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Do Savannah Cats have as many health problems as Bengals?

Mavelle

Savannah Child
#1
Hi, I’m new to the forum. I don’t have experience with Savannah Cats yet. I have 2 Bengals right now. Loki is 7-1/2 years old. Two years ago he was diagnosed with IBD and Glaucoma. Just last week he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. Neo just turned 2 years old. He was diagnosed with PRA (progressive retinal atrophy). Also 2 years ago I had another Bengal named Simba. Loki was his uncle. Simba died at 4-1/2 years old. He had HCM and FIP. I still wake up in the middle of the night crying because I had a dream of when we had to say goodbye to him. Loki and Simba were from a bad breeder from NJ that sells lots of sick cats. Unfortunately I didn’t know about her before I bought my cats. Neo is from a different breeder that is supposed to be really good, and she is. But Neo is going to be blind. It just makes me feel like the bengal breed as a whole has health problems.
My husband always wanted a Savannah. So my question is, do Savannahs commonly have these types of health problems? Because when Loki dies of heart disease, I’m going to be devastated. We have the closest bond I ever had with one of my cats. I’ve always had cats since I was 5 years old. Just thinking about life without Loki and typing this right now is making me cry. After he is gone, I’m looking to maybe get a Savannah.

How long do they typically live? I was interested in a male F3, but I don’t think I could handle it emotionally if he died of some horrible disease at an early age.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#2
I think more important is the selection of the breeder. There are plenty of healthy Bengals out there, you just need to find a good breeder. After all you say that Loki and Simba were from a bad breeder known to sell a lot of sick cats. I think that doing good research is going to pay off for you in selecting your next kitten. Find a breeder that tests for diseases. HCM can happen, so a breeder that does HCM screening, PRA has been identified in our breed, as has PK Deficiency, both are testable with DNA testing, so ask the breeder if the parents have been PK Def and PRA tested negative.

I am so sorry about your cats but I as a breeder cannot make a promise that this can't happen again. The best a breeder can do is be as conscientious as possible and test what can be tested for. I would say that the Savannah breed as a whole is healthy, but diseases do happen. The outcross breeds used have brought in issues (and Bengals have been used) and so a breeder needs to be careful.

You have had a terrible run though, so I sincerely hope that you can find the right breeder next time and have a great experience :)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#3
Wow, it sounds like you've had a run of bad luck with your cats, I am so sorry! I agree with what Brigitte has said about DNA testing for PRA and PK Def. I would also add that IBD is the most common GI ailment found in cats of all breeds, but that's not to say it is a common occurrence.
 

Mavelle

Savannah Child
#4
Also, do you think foundation cats have less of a chance to inherit genetic problems compared to later generation Savannah’s?
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#5
Also, do you think foundation cats have less of a chance to inherit genetic problems compared to later generation Savannah’s?
I would say that is dependent upon what outcrosses have been used in your lines (which is true for any generation).
 

Mavelle

Savannah Child
#6
Loki had is ultrasound of his heart yesterday. It’s not good. The vet said his heart has severely thickened walls and some fluid in his lungs. Now he’s on 2 heart medications. And they are switching his steroid medicine to a less harmful one for his heart. They also said his kidneys were slightly elevated.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#7
Wow, you have had a rough time - I'm sorry! PRA, PK Def and HCM can and should be tested for. I am in NJ and am not sure who the breeder you are referring to is (Bengal), but I will pst in a bit about what to look for in a savannah breeder...that may help you - actually my list goes for any breeder.
 

Mavelle

Savannah Child
#9
The breeder where I got Loki and Simba was Spotacular Bengals. If you search Spotacular Bengals complaints, a story comes up on Badcatbreeders.com - wrote to them about her. I'm not the only one she hurt. I just wish I searched to complaints about her before I bought cats from her. But then again, then I wouldn't have met Loki. I've never had such a strong bond with any cat, like the one I have with Loki. I love him so much.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
Also, is NitroKatz a good breeder?
 

Manu+Horde

Savannah Super Cat
#10
It is all about the breeder and the selection of healthy breeding cats - so if you buy or adopt a cat Savannah or Bengal or what ever race - a cat should always been pre checked before sold - so it is up to the buyer to take the time to check out the breeder - the conditions the cat's were raised up - see the parents of the litter (minimum the mother - is she looking healthy or not) also there should be always a actual health certificate for breed of the mothercat been available to look at with the upper mentioned tests ... so this helps to decide if a breeder is caring for his litters or not. Also normally you get all the papers for a race cat - family tree (pedigree) and the registration by the cat Club (i.e. TICA) the kittens should also not been give away before min. 15/16 weeks - then they are really fully socialized and self detached from the mother - with a good start in their new life.

I really can't say whow it is in the States by sending kittens via "air Mail" here in Germany the people will never "ship" a cat - so normally there is pre-visiting - choose - and self pickup the normal practice.

So this eliminates misunderstanding - wrong shipped kitten - and visibly ill kitten.

It is sadly to hear that you have these health issues with you Bengals - I'm sorry for that - really i wish the best for Loki that he remains Long at your side.

Sure there is no guarantee that a cat never gets any illness - but with a good selection of an trustworthy breeder which have a small breed as hobby (1-2 litter max. per year) with all caring aspects - clean and healthy studs and qeens - a good vet behind - there are the most health problems marginalized.

The life span for a savannah cat is between 15-20 years.