The Savannah is a breed of cat that originated in the United States. It was developed from crossing domestic cats with African wildcats, creating a new type of housecat more suitable for warm climates than others. The name “Savannah” comes from the city where it originated and denotes its climate-appropriate nature. Some say this make them better suited to life outdoors as well as inside an apartment or home; however, some also say they are less likely to keep their weight down due to being too content when allowed outside all day long.

Savannah cats are a crossbreed of a domestic cat and an African serval. They have been around since the 1800s, but they have become more popular in recent years thanks to their exotic appearance. Savannah cats come in many colors, patterns, and coat lengths.

Having a tamed Savannah cat as a pet might be the next best thing to having a wildcat as a pet. In terms of wild heritage, however, not all Savannah cats are made equal. Learn about Savannah cat “filial” ratings, if a “F1” Savannah cat is dangerous, and other fascinating facts about this exotically gorgeous (and pricey) cat breed.

African servals are used to breed Savannah cats.

African servals in their youth in grassAfrican servals in their youth

In 1986, breeders in the United States combined a female Siamese domestic cat with a male African serval to create the Savannah cat. 

Servals in Africa are mostly solitary wildcats. They are found across Sub-Saharan Africa, weighing between 20 and 40 pounds and eating rodents, small birds, frogs, insects, and reptiles as part of their carnivorous diet. Servals can purr, chirp, hiss, cackle, growl, grunt, and meow, according to Wildcats of the World (University of Chicago Press).

The Bengal, Egyptian Mau, Oriental Shorthair, and domestic shorthair tabbies are some of the other spotted cat breeds that have contributed to today’s Savannah cat.

Savannah cats have the following characteristics:

Savannah cats have spotted coats in brown, tan, or gold, as well as silver, black, and black-smoke hues. Rosetted, marble, point, blue, cinnamon, chocolate, and lilac are some of the other “diluted” coat colors and patterns seen in the Savannah (lavender). 

The following are the most prevalent serval features seen in Savannah cats:

  • Color marks that run from the corner of the eyes down the sides of the nose to the whiskers, including black or dark “tear-streak” or “cheetah tear” markings. 
  • Ears with ocelli on the backs that are tall, broad, rounded, and erect.  
  • When upright, they have very long legs with a rear end that is frequently higher than their shoulders. 
  • Small heads that are taller than they are broad, long thin necks, and plump, puffy noses are all common features. 
  • Green, brown, gold, or a mixed hue of green hooded eyes
  • Black rings and a solid black tip adorn the short tails.

F1 Savannah cats have a 50% “wild” component.

F1 Savannah catSavannah F1 kitten, 4 months old

The letter “F” refers for the Savannah cat’s “filial” grade, which indicates how many generations the Savannah cat is from the African serval. In the case of an F1 Savannah cat, the highest number, you’re dealing with a domestic Savannah of the first generation. 

The F1 Savannah cat is said to be 50% feral. The measure of wild blood (serval DNA) diminishes as the filial number grows (F2, F3).

Because the gestation cycles of an African serval (75 days) and a domestic cat (65 days) are so dissimilar, FI Savannah cats are regarded very difficult to breed. There are also incompatibilities between the sex chromosomes of each species. 

Is it true that F1 Savannah cats are dangerous?

Is it possible that these cats are hazardous since they are 50% wild? F1 Humans are not regarded to be a threat to Savannah cats. They may, however, represent a threat to smaller creatures in the home, such as rats, birds, and fish, due to their intense hunting instincts. (But, honestly, any pet cat may endanger these animals!)

Savannah cats are one of the tallest (and biggest) cat breeds.

Tall Savannah catCC-BY-SA-4.0 / Sokrates 399

Savannah cats are one of the biggest cat breeds, weighing up to 25 pounds. Savannah cats have held the title of biggest domestic cat in recent years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records—one was 19.05 inches tall! Given that African servals reach between 21 and 24 inches tall, the domestic cat almost “measures up” to its wild progenitor. 

Savannah cats are known for their remarkable leaping ability.

Savannah cats are known for their incredible leaping ability, which may reach up to 8 feet in the air! Savannah cats are infamous for leaping on cupboards, doors, refrigerators, and just about anything else they can get their claws on. 

They’re also one of the breeds with the longest lifespans.

You’ll have a pal for a long time if you get a Savannah cat: This breed takes a long time to develop, surviving for up to 20 years. 

Savannah cat nutrition

Because cats are unable to produce the important amino acid taurine, they need a high-protein diet. Cats that don’t get enough taurine in their diet are more prone to develop dilated cardiomyopathy, have visual difficulties, have UTIs, and have other health problems. Savannah cats are no exception, with most breeders agreeing that they need more taurine than the normal domestic cat. Supplementing with taurine is advised for any kind of meal.

F1 Savannah catSavannah F1 kitten, 4 months old

F1 Savannah cats may fetch up to $20,000 at auction.

Savannah cats may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000, depending on their filial status. F1 Savannah cats, being the most exotic generation, account for the bulk of the higher price point. As previously stated, this is most likely due to the difficulties of generating F1 Savannah cats.

In more than ten states, F1 Savannah cats are prohibited.

While F1 Savannah cats are not considered hazardous to humans, certain jurisdictions in the United States have made it illegal to acquire one. These cats are prohibited or need licenses in the following states:

  • Alaska: F4 and later permissible
  • Colorado: F4 and later permissible
  • Delaware: No entry without a permission is permitted.
  • Georgia: Ownership is prohibited.
  • Ownership is prohibited in Hawaii.
  • Idaho: No entry without a permission
  • Iowa: F4 and later permissible
  • F4 and later approved in Massachusetts
  • Ownership is forbidden in Nebraska.
  • F4 and later approved in New Hampshire
  • F5 and subsequently approved in New York
  • Ownership is forbidden in Rhode Island.
  • Texas: It varies from county to county.
  • Vermont: F4 and later are permitted.

They have a high level of intelligence and are quite active.

Savannah cats are high-energy cats that want a lot of exercise, play, and interaction. You must be able to commit a lot of time to them. They are very intelligent and have been accused of “playing pranks” on their humans. 

Savannah cats, in fact, may be too intelligent for their own good, since they may learn to open doors and cabinets, among other things.

Early exposure to humans and other pets is essential in growing a sociable Savannah cat, just as it is with other cat breeds. Savannah kittens need to be petted and played with on a regular basis. When bringing a new Savannah cat home, however, be careful to expose them to other creatures in the house, such as cats and dogs, gradually. (It’s best not to expose them to tiny pets like rats or birds, which might be mistaken for prey!)

Even the most calm cat or dog in the home may be intimidated by a Savannah cat’s size and activity level. Keep Savannah apart from other pets and gradually introduce odors. Allow supervised encounters with your dogs after a few weeks (not days!). Don’t let your pets alone together unless you’ve been watching them for a long time.

F5 Savannah catSavannah Clark / CC-BY-SA-4.0 F5 Savannah cat

These kitties have a dog-like demeanor!

Savannah cats are recognized for being dog-like in their devotion to their owners, often following them around the home. They also like going for walks in the wide outdoors when on a leash. Before taking your Savannah for a walk, make sure they’re wearing a breakaway collar with identity tags and that they’re microchipped.

They are fond of water.

Savannah cats appreciate water, maybe because its parent breed, the serval, favors places near water sources like marsh and savanna. You could even discover them joining you in the shower or swimming in a tiny body of water outdoors. On the other hand, you may be annoyed by your Savannah cat’s habit of batting their water dishes until they’re empty. In this instance, a cat water fountain can be the greatest option for keeping your cat hydrated!

Which of these F1 Savannah cat facts shocked you the most?

Is it possible to keep Savannah cats as house pets?

Savannah cats are intelligent, active cats that need a lot of exercise, play, and companionship. They have strong hunting tendencies, so be cautious if you have other tiny pets like rats, birds, or fish in the home.

Is it unlawful to have Savannah cats?

Savannah cats of the first generation are prohibited in more than ten states. Savannah cats of the fourth generation or later are allowed in several places in the United States. In Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Rhode Island, all Savannah cats are outlawed.

F1 Savannah cat: 9 wild facts

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The Savannah cat is a breed of domestic cat that originated in the United States. The name “Savannah” comes from the city of Savannah, Georgia. The first Savannah cats were bred by a man named Frank Nuesse in 1966. Reference: f7 savannah cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What two breeds make a Savannah cat?

A: Savannah cats are the result of a breeding between an American Shorthair or Domestic longhaired and a purebred Sphynx.

Do Savannah cats sleep with their owners?

A: I am not aware of this, but it is possible. Savannah cats are very social animals and will often sleep with their owners if they can fit in the bedroom.

Are Savannah cats hard to breed?

A: Savannah cats are quite easy to breed because they dont have any specific breeding requirements. In fact, its easier than most other cat breeds.

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