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Aggressive F1 Female, just not to me!

Well as I'm venturing into new territory, I'm finding that my experience with large exotic cats does not apply with my new Savannah(s).

I recently purchased an F1 female (about 2-3 years old) who was looking to downsize her breeding program and I absolutely adore her! She's got some Bengal characteristics physically (really, she just has a larger than normal-Savannah shaped head), but her personality is mostly Savannah. She's been an absolutely love to have, at least up until we purchased a male for her to mate with a few months ago. Now, she is still a love to my husband and I, however she wants absolutely nothing to do with this male. I have no idea what to do. I do keep them separated, but exposed to one another when they aren't gallivanting around the house (avoiding each other..or at least, she avoids him), and it's been this way for a while (even during this last heat cycle).

Just for clarification, I have a couple room sized kennels (sort of, they aren't really, they're more like enclosed exercise areas with carpeted shelving up the walls and toys and scratching posts) and the two share one wall. Most of the wall is blocked off, however there's a top shelf that they can see each other and sniff each other through (and oddly enough, that's where they both hang out most the time when they're in there, i don't get it).

I've dealt with aggressive cats before, but not stubborn aggressive cats. He just wants to be her friend, and she just pins her ears back, hisses and growls when they're fully exposed to one another. I have no idea what to do, and I'm starting to think that the odds of these two breeding, much less even being friends, is extremely unlikely.

Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone been through this before? He's under a year old (he's about 8 months), and like I said, she's about 2-3ish. She has bred before with an Egyptian Mau about a year ago (beautiful kittens by the way). But I'm afraid this new male is just the 'nice guy' cat (to her), and she just prefers the company of others (people really...I've never known a Savannah cat to be so friendly to even strangers). I would love to hear any stories/feedback anyone might have.

I greatly appreciate any help/advice in advance. Thank you all so much! (especially those of you who made it through this post)

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I think her attitude to the male might change when she is in heat, that can be common. But unfortunately some Savannah females can be really really fussy! I've had more than one now in my ten years of breeding that has refused the males I chose for them, and two that required three or more males being introduced before I found one that worked. It's always a good idea to have a Plan B (and a C and D if possible).

So you purchased a male kitten for her? And he's not then ever taken on a feisty large female... generally I recommend for a stud male that they get to "practice" on a smaller girl, for example a lower generation Savannah that they at least know where to put the bits and how the process works....and then let them work on how to upsize to the F1 girl. It's very easy for a male to be intimidated by an F1, not all studs can do this! And given they haven't grown up together it's harder for him to know she's all hiss and that he can approach her.

How many Savannahs have you known to say that "I've never known a Savannah cat to be so friendly to even strangers"? I personally don't find Savannahs to be unfriendly cats...


Staff member
I concur with everything Brigitte has said. F1s are often finicky and picky with their males. You might consider keeping them separated until you know she is in heat, otherwise her aggression toward him (esepcially at such a young age) may put him off enough that he will never try to breed her. I have found that even the most hostile females become more submissive once they are in heat.


Savannah Super Cat
I have the same issue with one of my F1 females that I purchased as an adult. She really doesn't like my stud cat--tolerates him sometimes and he has even bred her, but it has never been successful. She just doesn't get along with him well enough. I have recently purchased a F6 boy and I hope that she might take a liking to him. You might have to try several males to find one she likes, especially since she didn't grow up with them.


I agree with brigitte a plan b may be needed or he may just be to young I would give another 6-8 months or so and try him a lower generation female to build his confidence up. I have one f1 queen who would not mate any lower generation male I tried her with. I tried 2 savannahs and a bengal and no one would mate her. She was simply too aggressive for them even when in heat. She has now possibly mated with a serval (they got along great together) and I will hopefully have kittens in coming months. Also remember that female servals are solitary animals and usually only interact with the male to breed during estrous. also one of the servals methods of communicating is hissing so she may not be aggressive as you think, but i would still keep away as he may take this aggression and as mentioned before not want to breed her later on.


F1s can be very picky. If an inexperienced male is the intended can run into problems. Sometimes even an experienced male that has bred lower generation females is not willing to push his luck if the F1 female says no...they soon find out ...NO MEANS NO;>)