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 Savannah Cat (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 Savannah Cat (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 Savannah Cat (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) - SBT Savannah (Male) --> F1 (Infertile Male)
- F1 Savannah Cat (Female) - SBT Savannah (Male) --> F2 (Infertile Male)
- F2 Savannah Cat (Female) - SBT Savannah (Male) --> F3 (Infertile Male)
- F3 Savannah Cat (Female) - SBT Savannah (Male) --> F4 (Infertile Male)
- F4 Savannah Cat (Female) - SBT 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 being 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.
Savannah Cat Size
Savannah cats' size can vary a lot depending on their generation, generations that are farther removed from the Serval cat (SBT, F4 or F3) are going to be smaller than generations closer to their ancestors (F1 or F2).
The below Savannah Sizes and Weights are averages:
- F1 Savannah Cat (Height 16 inches, Lenght 20 inches, Weight 23 lbs)
- F2 Savannah Cat (Height: 14.5 inches, Length: 17 inches, Weight: 15 lbs)
- F3 Savannah Cat (Height: 10.5 inches, Length: 15 inches, Weight: 13.5 lbs)
- SBT Savannah Cat (Height: 11 inches, Length: 14 inches, Weight: 10 lbs)
In the below diagram, you can see Savannah Cat Sizes depending on their generation:
Cost of a Savannah Cat
Savannah Cat price varies depending on the generation as well as on the quality of the traits of a particular cat. A first-generation Savannah Cat (F1) can cost $12,000 or more, while a fifth-generation Savannah Cat (F5) can cost around $1,500.
Savannah Cats that are sold for breeding are also going to be more expensive than those that are sold as pets. Also, savannahs that are sold after breeding them, when they are adults, can be slightly cheaper.
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.
If you are looking for a cheap savannah cat consider looking in nearby shelters, as these high-maintenance breeds tend to be too much for some families that end up abandoning them... (IT'S NOT COOL, DON'T DO IT)
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!
It is thought that F2 Savannah Cats are the best combination to get an intelligent, active, and playful companion. 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