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Serengeti Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Care, Traits & Facts

Keri-Beth Clur

By Keri-Beth Clur

Serengeti cat

Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 8-15 pounds
Lifespan: 9-15 years
Colors: Silver-spotted tabby, brown-spotted tabby, lavender, smoke, and black
Suitable for: Active singles or families, multi-pet households
Temperament: Vocal, affectionate, intelligent, confident, friendly to other pets, and very active

The gorgeous Serengeti cat breed is an exotic-looking one with its big round ears, slightly slanted eyes, bold spots, long legs, and muscular body. Surprisingly, despite this exotic appearance, this cat is 100% domesticated and relatively new, having been created back in the 1990s. This breed is the product of an Oriental Shorthair and a Bengal, which is where it got its looks that purposely resemble a wild serval.

The Serengeti has the long legs to jump up and reach high spots to watch over their area but the personality to cuddle up on their owner’s lap whenever the opportunity arises. They’re chatty and crave attention but are independent enough to go off and play by themselves.

In terms of their health and grooming requirements, they’re low maintenance and ideal cats for people who prefer minimal shedding. The Serengeti loves company and is easygoing, making them a brilliant pet for families and multi-pet households. They’ve got a lot to offer, so keep reading for more information.


Serengeti Kittens


You may struggle to find a Serengeti kitten because this breed is still relatively new and rare, but there are a few breeders throughout the United States and even in other countries around the world.

Because these cats are rare, be careful of untrustworthy breeders who may be breeding cats in conditions that aren’t suitable nor appropriate to make a quick buck.

Always ask a breeder questions about their cats and their medical history and ask to see documentation to back up their claims. If a breeder is unwilling to be open about their cats or doesn’t have the documentation you require, don’t continue the process with them, as they’re likely not a reputable breeder.

You should also never be offered a kitten younger than 8 weeks because they still need their mother before this age. If a breeder is okay with selling you a kitten and removing them from their mother before 8 weeks of age, they are not legitimate.

Another route to take when looking for a Serengeti to welcome into your home is searching through rescue groups.

Parent breeds of the Serengeti Cat
The parent breeds of Serengeti Cat: Left – Oriental Shorthair (Zhigulina Oksana, Shutterstock) | Right – Bengal (EZvereva, Shutterstock)

3 Little-Known Facts About the Serengeti Cat

1. They Are 100% Domesticated

Although Serengeti cats look similar to the wild African serval, they don’t share any of their “wildness” and are instead 100% domesticated. Karen Sausman, a conservation biologist and creator of this breed, was inspired by servals and wanted to create an exotic-looking cat to dissuade people from keeping wild cats as pets. The Serengeti is the result of breeding an Oriental Shorthair and a Bengal together.

2. Their Spots Are Always Visible

Just like a serval, Serengeti cats have spots. Granted, their bold and widely spread spots are easier to see when their coat color is lighter, but even with a solid black coat, those spots are visible. These “ghost spots” can be seen clearer in the right light.

3. They’re Jumpers!

A Serengeti can jump really high, up to 7 feet in the air. If you’re trying to place something out of your cat’s reach, it may be better to keep it in a closed cupboard instead because this kitty can easily jump onto high surfaces. They’re able to jump so high because they have the energy for it, along with long, athletic legs.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Serengeti Cat

The Serengeti is often referred to as the “Velcro Cat” because of how determined they are to stick near their owners. They’ll follow you around because they genuinely enjoy your company. They’re also extremely affectionate, so be prepared for plenty of leg rubbing and curling up onto your lap.

Although confident and easygoing, they can be quite shy around strangers, so be sure to introduce them to any new people and pets that may come into your home. They’re easygoing and are up for any activity. Although their high energy levels can make training a bit difficult, they do catch onto tricks and commands relatively easily.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Serengeti cats are excellent for families. They long to be a part of the daily activities and crave plenty of affection from both adults and children of all ages. The high energy of children matches their energetic nature, which results in plenty of fun.

Of course, these cats will try to defend themselves if they’re being hurt, even if your young children aren’t hurting them intentionally. Avoid all risks of injury by teaching your children to be gentle with cats in general and never leave your children and Serengeti unsupervised.

This breed will also flourish with a single owner who has the time and energy to stimulate their minds and bodies. They’re great companions that, when not playing, will be chatting to you or cuddling up on your lap.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Serengeti will be happy and content in a home with other pets, as well as ones without them. They’re social and enjoy company, regardless of whether that company is in the form of humans, dogs, or other cats just like them.

Early socialization is always best in a multi-pet household. However, if you get a new pet when your Serengeti is a bit older, make sure to introduce the pets to each other properly and don’t leave them unsupervised until they’re entirely comfortable around each other.


Things to Know When Owning a Serengeti Cat

Cats differ from breed to breed. They often have different levels of grooming and maintenance needs. Thankfully, the Serengeti isn’t a very difficult cat breed to care for—and even if they were, their gorgeous appearance and personalities would make it all worth it!

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

Serengeti cats don’t require a special, expensive diet. As with all cats, they’ll thrive off high-quality cat food that is high in animal protein. They also need fats and carbohydrates to get all the nutrients they need.

Dry cat food or freeze-dried cat food are a few popular food types on the market that your Serengeti will enjoy. Wet cat food has more moisture in it and is hydrating, but it’s more expensive and can lead to dental problems because it doesn’t scrape plaque from their teeth as harder food does. However, mixing kibble and wet food together is both tasty and beneficial.

Whether you feed your cat canned food or not, they should always have access to clean water. Without it, they can become dehydrated and at risk of kidney problems.

Exercise 🐈

Due to their high energy levels, Serengeti cats need plenty of exercise. If they can’t release their energy, they may become destructive. Exercise doesn’t always have to include plenty of effort from you. Simply supervising them while they run, play, climb, and jump in your yard will help them burn off their energy. They may love your company, but they’re independent enough to play on their own.

Other fun activities that your kitty will enjoy are cat puzzles, as these will stimulate their mind. If you’re active and want to exercise with your cat, you can run up and down the stairs with them or playfully chase and wrestle with them. They’ll also appreciate cat toys, chasing the light from a laser, jumping to catch a cat wand, and moving through a homemade obstacle course.

Cat trees and shelves will also naturally exercise your cat as they’ll be climbing and jumping all over them. This breed loves to climb up high and enjoy the view from their vantage point.

Training 🧶

The Serengeti is an intelligent breed, but their high energy levels are their downfall because they’re so easily distracted. However, you’re likely to have more success if you start training them from kittens. Although they’re typically not dog-like enough to play fetch, they can be taught to jump, sit, and step over objects. If you’re eager to try to teach them more advanced commands, make sure you’ve got plenty of treats to motivate and reward them with.

As with all pets, training requires patience. If you get frustrated and yell at your cat, you’ll only make them fearful, and it’ll be counteractive to your goal. Instead, encourage them and praise them when they do listen and respond.

Grooming ✂️

If you’re looking for a cat that barely sheds hair, the Serengeti is an excellent option. They’re also low maintenance when it comes to grooming because of their short, smooth coats. You can brush through their coats once a week to remove any debris and loose hairs. Other than that, cats are excellent self-groomers and will take care of their own coats for the most part. Don’t skip it completely as they sometimes need a bit of help, and it’s an excellent way to bond with your best friend.

What you will need to do once a month is a nail trim, or you can drop them off at a groomer to have them clip their nails for you. It’s better to start with this when they’re still young, as their nails can rip furniture and even get caught. Cat scratching posts and tree climbing will also help file down their long, sharp claws.

You should also occasionally check your Serengeti’s large ears for dirt and brush their teeth with cat-friendly toothpaste. Remember, the earlier you start, the better.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Because the Serengeti breed has only been around since 1994, little is known about any breed-specific health conditions, but they are considered a hardy and healthy breed. Of course, they’re susceptible to diseases, infections, and abnormalities, as with any cat breed, so it is vitally important to take them to the veterinarian annually for their vaccinations and a full checkup to detect and treat any health issues that may arise.

Minor Conditions
  • Bladder Stones: One health issue that does seem to occur occasionally in the Serengeti breed is urinary crystals. These crystals may never cause a problem, however, if they form together and get big enough to cause blockages in the urethra, it can be dangerous to your cat’s health and ultimately lead to acute kidney injury. If your cat does experience symptoms, they’re likely to have pain, fever, foamy urine, an excessive urge to pee, bloody urine, and a bad odor in the urine. If you notice any of these, take your Serengeti to the veterinarian.
Serious Conditions
  • None known


Male vs Female

There aren’t many differences between male and female Serengeti cats other than their size and weight. Females are typically smaller and lighter, weighing between 8 to 12 pounds. Males tend to be larger and heavier, weighing between 10 to 15 pounds.

If your Serengeti weighs more than the average weight for their breed and is on the chubby side, it’s important to start them on a diet to manage their weight. Although obese cats may look cute, obesity can be life-threatening, leading to some serious health conditions. Make sure your Serengeti is also receiving the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy.

To prevent your Serengeti from falling pregnant, it’s important to get her spayed. You can get this procedure done from 4 months old. You can also have your male cat safely neutered from this age. Having your cat spayed or neutered from an early age can also decrease their risk of certain serious health conditions.


Final Thoughts

The Serengeti cat is a gorgeous breed that is difficult to find as they’re still relatively new, having only been created in the 1990s. They’re medium in size, boast round amber eyes, large round ears, and beautiful bold spots along their body. They’re suitable for active households, including those with children and even other pets. Although energetic, they make wonderful companions with their chatty and affectionate personalities.

Featured Image Credit: LTim, Shutterstock

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