Are you intrigued by wild cats? Have you been looking to adopt a wild cat? Then maybe you are considering bringing a Bengal cat, a Norwegian Forest Cat, or perhaps a Savannah cat into your home. Despite having wild blood running through their veins, these cats are categorized as domesticated and make great pets.
Given that you are on this blog, we assume that the Savannah cat is at the top of your list but do not know much about this cat breed. Not your fault—Savannah cat is a relatively new and rarely-seen cat breed. But worry not, we have got you covered. In this article, we have tried to cover the Savannah cat breed at length.
What is a Savannah Cat?
Savannah cat is a hybrid cat breed, resulting from the cross-breeding of a domestic cat with Serval, a wild African cat with large ears. Like their wild ancestors, the Savannah cat is a wild-looking cat with a long neck, tall and lean body, long legs, and large ears. You can think of a Savanah cat as a small and domesticated version of its wild ancestor, Servals. These mysterious cats have kept the intriguing features of Serval cats, giving them a wild look and making them appealing to feline lovers across the world. At the same time, they have inherited the playful and affectionate temperament of the domestic cat.
Before unraveling the mysteries surrounding this relatively new cat breed, take a quick look at the breed overview.
Savannah Cat History
The first known Savanah cat was seen in 1986 as a result of the cross-breeding between a female Siamese Seal-Point and an African male Serval. The resulting kitten was named Savannah, based on the African grasslands that were home to the ancestors of the Serval cat. This Savannah kitten was the first F1—first generation hybrid cross. This F1 Savannah kitten inherited her wild looks from her Serval dada and retained her Siamese mother’s affectionate and friendly demeanor.
Charmed by the striking features and personality of the Savannah cat, more generations of Savannah cat were produced in the coming decade, increasing the number of Savannah cats all over the world. Eventually, in 2001, The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the Savannah cat as an official cat breed, and in 2012, it was accepted for the championship status by TICA. The breed is yet to be recognized by The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
Savanah Cat Personality and Temperament
Savannah cats are one of the most intelligent and curious cat breeds of the feline world. So, do not be surprised if they learn how to open the doors of kitchen cabinets. To make Savannah-proof your home, you will have to do more than that. You cannot even place things at high places thinking that your Savannah cat won’t reach there. They will reach there, as Savannah cats love to climb. In fact, they would be treating your home like a jungle and will not even feel guilty if they break a thing or two. To keep your cat off the bookshelves and door tops, you can try bringing them tall cat trees and window perches set up at a high place, from where they can stalk the birds outside.
They are highly energetic cats and would need regular exercise to expend their energy. If you do not have much time to exercise your cat daily, you can get her interactive toys and maybe a cat exercise wheel.
If you have time, you can get a rod and feather toy for cats. A few minutes of active play—cat trying to capture the bird (feather)—would be ample to expend the pent-up energy of your Savannah cat.
Savannah cats are incredibly agile and they love to jump. Below is a video of Ruby—an F1 Savannah cat—jumping 8 feet.
If you are someone who frequently who love outdoors, you can train your cat how to walk on a leash and take her out for morning walks and maybe on weekend hiking with you. Given that Savannah cats are intelligent, you can easily train them with clicker training—using a cat clicker and best cat treats.
Are Savannah Cats Dangerous?
No, Savannah cats are not dangerous.
True, Savannah cat ancestors were wild and had destructive tendencies, Savanah cats are categorized as domesticated cats and only have the wild look of the wild ancestors. As far as their demeanor is concerned, it’s inherited from a domestic cat.
Savannah cats are very affectionate and loyal towards their owners. That said, they could be a bit standoffish towards strangers.
How Long Do Savannah Cats Live?
The average lifespan of Savannah cats is around 12 to 15 years but if you keep them with great love and care, they can live well into their twenties. The lifespan of our cats is dependent on several factors, including diet, exercise, healthcare, environment, etc.
How Big Do Savannah Cats Get?
Savannah cat is a medium-to-large-sized cat. But Savanah cats are much larger than the average domestic cats that are kept as pets. On average, a Savannah cat would weigh around 12 to 25 pounds. But scaling up to 30 pounds is not so uncommon in Savannah cats.
As far as their height is concerned, Savannah cats can be pretty tall, measuring around 16 inches. Their males are usually bigger than their female counterparts.
Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic?
Savannah cats are often considered hypoallergenic but they can still trigger an allergic reaction in people with allergies. However, the chances of a Savannah cat triggering an allergic reaction are very minimal than many other domestic cat breeds.
You should also know that no cat is completely hypoallergenic. A cat referred to as hypoallergenic only means that she sheds minimally.
Do Savannah Cats Shed?
Yes, Savannah cats shed moderately. Brushing their coat once a week would be enough for them to maintain a healthy coat.
As we learn that Savannah cats are quite curious and mischievous, they may make a mess now and then, requiring you to bathe them.
Bathing a cat, no doubt, is a daunting task for most cat parents but not for Savannah cat parents, since Savannah cats love water.
Are Savannah Cats Legal?
In addition to familiarizing yourself with the Savannah cat breed, you should also look into the legality of having a Savannah cat in your area. Many states and cities have declared keeping a Savannah cat illegal, classifying them as “too exotic.”
For instance, Savannah cat is banned in Australia—no one is allowed to keep a Savannah cat, even its shipping into the country is illegal. Similarly, many U.S. states such as Massachusetts, Georgia, and Hawaii have various laws regulating the adoption of Savannah cats. In New York City, the Savannah cat has been banned completely.
Before you go searching for a Savannah cat in your home, you should make sure that keeping a Savannah cat is not against the Hybrid Law of your locality.