What are the origins of the Savannah cat?
The Savannah cat is a cross-breed between the serval and the domestic cat. Servals are wild cats living mainly in Africa. The first Savannah cats were a result of cross-breeding between a serval and a Siamese cat in 1986. The hybrid wasn’t planned – only when the owner saw the litter did she decide to breed these cats intentionally.
Full-scale breeding begun a bit later, in the 1990s. The goal was to achieve an appearance as close as possible to the progenitor – that is, to the wild serval, but with a personality of the domestic cat.
The breed’s beginnings were incredibly difficult because of the low probability of servals and domestic cats pairing. To make it possible, the wild cats had to become domesticated or raised among domestic cats. Only then the breeders successfully combined the genes.
What does the Savannah cat look like?
The Savannah cat looks like wild servals living in Africa, but in a miniature version. Thanks to the cross-breeding between servals and domestic cats, the breed has an exceptional fur – full of characteristic spots. The main colors are golden and beige, and the underfur is a bit lighter.
Cats of this breed have a very slim silhouette. Because of their progenitor, they are considered large cats, plus they have very long and muscular limbs. The front legs are shorter from the back ones.
The cat’s head is triangular, and relatively small in comparison with the animal’s body. Tear-shaped marks under the eyes are characteristic for this breed.
Thanks to the slim body build and characteristic spots on the fur, Savannah cats resemble wild big cats. They are often compared to cheetahs.
First generation cats (F1 Savannah cat) are much larger than later generations such as F2 or F3 Savannah cats. It’s because of the strong influence of the genes of the wild African cats. Their weight varies from 4 to even 10 kilograms (8.8-22 lb). The size and weight stabilizes around the fourth generation.
The Savannah cat – personality
The breed is very friendly, eager to play and enjoying company. Note that because of their origins, Savannah cats need much more physical exercise than other cat breeds. Another cat – a perfect playmate is one of the many ways to solve this issue.
Another important information for Savannah cat caregivers is that they are often referred to as cat-dogs. It’s because they can be taught to walk on a leash just like dogs. Make sure to begin the training from the animal’s earliest days, so it gets used to the leash.
Savannah cats also love water. They will use every opportunity to bathe.
The Savannah cat and other animals
Are you wondering if Savannah cats get along well with other animals? They usually have a good contact with other cats, and even dogs living in the house. But one has to make sure to socialize them properly.
These cats are extremely lively, so a company of another playful animal is very welcome.
The Savannah cat – breed for everyone?
Cats of this breed are perfect playmates. Regardless, they require a lot of attention and making sure they have enough exercise every day. These feline friends are perfect for everyone, and if trained to walk on a leash, they are great hiking companions. But one has to remember about their wild origins, which makes them quite stubborn about certain things.
How do you take care of a Savannah cat?
The animal is easy to take care of – everyone can do it. Remember to brush its hair. The following tools are quite useful:
- a comb,
- a soft brush,
- a glove.
Frequent visits to a veterinary clinic to control its health are key to taking care of a Savannah cats. Also, don’t forget about regular deworming and vaccinations.
Do Savannah cats require a special diet?
The first four generations, so F1, F2, F3 and F4 Savannah cats require a specific diet. It consists mostly of raw meat. It results from the strong wild genes. The fifth generation, F5 Savannah cat can be fed just like an ordinary cat. You can use regular cat food, wet or dry.
Note that dry cat food is more calorie-rich than the wet products. It means the food needs to be properly dosed. Even if the cat is physically active, it shouldn’t be overfed.
The Savannah cat – typical diseases
The Savannah cat coming from a trusted breeder is a generally healthy animal. There are certain potential issues, though:
- pyruvate kinase deficiency, it’s a genetic disorder causing hemolytic anaemia,
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,
Regular checking of the animal’s health with a veterinarian helps avoid serious diseases and complications. For this reason, make sure to visit a veterinary clinic once per half a year or once a year to control the cat’s health.
The Savannah cat – lifespan
The Savannah cat lives from 12 to even 20 years on average. Everything depends on its lifestyle, provided care and diet, as well as the general health of the animal. Cats that receive enough exercise, balanced diet and regular health checkups usually live the longest.
The Savannah cat – price
The Savannah cat is quite an expensive pet. The cheapest Savannah kittens cost about $700 – but typically one can’t be sure about their origins in such cases. Professional Savannah cat breeders sell these animals for about $1,500-$3,000. Some kittens are much more expensive – the prices reach up to $20,000 per kitten.
📍 How much does a Savannah cat cost?
The Savannah cat is one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world. Prices for a kitten begin at $700 – but such cats don't come from reputable breeders. The best breeders sell their cats for $1,500-$10,000. Champion kittens are much more expensive.
📍 How long do Savannah cats live?
Cats of this breed are considered long-living animals. 15 years is the average lifespan of Savannah cats. Some live only 12 years. But there are also Savannah cats living up to the impressive 20 years.
📍 Where to buy a Savannah cat?
Savannah cats can be purchased from professional breeders of these animals. Always make sure to check the breeder. Random sellers might offer animals with hidden genetic disorders.