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Destroying the house

#1
Is it true that F1 will "destroy my house"? I want an F1 very badly but everyone that I talk to about getting one says it'll destroy my house!
Why do people keep saying this to me?


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WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
F1s are extremely energetic and very smart. When they get bored, they make their own brand of fun and it can get messy.

I have 4 SVS -- 2 F2s, an F6 and an F1. The F1 is the only who does not scratch furniture. He has turned on the faucets and flooded the laundry room and kitchen. The boy loves to play in water. He is large -- 22 inches at the shoulder and 39 inches long. And he is strong. So when he launches himself of the leather couch after a toy, he leaves marks and sometimes holes and snags fabric furniture.

One of my F2s is more destructive than the F1. The F2 is the reason all my breakables are stuck down with QuakeHold as well as the art on the walls. The F2s and F6 decided my dining room chairs were preferred scratching posts rather than the ones I bought for them so the chairs are covered in thick towels.

That said, I've had to do the following to the house since getting the F1:
* change all interior knobs to knobs that lock from both sides -- to keep him out of rooms he shouldn't be in and to keep in a room when I need a break from his antics;
* change plastic hoses on washer to steel because he bit through the plastic ones, causing flood #2;
* change all the wood floors to vinyl plank because of his love of water (and also because my husband is better suited to living in a barn than in a human's house :big grin:);
* replaced window treatments -- he did shred the custom stuff we got before we decided to get an F1;
* installed child-proof locks on all cabinets/drawers/toilets;
* installed keyed locks on 2 custom furniture pieces where we keep books and important papers.

There's more that I can't think of at the moment. I did a rough tally about a month ago and, including the floors which were not necessary to change, we've spent around $30,000 changing things in the house to accommodate the F1. That doesn't mean you'd have to do the same. My boy is one of those cats who must be kept busy when he's awake or all hell can break loose.

The important things to remember about getting an F1 are:

The cat needs you and you must be able to spend sufficient time playing with it no matter how tired/sick you are. If you work outside the home that means play before you leave, when you come home, and before bed for at least an hour each time. If you work at home, plan on not getting much done.

F1s tend to bond to one person so the cat may love you and tolerate others in the family or vice versa. The cat may not like when you have visitors and may need to be locked up during those times.

If you plan on taking vacations, you should raise the cat with whoever will be the cat sitter. I had the sitter come twice a day to play with him and feed him after he'd been home for 2 weeks. He's known her since he was a baby and he still gets pissy with her when we're gone for longer than a week. He's knocked her down twice. The reality is, you may not find anyone who wants to watch the cat and vacations could become challenging to take.

I have to put Atticus in the cat enclosure when the housekeepers come because one is terrified of him. He is not mean but he hissed at her once and that was all it took. Same with friends -- he tolerates them for a bit and then he wants them gone.

And most important -- they are eerily similar to 3 yr old children with the same inquisitive nature and need to be involved in EVERYTHING you do. Spend a day at a pre-school in a room full of kids who are high on sugar, need a nap and refuse to take one and you'll get a sense of living with an F1 is like. Then multiply that by a gazillion.
 
#3
F1s are extremely energetic and very smart. When they get bored, they make their own brand of fun and it can get messy.

I have 4 SVS -- 2 F2s, an F6 and an F1. The F1 is the only who does not scratch furniture. He has turned on the faucets and flooded the laundry room and kitchen. The boy loves to play in water. He is large -- 22 inches at the shoulder and 39 inches long. And he is strong. So when he launches himself of the leather couch after a toy, he leaves marks and sometimes holes and snags fabric furniture.

One of my F2s is more destructive than the F1. The F2 is the reason all my breakables are stuck down with QuakeHold as well as the art on the walls. The F2s and F6 decided my dining room chairs were preferred scratching posts rather than the ones I bought for them so the chairs are covered in thick towels.

That said, I've had to do the following to the house since getting the F1:
* change all interior knobs to knobs that lock from both sides -- to keep him out of rooms he shouldn't be in and to keep in a room when I need a break from his antics;
* change plastic hoses on washer to steel because he bit through the plastic ones, causing flood #2;
* change all the wood floors to vinyl plank because of his love of water (and also because my husband is better suited to living in a barn than in a human's house :big grin:);
* replaced window treatments -- he did shred the custom stuff we got before we decided to get an F1;
* installed child-proof locks on all cabinets/drawers/toilets;
* installed keyed locks on 2 custom furniture pieces where we keep books and important papers.

There's more that I can't think of at the moment. I did a rough tally about a month ago and, including the floors which were not necessary to change, we've spent around $30,000 changing things in the house to accommodate the F1. That doesn't mean you'd have to do the same. My boy is one of those cats who must be kept busy when he's awake or all hell can break loose.

The important things to remember about getting an F1 are:

The cat needs you and you must be able to spend sufficient time playing with it no matter how tired/sick you are. If you work outside the home that means play before you leave, when you come home, and before bed for at least an hour each time. If you work at home, plan on not getting much done.

F1s tend to bond to one person so the cat may love you and tolerate others in the family or vice versa. The cat may not like when you have visitors and may need to be locked up during those times.

If you plan on taking vacations, you should raise the cat with whoever will be the cat sitter. I had the sitter come twice a day to play with him and feed him after he'd been home for 2 weeks. He's known her since he was a baby and he still gets pissy with her when we're gone for longer than a week. He's knocked her down twice. The reality is, you may not find anyone who wants to watch the cat and vacations could become challenging to take.

I have to put Atticus in the cat enclosure when the housekeepers come because one is terrified of him. He is not mean but he hissed at her once and that was all it took. Same with friends -- he tolerates them for a bit and then he wants them gone.

And most important -- they are eerily similar to 3 yr old children with the same inquisitive nature and need to be involved in EVERYTHING you do. Spend a day at a pre-school in a room full of kids who are high on sugar, need a nap and refuse to take one and you'll get a sense of living with an F1 is like. Then multiply that by a gazillion.

Wow! Thank you so much for the time you e put in answering my question. That really did make it pretty clear as to what to expect.
What do you mean about play time? Do you bring him outside to play fetch?
Would he stay with you if he was outside seeing your the one (I assume) that he's most bonded to?
What about de-clawing? Is that ever an option?
I under stand how mean that is and I don't think I would ever do it but is it a possibility?
How does he make known that he's sick of visitors?
I have twin 7 year olds and a Mastiff and a French bulldog. How do you think that would go?
So, things like candle holders and statues and barware on top of a bar in my home would have to go?
I'd love to see a picture of your F1. I'm infatuated with them.


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WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#4
Wow! Thank you so much for the time you e put in answering my question. That really did make it pretty clear as to what to expect.
What do you mean about play time? Feather wands are the favorite here as well as playing fetch, hide 'n seek.
Do you bring him outside to play fetch?
Would he stay with you if he was outside seeing your the one (I assume) that he's most bonded to? We play fetch outside in the cat enclosure as well as in the house. You can leash train or take them out in a stroller but they can never be allowed to roam free. An F1 would be gone in a second -- either stolen, killed, or so focused on chasing a bug that the cat would be miles away from home in a few minutes. When I realized how big Atticus was going to get, I didn't bother leash training him. If he would get scared and I would have to pick him up to rescue him from, say, a dog off leash, i'd probably get badly scratched and bitten. Not worth the worry. All 4 of mine go for walks now in pet strollers.
What about de-clawing? Is that ever an option? I under stand how mean that is and I don't think I would ever do it but is it a possibility? Not for me. I think it's immoral. In addition to being mutilation of the foot, declawing can cause negative personality changes and in later life, make it difficult for an elderly cat to get around.
How does he make known that he's sick of visitors? First he starts by getting close to them and staring. There's a look he gets in his eyes that seems predatory to me. His muscles tense and it seems as though he's waiting for an excuse to teach that human a lesson. If I don't remove him, he'll slap the person -- usually with his claws in but if he doesn't like the person, he'll also scratch them.
I have twin 7 year olds and a Mastiff and a French bulldog. How do you think that would go? If your twins have been taught to be respectful to animals, there should be no problem. And kittens raised with cat savvy dogs should do fine. If your dogs have a high prey drive or have no experience with cats, you would have to find a way to keep the cat safe. My F1 doesn't like one of my F2s so I had to enclose the sunroom in our house as safe space for the F2. He spends 1/2 a day in that room and then I let him out and Atticus spends the other half day in there. You might evaluate whether you have room to keep the cat and dogs separate if they don't get along.
So, things like candle holders and statues and barware on top of a bar in my home would have to go? Either put in storage or buy some QuakeHold museum putty and gel and stick them down. The putty is for wood and ceramics, the gel for glass. And that would be true for any generation of SV. They love to test gravity by watching things fall to the floor :big grin:
I'd love to see a picture of your F1. I'm infatuated with them. You can find 215 pages of pictures and stories here http://www.savannahcatchat.com/threads/the-atticus-diaries.4428/


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Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Declawing is only an option if you think amputating fingers is reasonable. And if you can find a vet willing to do it as here in San Francisco that would be difficult but I hear in the midwest it is different.

From years of monitoring Savannah pet groups as well as my experience owning four F1s over the years, they are definitely more likely to inappropriately chew things. I've had to remove many throws and cushions from the household to avoid consumption by the cat. But this has been more difficult with the addition of children. I see that your children are 7 years old but things like stuffed animals can fall "prey" (one of mine delights in chewing the faces off stuffed animals). Doll hair is attractive to one of mine as was the feet and hands of one particularly soft baby doll the other day.

Anything breakable can fall victim to a clumsy Savannah, that would be true of all generations. This includes lamps and vases and photo frames.

NO, a Savannah cannot be safely outside without either an enclosure, a leash or cat-proof fencing. They may love you but they are energetic curious cats, and F1s are more intense in everything so that curiosity is even more intense. this can make them very determined door-darters and something to consider if you have two kids that tend to run in and out of doors during the warmer months and possibly not carefully.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#9
I'm not so sure f1s are any smarter than any other cat, but without question they are far more persistent. I've watched their jailbreak activities, and they certainly don't have engineering degrees, but they will explore every possibility to get a cupboard door or drawer open. They will train you to reward their bad behavior and leave you walking around your home shaking your head and incoherently mumbling.

There's plenty more and witchy's lengthy post is really just a preamble.
 

Renee

Savannah Super Cat
#10
Too funny! I agree with John regarding the persistence. Once Loki gets his mind interested in something, there is no dissuading him. Very obsessive.

I come home every day wondering what I will find. Today it was the entire keurig water canister spilled across the kitchen floor, paper towels ripped up and spread across the dining room and foyer, and chewed up q-tips everywhere. He has decided he is obsessed with the keurig and must kill it everyday. I need to start putting it up as I normally do with toilet paper, paper towels, and any sort of box although I'm worried what he may divert his attention to. I forgot about putting the paper towels up last night, that one was my bad.

He destroys roses too. Anytime my husband buys me flowers he will rip all of the heads off and throw them all over the floor. Stems and petals of brand new flowers all over the floor. My husband absolutely loves this :)

Shoe polisher - yep, the covers to this were ripped to shreds, we are on replacement number three.

Anything with water in it - Tipped over and killed, it must be destroyed is his mentality.

Garbage - don't have anything sticking out of it or it will be toast.

Coach purse - um, yeah... I don't care to talk about this one.

Spare bed - peed all over during the time he was having potty issues. Also on an umbrella on the floor, pillows, any laundry, etc. Don't leave stuff on the floor you value. (An incident happened on my husband's favorite leather couch, but was cleaned up before he knew :) )

Husband's shoes - leather was chewed on brand new shoes.

Chargers - don't leave them out. They will all be chewed through and destroyed. I've ordered 6 replacements in the last year. Macbook chargers are especially expensive, watch closely on these ones.

Blinds - all are broken, we've switched to drapes.

Gross toys - he likes to "wash" all of his toys in the water bowl. He takes them and drops them in and swishes them around with his paw to make sure they are nice and clean. He then brings this lovely slobber ball on our bed for us to sleep with.

All in all, he's probably destroyed at least 2-4K worth of things in the year he's been alive, but I love him. If paper towels pissed me off as much as they do for him, I'd probably destroy them too.

He's obsessed with fetch, makes so many cute sounds, loves me, and that's enough. I'll deal with his shenanigans. I'm fortunate that he hasn't figured out the cupboards yet, WW has me nervous now.

Here's the crazy boy: https://goo.gl/photos/zgQQ6MBfPrHZPBo87

PS - I would never declaw any of my babies, please research this before you do it. Loki lets me trim his nails once a week just fine, you just have to start early with getting them used to it. De-clawing is cruel IMHO