Updated: Sep 8
Do Savannah cats make good pets?
You may hear different answers to this question. We personally feel that it is very important to understand that there are many factors that come into play when choosing a breeder and a kitten.
Cats and kittens all have different personalities. Being a small in home breeder of these incredible creatures, we have come to notice a lot of differences in kittens that reach far beyond their exotic and elegant features. Each kitten has their own personality.
In one litter you may have a kitten that is the first to explore when old enough and strong enough to start walking. You may have a kitten that just wants to be held and loved and cuddled constantly. You may have a kitten that is more confident and is the first to chase after a ball or pushes through it's siblings to catch the feather from the wand toy. You may have a kitten that is more shy and observant. A kitten that meows and "talks" constantly and tells you about their day. (or so we like to joke that is why they are always 'talking') A kitten that will never make a sound or if it does, he or she is very quiet. A kitten that is the first to socialize other animals. And so on.. We have observed even at just a few weeks old, kittens are never the same.
We like to update our new owners with personality traits we see in their kitten. We want new owners to understand the milestones and growth of their kitten from early on.
The Savannah cat breed is a very intelligent breed that is in touch with their emotions. It is extremely important to imprint human touch and love onto a Savannah Kitten when they are young so they will grow to seek out the comfort of companionship with their humans. If a Savannah Kitten is born in a cage, or in a bathroom or room without human interaction, they will most likely grow up to be either, aloof, scared of humans, and may never want to be touched. It will be difficult to hold a kitten that was raised in that environment because they were never given the chance to trust a human's embrace.
At Luxury Savannahs, my family and I hold, pet, touch, and show affection to kittens from the day they are born so they crave human contact. As kittens grow old enough to leave the birthing box where their mom takes care of them, we take notice of how the kittens respond to being touched and held. Some will melt in our hands like butter and just love the handling and petting and kissing. But sometimes, very rarely there is one kitten that may be okay with it, but will prefer not to be held. Those are the kittens we will spend extra time on holding and kissing and petting consistently until they are more comfortable and accepting of it.
A Savannah Kitten from a good breeder will not be scared or aggressive toward a human. Yes, they are hybrids of a wild African cat, but breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; cats who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
When choosing the right breeder, please make sure that your breeder is showing affection to the kittens. Ask them to send photos of the kitten being held and touched and played with, so you can see how they are interacting in their temporary home.
Your Job as a Savannah Cat Owner
The imprinting stages of a Savannah Kitten being brought to a new family is very important when it comes to the early stages of their lives before and after reaching their new home.
After the first couple of weeks, when your kitten has settled into your home, you will notice a sense of comfortability from your kitten. Remember, it can take up to two weeks or even longer depending on the kitten, the new family, and other pets. When a Savannah Kitten is brought into a new home, its important not to forget that they left their mother, their siblings, their breeder, the smells and tastes and blankets and toys they were accustomed to for the first 12+ weeks of their lives and the kitten may become depressed at first. Be patient. Be understanding. Give plenty of food and heaps of praise and love and lots and lots of play time so the kitten will adjust with ease.
We suggest to please hold your kitten as much as possible after that first week of receiving him/her. Your kitten may be active and want to run and jump and play or explore, but it is important that you hold the kitten a lot when it is younger so it will enjoy being held as an adult cat.
If you keep the socializing and shower your Savannah kitten with affection, play time, and good nutrition, you will understand why this breed is not only one of the most enchanting and exotic looking, it is one of the most dedicated and loving breed out there.