Can You Own a Serval Cat In The UK?

The serval cat is a large African wildcat, and it has been known to reach weights of up to 18kg. Servals are illegal in the UK, but you can own one if you have a big garden and live in certain parts of Scotland. To find out more about this rare breed, read on!

Can You Own A Serval Cat In The UK?

Servals are illegal in the UK, meaning you cannot keep them as a pet without special permission from the authorities. This is because they are listed as endangered species, and it is crucial to protect them from extinction.

However, if you live in certain parts of Scotland, you may be able to keep a serval cat in your garden as long as it is not kept in captivity and you have ample space.

A Serval cat close up head and shoulders outside.

What Is A Serval Cat?

The serval cat is a medium to large-sized wildcat native to Africa. They have long legs, a small head and big ears, which give them their characteristic ‘eared’ appearance.

Servals live in grasslands and savannahs, where they are very skilled at catching prey. In addition, they have a good sense of sight and hearing, which helps them to be successful hunters. Servals will usually hunt during the day but can also participate in nocturnal hunts if required.

They mainly feed on rodents, hares, birds and fish, although larger servals have been known to kill antelopes and even crocodiles.

The serval is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, hunting and infighting with other wildcats. This means that it’s illegal to hunt or keep them in captive conditions without special permission.

What Documents Do You Need To Own A Serval In The UK?

If you want to keep a serval as a pet in the UK, you will need to apply for special permission from the authorities. This will involve submitting detailed information about yourself, your cat and your garden. You will also need to provide photographs of your property and cat.

One of the documents you will need is a DWA license which you will need to apply for in advance.

It is essential to be aware that the authorities may refuse your application, and you should not be surprised if this happens. They also reserve the right to make unannounced visits to your property and inspect it at any time, so keep this in mind when applying for a serval cat licence!

Servals need lots of space and exercise because they are very active animals. 

How Long Do Serval Cats Live?

Serval cats live for around 12 years in the wild and approximately 20 years if kept as pets. This is significantly longer than the average lifespan of a domestic cat, so it’s essential to think long and hard before deciding to get a serval as a pet.

Where Can You Buy A Serval Cat In The UK?

You cannot buy serval cats anywhere in the UK. This is because they are illegal to keep as pets, and there are no commercial suppliers of these animals for owners.

Do Servals Make Good Pets?

Servals do not make good pets because they are wild cats. This means that they can be unpredictable no matter how long they have been kept as pets, and they may even revert into a wild state.

They are also very large animals with sharp claws, which can be dangerous if not handled correctly.

In addition, servals have been known to kill people in the past, so it is essential for their safety and yours that you do not keep them.

What Is The Difference Between A Serval Cat And An African Wildcat?

A serval cat is a medium-sized wildcat native to Africa, whereas an African wildcat may be found in Africa, the Middle East and India. The African wildcat is much smaller than the serval cat and usually doesn’t grow larger than about kg. The African wildcat has shorter legs and a less characteristic ‘eared’ appearance. The serval cat also has spots, whereas the African wildcat is usually solid coloured. Lastly, the serval cat tends to be more active than an African wildcat and therefore requires a lot more space to exercise.

Conclusion:

Servals are illegal in the UK, and you cannot keep them as pets without special permission from the authorities. This is because they are listed as endangered species, and it is vital to protect them from extinction.

If you want to keep a serval cat, you will need to apply for a DWA license which involves submitting detailed information about yourself, your cat and your garden. You will also need to provide photographs of your property and cat.

It is essential to be aware that the authorities may refuse your application, and you should not be surprised if this happens. They also reserve the right to make unannounced visits to your property and inspect it at any time, so keep this in mind when applying for a serval cat licence!

Thank you for reading our blog post on owning a Serval cat in the UK. Let us know in the comments if you would ever consider owning a Serval Cat.

Rochelle

Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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