Serval stand 22 inches at the shoulder.


30 to 45 pounds.


Savannahs. Servals are common on the savannahs where there is plenty of water. They seem to prefer areas of bush, tall grass and dry reed beds near streams, but are found in high-altitude moorlands and bamboo thickets. Black servals occur in Kenya's high country.

Diet - Carnivores

Servals eat a great variety of prey, including birds, snakes, lizards, frogs and insects, and they are notorious poultry raiders. They are quite successful hunters, catching an average of 50 percent of all prey hunted.


The serval is mainly nocturnal, but even in the daytime it can be difficult to see in tall grass. The serval hunts by sight and sound more than scent. With its acute hearing, a serval can locate prey that is moving underground.

If hunting prey above ground, the serval raises its head above the grass and listens for movement. Once a sound is located, the serval stealthily approaches, then leaps and pounces. It often plays with its catch before eating it.

A serval has a territory of up to 5 square miles that it continually marks by spraying urine on grass and bushes along the borders. The marking alerts servals in overlapping territories to keep their distance.

Life Expectancy

20 years in the wild.​