Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose a Savannah, and what exactly is it?
A Savannah Cat is a cross between a domesticated house cat and African Serval. This cross was first successful in 1986 by Judee Frank when she crossbred a male serval belonging to Suzi Woods with a Siamese domestic cat. This successful pairing produced the first Savannah cat. Approximately ten years later, in 1996, Patrick Kelley and Joyce Sroufe wrote the original version of the Savannah breed standard and presented it to TICA. In 2001, the TICA board accepted the Savannah breed for registration. Choosing a Savannah Cat can be a difficult decision, as there are several generations available, each with its defining characteristics and personality. It is important to consider all your circumstances when deciding which generation Savannah Cat is best for you. The F1-F2 generations will physically resemble their serval ancestor more than the later generation Savannah Cat. These earlier generations of Savannah Cats also possess the most “exotic” look. They greatly resemble the Serval in their physical characteristics (long legs, big ears, short tail, dark tear stains, ocelli pattern on their ears, and long neck). The coat of a Savannah Cat should be spotted, as this is the TICA breed standard. For a more comprehensive look into the development of the Savannah Cat Breed, please refer to: A Timeline of the Savannah Cat Breed’s Development from 1986 to Present Day
What characteristics should I look for when selecting a Savannah kitten?
A Savannah Cat has several distinctive characteristics to look for, and are important to keep in mind when choosing a breeder and kitten. These characteristics include:
Short, thick tail
Please refer to The Savannah Cat Association for a more detailed description.
What does the “F” mean in regard to the generation?
The “F” stands for “filial generation,” the number refers to the number of generations the Savannah Cat is from its African Serval Ancestor.
Is a Savannah going to be the right fit for my family if I have small children?
In short, Yes! I have firsthand experience as all of my Savannah Cats are around my children, 4, 5, and 13. Savannahs must be socialized around adults and children to ensure the kitten will become used to human affection and attention. Not all cats seek out human affection as much as others. However, I promise to raise each kitten around my family and children so the kitten’s transition to their new home is seamless with no surprises.
There are so many Savannah Cat breeders to choose from, how do I decide?
Ultimately, the decision is up to the buyer and what they are looking for in a breeder. It is of utmost importance that you are comfortable and confident that the breeder you select is an excellent fit for you and your family. I have found that working with a breeder knowledgeable about the breed and who is open/available for ongoing support is essential. I can nearly guarantee you will need your breeder’s assistance after bringing your kitten home. It is also vital to trust your breeder as they will be your lifeline and veterinarian. Always research and become familiar with the breeders of the Savannah Cat.
What food can I expect to feed my Savannah?
When you take your Savannah Cat home, continue the same food regime that the Savannah Cat had before leaving my cattery. All my cats eat Royal Canin kibble and canned food. These kittens must continue to receive the same diet as their nutrition and calorie needs are of utmost importance for their continued growth and health. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to change your Savannah Cat’s diet, please do so slowly and mix in the new food with the current food to avoid any stomach upset or GI issues.
Does my Savannah require the same veterinary care as a regular domesticated house cat?
Savannah Cats also need prompt and regular veterinary care like the average pet. Receiving routine care as recommended by your veterinarian will ensure your Savannah Cat has a long, healthy life. The Savannah Cat Association recommends your Savannah Cat NOT BE vaccinated against FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) unless it is non-adjuvanted. In addition, it is also their recommendation that your Savannah Cat NEVER is vaccinated against FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis).
Is a Savannah Cat legal to own in my state of residence?
Please refer to this map of each state’s legality of the Savannah Cat breed. Before placing a deposit, it is the buyer’s responsibility to verify the lawfulness of both the Savannah Cat breed and generation in their state of residence. If a permit is required for ownership, it is the buyer’s responsibility to complete all requirements to obtain a permit before placing a deposit. Picture obtained from: https://www.savannahgans.com/hybrid-law using information from Paige Dana's website "Hybrid Law".