Savannah cat is a hybrid of an African wild cat - the Serval and a domestic cat. Much like its wild ancestor, the Savannah is a tall cat with a long neck, legs, and big ears.
The Savannah cat is a strong, challenging, and active companion. If you don’t want a low-energy cat then Savannah is one of the best options you can consider. This cat is highly energetic and you must know how to physically and mentally stimulate him if you want to own one.
Do you know how long Savannah cats live? How much does a Savannah cat cost? In this blog, you will find out complete information about the Savannah cat breed.
Refer to the provided information to see if the Savannah cat is the right fit for you. You can also look at other cat breeds and decide which one best matches your lifestyle.
Learn more about the characteristics of the Savannah cat here.
Savannah Cat Breed History
The first breeding was done in the early 1980s by a Bengal breeder named Judy frank. At the beginning of 1990, the founder of Savannahcat.com, Patrick Kelley thought of getting help from Joyce Sroufe to develop the breed by using the offspring of the first hybrid cross. They were successful in their efforts and it was convincing enough to get the breed accepted by the International Cat Association.
Although the Savannah cat is not an old breed, it became popular rapidly. There are many Savannah breeders in North America and Europe with more than 60 breeders worldwide.
Other than the International Cat Association, Internationational Progressive Cat Breeders’ Alliance also accepts the Savannah cat breed.
The genetics and the terms applied to Savannah cats show how many generations it is away from the Serval. The female cats are fertile from the first generation and the males are not fertile until the 6th generation is separated from the serval parent.
An F1 Savannah cat is 50% serval because it has one serval parent and one domestic cat parent. The following generations are bred with a Savannah cat father. It is said the size of the cat and temperament is predictable by F5 and at the level, at least one great-great-grandparent was a Serval.
A Study Book Traditional (SBT) Savannah cat is also bred down from the serval but is at least 4 generations away from the ancestor.
Savannah cats are not allowed to own in some states and cities because of their hybrid ancestry. Regional legislation may not allow having such exotic pets. These laws change over time so don’t forget to check with your state guidelines about which pets are allowed to own.
Savannah Cat Breed Overview
Savannah is an active, challenging, and confident cat who loves interacting with people and other pets. Curious and playful, he is always looking for something interesting to do.
If you are bringing one home, make sure to provide him with plenty of toys and frequent playtimes. He bonds easily with all the family members.
Savannah is a happy and entertaining cat who loves playing and interacting with humans. He can get along well with kids and other pets if raised with them.
There are different numbers and letters to classify Savannah cats. All foundation Savannah cats have a letter F followed by a number to indicate how many generations have passed since the serval. The percentage is just an estimation. If more savannah vs savannah mating occurred than the crossbreeding with different breeds, the percentage will be higher.
||1 parent will be serval.
||1 grandparent will be serval.
||1 great-grandparent will be serval.
||1 great-great-grandparent will be serval.
||1 great-great-great grandparent will be serval
Savannah Cat Physical Attributes
The Savannah cat stands out for his tall ears, hooded eyes, long legs, body, and black-smoke coat color. F1 and F2 generations are larger in size and have beautiful spotted coats in various shades of tan, brown, and black.
Later generations are removed from their serval ancestor yet they retain previous colors and patterns but they are smaller in size.
Ears should be the same as in the Serval. African serval cats have the largest ears of all cats in relation to the cat’s head size. As a result, the ears of the Savannah cats are very large and set high on the head. Ears are wide and have rounded tips.
These cats have ‘ocelli’ marks on the backside of their ears to scare off predators. Savannah cats often lack a high contrast of black and white color combination. But it is not a fault to have lesser contrasting colors.
The head should be broad with rounded contours. The front of the face should present a symmetric triangular-like shape. They have a slightly longer nose and a small chin. It is desirable to have the ‘I I’ marking on the head although it is not the breed standard.
Savannah cats have dark spots on their whole body. These spots should not be connected. The parallel stripes start from the back of the head to over the shoulder blades. Smaller black spots can be found on the face, legs, and feet.
These cats have medium-sized eyes that are set underneath a hooded brow. Eyes are set at an angle so that the eye corner slopes down the nose. The eyes are low on the forehead, moderately deep-set, and consistent with the shape of the face. Tear stain markings can be seen between the eyes and the nose.
Savannah Cat Personality
Savannah cat is full of personality and might not be an ideal option for everyone. A savannah is highly active and curious, these traits require a lot of patients to deal with.
He demands attention and will make ways for you to give it if you are not providing him enough. These cats are known for their loyal nature. They will follow you around the house and will participate in everything you are doing.
Savannah cats love to jump. You can provide them with tall cat trees to fulfill this need.
Besides being strong, Savannah cats are also very intelligent. Challenge their brain and keep them interesting by teaching them tricks and playing games. Provide them with puzzle toys and reward them when they successfully manipulate them.
Savannah Cat Temperament
If you are looking for a quiet lap cat, savannah is not the ideal choice. This highly active cat is more likely to leap onto the top shelves or top of the refrigerator than to sit idly on the drawing-room couch.
This is one of those cats who is always looking for new things to explore. These cats are often said to have dog-like characteristics. Savannah cats also love water, they would not hesitate to give you company in your bathtub or kiddie pool.
Savannah cats can also be easily trained. Like dogs, savannah cats are very loyal and will not leave their owner alone.
Early socialization is very important as they become suspicious of new faces. Although Savannah cats are good family pets, they cannot be an ideal choice for families with very small children.
It is not easy to teach small children how to approach animals, so it is better to avoid bringing home exotic cats. It is better to get a Savannah cat if your children are at least 8 to 10 years old. If Savannah cats are socialized at their young age, they will do fine with dogs and other cats.
Savannah Cat Care & Grooming
Savannah cats shed low and so they have less grooming needs as compared to long-haired breeds.
The Savannah cat has a short soft coat that is easy to take care of. You need to brush your cat once a week to remove the tangles. Trim your cat’s nail when needed and brush your cat’s teeth regularly for overall health.
Check the cat’s ears for rashness and redness that could be an indication of an infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball dampened in a vet-recommended ear cleanser. Start teeth brushing and nail trimming early so that the cat becomes accepting of these activities.
Savannah Cat Diet and Nutrition
The nutritional requirements of Savannah cats are the same as those of domestic cats. They can be fed high-quality nutrition-full cat food in dry or wet form.
Some experts recommend a combination of dry, wet, and raw meat. Some experts also recommend a taurine supplement for Savannah cats. While others say that if you give dry food to your cat, it should not contain corn or grain as it is not easy to digest and can create intestinal problems.
Always provide fresh and clean water to your Savannah cat. It is better to discuss the dietary needs of your cat with a veterinarian. In this way, you will get a better idea about the best cat food for a cat’s great health.
Savannah Cat Health Problems
All cats have the potential to develop some health problems. Don’t buy a Savannah cat from a breeder who does not provide a health guarantee on cats or tells you that the cat is kept from the main household because of some health issues.
Savannah cats are generally healthy but it’s better to buy a cat from a breeder who offers you a written health guarantee.
These cats are more prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) than other domestic cat breeds. HCM is a common health condition that causes the thickness of the left ventricle of the heart. This condition can lead to heart failure if not treated. There is also a possibility of hybrid male sterility in Savannah cats until the F4 generation or later.
Living Needs of Savannah Cats
Your home size does not matter if you want to live with a Savannah cat. What you need to care about is to provide enough space for him to run, hide, and climb.
Savannah cats can get bored easily so it is better to have a cat or dog roommate. You can also keep your cat outdoor, but make sure to provide him with a safe space.
Savannah cats also like on-screen entertainment such as video games that are specifically designed for indoor Savannah Kittens. If you have space, the Savannah cats will love a small pool or a pan of water with small floating toys.
Savannah Cat With Children and Other Pets
Savannahs are a good choice of pets for families with older children and pet-friendly dogs. The Savannah cat likes to play and can easily be leash trained. He loves the attention and appreciation he receives from people who treat him politely.
If you want to leave your Savannah cat alone, it is better to accompany him with another cat or dog. Savannah cats get along well with pets especially if they are raised with them.
Savannah cats do best with cat breeds who have similar personality traits such as Siamese, Abyssinians, Maine coon, or Ragdoll.
Savannah Cat Cost
How much does a Savannah cat cost?
Below you can find the approximate price of all generations of Savannah cats.
||$6,000 - $10,000
||$2,000 - $3,000
|F4 (Purebred Savannah cat)
Pros and Cons of Savannah Cat
Here are the pros and cons that you can look at if you want to own a Savannah cat.
|Affectionate and polite with children
||Some states do not allow to own Savannah cats
|Less grooming needs
||Prone to develop a heart disease
|Highly intelligent and easy to train
||Breed is rare
If you are not sure if the Savannah cat is right for you, you can talk to reputable breeders and other Savannah cat owners. If you are interested in similar breeds, you can compare the pros and cons of Savannah cats with the following cat breeds.
Savannah Cat for Emotional Support
Can Savannah cat be used for emotional support?
Savannah cats can make a great pet and emotional support animal. This is a unique breed for those who want to add a little more adventure to their lives.
Talking about emotional support, cats are as loyal and loving as dogs. As relatively, a new breed, most people don’t know about Savannah cats. They are super social and have characteristics similar to dogs.
Savannah cat is one of the best cats that you can own if you are looking for an emotional support cat. If you think that you can get benefits from an emotional support cat, you can get an ESA letter from a licensed health professional.
You can also contact RealESALetter.com to see if you qualify for an ESA.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are Savannah cats illegal?
Savannah cats are illegal in several states because they are considered dangerous wild animals. The states in which Savannah cats are restricted include Massachusetts and Georgia.
2. Are Savannah cats dangerous?
No, Savannah cats are not dangerous at all. Although the breed has a tendency to showing destructive behavior when bored. All in all, Savannah cats do not harm humans and do well with everyone.
3. What are the largest cat breeds that you can legally own?
The following are the largest cat breeds that you can legally own.
- Siberian cat
- Maine coon
- British shorthair
4. How smart are Savannah cats?
Savannahs are highly intelligent cats. With proper training methods, they can easily learn commands. For example, you can teach your Savannah cat different games and provide them with food puzzles.
5. Do Savannah cats eat raw meat?
Some experts say that Savannah cats do not need to eat raw meat. Although raw meat can be healthy for cats, Savannah cats do not need a raw diet to be healthy. Giving your cat a high-quality well-balanced diet is more important than how raw or cooked the food is.