Young Serengeti cat sitting on white background
(Photo Credit: KrissiLundgren | Getty Images)


The Serengeti is a mixed breed cat–a cross between the Bengal and Oriental Shorthair breeds. These felines are known for being loyal, energetic, and agile. This feline marvel draws its inspiration from the untamed beauty of the African Serval while embodying domestic cats’ affectionate and adaptable qualities. The result is a strikingly regal companion that captures the essence of the African plains.

As you’d expect, these felines are super athletic and require a lot of daily exercise and playtime, which means you’ll also need a roomy living situation and at least one sizable cat tree. While these cats can be a little shy at first, they are super loyal once they bond with a human. The breed also has a reputation for being very vocal! Developed in the late 1990s, the Serengeti cat is a relatively recent addition to feline breeds.

When considering a Serengeti, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase a Serengeti kitten, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable Serengeti breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: United States
  • Size: Medium
  • Breed Group: Domestic Shorthair
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Coat: Short, dense, and sleek, with a distinctive spotted pattern
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, and affectionate
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Training: Easy to train
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing
  • Health: Generally healthy, but can develop certain genetic health conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Some Serengeti cats can have “ghost markings,” where stripes or dots can faintly show on solid colors. For example, a black tabby.
  • The Serengeti was created by biologist Karen Sausman to breed a cat that looks like the wild Serval, but is purely domesticated.
  • The Serengeti’s ears are as long as the entire head. This is a unique trait they’ve inherited from their Oriental Shorthair parentage.

Serengeti Pictures

Serengeti History

The Serengeti was originally developed back in the 1990s by Karen Sausman, a biologist and the owner of the Kingsmark Cattery who was attempting to breed a new cat who would look and act like the Serval wild cat, which resides in Africa.

The introduction of the Serengeti was intended to help bring awareness to wildlife conservation issues. The Serengeti is officially recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA).

Serengeti Size

The Serengeti is a medium-sized cat breed. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most Serengetis weigh somewhere between eight and 15 pounds. That said, many can be smaller or larger than average.

Serengeti Personality

When it comes to summing up the Serengeti’s personality, the first thing most people notice is just how active and agile these cats are! Befitting the breed’s spiritual wild cat ancestry, the Serengeti is exceptionally athletic and loves to spend time climbing up cat trees and furniture, often perching at the top and watching the world around them go by.

It goes without saying that you’ll need to provide a suitably spacious and varied environment for the Serengeti to live in, and be warned: They love to dart around the home at high speed! Beyond the Serengeti’s spirited and energetic nature, they have proved themselves to be a loving breed of cat who forms very strong bonds with the humans they live with. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a Serengeti to always follow their humans around! The Serengeti is also a very vocal cat who will happily chat away to their humans.

Serengeti Health

Serengetis are generally considered to be healthy cats–although it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. There aren’t any breed-specific health problems associated with the Serengeti, but always keep an eye out for signs that your cat might be in distress or pain.

Serengeti Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your Serengeti’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy. On a day to day basis, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is that your Serengeti is given enough space to run around and climb. This is essential to keeping the breed both healthy and in good spirits–otherwise feline obesity and a sense of frustration at being bored might become an issue. Also, add interactive toys to the home environment to keep this curious kitty mentally satisfied.

Along with scheduling yearly wellness vet visits, your Serengeti will need to have their nails checked and trimmed on a regular basis. If you’re new to cat adoption, your vet can show you the safest way to carry this out. Adding a scratching post to your living environment can also help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition. Beyond nail care, examine the Serengeti’s ears for signs of dirt building up or possible infection every couple of weeks. It’s also advisable to talk with your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your Serengeti.

Serengeti Coat Color And Grooming

The Serengeti’s coat is usually seen in either golden or gray colors, but always with its eye-catching leopard-style spots and markings. When it comes to grooming, the Serengeti is a low maintenance feline. Its short and silky coat can be brushed once a week. Doing so will not only help ward off the chance of any mats forming, but also keep the coat in clean and healthy condition. Maintaining a regular brushing routine also helps to lessen the likelihood that hairballs will be an issue for the feline.

When it comes to climate, the Serengeti is generally seen as an adaptable cat who can usually live happily in most climates, although they do prefer slightly warmer temperatures. Just remember to always make sure adequate shade and fresh water is provided when the temperature spikes.

Children And Other Pets

The Serengeti is an excellent cat to bring into your home if you already have children, not least because they’re a high energy and friendly feline. Just be sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides–and supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the Serengeti is usually okay living alongside other domestic animals. Although you’ll want to supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your Serengeti for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

Serengeti Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Serengeti cats because they are a somewhat rare mixed breed. However, you may want to try Bengal or Oriental Shorthair breed specific rescues, as they sometimes care for breed mixes. You may also try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including Serengeti cats, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:


Life Span
10 to 15 years
8 to 15 pounds
Country Of Origin
United States


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