All adoptable animals are viewable online! Learn what to expect when applying to adopt an animal.
Although serval cats are not included in the provincial Controlled Alien Species Legislation, that doesn’t mean they should be kept as pets. Native to many parts of Africa, serval cats roam savannahs and wetlands hunting for prey. The best way to see one is always in the wild!
These wild cats are not much bigger than a medium-size dog, but they still retain their wild instincts and are cunning escape artists – they are definitely not appropriate house pets. They are difficult to contain in a home or enclosure setting, and pose a risk to people, children and other pets. Their own safety is also in jeopardy in captivity. Escaped servals have died by being hit by cars or of starvation, since they never had the opportunity to learn how to hunt.
Serval cats are strong, fast and have an incredible capacity for jumping. In the wild, servals will leap high into the air to catch flying birds, and can slap fish hard enough to stun them. They are not easily house-trained, and will frequently mark their territory with urine. It is extremely challenging to provide for the nutritional and veterinary needs of a wild cat like a serval in captivity. Without their needs met, they experience poor welfare. There are no accredited sanctuaries in Canada for servals. Their breeding is unregulated and animal welfare organizations are not equipped to house these wild cats.
The BC SPCA has always opposed the declawing of cats. Declawing painfully removes the nails and bones of the toes – comparable to amputating human’s fingers at the last knuckle. In the past, serval cats were declawed when kept as pets, but declawing has since been banned by the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia (CVBC). This means serval cats pose an even greater risk to people and pets in the home. They may scratch while attempting to play, or out of frustration because their wild needs aren’t met.
The BC SPCA encourages municipalities and governments to adopt exotic pet laws that prohibit the keeping of serval cats.
Subscribe to the BC SPCA’s WildSense e-newsletter for more information:
To give adopters more adoption locations and to help more animals find their forever homes, the BC SPCA partners with local pet retailers and veterinary clinics that host offsite adoption centres.
Offsite adoption centres are a great option for people that are not comfortable with visiting a shelter. View a list of our adoption partner locations.
Veterinary clinics or other retailers interested in becoming an BC SPCA satellite adoption site are invited to call the BC SPCA at 604-681-7271.
Please see our adoptable animals for the status of an animal you may have seen.
Please note, even though this website is live and updates frequently, we cannot ensure the animal is still available for adoption when you arrive at the shelter. There is a chance the animal may have been adopted by the time you arrive, or another party might be going through the adoption process at the time.
The BC SPCA Drive for Lives program transfers more than 4,000 animals each year between our 44 locations in B.C. Depending on your location, and the location and status of the animal you’re interested in, we may be able to bring the animal to a shelter closer to you. Please contact your local shelter to learn more.
While being an animal guardian is an invaluable experience, there are certain costs associated with adopting your pet. The adoption fee that we charge helps to cover our cost of caring for animals, while we find them loving homes.