Savannah Cat 101 - History, Personality and Traits

Savannah Cat 101 - History, Personality and Traits

The Savannah Cat is a hybrid cat breed. It is a cross between a domestic cat and the African Serval. The resulting first-generation Savannahs are usually 50% domestic cat and 50% serval, but later generations may have a higher percentage of domestic cats.

Because of their wild ancestry and the fact that it's a very recent breed, there are legal limitations around owning ad traveling with a Savannah cat.

Check if the limitations around Savannah cat ownership align with your lifestyle.

Savannahs are large cats, with males weighing 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9.1 kg) and females 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg). They are tall and long, with long legs, big ears, and short necks. The largest recorded Savannah was 37 inches (94 cm) long from nose to tail tip and weighed 29 pounds (13 kg).

History of Savannah Cats

The first Savannah was bred in 1986 by Judee Frank, a Bengal breeder. She crossed a serval with a Siamese cat, and the resulting kitten was named Savannah. The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted the Savannah as a new breed in 2012. As of 2019, the Savannah is the largest registered cat breed.

As well as with Bengal Cats Savannah's have been removed several generations from their wild ancestors before they can be "technically" called domestic pets. 

Before a Savannah can be considered SBT, it will have to be removed 8 times from its wild ancestor.

Savannah Cat Generations

The first 3 generations of Savannah cats are the wildest looking and the ones that have the most distant and human-averse temperament.

The generations of Savannahs are the result of reproducing a domestic cat with Servals/Savannahs:

F1 (First Savannah Generation)

One serval parent must be at least 75% serval. Male F1s can weigh up to 30 pounds (14 kg), and females 25 pounds (11 kg).

F2 (Second Savannah Generation)

One parent must be an F1 Savannah. Males can weigh up to 25 pounds (11 kg), and females 20 pounds (9.1 kg).

F3 (Third Savannah Generation)

One parent must be an F2 Savannah. Males can weigh up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg), and females 15 pounds (6.8 kg).

For a Savannah to be SBT Stud Book Traditional, the Savannah is bred down from the Serval/F1/F2/F3 and Savannah's on the male side.

  • Serval (Female) - Savannah (Male) - F1 (Female, as males, are infertile)
  • F1 (Female) - Savannah (Male) - F2 (Female, as males, are infertile)
  • F2 (Female) - Savannah (Male) - F3 (Female, as males, are infertile)
  • F3 (Female) - Savannah (Male) - F4 (Female, as males are infertile)
  • F4 (Female) - Savannah (Male) - SBT (Both Male and Female are fertile)

Savannah vs. Bengal Cat

The Savannah is often compared to the Bengal Cat, as they are both bred from wild cats. Bengal cats are the result of a cross between the Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat, while Savannahs are the result of a cross between the African Serval and a domestic cat.

Both breeds have spots on their fur, love to play, and can be trained to walk on a leash, which leads to confusion for many people. However, there are some key differences between the two breeds. Savanna Cats are larger than Bengal Cats, with males weighing 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9.1 kg) and females 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg). Bengal Cats only weigh 8 to 12 pounds (3.6 to 5.4 kg).

Despite both cats are considered to be high energy, Savannah cats are more active than Bengal Cats. 

Finally, Bengal Cats also have a shorter lifespan than Savannah Cats, living an average of 12 to 16 years, while Savannah Cats can live up to 20 years.

Savannah Cat Traits

The best way to identify a Savannah cat is to look for these physical traits:

Ears - Savannahs have big, wide-set ears that are taller than they are wide.

Legs - Savannah cats have long legs that are out of proportion to their body size.

Body - Savannahs are long and slender, with short necks and long tails.

Coat - The coat of a Savannah cat is usually spotted or marbled, with the pattern becoming more pronounced as the cat ages.

Cost of a Savannah Cat

The cost of a Savannah Cat varies depending on the generation. A first-generation Savannah Cat (F1) can cost $12,000 or more, while a fifth-generation Savannah Cat (F5) can cost around $1,500.

The most expensive Savannah Cat on record is an F1 Savannah Cat named Maverick, which was sold for $125,000 in 2014. The person who bought him said he planned to use Maverick as a stud to produce more Savannah Cats.

Savannah Cat Personality

While each cat has its unique personality, some traits are common in Savannah cats. They are intelligent, active, and playful. They can also be very vocal, with a chirp-like meow. Many savannahs enjoy the water and will even play in the shower with their owners!

Savannah Cats are intelligent, active, and playful. They are also known for being good hunters. They have a high prey drive and will chase anything that moves. They are good jumpers and climbers, and can even be trained to walk on a leash. They bonded well with their owners and loved to play.

However, Savannah Cats can also be very independent. They are not always fond of being handled, and may not like being picked up or cuddled. It is important to socialize them from a young age so that they grow up to be well-rounded cats.

Do you think a Savannah Cat is the right pet for you? Talk to a breeder today to learn more about

Stay Wild, Stay Safe, See You Outdoors!

Albert and Mia


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