Wild and domestic. Cat and leopard. Thus, the Savannah cat could be defined as a real duality that has captivated people from all over the world. Not only for its beauty and physical characteristics, but also for its psychological capabilities and its close resemblance to some of the big cats in appearance and size.
And it is that, anyone who has always dreamed of having a wild cat nearby, will be closer than ever to them thanks to the Savannah cat.
With an exotic and unique appearance, the Savannah cat looks like an authentic miniature leopard. But this does not deceive us, we are talking about a domestic feline which adapts perfectly to coexistence within the home.
In addition, we are talking about a particularly active, sociable and affectionate cat. However, we are also talking about a very “exclusive” cat, because the Savannah has a really exorbitant price. In this ‘ Pets Feed ‘ breed sheet, we will explain everything about the Savannah cat, from its origins to its care. We will also mention certain aspects related to his health and we will also offer you photos of the breed, do not miss it!
The Savannah breed is a fluke.
In 1986, Bengal cat breeder Judy Frank crossed a male Serval with a Siamese cat.
She did not expect to have offspring, but an amazing female kitten was born in due time.
The baby was given the nickname Savannah. She became the first official representative of the cat breed, called the Savannah.
At that time, no one tried to work with serval hybrids.
The owner of a happy father-serval, Susie Woods, suggested that it is possible to get offspring from mating Savannah with a domestic cat.
Her theory was confirmed when Savannah became the mother of several litters of second generation F2 kittens.
Suzy Woods has convincingly proved that first-generation F1 hybrids produce offspring, therefore a new breed can be created.
True, the breeder did not plan to seriously engage in breeding a new breed.
In 1989, Patrick Kelly took over the savannahs. He bought from Judy Frank the only female Savannah gave birth to, and started breeding.
In collaboration with another well-known breeder, Joyce Strauf managed to get healthy offspring – third generation F3 hybrids.
In 1996, the first breed standard was presented to the TICA Council.
A year later, Joyce Strauf presented the Savannah breed at an exhibition in New York.
Only in 2001, the representatives of the breed were allowed to register, in 2003 the Savannah received the official status of a new breed, and in 2004 the status of an advanced new breed.
Country of origin: USA
Characteristics of the Savannah cat
There are many characteristics of this breed that are distinguished from any other breed of domestic cat. For starters, its size is much larger, easily reaching 100 centimeters high. This height is mainly determined by its legs, very long and thin, like the rest of its body.
Of considerable size, the specimens of cats of the Savannah breed are distinguished as one of the breeds of giant cats. Although he usually weighs between 6 and 10 kilograms, an individual has broken the record of 23 kilograms. They reach between 50 and 60 cm. at the cross, although it may be larger. In addition, this feline breed has a sexual dimorphism, because generally the females are smaller than the males.
Normally, the size of these specimens is large because there is more genetic presence of their wild ancestors than in these other specimens of smaller dimensions. The body of a Savannah is thin and stringy. The ends are elongated, agile and slender, having a very elegant bearing. The tail is fine and its length is remarkable. The head is medium, with a broad and shallow nose. The ears which constitute its distinctive cachet, these are large and pointed, they are high insertion.
The eyes are almond-shaped, medium in size and generally have gray, brown or greenish undertones. The hair of the Savannah cat is short and thick, soft and velvety to the touch, but it continues to be hard and resistant. In fact, the coat is what gives them this exotic and wild look, it looks like that of a leopard, because it normally presents a pattern very similar to that of these wild and dangerous creatures, in addition the color is also similar, generally be a mixture of colors such as yellow, orange, brown, black and / or gray.
Savannah Purity Category
But to know Savannah the cat in depth, it must be understood that the variety is determined by its degree of purity. And there is not just one type of Savannah cat. In fact, there are up to four variants of the breed, which are named according to the percentage of Serval that the animal has in its genetics.
• Thus, the first-generation cat is called Savannah F1. Which means he has 53% Serval genetics.
• Next comes F2, which would be a second generation, with 29% of Serval in its DNA.
• Third, there is F3, a third-generation cat with 16% Serval.
• And finally, there is the F4, or even the F5, which are the most purely Savannah specimens. Whose features have been softened compared to first generation servals. Be less fierce in appearance and smaller in size.
Getting a Savannah F1 cat is very complicated and is even illegal in many countries due to the wild characteristics of the animal and it could be dangerous. So, if you want to live with this breed, it will have to be with one of the other variables. Although in any case, you will need to start preparing for the investment, as it is one of the most expensive cat breeds that exist.
Personality and behaviour
As these cats are not common, it is difficult to make generalizations about their personality traits and how predictable they can be. This may depend, to a large extent, on how close they are to the first crossing.
According to reports, some are very sociable and friendly with strangers, with other cats and with dogs, while others can run to hide, or hiss and growl, when they see a stranger.
It seems that the Savannah cat can jump very high (2.43 m) from a standing position, as well as learn quickly. It is not a “beginner” cat and is quite large and strong (articles frequently use the word “assertive” and, as they are mostly the work of breeders of these cats, it is difficult to know more).
Will it behave very territorially with other cats if he goes out? Will it be a great predator for local wildlife? It is said that the Savannah chirps like a serval or meow like a domestic cat, or a mixture of both. They also whistle intensely, which sounds quite alarming.
The health of the Savannah cat is one of the strongest among domestic cats. Their genetics have been strengthened due to crossbreeding and hybridization with a multitude of breeds, so no inherited or more breed-prone disease is known.
The only thing necessary to ensure that your cat is always in the best condition will be to give it a healthy life and to go to the veterinarian several times a year to check it and to keep up to date its vaccination and deworming calendar. Some specimens have a life expectancy of 20 years, although the normal thing is that they live up to 10 and 15 years.
Basic care of the Savannah cat
At the age of 12-16 weeks, each kitten is already accustomed to the litter box, eats independently, is vaccinated, and is socially adapted.
There is no exact data on the onset of puberty in the Savannah cat, but it is believed that this occurs at the age of 18-24 months.
High-quality care of a Savannah cat involves outdoor games and lots of toys.
It is advisable to keep your distance. After playing, the kitten can scratch or bite the owner.
Before changing teeth, you need to make sure that the Savannah kitten does not chew electrical wires, poisonous plants, interior details.
It is worth equipping your pet with a cat house with a scratching post.
In the first weeks of life in your new home, stick to the diet that your Savannah kitten is used to.
The diet is changed gradually, trying to provide the growing body with nutritious foods.
It is believed that it is better to feed the Savannah cat with raw meat.
Still, he is a direct descendant of the African predator. Natural food increases the cat’s lifespan by 5-10 years.
However, many breeders prefer to feed their pets premium dry food with minimal grain content:
- Royal Canin Babycat 34 (up to 4 months)
- BABYCAT instinctive (up to 4 months)
- KITTEN instinctive (from 4 to 12 months)
- Recovery Feline / Canine Royal Canin for active growth
- Digestive Comfort 38 (from 4 months).
Diet should include taurine treats for heart support.
Savannah kittens are given vitamin supplements for kittens with taurine, colostrum, l-carotene. You can give kittens a multivitamin paste.
A large cat needs a large litter box, plenty of play space, sturdy furniture, and someone who can pay attention and feed satisfyingly.
The Savannah cat has a short and smooth coat that does not require careful grooming.
It is enough to comb it out from time to time with a furminator in order to remove falling hairs.
Grooming of cats of this breed is not carried out.
Savannah cat fun facts
- One of the versions of the origin of the breed says that such cats appeared because people liked that they would have the appearance of a mini-cheetah. Scientists pursued good goals. After all, they hoped that luxury lovers would no longer keep real big predators in captivity if they owned an expensive mini-version.
- The Savannah cat breed is formed only by the age of three. This is the period for growing up a cheetah pet.
- Scientists have come to the conclusion that the coloring of the Savannah cat depends on the genetic material of the domestic cat with which the cat is crossed.
- The reason for exclusion from the fight for the title of feline champion may be marks on the chest in white, different from black and brown color of spots, a tiger print on the fur.
- The first generation is marked F1, which means the presence of half of the serval. If after that you cross such a pet with a domestic cat, then there will be F2, that is, 25% of the serval. These are the two most valuable varieties, then the price starts to decrease.
- Savannah cat males cannot have offspring until the fourth generation.
- It is noteworthy that a swindler named Simon Brody became the person who wanted to warm his hands on the Savannah cat breed with unfair methods. He called her personally bred “Ashera”, so many people believed in it. As a result, the fraudster gets a serious punishment, and he has to hide from justice.
- The Savannah cat is the most expensive breed in the world. Caring for such a cat also takes effort and time.
- The average cost of a Savannah kitten will be approximately $ 10,000-250,000. The kennel “A1 SAVANNAHS” under the leadership of breeder Joyce Srouf is recognized as the leader in the genetic makeup of the breed. Males infertile up to the fourth generation will be cheaper.
- Cats of this species love to spend time at high points in the house. They love water, walks, and also play a leadership role in the society of other animals.
Of course, to have this breed, it is necessary to keep the Savannah cat in a safe place and in conditions of well-being. In some countries, a permit is required under the Dangerous Wildlife Act to have a Savannah and first generation crosses.
The Savannah cat’s wild heritage makes it an independent and free cat. This means that in an uncontrolled environment, he might tend to run away. This is why it is important to keep it and tie it up in case it is allowed to go out. Despite all its qualities, it is still difficult to find breeding areas for Savannah cats in many regions of the world.
In addition to its high price, not everyone can afford to have one. However, if you are certain that your goal is to share your life with a specimen of this breed, it is time to start looking for a professional and reputable breeder, who can offer you all the guarantees on the health and the origin of your kitten. Keep in mind that this cat has a physical similarity similar to other breeds, such as the Bengal.