Savannah Cat

The Savannah Cat is an exotic looking breed with a distinctive spotted coat. This is an energetic cat that likes to interact with its owner and has a sense of humor. They are affectionate and loving cats that love to play and be close to people.
Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)

Size: Large. Average body.

Intelligence: Very high.

Exercise Needs: Needs no exercise.

Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.

Shedding: Low shedding.

Average Lifespan: From 12-20 years.

Price: From $1000 to $20,000.

Weight: From 12-25 lbs.

Playfulness: Through the roof!

Social Skills: Great with children & other pets.

Need for Grooming: Twice a week.

Health: Excellent. No health issues.

Hypoallergenic?: No.

The Savannah Cat is a wild-looking medium-size breed. It was created by crossing a wild African serval with domestic cats.

Thanks to their wild ancestry, these cats have athletically built lean and tall bodies. The triangularly shaped head is supported by a long neck and adorned with large wide ears. Eyes are medium in size and can be of any color.

This breed stands out for its spotted coat that comes in several colors and gives these cats a truly wild look. The smart, energetic, and inquisitive Savannah can be a handful. They jump higher, run faster and are interested in everything.

Thus, the Savannah isn’t the right choice if you are looking for a calm lap cat. However, if you are looking for an active and adventurous companion, then this is surely the right cat for you!

Where Did Savannah Cat Breed Originate?

The Savannah is a fairly young cat breed developed from crosses between an African serval and domestic cats.

Judee Frank crossed a male serval belonging to Suzy Woods with a female Siamese Cat. The first kitten was born on April 7, 1986 and was named Savannah.

After hearing about this kitten, breeders Joyce Sroufe and Patrick Kelly started to work together in the attempt to create a new breed.

To establish the Savannah breed, they out-crossed them to other domestic spotted breeds. Bengals, Egyptian Maus, Ocicats, Oriental Shorthairs and common domestic cats were the breeds used to develop the Savannah.

Kelly and Sroufe wrote the original breed standard in the 1996 and presented it to the board of The International Cat Association. In 2001 TICA started to register Savannahs and the breed was fully recognized in 2012.

After achieving the TICA championship, outcrossing to other domestic cats was no longer permitted.

What Does the Savannah Cat Look Like?

This is a medium-sized breed with a long and athletic body. The legs are also long, with hind legs being longer than front ones. Their triangularly shaped heads are taller than wide and small in proportion to the body.

They have deeply cupped wide and erect ears, that have ocelli. This is a central light band bordered by black, gray or brown color creating an eye-like effect. The medium-sized eyes are blue in kittens and change their color to green, gold or brown as a cat grows.

Their puffy noses sport black markings that run from the corners of the eyes down the sides of the nose to the whiskers.

The most distinguishing trait of this breed is its coat which comes in several colors and is covered with distinctive dark markings.

The Savannah is a medium-sized breed with a thin frame and long body. The size of this breed is often exaggerated because they are taller than most domestic cats.

Savannah Cat Colors

The Savannah’s spotted coat is the breeds most distinctive feature and various dark markings are the trait that give this breed its exotic appearance.

The breed’s standard calls for black smoke, brown, silver or black spotted tabby coat. Most cats have solid black or brown spots on brown, tan, gold, silver, black or black tipped coat.

Additionally, their spots can be round, oval or elongated. Some Savannahs come in the colors and patterns that aren’t permitted in the breed’s standard including chocolate, cinnamon, red, blue and color-point.

Savannah Cat Personality Traits

This is a highly intelligent, active and adventurous breed that lives life to the fullest. Thus, if you are looking for a gentle and calm lap cat, don’t get a Savannah.

The Savannah requires a lot of interaction with its owner.

Thus, if your cat gets an impression that you aren’t interacting with her, it will find creative ways on how to get your attention.

So, expect the unexpected!

Your cat will set the alarm clock off, or turn the shower-head on just to make you come running to turn it off.

Thanks to their athletic and agile bodies these cats are excellent jumpers. Since they love heights they are frequently found on the top shelves or hanging down from a chandelier.

This breed has a sense of humor and they enjoy playing practical jokes on their owners. So don’t be surprised if your cat starts pushing things from high above down on you.

This is a smart, curious, and adventurous cat that is always in motion.  Unlike other cat breeds, the Savannah loves water and enjoys playing with it. As a result, you may find your cat’s water bowl constantly surrounded by a water puddle.

These cats can be easily trained to do tricks, obey commands or walk on a leash. They react well to positive reinforcements and will enjoy getting treats for good behavior.

This is a friendly and affectionate cat that will excitedly greet guests by the front door. It will even bring its favorite catnip toys to compel visitors to play with her.

And when a day full of adventures and activities is over, your cat will curl in the bed with you. However, the Savannah won’t respect your privacy and will probably lie on your head or steal the covers.


When properly socialized the Savanna has an outstanding temperament. This breed is a feline version of a dog! They actively seek social interaction and will pout if they feel left out.

While they love meeting new people and aren’t afraid of strangers, the Savannah is profoundly loyal to its immediate family members. This smart, curious, and bold cat remains kitten-like through life and needs a home in which it will be involved in all activities.

Savannah Cat Behavior

Being such a social creature, this breed can develop certain behavioral problems if ignored or left out from family activities.

So whatever you do in your house, this cat will always want in!

In most cases, a cat will become depressed, destructive, or start to pee outside the litter box.

However, you won’t have to worry about any of these issues if you play and interact with your cat every day.

This breed likes to be immersed in the life of its owners, and you should treat your cat as a full-fledged family member.

Are Savannah Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?

The highly adaptable Savannah will quickly deal with any change that comes its way. This is a social cat that likes meeting strangers and will immediately start to play with them.

They also adapt quickly to new situations and environments as long as they are provided with the same amount of affection as before.

This is an athletic and highly energetic cat that is in perpetual motion. Keep your cat occupied with scratcher toys, that will at the same time trim her nails.

Being a naturally active breed the Savannah knows how to stay in shape as long as it has enough toys to play with. Hence, get a kitty activity center and spend some time every day playing with your cat to keep her happy.

Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?

The energetic and friendly Savannah makes a great addition to families with older children. These cats like to play with older kids who can match their energy levels.

This breed gets along with other cats and dogs if they are introduced properly.

If you are away during a day, it is a good idea to get your cat a companion animal. However, make sure that you choose a high energy cat breed that will be able to keep up with the athletic Savannah.

This breed has a profound love for play and remains kitten-like well into adulthood.

General Health and Potential Risks

The Savannah Cat has excellent health and doesn’t have any known genetic health problems.

However, you will have to vaccinate your cat to keep her protected from feline transmitted diseases. Furthermore, keep your cat indoors only and take her to regular vet-checkups to prevent any health issues.

This breed needs more taurine compared to other breeds and can benefit from a taurine supplement.

Savannah Cat Lifespan

The Savannah has an average lifespan of 12-20 years. This is a healthy breed without any known genetic health problems and they usually stay healthy in senior years.

Keep your cat exercised and stimulated in an outdoor cat playhouse. This way, she will experience outdoors without being at risk of car accidents or viral diseases.

Grooming Needs

These cats have a short luxurious coat that is easy to maintain. Thus, you will have to brush your cat only twice a week.

Use a rubber curry brush to remove loose hair and give your cat a massage. Regular grooming will distribute skin oils through the length of fur and improve skin circulation.

Savannah Cat Shedding

The Savannah’s short and silky coat doesn’t shed much and can be occasionally brushed with a grooming glove.

This breed is a great choice if you don’t want to deal with cat hair and vacuuming.

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Savannah Cat. Read on to find out more about this exotic looking and friendly breed.

How Much is Savannah Cat Price?

The exact price of Savannah kitten varies and largely depends on how much the wild serval is bred into the cat. So, for the F1 (first generation serval and Savannah) kitten you can expect to pay from $12,000 to $16,000 for a male or $15,000 to $20,000 for a female kitten.

You can expect to pay in between $4000 and $9000 for an F2 Savannah kitten. The F3 Savannah kittens cost from $1000 to $4000, and F4 Savannah kittens can be found for $1000 to $2500 depending on the gender and coat color.

How Big Do Savannah Cats Get?

As with all other cat breeds, male Savannahs are larger and typically weigh from 10-15 pounds. However, some males can weigh 20 pounds or more. Females are smaller and weigh from 7-10 pounds.

This is an athletic and agile breed that maintains its weight with regular exercise. Due to their wild ancestry, these cats need to eat grain-free cat food.

Additionally, higher protein count will keep Savannah’s muscles toned and strong. Feed your cat according to her age and activity level to keep her at the ideal weight.

Are Savannah Cats Dangerous?

Because this breed has wild genes of the African serval, many people believe that Savannahs are dangerous. Early generations with a higher proportion of serval DNA have a far less predictable temperament than domestic cats.

However, most pet Savannas are F8, meaning that they have a very small amount of wild DNA left, and they are no more dangerous to people than any other domestic cat.

Laws governing the ownership of Savannah Cats in the United States vary according to state. The majority of states consider wild and domesticated hybrid crosses as domesticated, however, some states have set more restrictive laws on hybrid cat ownership. Those states include Hawaii, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Texas.

And while you can keep a Savannah in New York state, you can’t own one in New York City. Although it is illegal to own Savannah in Australia, most other nations have few or no restrictions on F2 and later Savannah generations.

Are Savannah Cats Friendly?

The active and social Savannah has a dog-like personality and a friendly temperament. They make great pets and are a great choice for families with older kids or other pets.

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