The Savannah Cat
What is a Savannah Cat?
Savannah Cats are a newer breed of cat that are hybrids of the African Serval. The Savannah is a spotted domestic cat that was created to give the effect of its exotic ancestors with the appearance of an African serval but much easier to own as a pet. The first breeders bred together the African Serval with a domestic cat in order to first create the breed. After the years, experienced breeders have been able to perfect the breed by breeding all generations of Savannahs (instead of domestic cats) with their servals to create the higher percentage F1 Savannahs that can be used as breeders for higher percentage lower generation savannahs in order to maintain, preserve, & uphold the standard for physical appearance in the Savannah cat breed.
Not only have breeders been able to create physically exotic and beautiful Savannah Cats of all generations, we have been able to produce kittens and invest time in refining the personality traits in our kittens by pairing cats that have desirable personality traits as well. Along with bottle feeding kittens, handling kittens, and spending a lot of time with kittens and having them around children etc. we have been able to uphold the easy going and affectionate personality of this breed so new owners are able to enjoy the intelligence and love these cats and kittens can provide.
Some Savannah cats appear like they have much larger eyes because of their smaller narrow head, which gives some Savannah's the look of a kitten even at 20+ lbs. most Savannahs have dark tear stains similar to a cheetah, deep contrasted coat colors, solid aphotic black spots and stripes, large rounded ears with ocelli (the white eyes on the back of the ears), slender bodies, and long elegant legs.
Since 2006 the Savannah cat has held the Guinness Book World Record for the world's tallest domestic cat.
Breed Standard ranks for all traits to mimic those of it's ancestor the African Serval. The goal of the breed is to create a wild looking cat that has a well rounded 'domestic' temperament that gives people the feel of owning an exotic wild animal.
Poorly developed bloodlines can be mistaken for a Bengal Cat, which have a very different body structure to the Savannah. (Bengals are a stocky cat with short legs, short ears, long tails, and rosettes rather than solid spots).
Savannah Cat color coat colors can vary between brown, silver, smoke, snow, and melanistic. The most acceptable colors are those that mimic the African Serval. The most common similarity of the African Serval coat is a golden/beige color with solid deep black spots and white under belly (with spotting). Gold, beige, tan or tawny are shades of brown so these coat colors are correctly registered as: 'brown spotted tabby' (BST). Although some people do still prefer the more rare colorings like the silver, snow, and melanistic.
Eyes should set slightly hooded, giving a somewhat relaxed expression. The top of the eye sets at an angle like a boomerang so that the black corners of the eye (tear stain markings) may descend down the line of the inner nose. The eyes are fairly deep set, low on the forehead, and are consistent with facial symmetry. All eye colors are allowed. eye colors you may see in a Savannah cat are, dark or light brown, copper, gold, orange, yellow, auburn, bright green, hazel, and blue.
Ears normally resemble the Serval Cat. Serval Cats have the largest ears in relationship to their head size of any cat. The Savannah Cat's ears are remarkably large and set high on the head. They are wide and strong with a deep cupped base. The ears stand upright and usually have rounded tips. The Savannah does have a slight point at the tip in comparison to the Servals much more rounded appearance. Some Savannahs have a little fur that will come off the tip similar to a lynx, this is not a Savannah trait that is permissible for the breed, but many people love that look! Pronounced black and white ocelli ear markings are desirable. When the Savannah sets his or her ears back they form what we like to call a "Moth-like" appearance of two giant moth wings.
Head shape is normally more narrow like a serval yet can also have a full shape like the domestic part of their heritage. The head should be longer than it is wide. The nose is longer than most domestic cats and forms a triangular shape. It is preferred for the head to have the “l l” marking rather than “M” marking, although this is not in the breed standard. most lower generation males will have wider and thicker heads/necks.
Pattern of the coat is solid spots, large medium and small, which can be round or oval that are scattered across the body and should not be connected. A series of parallel stripes, from the back of the head and stripes which flow over the shoulder blades which stretch onto the back. Spots can be dark black, dark brown, silver, blue, golden, and light brown (depending on the coat color). Spots that resemble freckling are extended down the legs and feet, as well as on the face. There are also stripes on the inside and outside of the legs. The coat is dense short hair that can be coarse or soft in texture.
The Savannah Cat is a much taller, thinner framed cat with a longer body than most cats so they look much larger than they actually are. The taller body type gives the illusion that they weigh much more than they do. Weight depends on individual bloodline and diet. Weight can vary per generation and can be between 9lbs (lowest germination of Savannah cat) all the way up to 30lbs (usually F1s)
The Savannah Cat is a highly Intelligent animal. They can learn simple and complex commands like how to sit and shake. They will also easily learn their name. They are a naturally curious animal who craves attention and stimulation from their owners. Savannah cats can learn how to open doors and cupboards. They love water and to walk on a leash!
Health Issues are not specific to the breed at this time. Because the Savannah cat is a newer breed and hasn't been bred down through a series of domestication far into the gene pool, they have not developed diseases that most domestic cats have acquired. Genetic testing is still crucial to avoid development of breed specific disease long term. Reproduction is very difficult with this breed and fertility rates are very low. Savannah Cats do not require any specialty health care. It is still important for your breeder to have two sets of vaccinations, rabies vaccination (if applicable) and snap testing done on your Savannah prior to them leaving their home to yours.
When properly socialized, the Savannah's temperament is outstanding. The feline version to a dog, ideal for owners who want to avoid extra canine requirements. Actively seeking social interaction. Profoundly loyal to immediate family members, depressed when you leave the house, and extremely happy when you come back home, sometimes waiting by the door for you to walk in and pet them. Savannah's are excellent companions that are loyal, affectionate, intelligent, and eager to be involved.
Nutrition requirements can be those of the average domestic cat. They do not require a raw meat diet, however a balanced raw meat diet is the most nutritional diet available. there are plenty of dry and wet foods out there at your local pet food stores for your kitten that contain all of the protein, vitamins and nutrients you will need to keep your Savannah healthy. Keeping dry food available at all times is nice for when your Savannah is hungry, likes to snack, or have something in between meals. Savannah's, just like most domestic cats, do not normally over eat like a dog does. Fresh water should be available at all times.