Serval cats resemble cheetahs and stay near water. They are also solitary animals that have the longest legs in the cat family.
It is unknown where the serval cat originated, but it is believed to have come from Africa. It was originally called the African wildcat and was distributed across southern and western Africa.
The first servals were brought to Europe from Africa in the 17th century. In 1876, a serval was born at a zoo in Berlin. The mother was a European wildcat and the father was an African wildcat that had been taken from his natural habitat in the Congo and shipped to Europe as part of a menagerie.
Serval cats are not well-known in North America, but they have been taken in by some zoos as a way of preserving their species. They also live as exotic pets in some parts of North America.
Servals are now bred by humans in domestication, but they are still not considered domestic cats because they do not tolerate living with people, except as captives.