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F1 savannahs: personality change as they grow older?


Savannah Child
I read on a breeder's website F1s tend to get more stand off-ish and distant as they get older.... Wasn't sure how correct this was but it made me curious to hear about any kitten--> adult experiences from F1 owners. Even with proper socialization, do the higher generation adults just tend to drift towards this "distance" behavior?


George's brother
not sure how this will pan out as my oldest is only a year old but he seems to get more social with me as he gets older. He has never been a cuddle bug since little but after 6 months I get a lot more seeking me out for head butts, face washing and I'm so happy to see you spine hair raising than when he was such a busy kitten. George has always been a purrer, but the baby not so much, but now at 5 Months Jaxx is starting to purr. Both mine seem similar in respect to maybe having more ability to focus as they get older., The ADHD is much better that the first 6 months for sure. I have always picked them up and carried them, they may not love it but they don't object and I will make sure I do so as they get older if I ever need to grab them and go for any reason they don't freak out. I have two completley differant bloodlines, breeders and litter situations but both boys are going along a similar path as they mature. (better not worse, neutered early too)
My F1s have not drifted away from ME, but as kittens- they were more social with strangers then they are as adults. As adults, they are picky-choosy.

Simon, my big red lug, was very picky and I was always pleased when he decided to come out and greet friends :) Now, he's spoiling Marna's family with his lovebug ways.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
As Trish says, it is the social nature with strangers that tends to change as they get older. This of course is not 100% for all F1s. Some are gregarious all their lives and enjoy visitors. And one of my F1s has actually improved with stranger interactions as she's gotten older, but she started off really terrified of anyone new coming into the house (we got her at a year old) but has come to realize our visitors like to play and she loves to play. She won't let a stranger touch her though!

I've had three F1s here, two from kittenhood and then Missy from a year old. Their bond with me strengthened as they matured... but while as kittens they were accepting of new situations and visitors coming and going, as adults they are more reticent about it. And from what I have gleaned from years of participating on the Savannah yahoogroups and doing my Savannah Rescue work, this is generally true. Up until about 2 years of age they are delightful with strangers, they think it all fun and games. The Serval matures later so I assume that for Savannahs that can be true too so it is not until they are 2 or more that they don't seem quite so kitten-ish. This is when it seems they can get less understanding about changes. And for an F1, their reactions are more intense...when they are upset you really know about it. When they really don't like something you know about it... and I think that as they mature they get more confident about telling you when they don't like something!


Savannah Child
Thanks for the insight guys!! Very useful.

I'm so enamored with F1s, every now and then I get really tempted to get one... but I have to remind myself that it's not a good idea for me or the cat given the lack of consistency in my future (job changes, moving around, getting married???, etc). Sigh. One day....a long time from now...

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
LML, I completely respect you for being responsible enough to realize that your household may not be stable enough for an F1 right now! It breaks my heart when we have situations where an F1 has to be rehomed.

I personally always recommend the F2 and F3 generations as pets as imho they give a lot of the look but more of an easy pet to fit into most households. Even nowadays there are F4s and F5s that look as good as the F3s used to... so there's more options there.

And realistically, they make a great "starter pet" to learn about the breed if you do want an F1 down the road. They will have the energy and personality to make a good companion for that later-added F1. I love my F1s but I did start with an F2 (and back in 2001 there weren't so many later generation SVs anyway) and think it was great training...
Brigitte is right- it's really really hard on the F1 when they go into a new home... Simon was four and very sweet and social- social from the start, but he was very angry when he first moved in with Marna about 4 months ago (I think). It's taken a lot of love and patience on her and her family's part for him to decide he likes them- and even now, he's not the same love bug he was at home. I have faith soon he will be much happier there- but I also know the exact home situation he went into.

(We placed Simon because he was very unhappy about the kitten situation here- he was not thrilled with all of the babies romping and roaming as they reached 12-16 weeks).


Savannah Super Cat
i can say a yes to this, my F1, coco has become more and more independent since she turned 6 months, i dont see it as a disadvantage, its just nature, up to age 4/5 months she would put up with being picked up and handelled all the time and loved it, now she is her own lady and its on her terms ,if, and when this happens, id say i get a once a fortnight cuddle from her now, compared to a once a night cuddle when she was a kitten, shes still by my side all day long, follows me round the house, and sleeps near me but she just doesn't want fussing now shes more independent. The only challanges this poses is visitors who want to pick her up etc, which isnt a problem once everyones educated who is a regular visitor to your house, otherwise they may get a bit of a F1 slap/hiss/growl from her the first time they try lol

Sue Armstrong

Site Supporter
I find it interesting CoCo that on the other thread about "Considering buying an F1 kitten" that you say that your F1 has caused $12,000 worth of damage to your home in the last year, yet here you are saying she is just turning 6 months. Something is just not quite right!!!! :confused:


Savannah Super Cat
I find it interesting CoCo that on the other thread about "Considering buying an F1 kitten" that you say that your F1 has caused $12,000 worth of damage to your home in the last year, yet here you are saying she is just turning 6 months. Something is just not quite right!!!! :confused:
Not trying to defend anyone here but they said 12,000 dollars damage this year and its only Feb. meaning the F1 caused 12 grand of damage in one month.