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Balance and coordination

#1
Do Savannahs have somewhat poor balance and coordination in general as a breed?The reason I ask is that while our little kitten (7 month old F7) is a good hunter when we play with her, she's got the worst balance I've ever seen in a cat, and has since we brought her home for Christmas. :p


I was thinking that she would grow out of it, but it hasn't gotten any better or worse. It seems especially difficult for her to place her rear legs on things like window sills, counters, couch backs, etc. She's fallen several times off of what should be easy spots for most cats. She runs straight into her scratching post on occasion, once I saw her try to jump into her "house" in the scratching post and she missed, hit the side of it instead, which seems bizzare to me. She's also run into walls now and again.


Other owners tell stories about Savannahs balancing on the top of shower stalls (a narrow metal strip), narrow ledges and performing all sorts of death defying balancing stunts, even as kittens. Maybe that's only the early generations?

Just wondering out loud if this is typical of the breed. Sometimes it's hard not to laugh at her because she seems so clumsy, atypically so for a cat. Othertimes it's downright dangerous as she's beginning to choose higher and higher perches in the house, and fell off of one the other day by accident. Luckily my son was there and caught her (a 2m drop!).

Other than that she seems wonderful, active, playful, cuddly and very social, just that sometimes I wonder if she's missing some cat genes or something because she's so clumsy!



 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#2
I have a few cats here that seem less graceful than my others. A few of mine can balance on a shower rod or door frame and generation does not matter...it is my F3C and F8B girl who are the true acrobats here. I see clumsiness in young kittens, but they usually outgrow the klutzy stage by five to six months.

I agree your girl does seem to be a bit clumsier than usual. Have you had her seen by a vet to rule out an injury, vision or neurological issues? It's quite possible your girl just needs to outgrow her clumsy phase. Do her nails need to be trimmed? Too long of nails can make jumping harder, and is she running into the walls from a dead run while playing and are your floors slick? That can be typical cat behavior.

I think I'd have her checked out for your peace of mind, and in the meantime try to limit her access to the higher perches in your home.

Best of luck....keep us posted!
 

Sunny

Loyal Servant
#3
I can attest to the clumsy kitten stage, enhanced by their growth given their leggy, long frames of the breed. It seems Isis struggled with her size the full first month and had to get used to her own body so to speak. She's an F3C and rapidly catching up to the athleticism of my two adult boys. In another two months (9mo old), she will have sufficient strength and balance to reach 5-6ft jumps with sure footing.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#4
I think that sometimes what we see as clumsiness is more lack of attention. I see mine make really difficult jumps and make it look so darn easy, yet they'll miss a really easy jump next... when they concentrate they seem graceful and effortless.

Stavanger, your kitten may be outside of the norm... it's hard to know if the antics are that of an exuberant kitten not paying attention to where they are going or jumping or truly clumsy and uncoordinated. Running into walls sounds wrong unless it is because she was racing after a toy and not paying attention to where she was going or landing. I've had kitties fly into walls because they were so determined to get the feather they would fly through the air after it not paying attention to where they would land... it's really up to you to judge whether it is a lack of concentration or a lack of ability causing her "accidents"...
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#5
I agree with the others - if she is falling or running into walls because she is distracted this might be normal kitten behavior, but purposely leaping for the 'house' and missing seems odd. When she walks does she appear to have any balance issues or is it just when running or jumping? If she were my kitten I think I would definitely have her checked out by a vet - but first, try to capture some of the beaviours on video so you can show the vet what you are talking about - because sure as shooting she won't cooperate and show the vet herself while there...
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
#7
FWIW, all three of mine have above average coordination and balance. They were more clumsy as kittens, but at 1&1/2 years, they were professionals.
 
#8
Thanks for the feedback. No, I'm not thinking of when she flies across the floor after a toy and hits a wall (we have wooden floors - not much purchase for a cat!), that's completely understandable.

More often than not, she's just walking around, not playing or hunting, and will lose her footing, or fall off a ledge (or the top of the sofa back, which is leather and plenty wide for her to walk on), etc. She has had a cloudy look in one eye a month ago that lasted a day or so and I discussed it with the breeder, but it cleared up by itself before we could get to a vet. She follows toys with her eyes and gazes and focuses at us with both eyes fine.

She's approaching the age where we'll need to have her spayed soon anyway, so I'll have a talk with a vet and see if we can have her checked out.

As Brigitte mentioned, it seems more like lack of attention than anything else, it's like she forgets where she is or her size or the size and placement of her immediate surrounding. Cats are usually good at keeping an accurate mental image of their surroundings. Usually...

She seems content and happy and playful otherwise, as I mentioned initially, and so far it hasn't been a problem. I just hope she does't do anymore daredevil stuff until she's more sure-footed.
 

Mrs.CC

Savannah Super Cat
#9
Triton was clumsy at first, when climbing into the cat condo, or jumping from one shelf to the other in the cat nook. That is a lot of leg and a lengthy torso to be in control of! :lol:
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
#10
Thanks for the feedback. No, I'm not thinking of when she flies across the floor after a toy and hits a wall (we have wooden floors - not much purchase for a cat!), that's completely understandable.

This is par for the course at my house, even as adults.

More often than not, she's just walking around, not playing or hunting, and will lose her footing, or fall off a ledge (or the top of the sofa back, which is leather and plenty wide for her to walk on), etc.

Again, par for the course. They get so distracted at times!

As Brigitte mentioned, it seems more like lack of attention than anything else, it's like she forgets where she is or her size or the size and placement of her immediate surrounding.

I really believe cats in general , savannahs specifically, are the definition of attention deficit disorder (ADD). Thus making this all sound normal.

She seems content and happy and playful otherwise, as I mentioned initially, and so far it hasn't been a problem. I just hope she does't do anymore daredevil stuff until she's more sure-footed.

Ahhh.... good luck with this wish!!!!:rolleyes: