The Serengeti cat breed can be deceiving at first glance. The coats are short, smooth, and soft, and can be yellowish to golden with distinct black spots, grey or silver with black spots, or solid black. As a result, they appear like leopard spots, giving them the wild cat look.
Although they look like they’re related to the Serval, they have no wild blood in their gene line. This breed obtained their large upright ears and spotted coats through calculated breeding crosses with domestic cat breeds.
The Serengeti breed originated back in 1994, and they’ve now become incredibly popular among cat owners. This breed is high-energy and loves to play with their human or animal friends.
Serengeti breeds make great companions and stand out due to their wild appearance and make a great addition to the household.
|Serengeti Cat Breed Overview|
|Colors||Coat color is usually golden or gray, leopard style markings with black spots.|
|Suitable for||Families with other pets or children, elderly, or singles|
|Temperament||Vocal, playful, high energy|
|Breed Traits Overview|
History Of The Serengeti Cat Breed
The Serengeti Cat was first bred in 1994 by crossing a Bengal with an Oriental cat (not to be confused with a Colorpoint Shorthair cat breed). This crossing occurred thanks to conservation biologist Karen Sausman.
Karen aspired to create a breed that looked similar to the African Serval. Sausman, who was based out of California, belonged to the Kingsmark Cattery. By aiming for characteristics similar to this wild cat, the Serengeti Cat was bred to have long legs, an athletic body, and spots similar to the Serval.
Shortly after the breed’s debut, breeders took the initiative to expand the breed. This project went underway in 1995 to open up the gene pool and increase the number of kittens. This project opened up breeding lines in the US, Europe, the UK, Russia, and Australia.
This is also where the name “Serengeti” came from when it came time to give the breed a name. The only cat breed registry that has recognized the Serengeti Cat thus far is The International Cat Association (TICA).
How Much Does A Serengeti Cat Cost?
The average cost for a Serengeti Cat is between $600 and $2,000. This broad range is attributed to the level of breeder that you obtain your cat from and the age of the cat upon purchase. If you buy from a high-quality breeder with solid genes, you’ll pay more. If you buy an older cat, you’ll always spend less since they’re in lower demand.
If you’re looking to get an adult cat, always check shelters before purchasing from a breeder. It’s not uncommon for adult cats to be surrendered to shelters. Since the Serengeti Cat is a more common breed, it’s not unlikely to find one in need of a good home up for adoption.
Since the breed originated in the United States, you’re likely to find many individuals within the breed around North America. However, there are also many breeders in other countries like Australia, Europe, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The cost would be equivalent to the USD cost, averaging between £435 and £1,450, €510 and €1,700, and A$815 and A$2,700.
Personality Traits Of Serengeti Cats
Many cat lovers assume that the Serengeti Cat is highly independent due to their more wild appearance. This couldn’t be more untrue, however. This cat breed loves to be close to their humans and will often follow their family around the home just to stay close.
Because they’re so clingy, many have nicknamed this breed “velcro cats.” They’re always happy to curl up on their owner’s lap and take a nap but will also love to play with you.
This breed has a lot of energy, and if that energy is not expelled, it can start to get mischievous. It’s not uncommon to find your cat turning on the faucets, opening cabinets, and getting into your personal belongings. This is why enrichment for their mind is so significant.
By giving them ways to be active, you’ll be able to manage their mischief better. Getting or building a cat wheel is a great way to teach them how to get rid of some energy while keeping them in good health. You should always have a cat tree and several perches for them to rest on and various toys around the home.
The Serengeti Cat will do well outside if you’re comfortable allowing them to play in the yard. Since they’re a larger breed, they’ll be able to hold their own if any smaller wildlife comes along like birds or rodents. If you’re uncomfortable letting them be free outside, consider getting a cat playpen where they can still enjoy the outdoors while remaining safe.
Keeping your cat as a purely outdoor cat isn’t ideal, but by installing a cat door, you can let them spend more free time outside. This is a great way to let more of their energy out if you have a smaller indoor space for them to play.
This breed is easily trained and can also adapt quickly to a harness for going on walks or hikes outside. With so many options for exercise, you should never let your cat become dormant and overweight. They will put on weight quickly if not exercised, which can impact their health immensely.
If you have small children or other pets, the Serengeti Cat is a great option to bring into the home. While they are energetic, they’re also quite gentle. You won’t have to worry about this breed playing too rough or injuring anybody in your family.
How To Take Care Of A Serengeti Cat
This domestic cat breed is relatively easy to care for. With excellent health and an average life expectancy, you won’t find yourself spending a lot of time in the veterinarian’s office with this breed. If you can maintain their minimal needs, your cat will live a long and healthy life.
This cat breed doesn’t have any specific dietary needs. As obligate carnivores, you should constantly be feeding your cat a primarily meat-based diet with high-quality ingredients. If you’re unsure about finding the best quality cat food, you should consult your veterinarian for recommendations.
There are several cat food types, including weight loss formulas, high fiber diets, and food made for sensitive stomachs. You must be aware of your cat’s needs so that you can buy them a diet specified for their specific issues.
Your veterinarian will best be able to identify if your cat is overweight or lacking in specific nutrients. Therefore, before switching to new cat food, always be sure to run it by them. Your cat should take allergy tests before being introduced to any new foods as well. Since many common fillers in cat foods can cause allergies, be sure to ask your veterinarian if your cat can safely consume grains like corn or wheat.
If they show any intolerance to these grains, opt for grain-free cat food to minimize any risk of intestinal issues or diarrhea.
Maintaining a Serengeti Cat’s fur is relatively easy due to its short sleek coat. The breed doesn’t shed much but may be prone to more loose hairs if not brushed regularly. Brushing this cat breed once or twice a day is sufficient in getting any loose hairs out of their tight coats.
If you find that your cat is shedding more than expected, try giving them a bath to loosen up any hair that may be ready to shed. This will also reduce your cat’s risk of hairballs from self-grooming loose hairs.
Apart from coat maintenance, you’ll want to keep up with nail trimming and ear cleanings. This breed of cat is prone to dirt buildup in the ears, leading to additional medical issues if not treated. If you find that your cat has ear mites, this can either be remedied at home or with your veterinarian.
Training your Serengeti cat may be easier than other cat breeds due to its high energy levels. Since this breed enjoys being very active, you can efficiently train them to walk on a leash to walk outside with you.
As long as you take training slowly and keep it positive with food rewards when they do something good, you’ll be able to train many behaviors. It’s important to start young with training and to keep your sessions short for optimal success.
If you find that your cat isn’t responding well to the training, try to engage with them before any intense physical activity to make sure they have the mental energy to learn. Keep the time of day you are training consistent, and they’ll adjust to the schedule bringing more focus to each session.
If you choose not to do any training, you may find that your cat is mischievous and getting into your personal items. Since the cat is incredibly smart, they really benefit from having known boundaries.
The Serengeti Cat is known to be a very healthy breed. Although this cat breed is strong, if you don’t stay up to date on vaccinations and basic health checks, you’re likely to find that your cat develops problems.
You’re unlikely to encounter many serious health issues but should remain consistent in your visits to the veterinarian.
This breed can be susceptible to becoming overweight when not exercising enough. Obesity is a huge problem in domestic cats and can lead to heart problems in their old age. You can avoid any weight gain by encouraging play and supplying a healthy and balanced diet.
Since this is a medium-sized cat, it’s important to trim their nails regularly. Their body size can make them more prone to scratching or tearing furniture; however, this can be avoided. Another great way to take some pressure off your furniture between nail trimmings is to get a scratching post.
As previously mentioned, this breed can get more dirt buildup in their ears due to their large ear size. If you notice that they’re starting to shake their head, itch their ears, or tilt their head to one side when walking, they may have an ear infection.
If you see any sign of infection in your cat’s ears, bring them to the veterinarian right away.
Ear infections can be painful and quickly resolved with some antibiotics.
The Serengeti Cat was bred to look similar to African wild cats. Because of this, they have unique proportions and patterning on the fur that distinguishes them from other breeds.
- Head: While the head of this breed can look disproportionately small when compared to ear size, it’s not the head that’s too small. It’s simply that the ears are quite large on these cats. Their heads are usually round with pronounced snouts.
- Body: The body of the Serengeti Cat is long and lean. They’re medium-sized and have an average and athletic build.
- Ears: The ears of the Serengeti Cat are large and upright. They mimic the look of a wild cat and can make their heads look too small in size in comparison.
- Eyes: Their eyes are rounded and large in size. Often, eye color is in the green tones; however, this will change depending on the cat’s coat color.
- Legs and Paws: One of the most distinguishing features of this breed is their exceptionally long legs. Their leg length makes for an extremely athletic looking cat. This also makes them look more like a wild hybrid rather than a domestic breed.
- Tail: The tail of this breed is not as long as their body length; however, it’s still proportional to body size.
- Coat: Short, sleek coats. These cats don’t shed a lot or grow thick undercoats.
- Color: Coat color can vary. They can be solid black and have ghost spots, similar to a black jaguar. Or they can be tabby, ebony silver, a smokey gray. Those with a darker black coat will still show some form of patterning as the lighter coat color individuals have.
The Serengeti Cat is a unique breed with wild characteristics. Their striking appearance paired with their playful personality makes them a great addition to any home. This breed is easy to please, quick to train, and gentle with children and other species.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Serengeti cats hypoallergenic?
No cat breed is 100% hypoallergenic cat breed, but some are considered less allergenic than others. Unfortunately, the Sergenti breed isn’t considered a low hypoallergenic breed.