with buff to off white underparts.

They have black spots on their bodies that in certain parts merge into stripes. Adult Serval cats can weigh between 8 and 20 kg's and grow to 3 feet long and stand 24 inches at the shoulder with the female slightly smaller than the male.

Wild Servals are more common on the open savannas in tall grass near wetlands or rivers. Their large ears can apparently hear the slight motion of a rodent up to 20 feet away. Their characteristic pouncing in the long grass allows them to also target birds in flight and have been recorded leaping 10 to 15 feet straight up and pluck a bird in flight out of the air.

These mainly nocturnal, terrestrial cats are also good climbers and are equally comfortable in water fishing for a meal. Their amazing adaptability has aided the survival of an animal that was once hunted for it beautiful coat.

Serval cats have long been held in captivity as domestic cats dating back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians. More recently they have been bred in Europe and the USA.

So for all you cat lovers looking for the ultimate exotic cat, Servals although still a wild cat can
make a good human companion.