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Is a Savannah Cat right for me?!

Discussion in 'Savannah Cat - General Discussion' started by Jandrea, May 22, 2012.

  1. Jandrea

    Jandrea Guest

    Hello,
    I recently started looking into Savannahs as a possible companion pet, but would really like to make sure that it is the right pet for me, as I have never seen one in person.

    To make this quick, a little bit about my lifestyle,
    I have always kept/had animals throughout my life. I've been keeping saltwater fishtanks since I was about 12 years old, and have had a TON of pets (skunks, birds, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, cuttlefish, eels, octopus, seahorses, snakes, dogs and only ever 1 cat. I got my cat in 1995, and she is an exotic shorthair and still with us!

    Now, I love my cat Nala. But she was never a great first cat. I can remember only a breif year or two where she was actually playful (with the feather on a string). Wouldnt play with anything else, ever. She wasnt really overtly people friendly until she was about 8 years old. She used to run away if you went to pick her up until that point. Ever since she is a great cat, but hardly any personality, very sleepy, and throws up almost at least 1x week despite all sorts of diet changes, tests and vet visits over the years).

    I am also 20 and am going into my 3rd year of college this fall. My original intentions were to get a dog, but I just dont feel like I would be able to keep up with the physical demands of the breed I want, so I decided it was best to hold off until a more appropriate time. Enter the Savannah Cat!
    Me and my mom have been talking about getting one next year for me, and apparently she had heard a couple bad things about the breed from a vet a couple of years ago (all of which I have never read online). Well to give you an idea of my living situation, I live with 2 other room mates who we're all fairly responsible for college students. We are moving into a house this fall and both of them have said they are fine with a cat. I just dont want to make the mistake of getting a very hyper cat and then feeling guilty about it getting bored. I have only about 2 hours of class per day, and most of the time I spend at home, indoors. I guess my first question is a savannah cat really that much more active than a regular house cat? Its so hard to get a feel for them just from pictures and videos online. How much time per day would you say that you spend with your Savannah?

    Also if it helps any I was hoping to get an F3 savannah

    Thanks for your help! sorry for the long first post
    -Josh
     
  2. Jandrea

    Jandrea Guest

    I'd also like to add that I live separately from my parents; they keep our cat Nala and our 3 dogs (Border Collie, Golden Retriever, and a Chihuahua). So the SV wouldn't live with them, but their would be times in the year I'd like to be able to take her home with me. Tips about that are appreciated as well, as my cat Nala is getting very old and has trouble jumping, I couldn't imagine if she got tackled by a big savannah!
     
  3. admin

    admin Paige Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,108
    Welcome, Josh! Am glad you came here and asked questions before jumping in and buying a savannah cat...Savannah cats are extremely intelligent, high energy cats...they need lots of stimulation and attention and play time. And yes, they are very active...as for play...depends on the savannah...one of mine needs more attention than the other.

    I'm sure others will chime in here...
     
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  4. Medesha

    Medesha Savannah Super Cat

    Messages:
    185
    I'd say if you're going to be home most of the day, and you really want a playful cat, a Savannah Cat would definitely be an option!

    My boy Vakai, I've had him for just over a week, and he's very active, very playful. If he's not napping or eating, he's trying to play or find something to play with. Get lots of toys. I wouldn't say he's ridiculously hyperactive, like on drugs or anything, but I'm sure the individual cat's personality (and what generation the cat is) would be a factor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ashley

    Ashley Savannah Super Cat

    Messages:
    671
    Hi Josh! :)
    We have an F4 male, Kovu. (Lion King I and II are still big in this house hold lol) I think for a Savannah he is pretty laid back. Like Medesha pointed out (for us anyway) its not like they are eating drugs & going insane. My boy is VERY talkative, especially at 4:30am. Not quite sure why, but I could see that being annoying to your roommate if the kitten you pick is a talker as well.
    I have to get up at 5:30 am for work so I usually play with him for about 10-ish minutes when I first get up, then I feed him. Then my five year old gets up around 6 & plays with Kovu after he gets dressed & ready. So he is alone from 6:30am till noon. Then Elijah will take him outside (on a tie out) & play with him for about at least a half hour. When we get home both of us kind of play with him on and off all day. Sometimes after I've sent Elijah to bed I'll be on the computer & I'll hear Kovu downstairs with the "zoomies". Running around all over downstairs, then up the stairs, then back downstairs, and finally he'll end at the top of the stairs, in front of the office, panting like crazy.lol
    Have you looked into all the Savannah Cat proofing you'd have to do around the house? I'll admit, I thought at first they were exaggerating a bit.. but they're not. haha. Kovu was opening my office door by 4 months old, ended up chewing up a headphone wire, & landed him a trip to the vet with x-rays. So you have to be VERY careful about what is left out.
     
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  6. Brigitte Cowell

    Brigitte Cowell Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,430
    Welcome, Josh!

    I think you would find a Savannah much more interactive a pet than your current cat Nala is...but you are also correct that Nala likely would not enjoy play with a Savannah, so those visits home might require Nala getting a room to herself where she can nap in peace...

    One thing I think you need to consider is how it would work with roommates, especially in terms of the commitment of keeping a cat indoor only. Savannahs do not make good indoor/outdoor pets, they have too much energy and curiosity. It can be hard to persuade others to take the same steps and as much effort to keep a cat indoors...when it is not really "their" pet.
     
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  7. WitchyWoman

    WitchyWoman Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,779
    I'd wait Josh. Since you're not out of college yet and can't predict where life will take you, it's possible you could get a job offer in a state where F3s are banned. Unless your parents would be willing to take care of your cat if that happens (assuming they live where F3s aren't banned), it is something to consider. The two biggest issues I see are the time & attention these cats require and as Brigitte mentioned, the cooperation of your roommates in ensuring the cat is kept safely inside.

    And since SVs aren't just any other cat, you should fully educate your roommates about SVs to be sure they understand the special qualities that make SVs such interesting companions.

    My best advice is to read about all the potential challenges of owing an SV, identify those that appeal to you the least, and consider what you would do if your cat exhibits those challenges.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. admin

    admin Paige Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,108
    I agree with Deborah and Brigitte.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Jandrea

    Jandrea Guest

    Thanks everyone for the input, I appreciate it!
    To explain a little further, I've been reading about SV cats for the past 6 months, and I spend a lot of time with my room mates as we are all good friends. Both of my room mates are aware that it is not just an average cat, that it is a hybrid and that we will need child locks. One of my room mates knows a lot more about the SV but they have both said they were fine with me having one, as we've been talking about it the past couple of months. They both know that this is an indoor only cat which I prefer, and I think is more responsible [outside cats do a lot of killing, possible breeding, strays etc.] My cat Nala is an inside cat also.

    Deborah,
    That was one of my many concerns about getting a pet, but although I have no idea where life will take me, I have somewhat of a plan. Long story short I will most likely be coming back to WPB, Fl after college to help my parents with their business as well as to help with my little sister bc my dad is getting older.

    I know i can be responsible for a cat or dog, because I've had them before but I really want to know what I'm getting into with a SV cat (bc I've never even seen one in person, so I don't know how they act).
    So I guess I'm wondering, how much more active is a SV cat than a regular cat (although Im aware my cat wasn't the best prep' for a SV, I am familiar with my friends domestic cats)?
    Whats surprising to me is that I haven't read too many complaints about them being overly destructive, of course sans toilet paper and depending on the individual cat haha
     
  10. Brigitte Cowell

    Brigitte Cowell Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,430
    The issue with Savannahs staying indoors is that they can be door darters, and you all need to have plans for if that happens... they are FAST and determined and very clever. If they decide that outside looks fascinating you need to be prepared to work on this...

    Have you met many Abyssinians? That is the cat breed I think resembles them most, also a very high energy and interactive (naughty) breed. Most of the stories we tell about our Savannahs an Aby breeder will nod and share similar ones...

    I tend to describe them as ADHD cats... they can be hyperactive but also very distractable, always ready to change direction and investigate something else. Makes them a lot of fun... but can be a pain too! I've heard them described as "kittens...on caffeine...with sugar..." They are just MORE kitty I guess...it's hard to properly describe and you likely cannot understand until you live with one. You can visit a breeder but that won't tell you what they can be like when in a crazy mood. I've had people visit here but come at naptime and so comment that they are way more docile than they expected! LOL! Because we do have people come over quite a bit (friends) our cats don't tend to react to visitors so much, which probably doesn't help.

    I don't find my cats at all destructive, but then my house by now (11 years of Savannahs) is pretty kitty-proofed. People come in and ask if we have toddlers because there is so little to pull down and break. I have had a Savannah that chewed fabric so had to remove all fleece and faux lambskin throws from the house. But it is my British Shorthair that clawed and chewed furniture! As you say, toilet paper is fair game to a cat :)
     
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