SCIENTIFIC NAME: Leptailurus serval
SIZE: 23 to 36 inches (59 to 92 centimeters), with males larger than females. 

Height: 17 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimeters) tall at the shoulder

WEIGHT: 15 to 40 pounds (7 to 18 kilograms)

Servals do not have a specific breeding season, and even though each male’s home range may overlap those of several females, they live separately most of the year. Males may sometimes rest together during the day in small groups, but otherwise they are solitary

The female serval raises her kittens alone, usually three kittens to a litter. They live in a den made of tall, thick grass or perhaps an abandoned burrow. The mother leaves her kittens most of the day while she hunts for food, returning to stay with them at night. At about one month of age, the mother starts to bring food back to the den for her cubs.

Servals have the longest legs and largest ears for their body size of any cat.


Up to 19 years


Gestation: 70 to 79 days

Number of young at birth: 1 to 5, usually 3

Weight at birth: 8 to 9 ounces (227 to 255 grams)

Age of maturity: 18 to 24 months


The name “serval” is believed to come from the Portuguese word lobo-cerval, meaning “lynx.”

The serval has the longest legs and largest ears for its body size of any cat.

Serval births often occur about a month before the peak in the local rodent population.

Servals with black coats are sometimes found in mountainous regions of East Africa.