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For Those With Early Generation SVs



I am sure I am not the only one that is just taken away by the beauty of F1, F2, and even F3 SVs. They are STUNNING. For those of you who live with them, what is it like having one of these cats on a day to day basis? Do you have to give up on keeping your house orderly and just allow your cat on any surface he pleases? Or are you a strict pet parent (like me haha) and train your cats and make sure it is clear you are in charge? Is it even possible to get an early generation SV to be as tame as an F4 or F5?

I would love to hear your stories and descriptions of your cats :)

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I think my F6 Zak is naughtier than my F1s... there's a lot of variation between individuals!

I think F1s can be very intense in reaction and very persistant but I don't think they are any less trainable. Just cats are different from dogs in how "obedient" you can expect them to be :)

Lori Greer

Cahaba Cats
My F4 queen rules our F1 girl. It is comical because the F4 is the smallest Savannah we own. I don't thin generation dictates how trainable they are though. Cats are creates of habit, so what you consistently allow (or not) will be the norm... at least when they know you are watching. LOL :)


Staff member
When mine were kittens, the house always looked like a bomb exploded during a hurricane followed by a tidal wave. My F2s are 2.5 yrs & 1.5 yrs. and other than still loving to knock things to the floor, they now play in a less rambunctious manner and the house looks much better.

I'm not patient enough to train them other than basic manners & leash training. All surfaces in the house are fair game even the kitchen counters & dining table. They know we prefer them not to be up there and if they obey the rules when we are home, they do as they please when we're not here.

Juba Kai (approx. 34% serval) is the oldest and rules the roost. He exhibits some classic savannah traits -- stubborn as a mule, very focused in everything he does and has no respect whatsoever for breakable objects. He is like a tank and walks through things rather than around them.

When he was a kitten he wasn't a lap cat but would cuddle up beside us. Around 1.5 yrs old, he became a lap cat and we have fabulous Juba-love sessions complete with pleasure drool, love eyes and purring that rates about a 9 on the richter scale. Juba loves everybody and when we're out for walks, he'll jump into the car of anyone who stops to inquire about him.

Maliik (25% serval) was a challenge when I brought him home. I set him up in the master bath and spent 3 weeks sleeping in the bathtub and spending huge amounts of time with him before he trusted me enough to let me touch him. He is uber intelligent and uber sensitive and is really well-mannered. I tell or show him something once and he learns it. His capacity to understand words scares me sometimes. He enjoys being petted now but he will never be a lap cat and prefers the company of the other SVs over humans. He has a terrific sense of humor and plays the role of class clown. He is huge and still a bit clumsy and seems somewhat perplexed about how to land on his feet when he jumps up to catch the feather wand. Maliik is tolerant of strangers and indifferent to frequent visitors.

Taji is an F6 and he is a bit of a bully. He and Juba are very bonded and adding Maliik into the mix shook up Taji's confidence. He and Maliik are still working through some issues but they generally get along and play together all the time. Taji is a talker. He talks All.The.Time. He is especially chatty when he's doing something he knows is wrong. We have learned his vocalizations and he has distinct ones for "I'm thinking about being bad;" "Here I go, I'm doing a bad thing;" and my favorite "Ohhhh, I did the bad thing."

He is a cuddle bug, loves laps, sleeps under the covers with us but does not tolerate strangers, and he hates change of any kind. Takes him a long time to warm up to frequent visitors, and he's picky about who he likes. He also has the distinction of being the King of Headbutts in our house.


Wow thanks you guys for all your replies. I guess my fear is that people I have talked to have said the early generation SVs are ones you have to let be, let them do things their way... to me that meant a cat that is going to be an absolute horror to keep in the house.

It really depends on how they are raised as kittens and how the personalities of the parents are then isn't it?

I would love to hear more stories about any one else's early generation SVs!!! Thanks so much Deborah for your detailed description of your guys. I have to say I know what you mean about having a talker, Kronos is CHATTY. His best meows I know as of now are the "I HAVE TO POOP" meow and "mom you are so mean to me" meow. Otherwise it just seems like he is meowing constantly and I haven't figured out the meaning of the rest yet lol.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I think that F1s are harder to live with. They don't like and dislike, they love and hate. That can make it hard when they really want something or they really don't want to do something. Add to that, they tend to bond strongly to one or two humans and really not be so keen on any others... that is a generalization as I have had one that was very open to strangers but it is generally the case. But usually not until ~3 years old. They are simply more work so I believe you need to be willing to put in that work for the long haul to take them on, you will be rewarded by an amazing pet though!

F2s and F3s are better pets imho, they are easier to live with. Doesnt' mean they can't be a PIA at times of course!

I think you also need to consider your other pets in the household too, when selecting a generation. If you have a shyer, sweeter maybe more submissive pet (cat or dog) then they might be quite intimidated by a large kitty that can look very scary when they hiss and hiss LOUD! My beagle is a resilient doggy which stands him in good stead when my big F3 boy Baz strolls up to him to slap the heck out of his nose and walk on... or when Nina my F1 walks up behind him to bite his butt! Most of my SVs get on great with my dog btw, just Baz has always disliked him and I think it is because Cooper has stolen food from under his nose one too many times. Nina loves Baz and so follows his lead.

I also think, in response to whether you let them do things their own way... I believe in being firm and persistent with them. I've found especially with F1s there's an age at ~6-8 months when I think they go through their teens and really try to decide they are boss. This is the time we've made the effort to each of us (my husband and I) to sit and time on a watch five minutes of holding our F1. They won't like it and will complain, but just firmly and quietly make them tolerate being held. Then they can get free and we will play to make up for it, but the idea is that they have to accept we can do this. So you don't necessarily make them do a lot of things but making sure you can still pick them up and hold them is necessary...never know when you might need to do that!


Savannah Super Cat
My SVs are all TAME. Well behaved may be another question :)

Haha yup that's our house.

We can put the toys away in the toy bin and an hour later half are back out. If cooking after 2 or 3 times putting back down from counter either they stop hopping up or sit on the microwave stand and watch "off the counter" lol.

We have 2 f3 boys, we've caved some ways, others they have learned what's okay and what's not. But like someone else sad there's not much I like, it is love or hate.