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What is A Savannah Cat?

A Savannah cat is a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat. The savannah ancestor, the African Serval is a tall, lanky cat with large ears, bold black spots, a long neck, and a short tail. The goal of a savannah breeder is to try and replicate the African Serval as close as they can. They are one of the newest and most exciting breeds of cats, currently being developed by a select group of breeders from around the world. The Savannah, in spite of its exotic heritage, is considered a domestic breed. There are still relatively few Savannahs in existence compared to other established breeds, and the demand for them is quite high.

Do Savannahs Get Along Well With Other Pets or Children?

Absolutely! If raised in a home with well behaved children and pets, a Savannah kitten will thrive and are often seen sleeping with those they own.

What is a Savannah’s Temperament Like?

Savannah Cats have very loving and outgoing personalities and are commonly compared to dogs in their loyalty. They will follow their owners around the house like a canine. They can also be trained to walk on a leash, and even fetch.

They are highly intelligent cats and learn quickly. A Savannah is happiest being a family member that is involved in every activity, rather than being just a usual house pet.

They definitely love water and have surprised many an owner with a spontaneous visit in the running shower.

How Big Does A Savannah Get?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to size in Savannah Cats. The size depends much on the size and type of their parents and also of the percentage of wild blood they have from the Serval. I have an F2 female that is only 8 or 9 pounds. There is no guarantee on size and it is nearly impossible to predict as the same breeding can produce both large and smaller savannah kittens in different litters.

The biggest cats are F1 Savannahs and males of the F2 Generations. They get about 1 to 2 ½ times larger than regular house cats, with their weight ranging from 13 to 28 pounds. F3 males are often still considerably bigger than a regular house cat but many are the same size of a domestic cat.

F3 females and all cats of further generations decrease in size but keep their long legs, big ears and the wild appearance. Savannahs can take up to 3 years to reach their full size. After the F3 generation, it is common for to see savannahs the same size as domestic cats.

If you absolutely must have a large cat you should choose an F1 or F2 male for sure. After that there are no guarantees that any savannah will be a large cat. Some cats will fall outside these numbers

Generation Height @ Shoulder Approx. Weight

F1 (50%) 16-20 inches 13-28 lbs

F2 (25% ) 13-16 inches 11-25 lbs

F3 (12.5% ) 12-14.5 inches 9-16 lbs

F4 (6.25% ) 11-13 inches 7-15 lbs

F5 (3.12% ) domestic in size but a few have been known to get to 18 pounds

Diet & Health Care

Savannahs do very well on a high quality dry cat food supplemented with canned wet food and some raw (or cooked) meat.

Stay away from kibble with grains in it like soy, wheat, and corn. Please try and stay away from grocery store brand dry cat foods as they are all mostly fillers and very low quality.

Savannah Breeders give the same vaccinations and veterinarian health care to their savannah cats as the domestic cat gets. I prefer to use “all killed” versus a “modified live” vaccination with my cats.

Of course, all of our savannah kittens are fully litter box trained and properly vaccinated before they go to their new owners.

How Much Does A Savannah Cost?

The price of a Savannah will vary depending on the quality of the individual cat. Our Savannahs will be individually priced based on gender, fertility, generation and type. Their cost will be noted with their pictures.

Higher percentage Savannahs (F1’s and F2’s) are rarer and often, very difficult to breed. It takes many years and a lot of luck to mate a Serval with a domestic cat. Only a few breeders worldwide have had success.

Servals are wild cats with special needs in terms of their caging requirements, their diet and their health care. Caring for pure Servals and mating them to domestic cats is costly, time consuming and demanding.

Following are average price ranges for PET kittens, breeders are priced higher: I do not produce F1’s. Most breeders are in this price range.

F2’s will range from $4500 – $5500

F3’s will range from $3000 – $4000

F4’s will range from $1500 – $2500

F5’s will range from $1200 – $2000

SBT will range from $1000 -$1500

Cats may at times be out of the specified price range for various reasons.

Understanding the generations

Most people know what the generations are but here is a simple explanation. All earlier (foundation) Savannahs have an F and a number associated with it to indicate how many generations it is from its Serval ancestor. The “F” stands for filial and the number tells the generations away from the Serval. When breeding the filial number drops down one from the lowest number.

F1 X F6 = F2

F4 X F7 = F5

F3 X F5 = F4 etc

F1 = one generation (50% Serval) Has a Serval Parent

F2 = two generations (25% Serval) Has a Serval Grandparent

F3 = three generations (12.5% Serval) Has a Serval Great Grandparent etc.

As a general rule, the lower the generation the closer to the size of a domestic cat. Nothing is ever 100% but don’t get your hopes up for a giant cat in the lower generations.

You will terms like ‘high generation’ or ‘low generation’. ‘High generation’ means that there is a higher Serval percentage and includes the F1, F2, F3; and ‘low generation’ means that there is a lower Serval percentage so F4, F5, F6, and so on.

The basic TICA codes

Some of the codes you will see may sound complicated but are actually quite easy to understand. They will A, B, C and SBT.

A – One parent is a (non-Savannah) domestic out cross

B – Both parents are Savannahs

C – Both parents and grandparents are all Savannahs

SBT – Parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are all Savannahs.

It is the SBT level that cats are eligible for showing within TICA (The International Cat Association) and the level that Savannah Cats are considered a true breed.

When breeding the letters always drop down one from the lowest letter. The progression to SBT is as follows:

A + A = B

B + B = C

C + C = SBT

A + B = B

B + SBT = C

A + C = B etc

I won’t go into the rest of the TICA codes as it might get confusing to understand. Brigitte Cowell Moyne has written a great PDF explaining the TICA codes. You can see it HERE

Gary Fulgham

No copying or using any of this material without permission from Gary Fulgham

jungletouch@comcast.net

 

 

Please check out some of the articles below.

Why is the Savannah So Expensive

What is a Savannah cat

Cat Dangers and First Aide

Choosing a Savannah cat Breeder

Maine Coons: The Gentle Giants

Maine Coon Standard

 

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