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Health and Care of Your Savannah Cat


Staff member
What Food Do Savannahs Eat? Will They Eat "Normal" Cat Food?
Savannahs eat commercial cat food like any other domestic cat would, but are usually also very receptive to a raw diet. We recommend a high-quality cat food brand be used, especially as Savannahs grow fast in the first years of their life, so will need good nutrition.

Raw vs. Kibble: Premium cat food, whether raw, canned or kibble is recommended and your Savannah will be happy and healthy on premium foods. If you choose to feed raw food, please research dietary requirements for cats prior to preparing a raw diet. You can find many nutritious recipes by researching BARF diets online.

What Health Problems are Common in Savannahs?
Savannahs are a new breed and as yet do not have any health issues associated with them. Of course, different breeds have been used in Savannah breeding programs and those breeds may bring genetic susceptibilities with them. As the breed progresses, more health information will become known.

Will My Savannah Need a Special/Exotic Veterinarian?
Savannahs are in reality domestic cats so should not need a veterinarian that specializes in exotics. However, there are veterinarians who have never seen or treated a hybrid cat, and others who have strong feelings about whether hybridization should even be allowed. It would be wise for you to talk to your veterinarian about his/her experience and comfort level with treating a hybrid before purchasing a Savannah. If your veterinarian doesn’t seem comfortable, or you don’t have a veterinarian, be sure to call around to find one in your area who has treated hybrids before, or who is at least willing (and better yet eager) to learn more about them.

Does My Savannah Cat Need Vaccinations Like Domestic Cats?
Yes, Savannahs should receive routine kitten vaccinations just like domestic cats. The type and number of vaccinations is sometimes debatable, but it is generally accepted that they should have at least two initial vaccinations as a kitten (most veterinarians recommend three), with one being after they are 12 weeks old, and then a booster at a year of age and then every one to three years thereafter. Many breeders recommend killed virus vaccinations only because exotic cats have been known to have serious reactions to the modified live viruses. However, killed virus vaccinations have been associated with sarcomas at the injection site. Modified live viruses do not have this same concern so more breeders are beginning to use the modified live virus vaccinations. You may find your breeder will be very specific and require you to use only a certain type of vaccination, another breeder will allow you to choose your personal preference.

Do The Savannahs Spray? Do They Use a Litterbox Faithfully?
Intact breeding cats often spray. When neutered/ spayed at an appropriate age (5 months or earlier as recommended by your vet is optimum) Savannahs are not known to spray.

A well socialized, happily acclimated Savannah will use its litter box religiously! Like most cats, some Savannahs can absolutely require their boxes be extremely clean, and you must make sure there are plenty of litter boxes for the number of cats in your house. The general rule is one litter box per cat and one extra. Additionally, Savannahs can grow to larger-than-normal sizes, so you may need the jumbo-sized litter pans. Some people find that plastic tote boxes make excellent litter boxes, especially with those cats that like to dig and fling litter about.

If Males Up Until F5 (Fifth Generation Away from the Serval) are Sterile, Why Would I Need to Neuter a Male Kitten?
Although males may not make viable sperm, they still produce the male hormones and will exhibit male (tomcat) behavior that makes them undesirable as pets in the intact state. For example, they will still spray and mark their territory and be continually searching for an available female to mate to.

Information courtesy of the Savannah Breed Section