The Intriguing Savannah Cat
Shane Sykes - Last Updated on January 29th, 2021
All you Need to Know about the Savannah Cat
The Savannah Cat: perhaps the most infamous and misunderstood of breeds.
Renowned for being part wild cat, they have that amazing, magical cheetah look. But there is also a commonly held belief that they are dangerous.
However, they are not really a ‘wild domestic cat’...
But it’s true that the Savannah is bred from crossing the wild African Serval cat with domestic cats.
And they do closely resemble the Serval, but they are not the same at all. Smaller, softer and more elegant, there are many levels of domestication. This makes most Savannah kittens a wonderful and grand choice for a home. And not wild at all.
But care is needed before choosing a Savannah kitten for sale. So here is everything you need to know about the Savannah cat….
Appearance Matters. What does a Savannah look like?
The fact that it is big, with a wild cat coat, is obviously the most striking feature of this fascinating breed.
Big isn’t quite the right word, it is more that they are elegant, tall, and sleek. They also have large ears that are set right on top of their head.
They are very long and leggy; and when standing, their back legs are often higher than their shoulders. They have a small, long head, and a slender long neck.
The eyes are blue in kittens but can develop into green, brown, gold, or a mix shade later.
How big does the Savannah cat get?
The size of the cat depends on how many generations of crossbreeding has taken place.
But whichever type of Savannah you choose, you will find yourself with one of the world's largest cat breeds.
Each generation of Savannah kittens has a filial number. For example, cats bred directly from a Serval cat with a domestic cat cross are called the F1 generation. Each generation down results in less serval blood, and a slightly smaller body.
F1, F2, F3, and F4 are the most common...
- The F1 will range from 50% - 82% or higher wild blood. They tend to be the biggest of Savannah cats.
- F1 males weigh 17 to 25 lbs and stand 16 to 18 inches tall. F1 females are 13 to 19 pounds.
- F2 males are 16 to 25 pounds with a few reaching 30+ pounds. They measure 15 to 18 inches tall. Females range from 12 to 16 pounds.
- F3 males weigh 14 to 20 pounds, standing approximately 14 to 17 tall. This is still a very large cat, but getting smaller. Females range from 10 to 13 pounds.
- Similar to the F3, F4 males range from 14 to 20 pounds, and 14-16 tall. Females range from 10 to 13 pounds and are quite lanky.
The F’s keep on going beyond this, but from F5 onwards are much rarer, and less sought after.
What colors does the Savannah cat come in?
The coat of a Savannah should have a spotted pattern. This is the only pattern accepted by the TICA breed standard. And in the following beautiful varieties...
- Brown Spotted Tabby
- Silver Spotted Tabby
- Black Smoke
It's all Personal. The Savannah Character
Two of the biggest questions about the Savannah are the following...
Are Savannah Cats Dangerous? & Are Savannah Cats affectionate?
The danger dilemma is the number one concern when it comes to deciding whether to get a Savannah cat.
And the simple answer is the Savannah cat is not dangerous if you choose with care, and from a good, honest breeder. You can then be as certain as with any other cat breed, that your kitten will not be a dangerous one.
A shorter answer is that a well-bred Savannah is a safe cat.
But to make the best choice, you have to check that F number again!
- The F1 resists cuddling, but they do enjoy human contact and attention. Both friendly and playful, they do tend to favor one person to attach to. They are also the most energetic of this breed.
- The F2 is slightly more affectionate than the F1, and gentler too. But still is the cuddliest of cats.
- The F3 is probably where you should start for a home with children. They still have the distinctive coloring but resemble a domestic cat more than F1 and F2 versions.
- F4 Savannahs - Likely the most popular generation of all Savannahs, the F4 is a very good, gentle, and all round adaptable family puss. Very loving, playful, and fun, the F4 pretty much has the same character as a typical cat.
Can you have a Savannah cat as a pet?
Basically yes, whether F1 or F4, each cat is great as a pet. But be aware that an F1 is a big, energetic cat, and certainly wouldn't be ideal for a home with small kids.
If you have children, it is best to look for an F3 or F4 cat, with a lot less Serval blood in it. This way you can play it safe, and have that stunning wild look, without any wild nature.
What is the typical temperament of a Savannah Cat?
Again, this is an active breed and requires a lot of interaction. But it is also very much NOT a lap cat and will show affection in different ways, such as by following you around.
They love to play, and can even manage playing fetch. And they enjoy water too, more than most cats.
Early socialization in the first weeks is crucial. All Savannah’s, including F1’s, can be very friendly and accommodating with people and other animals, but only with socialization.
Intelligent, quick to learn and agile, they can really impress. They also have a strong jumping ability, and can easily reach heights of up to 8 feet above them in a leap!
The Health and Happiness of your Savannah
Can Savannah cats be left alone?
Workaholics be warned! This may not be the breed for you.
The Savannah is one of the worst cats to have when you are out of the house a lot.
This is because of their personality.
They are high energy, very playful, and less sleepy than most breeds. Combine that with their intelligence and curious nature, and it can lead to problems.
A Savannah left alone, with nothing to, and no one to play with, will get bored, and that boredom often leads to destruction.
So if you want a Savannah, be prepared for the fact you cannot and should not be out of the house for half the day or more.
Are Savannah cats high maintenance?
No, the Savannah is actually a low maintenance cat breed.
Grooming needs are very minimal, and a weekly brush would suffice.
One thing you have to watch out for is water, and their liking to play with it.
When you put a water bowl down, your cat may suddenly start to paw at the bowl, to bat all the water out!
Is the Savannah cat a healthy breed?
The good news is that the Savannah is a healthy cat!
There is no disease or illness that they are more prone to than other breeds.
Like all cats, there can be risks of allergies and issues like cancer and heart troubles. But if you choose from a professional breeder you minimize your chances of health issues cropping up.
Feline History. Where does the Savannah come from?
It soon became a popular breed, and other crosses with the Serval were adopted. And very quickly it became well known, thanks to its wild and exotic look.
By 2001 it was an accepted cat breed for showing and registering.
Questions people often ask about Savannah Kittens
+Is the Savannah Cat Dangerous?
+Can a Savannah Cat go outside?
+How Big does a Savannah cat grow?