African Serval Hybrid

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His Story


photo courtesy of Robin Benson

It started with a call from the animal shelter in the fall of 2001. They had a wild spotted kitten with huge ears, abandoned by an owner who had made an unwise choice for a house pet. Boxer had the distinctive markings of an African Serval, but was a little small for a serval, and it was determined that he was a serval-house cat mix, also known as a Savannah Cat. He had a good appetite, but he refused to eat a diet of well-balanced wild cat food. Boxer loved chicken and turkey, and it’s likely that his owner had fed him onlyboxer meat, not knowing that predators gnaw on the bones as well. Soon after he came to us he befriended  one of our friendly dogs,  and one day as they were playing together we heard a loud meow. Boxer was hurting. We rushed him to our vet. Diagnosis: Rickets, the children's disease characterized by the softening of the bone with the threat of permanent deformity.

The cause: lack of calcium and/or vitamin D in his diet. Boxer had surgery and ended up in a cast. We supplemented his diet with bone meal and put him in an outdoor enclosure so he could soak up some of that vitamin D sunshine. With time, care, and the right feline food, his bones are strong now, his energy boundless. He quickly became the star of many of our educational outreach programs, but has recently been "semi-retired". In retirement, he spends most of his days soaking up the sun and playing with best friend, Thunder-Kitty, in the freedom cage, and occasionally going for a nice stroll down by the creek and chasing down tadpoles. Boxer is still the absolute highlight of our "CatWalk" class, where you get to take him on a walk! He hopes to see you soon!

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