Serval Physical Characteristics

SIZE Servals are similar in size to Caracals and also classed as medium sized cats, however they are more slender and taller. Adults range from 9 to 13 kgs.

BODY The Serval is a slender cat with long legs and a short tail. The legs are proportionally the longest to its body size of all the wild cats.

COAT The coat pattern is variable but usually pale yellow with different sized spots, some of which merge into longitudinal stripes down the back and neck. The underparts are paler but usually also spotted. The tail has black rings and has a black tip.

Melanistic (black) Servals occur with the spotted pattern still showing through on the dark coat.

Serval Physical Characteristics
Serval Physical Characteristics
Image Credit: Adult serval standing with young
© Fritz Polking / www.flpa-images.co.uk
Image Source ARKive with permission
Serval Cat Facial Characteristics
Serval Facial Characteristics
Image Credit: Serval drinking from water hole
© Bruce Davidson / naturepl.com
Image Source ARKive with permission

Serval Facial Characteristics

HEAD The large, rounded ears are set close together and are a distinguishing feature of Servals. They have the largest ears proportionally to their body size of all the cat species. The backs of the ears are black with a distinct white patch across the centre.

 

AGE In the wild - up to 11 years. In captivity - up to 20 years.