What is a Savannah Cat?
The Savannah Cat is a hybrid breed. The first Savannah came about when a domestic household cat was bred with an African Serval—a medium-sized (approx. 20-40 lbs) wild cat that resides in Africa.
The Serval has a lot of unique features, many of which are passed onto the Savannah Cat in further generations (i.e. exceptional jumping abilities, a high-pitched chirp, huge ears, and a noticeably small head with a long, lean frame). See our SBT page for more detail information.
Do Savannah Cats need special care?
Savannah Cats do not require special care. They require the same care as a typical domestic cat and can be given the same food, vaccinations, and accommodations as your other pets. Although most take well to raw food diets, they can thrive just as well on a traditional mixture of wet (canned) and dry cat food. No special food is necessary.
It is possible for early generations of the breed to weigh in at 18-20 lbs. However this is not true for later generations, including F4, F5, and SBT cats. From the fourth generation forward, Savannahs are similar in size to a typical domestic breed. They can range anywhere from 9–15 pounds when fully grown, with males generally larger than females. Third generation cats are slightly larger.
I heard Savannah Cats can be trained like a dog, is that true?
Savannahs are social and outgoing. They are very intelligent animals and many can be trained, not unlike dog. At Northeast Savannah our cats love to play fetch, and their favorite thing to do is walk outside on a leash. Also similar to a dog, they are extremely loyal and will often follow their owner around the house from room to room.
Do Savannah Cats get along with other animals?
As you can see in our header picture, our Savannahs get along very well with our medium hair domestic cat, and the feeling is mutual. They are best buds.
Do Savannah Cats make good outdoor pets?
Generally, they do not. Enclosures are okay (and much loved by the cats!), but we strongly recommend you do not allow your Savannah free roam of the outdoors. Savannah Cats are intelligent and very curious by nature and will often seek out situations that may not be safe for them. We recommend you only allow your Savannah Cat outside on a leash with a proper harness. Our cats love going out on the leash!
What if I have a fence? Do they climb fences (like chain link, or wood)?
Yes, they can climb almost any type fence and therefore must only be allowed outdoors in an enclosure that features a very secure top.
Do I have to childproof my home if I get a Savannah cat?
No. Like many cats, they love to jump, and they are blessed with spectacular jumping abilities, but ultimately, they just want attention from their owners! Do your best to play with your cat everyday. This will help build a strong bond between you and your pet, and perhaps more importantly, it will help curtail the cat’s boredom… as well as the mischievous behaviors that come about as a result!
Are Savannahs good with children?
Intelligence, a loyal nature, and an exotic look are all part of what make Savannahs great family pets. As with any pet, individual tempermant varies by cat. Savannahs are not generally lap cats. They like to run around and play. Most are very loving and do best in an active environment, making them good family pets.
Why are they so expensive?
Establishing a good breeding program requires a substantial financial investment and demands a wealth of time and patience. Additionally, gestation periods vary greatly between exotic and domestic cats. Because of this, some kittens are born premature and can require incubation and 24-hour round the clock care. As a result, there are a limited number of Savannah Cats produced and offered for purchase each year. Presently, the public demand for Savannah kittens far outweighs availability.
Will they use a litter box?
Yes. Savannah Cats come litter-box trained and use a litter box the same as a domestic cat.
Are Savannah Cats legal in my state?
Some states have restrictions on what generation Savannah you can purchase. Please check the Hybrid laws prior to purchasing. Click here for more information on the regulations in your state. http://www.hybridlaw.com/
What are the breed standards?
Detailed breed standards can be found on the TICA website. Here’s a PDF from their site: http://www.tica.org/members/publications/standards/sv.pdf