Serval and ocelot both are kind of wild cats that might look similar from a distance but are different from each other. The similarity between these cats is that they both are nocturnal hunters that aggressively defend their territories. Today, we will compare differences between the Serval and ocelot and see what will happen if they both get involved in a fight.
What Does a Serval Look Like?
Serval is a medium-sized wild cat with a slender body with long legs, short tail, and a small head. Their facial features include the brownish or greenish eyes, white whiskers on the snout, and the near the ears. Serval’s coat is generally golden-yellow to buff and extensively marked with black spots and stripes. From the back of the head to the shoulder, two to three black lines run and then breaks into a row of spots. However, the spots may vary significantly in size. Their white underbelly has a dense and fluffy fur with the soft guard hairs.
Where do Serval Live?
Serval cats are native to Africa, although they are rarely seen in North Africa and the Sehal.
But these species are widespread in the Sub-Saharan countries except for rainforest regions. Servals are found in several habitats. They can be found where there is plenty of water. They prefer to live in areas of bush, tall grass, and dry reed beds near streams, but they also found in high-altitude moorlands and bamboo thickets. Servals are also known to occur up to 12,500 feet above sea level on Mount Kilimanjaro.
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How Big is a Serval Cat?
Serval can stand 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 18 to 40 pounds. The head and body length is generally from 26 to 39 inches.
What do Serval Cats Eat?
The serval has a varied diet they feed on rodents, birds, reptiles, frogs, fish, and giant insects. They can leap 10 feet in the air to catch birds and insects in flight. However, small rodents are the most frequent prey for serval. The cat’s long and curved claws can also hook fish and frogs out from the water. With the ability of its hunting style, varied diet, and excellent hearing capability, the serval is well equipped to be the most successful predators of all the cats.
How Fast can a Serval Run?
Having a combination of long, sturdy legs, deep chest, and slim build, the serval can reach a speed of 50 miles per hour.
The mating season is not specific for these species; it depends on their geographical location. However, the gestation period lasts for 74 days, after which the female delivers a litter of one to four kittens. The female, along with the kitten, spends more time than usual hunting and less time resting. After a year, the female chases the young from the native area.
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Facts About Serval:
- Servals have a great sense of smell, hearing, and sight, which these cats use to find the prey and avoid predators.
- These cats are solitary; they only interact with other servals when mating, caring for young or fighting for territory.
- Servals are active in the day and night; they might be busy for a longer time on cold or rainy days.
- Like many cats, servals can purr, they also have a high pitched chirp, and even can hiss, cackle, growl, grunt, and meow.
- These species have no significant predators other than humans. However, leopards and hyenas are possible competitors for food and territory.
- Servals love to climb, leap, and play in the water.
- The name serval is said to be a Portuguese word Lobo-Cerval meaning ‘lynx.’
- Having extra-long neck and legs provides them their nickname ‘giraffe cat’.
How Long do Servals Live?
The average lifespan of servals in the wild is about ten years, while in captivity, they can survive for 20 years.
Are Servals Endangered?
Under the IUCN, the serval has listed as least concern. The primary threat to these cats includes the degradation of wetlands and grasslands. The fur of serval is considered valuable in the market and is used to make mantles worn by chiefs in native tribes.
What Does an Ocelot Look Like?
Like serval, the ocelot is also a wild cat who is also known as a dwarf leopard. They range in color from light yellow to reddish-grey along with dark spots and stripes. They possess tan lines on their cheeks, and their tail has rings of fur. Ocelot’s eyes have a particular layer that collects light.
Where do Ocelot Live?
Ocelots primarily live in the rainforest of South America. However, they can also live in Central America, Mexico, and even some parts of Southern Texas. These cats prefer to inherit various habitats that include tropical forests, savannahs, grasslands, mangrove forests, marshes, and scrub regions. Although, their required habitat is dense vegetation cover. Ocelots are seen in open areas only when it is cloudy or at night. They usually live at an elevation below 3,937 feet.
How Big is an Ocelot?
The length of ocelot ranges from 27 to 39 inches, where their tail adds another 10 to 18 inches. The male weighs 15 to 34 pounds, whereas the females weigh from 14.3 to 25.3 pounds.
What Does an Ocelot Eat?
Ocelots use their sharp vision and hearing capacity to hunt rabbits, young deer, rodents, iguanas, frogs, fish, monkeys, sloths, and birds. These wild cats do not chew their food; instead, they use their teeth to tear the meat and then swallow it whole. The ocelot has a raspy tongue that enables them to remove every little bit of meat from bones.
How Fast Can an Ocelot Run?
Ocelots can run at an average speed of 38 miles per hour.
Ocelots gather together only during the mating season. In tropical areas, these cats can breed throughout the year while those living in a temperate climate, ocelots mate at the end of summers. The family of an ocelot consists of adult females and the young ones. The gestation period lies for two months after giving birth to 4 kittens in a hollow tree, a rocky bluff, or a cave.
The kittens are born with spots and have grey coats, blue eyes that turn golden brown when they are three months old. The kitten begins to walk when they are three weeks old. As they grow, the mother teaches them to hunt.
Facts About Ocelots:
- Ocelots are nocturnal, they are most active at night, and during the day, they rest in hollow trees, branches, or dense vegetation.
- Like other cats, ocelots have good vision and hearing capacity.
- These species spend most of the time on the ground but are also excellent swimmers, jumpers, and climbers.
- Ocelots communicate with each other using their body language, scent-marking, and vocalization.
- The home ranges of ocelots vary between 0.7 and 12 square miles.
- The predators of ocelots include harpy eagles, pumas, jaguars, and anacondas.
- Male ocelots are known as Torns, while females are called Queens.
- Salvador Dali owned an ocelot pet Babou and traveled with him abroad the luxury ocean liner SS France.
- The group of ocelot is known as clowder or clutter.
How Long do Ocelots Live?
In the wild, ocelots have an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years while in captivity they can survive for 20 years.
Are Ocelots Endangered?
According to the IUCN, ocelots are classified as least concern. However, their population is decreasing due to loss of habitat, and they have been killed for their coats. Hunting and pet trade is also an essential factor because of which their population is declining.
Serval vs Ocelots: Fight Comparison
Whether a Serval will win or an ocelot, it is hard to conclude as both are wild cats and fight to defend their territories. Both have sharp claws which they use to defeat their predators. As Serval and ocelot share many similar features, they can give a tough fight to each other and even poorly hurt. It is quite challenging to conclude who will win against whom.
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