Cat Breeds

Savannah cat

Savannah cat is a hybrid of domestic cat and wild serval. Big, beautiful, intelligent and extroverted. Very friendly but not easy to drive.


Savannah is a cat with strongly marked features of wild ancestors, both in appearance and behavior. He has an unusual temperament that does not allow him to sit for a long moment in one place. He is an extremely active cat, who loves walking and all kinds of games, including those in the water. Every day he needs a really big dose of attention. He hates boredom and stagnation – he is adventurous. When the caregiver does not provide him with entertainment, he finds them himself, which often ends in the devastation of the apartment. Can use any subject for training and improving hunting skills. It delights with jumping that far exceeds the skills of other cats.

The savannah breed is much more social than typical domestic cats. Although he doesn’t like lazing on his knees, he is an extremely emotional cat. He is strongly attached to his guardian and is faithful to him, which is confirmed by his wanderings around him in the whole apartment. He also accompanies him during various housework. He would like to spend most of his time with him, but it should be active time! He adheres to the principle of “one guardian for life” and suffers from separation or moving very badly.

He is extremely intelligent and quickly discovers how to sneak out of a closed room (opens the door with his paws) or how to get inside the fridge. It should be used for securing cupboards and doors, such as for small children. It will not despise anything that can be bitten, scratched and spread into small poppy seeds. He is widely regarded as very cheerful. He shows his joy with high jumps (up to 2.5 meters) and energetic running.

Has many “dog qualities”. He is happy to retrieve and walk on a leash. In addition, he looks forward to his man’s return at the door every day. Perhaps that is why it is a common choice for families who previously lived with a barking pet. What’s more, he loves to sleep with a man in bed, trample after him and help in all household chores and lick him like a dog pet.

Breeders have put in a lot of work to make the savannah cat-friendly and non-aggressive with a wild look. Therefore, despite the extrovert, this cat can get along with other household members. She finds herself well in the company of other cats and dogs. Even more so if he is used to it since he was young. He also has great contact with people and literally, because about their feelings and needs are not embarrassed to meow.

Despite all these advantages, savannah requires systematic socialization, especially during youth. This is not a typical cat mascot. His behavior can be unpredictable and sometimes disobedient. This is a great breed, but very demanding. Its representatives should stay in the homes of more experienced and responsible caregivers. In particular, cats of the F1 and F2 generation may have a difficult, semi-wild character.

Buying a savannah cat is not easy, because they are unique animals due to the very small litters. There are only 60 farms around the world.

Savannah cat

Savannah cat. Advantages and disadvantages

Savannah – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • expensive and rare race
  • requires socialization from the kitten
  • has a tendency to escape
  • requires a home with a solid aviary
  • can overcome even a very high fence
  • may mean terrain
  • half-wild boar – especially F1, F2 generations
  • not suitable for young children
  • only for an experienced caregiver


  • unusual wild and exotic appearance
  • very intelligent
  • learns quickly, e.g. retrieving, walking on a leash
  • individual
  • strongly associated with the guardian, loyal
  • very active, loves fun
  • gets along easily with the dog
  • easy to care for
  • healthy
Savannah cat

Savannah cat. Health

Savannah is a healthy and resistant breed. However, its reproduction is quite difficult, because it is a hybrid breed (a cross of two species). The F1 generation, i.e. the cross between a domestic cat and a serval, is extremely difficult to obtain. These problems result from the fact that the pregnancy cycles of these two cats differ from each other (75 days in servals and 65 days in domestic cats), as well as their chromosomes (like most cats, both species have 38 chromosomes, but they differ slightly structure). The second reason for reproduction problems is the big difference in the size of servals and domestic cats. Often there are also problems with male fertility and with the termination of pregnancies by cats and delivery. Litters are very small, and unfortunately, kittens are often born dead.

It has been observed that some savannah reacts badly to ketamine, which is an ingredient in anesthesia. Cats of this breed may also suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy common among pedigree cats.


They are very mobile and spontaneous animals, which is why they should receive sufficient energy. Savannah cats should be fed high-quality, grain-free wet meat with a high meat content. These cats can also handle bones without major problems – so they can be fed a diet. However, you should remember about proper supplementation and the fact that savannah has a higher demand for taurine than other breeds.


Care for cats of this breed is relatively easy – just brush them once a week. However, during intense molting, this should be done more often. Smooth fur is best combed with a soft brush. Eyes, ears and claws require regular checks and, if necessary, appropriate hygiene measures.

Savannah cat

Savannah cat. History

Savannah is a cat hybrid bred by crossing African serval  ( Leptalurus serval ) with domestic shorthair ( Felis catus ) at the end of the 20th century in the United States. The first specimen of this breed was born in 1986 – the mother was a female belonging to a Bengal cat breeder, Judy Frank, and her father – a serval. The cat was a seal-point siamese. Their daughter inherited the traits from both parents – from the mother a gray-beige base color, from the father – dark spots. The cat was bought by another breeder – Suzi Wood, who called her Savannah. Over time, this name became the name of the entire race. Savannah belonging to Suzi Wood proved to be fertile and gave birth to F2 kittens. The woman published several articles about the new breed, and one of her readers was Patrick Kelley. He bought one of the Savannah daughters, associated it with a domestic cat, and so the F3 generation was born.

Large-scale farming only began in the 1990s. The goal of breeders was to get a cat as closely as possible reminiscent of a wild progenitor, but with the character and temperament of a domestic cat. In addition to savannas, for the same reasons, several other hybrid breeds were created, such as: toygerBengal catchausie.

Breeder Joyce Sroufe is considered the initiator of stabilizing the breed. She was able to create enough generations to obtain fertile males. For the first time she presented her cats to a wider audience in 1997 at the Westchester Cat Show in New York. Her kennel called A1 Savannah still works today.

Hybrid breeders have to deal with many problems and difficulties. In nature, wild cats rarely intersect with domestic cats, so in the case of savannah it was necessary to “use” servals raised among domestic cats or for some time living in their surroundings.

Savannah was recognized as a separate breed in 2012 by TICA and by the American breeding organization REFR. Cats of this breed are enjoying increasing popularity in the USA, Canada, Japan and Europe – although their number is still relatively small.


Savannah – Breeds not recognized by FIFe

EMS code: none

  • Origin: United States
  • Character: inquisitive, friendly, intelligent, outgoing and extremely active.
  • Activity: very active, likes high jumps, fast running and playing in the water.
  • Size: very large
  • Weight: depending on the generation, 6-12 kg, males are much bigger than females.
  • Back: long, agile and flexible; full chest, small but strong croup It gives the impression of a delicate, light and not very strong cat, but nothing more wrong, because he inherited not only his coat from his wild ancestor, but also a strong and muscular posture.
  • Head shape: small, triangular, delicate; clearly defined cheeks, tapering chin forms an inverted triangle.
  • Ears: large, set high, rounded at the ends; their bases are close together, they are wide and fleshy. At their back we can see clear meanings called ocelli (it is visible to varying degrees depending on the color generation and intensity).
  • Eyes: medium size, almond-like in shape; embedded under slightly protruding eyebrow arches; they have a greenish color; cats with a more vivid eye color are more valued than subdued ones that turn gray. Possible blue, brown, golden color. Black spots of “tears” can be seen in the corners of the inner eyes – similar to cheetah and serval.
  • Nose: Broad, hooded, with low set nostrils.
  • Tail: thick, with rings on the hair; medium length and tapering towards the end.
  • Limbs: long limbs, with elastic movements, hindlegs slightly longer than forelegs; oval paws, small, with elongated toes.
  • Coat: medium length, soft and delicate undercoat; thick and stiff ground hair; it is not thick, it adheres strongly to the body.
  • Color: black, silver tabby, brown tabby and black with a light gray shade are acceptable. It is a cat very similar to its wild ancestor, which is why all its fur is speckled with small spots, appearing in black or brown. Specks are of different sizes, the smallest cover the hair on the head and limbs; from the back of the head to the shoulders are dark stripes. Savannah cat can also exceptionally appear in a uniform black coat and without any spots or spots.
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: healthy and resistant cat.
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years

Interesting facts

Savannah cat, despite being much smaller than the wild African serval, is one of the largest domestic cats. Cats of this breed tend to be very large (males larger than females), but due to their athletic build they are quite light. The further the relationship with the serval, the smaller the size.

There are only about 60 savannah cat farms around the world.

Depending on the number of serval genes, the following generations are spoken of: F1 – 50-75% of the serval genes (first generation, cross between serval and domestic cat), and further when hybrids with domestic cats are crossed: F2 – 25- 32% of the serval genes, F3 – min.12-16% of the serval genes, F4 – min. 6.25% of serval genes, etc., up to F7.

F1-F3 females are usually left for breeding because all males from these generations are sterile. Males from F5-F7 generations can be used for further breeding. Later cats are cheaper because they are easier to breed. The farther from the initial crossword, the less blood they serve, and therefore these cats have a less exotic appearance, but also less “wild” temperament.

Next to the generation name (e.g. F2) next to the name of the savannah cat:

  • “A” means that only one of the parents – the cat – was a savannah cat, and the cat was a cat of a different breed (e.g. BengalOrientalSerengeti, etc.)
  • “B” means both parents are savannah cats, but grandfather belonged to a different breed.
  • “C” means that both parents and all grandparents are savannah cats.
  • SBT means that at least 3 previous generations of ancestors were only savannah cats.

Savannah is said to have an ivory memory. It is thanks to her that she learns new tricks and commands so well. It is also thanks to her that she becomes so attached to her guardians. Changing home can cause serious trauma to a cat. Apparently savannah is able to recognize a man even after many years of not seeing him.

In the state of New York in the USA only breeding from F5 generation up is allowed, and in the city itself, breeding of the savannah breed is strictly prohibited.

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