5 Servals Kept in Basement for 12 years

Back in the 1990s it was legal to own Servals, a Cheetah like cat who is built for speed and can leap 12 up in pursuit of birds, as pets.  Thanks to those who have spoken out to protect exotic cats, it is no longer legal, but anyone who had such cats prior to the ban were allowed to keep them until they died of old age.  Chris bought five cute little serval kittens from the now defunct Latham pet store and took them home with the intentions of providing them with life long care. She loved her pets, but quickly learned that they would escape at every opportunity of an open door and that servals are built to spray urine all over everything to mark it as their own.

Before long the five servals, Zoul, Zimba, Zouletta, Santino, and one who has since died, were relegated to the basement, where a drain had been installed in the floor to facilitate cleaning.  Another serval, Doodles, became an unwanted housepet of a man in FL and joined the cat clan in NY.  They were to spend more than 12 years in the basement, eating a canned diet called ZuPreem and shredding newspaper for fun.  Chris tried to alleviate their boredom with pumpkins for Halloween, eggs for Easter and Christmas trees as enrichment, but they perilously fat for their slender legs due to the small size of their enclosure, which was only 12 feet wide and 25 feet long.

When Chris began battling cancer her home went into foreclosure.  Her sister ran off and left her three children behind and Chris was the one to step in to rescue them.  Knowing that she is about to be forced out of her home, with three more kids in tow, she knew that she would never be able to rent an apartment if she were to keep her five declawed servals.  Having no Internet connection she enlisted the help of her friend Vicki to try and find a sanctuary for her beloved pets.  As you can imagine, there was no place that could take in five more hungry mouths to feed with the economy being what it is.  It was looking like her only alternative would be to put the cats to sleep and just the thought of it was almost more than Chris could bear.

Thanks to all of our wonderful supporters, Big Cat Rescue can help these five servals.  We can join two of our existing 1,200 sf cages and add a room addition so that these cats will have appx. 3,000+ sf of space.  From end to end they will be able to run and chase each other, lizards and butterflies for about 200 feet at a time.  They will be able to feel the soft earth beneath their feet and roll in the grass for the first time ever.  They will awaken to birds singing in the trees over head, feel the breeze on their faces and go to sleep under the stars with crickets singing their lullabies.  Most importantly, they will never be in want again of a place to call home.  We can make this happen, but we need your help.

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  1. You sound like you really want a serval, however, in some states you need a special pet permit. Also, servals require extensive care and will most likely only bond with a few people. If they only bond to a few people, if you ever decide to go on vacation, they will not forgive you. You cannot go away for long periods of time and they will not take kindly to anyone other than their owners feeding them. In all honesty, your parents would be taking care of the serval. It is a huge commitment because they are NOT regular house cats. They are wild animals. Servals can be pets, but are very very difficult and expensive to take care of. You are better off getting a savannah cat. They are a cross breed between a serval and a house cat. Savannahs are a little easier to take care of. I only know about this because I was like you once and wanted one, so I did my research.

  2. what the heck? you should never buy these beautiful creatures. they deserve to live in their natural habitat. Buying servals will only support the pet trade. Even if you take care of them, it dangerous to have these pets. Did you even READ the article above? P.S. There's only one BCR, it's in Tampa, FL, and you have to be 18 to even start working with the cats. (16 to be an Advocat but you probably don't know what that is.)

  3. Hi. I'm Summer. I'm only 12 but I turn 13 in January. I am in love with all animals but cats interest me the most. I believe they are beautiful creatures. I found servals on youtube. I fell in love with them. I have never had one but I would like to get one. I won't be buying it of course my parents will if I can convince them. But before I ask I need some info so I may inform them on these exotic creatures. I was wondering first of all, where I could buy one. I live in Alabama. Second, how much are they? Third, What do they eat and need to drink to stay healthy and strong? I wouldn't want to feed them wrongly and mess them up like the poor babies in the video. If I need anymore facts or info I'll inform you guys. Please respond soon. Have a wonderful day. Oh and one more thing. If there is a Big cat rescue near me would I be old enough to volunteer. I am very responsible. My dads truck messed up awhile back so also would I be able to get a ride and could I bring my friends maybe sometimes on a tour.

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