missing cat

Pet Serval, an African Wild Cat, Goes Missing From Family's Home in NH

The 40-pound cat, named Spartacus, is legally owned, according to Merrimack police

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A New Hampshire family is searching for its missing cat — a 40-pound, 4-year-old African serval.

Police in Merrimack are asking people to look out for Spartacus, who went missing in the Peaslee Road area.

Dean King, Spartacus' owner, says he's devastated his pet cat, which he exhibits occasionally, is missing.

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The beloved pet, which cost thousands of dollars, ran out the door Wednesday when he became startled.

"Last night, my wife was trying to bring the dog in, and something spooked him and he took off, and we just want to bring him home," said King.

Merrimack Police posted about the missing cat Thursday on Facebook.

Their post has been shared more than 27,000 times.

Police say the cat, while large, is legally owned and also permitted through the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

"We got him from a zoo in Florida legally," King said. "We've had him for four years. We bottle-fed him, we raised him, he has his own enclosure on the back side of the house."

Merrimack police loaned King a trap, which now has food in it.

King also has his own trap set up.

King says Spartacus is "skittish" and that he'll only bond with one or two people.

"He'll only come to us, but anyone else, he may get aggressive. He'll probably run."

King says the Spartacus' parents were both wild.

He takes comfort in knowing Spartacus still has his claws and can run about 40 miles per hour.

Police say they don't have concerns the cat will hurt anyone. The cat is nocturnal.

"He sleeps all day, and we let him have run of the house at night to get his exercise," King said. "He should be waking up right about now, so keep an eye open. He sleeps all day and he'll hunt all night."

Anyone who sees Spartacus is asked to call the Merrimack Police Department at 603-424-3774.

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