Jax came to us from a facility in Texas that doesn’t usually rescue cats. They let us know that they had a serval that had been dropped off by a private owner who didn’t know where else to bring him. Apparently, Jax was acquired when his owner traded for him with an exotic breed of domestic cat. Jax was not a fan of the man of the house and had to be kept in a separate room. We were told that he was being kept in a small pen at the facility and that it was covered in ants. Jax didn’t have any claws, so it was difficult for him to get into the shelter box that was provided for him. There were misters on all day that kept Jax wet and miserable.

Jax was an extremely nervous cat. When he first arrived, we couldn’t even talk to Jax without him trying to bite his tail. The cause of this behavior was most likely a condition called feline hyperesthesia syndrome, which makes the cat feel like something is crawling on their skin. Sometimes it can be controlled with valium, which Jax had when he arrived, or sometimes it can go away when the cat is removed from a stressful situation.

When Jax had a big playground to run around in, lots of love, and time to relax, he stopped biting his tail for a long time. He has the cutest snaggle tooth and is a very handsome boy.

Currently, Jax lives with another serval named Nefi and a savannah (serval/domestic cat crossbreed) named Lil Chance. All three cats get along well. Jax loves hanging out on his tent beds on the playground, playing with Brussels sprouts, and his favorite humans. Once in a while, his favorite humans will bring him a fish as an extra special enrichment gift, which he loves.

In 2021, Jax’s old tail-biting habits re-emerged in more destructive ways, and we ended up having to amputate the rest of his tail, which he had already damaged. Jax was placed under 24-hour watch while his tail healed to ensure he would not open the wound. Jax’s tail healed beautifully, and he now sports a cute little nubbin of a tail.

In 2023, Jax had another challenge. He was observed not moving much one day. When he got up to eat dinner he wasn’t putting weight on his right hind leg. Jax’s leg was broken. Despite the Herculean efforts of our veterinary team, the leg had swollen so much from the break that even after surgery to set the bone it wouldn’t heal. The veterinary team took Jax back to surgery to amputate his broken leg. Jax perked right up after the amputation! He healed quickly and was ready to go back to his home. But first, knowing a cat learning to walk on three legs might have some balance issues our staff worked feverishly to add safety railing to the elevated areas in the serval enclosure. Now Jax is back home with Nefertiti and Lil Chance, getting around just fine on three legs, and loving his people and the enrichment they bring.


Species: African Serval (Leptailurus serval)

Sex: Male
Born: October 22, 2008
Rescued: September 6, 2013