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.
These cats stand out for their spotted coat that comes in several colors and gives these cats a truly wild look. The smart, energetic, and inquisitive Savanna can be a handful. These cats 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.
The Savannah Cat is a fairly young cat breed developed from crosses between an African serval and domestic cat.
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 registering Savannahs and the breed was fully recognized in 2012.
After achieving the the TICA championship, outcrossing to other domestic cats was no longer permitted.
The Savannah 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 giving 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.
These cats have puffy noses and 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. The coat comes in several colors and is covered with distinctive dark markings.
Male Savannahs are larger and typically weigh from 10-15 pounds. Females are smaller and weigh from 7-10 pounds.
This is an athletic and agile breed that maintains its weight with regular activities. 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 in order to keep her at the ideal weight.
This is a highly intelligent, active and adventurous breed that lives life to the fullest. Thus, if you are seeking a gentle and calm lap cat, don’t get a Savannah.
These cats require a lot of interaction with their owners. If your cat feels that you aren’t interacting with her enough it will figure ways to make you do so. Thus, you can expect your cat setting the alarm clock off, or turning 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. For this reason, your cat will need a tall cat tree to practice her amazing jumps. 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 jokes on their owners. So don’t be surprised if your cat starts pushing things from high above down on you. To prevent things like this, get your cat a window perch (or a few of them).
The Savannah Cat likes games and needs to have a variety of toys to stay content. This is a smart, curious, and adventurous cat that is always in motion. These cats love water and enjoy 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 or compel visitors to play tag with her.
Once the 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.
The highly adaptable Savannah Cat 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.
This is a naturally active breed that 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.
The Savannah Cat has an excellent health and doesn’t have any known genetic health problems.
However, you will have to keep your cat vaccinated in order 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.
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 and catching viral diseases.
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.
The short and silky coat of the Savannah Cat doesn’t shed much. Hence, this is a great breed for all people who want to avoid daily vacuuming of the house.
The Savannah’s spotted coat is the breeds most distinctive feature. The 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 colorpoint.
The energetic and friendly Savannah Cats can make a great addition to families with older children. These cats like playing with older kids who can match their energy levels. Let your child dangle a feather teaser in front of your cat and they will spend hours playing like that.
These cats get 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 is a highly energetic breed with a great love and need for play. That’s why, get your cat a fling string toy to keep her entertained.
Since these cats like to play and interact with their owners so much, you can get mice toys and engage your cat in hunting games.