The Serengeti, a wild-looking cat

Serengeti: Graceful Cat With The Appearance Of A Serval

The Serengeti is a cat of recent breed and resembles the African serval. However, it is completely domestic without the slightest wild gene. Sociable and full of energy, he is very rare in Europe, as in the United States where he comes from. Discover this little apartment serval that is the Serengeti its needs and characteristics.

The Serengeti in brief

  • Life expectancy: 13 to 16 years
  • Weight: 3.5 to 7 kg (male and female)
  • Height: 30 to 35 cm at the withers
  • Silhouette: long and powerful
  • Hair: short
  • Colours: brown spotted tabby (spotted), snow and melanistic
  • Character: sociable, talkative, very dynamic and close to people
  • Origin: USA
  • Cat breed recognized by the LOOF: no (after being recognized in 2004)

Serengeti Breed History

The history of the Serengeti dates back to the 1990s. Karen Sausman, biologist and breeder of American Bengals (Arizona), wants to launch a breed of cat resembling the serval, but without resorting to hybridization. The serval is a feline from Africa, with a spotted coat and large ears, with a small head and long legs.

Karen Sausman therefore proceeds to crosses between her Bengals, themselves derived from a domestic cat and a small wild leopard from Asia, and Oriental Shorthairs. Thus, she obtains the dress of the Bengal with the long thin legs and the large ears of the Orientals. Its goal is to prevent people from adopting real wild servals as pets, which threatens this wild species. She probably chose the name Serengeti in homage to the Serengeti National Park, located in Tanzania and in which many servals live.

The Serengeti is accepted by TICA in 2001. She classifies him as a Preliminary Race, then as a New Race, which allows him to participate in cat shows without competing.

The LOOF formalizes the standard in 2004 and accepts the breed, then proceeds to its deregistration in the following years.

This cat is very rare, both in the Americas and in Europe. If some farms bred the breed for a while in Europe, especially in England and Austria, they have mostly ceased.

Physical Characteristics Of The Serengeti Breed

The 2004 LOOF standard has been removed. However, several characteristics emerge.

Although his body is of medium size, it is a strong, muscular and robust cat. It measures between 30 and 35 cm. Its elegant very long legs muscular and solid, give it its serval look. His feet are medium sized and well rounded. Her little head triangular rests on a long neck. His big ears conical, placed high on the head, have a rounded end and their size is almost identical to that of the head, which makes this cat atypical. His ears are also quite close together. As for their eyes they should be round, large, well spaced and intense.

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Cat with short but dense hair, it sports a coat soft and silky to the touch.

Finally, its tail, rather thick, is of medium size and its tip is rounded and black, as in the Bengal. It appears short compared to the length of the body.

The Colors Of The Serengeti

The most characteristic dress is the brown spotted tabby, i.e. beige dotted with contrasting brown spots. The eyes are gold or green.

There are also Serengeti melanistic i.e. black with barely visible spots and yellow eyes.

There are also Serengeti from snow color : cream/ivory, with beige/caramel spots and blue, gold or green eyes.

Finally, the silver (silver), as well as the smoke (smoked) are also worn by the Serengeti.

Character Of The Serengeti

Like its ancestor the Bengal, the Serengeti is a cat very lively and agile. He needs to exert himself, to run, jump, climb. Like many cats, he is rather resistant to change and novelty. He took over from the Oriental his strong attachment to his master, which he can follow everywhere, even in the bathroom. He is very affectionate and very talkative, like the 2 races from which he comes. Its meow is loud and powerful. We hear it from afar! He is also a very intelligent cat.

Please note that all cats are different. We find that certain character traits come up more often, but it is very likely that certain subjects do not combine them. Each animal has its particularities, just like us, and this is what makes the relationship we weave with it unique and precious.

Ideal living conditions for the Serengeti

As the Serengeti is playful, it gets along very well with children who have learned to treat it with respect. He is also a cat don’t like loneliness too much and it is better suited to a family that is often present at home. However, due to his very dynamic temperament, he is not the ideal cat for an elderly person if he no longer appreciates the movement and lively reactions of a pet.

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In apartment he will need to be stimulated by all kinds of toys, tunnels, suspension bridges, cat trees and scratching posts to respond to his dynamism and liveliness.

In house, it is better not to leave it in total freedom because its rare coat increases the risk of theft. A fenced yard will make him very happy while keeping him safe.

He can get along with other animals, dogs and cats, if they were presented in accordance with the protocol. On the other hand, it is advisable to be very careful with rodents, because they are an excellent hunter, endowed with a strong predation instinct.

Serengeti Grooming And Maintenance

As it is a short-haired cat, maintenance is very simple. A soft curry comb or brush once a week to remove the dead hair is enough for him. It is also an opportunity to offer him a massage and a moment of complicity when it is performed gently and with love.

His ears and his eyes must be maintained by regular cleaning with specific lotions (about twice a month).

Major Health Issues In The Serengeti

Insofar as the breed is very rare, hindsight on hereditary diseases is not possible.. No race-related pathologies have therefore been identified.

A annual visit to the vet remains essential to take stock of its weight and general condition. It is also an opportunity to check the latest vaccinations and deworming as well as the quality of his diet.

Serengeti Food

Although it resembles the Serval, it is not necessary to feed it raw meat, although raw feeding suits it well. A balanced diet, made of premium quality croquettes and pâtés, provides him with everything he needs as well as good hydration which protects his kidneys.

There household ration provided it is verified by a veterinary nutritionist, is also suitable for him.

A bowl of water must be permanently accessible and renewed every day.

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Serengeti Price

There is no Serengeti in France, but in Canada (Ontario and Quebec). Only 2 breedings are registered with the TICA (the international feline association). It takes between 600 and 800 dollars for a kitten. It is a rare cat, including in North America.

There have been a few breeders in Europe, notably in Austria and England, but they no longer seem to be practicing since this cat was deregistered from the main feline associations.

The Serengeti Of Celebrities

This cat is far too rare. We are therefore not aware of any celebrities who have claimed to own a Serengeti.

Our Advice For Choosing The Right Serengeti

For the Serengeti, we cannot really give you advice, because it is not bred in France. We do not encourage individuals to import them from distant countries such as the USA or Canada, because the plane journey is heavy and stressful for a kitten. Moreover, buying a cat without seeing it closely involves risks. It may be very different from what the photos appeared to show. Moreover, the sanitary conditions of the farm are unverifiable.

If you appreciate the Serengeti, know that in the associations, many cats with a wild look, a magnetic look and a unique coat, are waiting to share their love and distribute their gratitude to a warm family.

What Are The Differences Between A Serengeti And A Savannah?

The main difference is that the Savannah is a hybrid cat. It therefore has wild animal genes, which is not the case with the Serengeti. Also, the Savannah is much larger, as it can weigh up to 13 kg and measure up to 46 cm while the Serengeti weighs a maximum of 7 kg and measures up to 35 cm. Finally, the latter has round eyes while those of the Savannah are almond-shaped.

Adopting a Serengeti means bringing in a domestic cat as rare and elegant as a precious jewel, whose close to human and affectionate character forms a real contrast with its wild appearance.

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