Savannah Cat Chat - THE Place for Savannah Cat Talk

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

I will EVENTUALLY be purchasing a Savannah and just wanted to know...

SavannahDreamer20

Savannah Kitten
Greetings Everyone,

My name is Bob, and I love the savannah breed. I have been reading about Savannahs for quite a while now and definitely think this breed is the pet for me. I am not sure when I will be trying to own one it could be within the next of within the next 10. Either way this site seems to have quite the collection of owners and breeders who seems to have an impressive collective knowledge. I have read all the danger checklists and how to proof your house so I was wondering what else should I prepare for? What do you guys feed your savannah? How often do you take them on walks? If you don't do walks often what other alternatives do you all use for exercise? On average how much one on one time a day do you spend with your savannah? Do you allow him/her to roam around the house freely or do you have an enclosure for them? If you have a backyard that they are freely allowed to play in how high is the fence/ how far underground does it go? I have seen videos of savannahs jumping well of 8 feet (Which I find amazing) and from what I have read they seem extremely eager to explore the wild so is a backyard with a high fence even an option? or should they just be on leash at all times. How well can they be trained? (To the point when they don't need to be on leash?) and is it standard protocol for training or should I be doing an other specific methods.

I will probably be looking for an F3 maybe F2 my first time around. (F4's are also an option) Just so that I can get a feel and see whether or not I want to go for an F1 later or if I'm very pleased with an F2. I would love to get one from the rescue which is part of the reason for why I am in no rush to find one because I would prefer to be able to help one that needs a home rather than purchasing one. (Not that there is anything wrong with purchasing one it just would be great if I could give a home to one who needs it)

I have read that they will become comfortable with humans slowly and that they may initially need their own room to adjust to the owner and new home. That is more than fine and I am happy to facilitate that need but how long on average does it take? (Obviously this will vary between savannah but just in your guys experience I guess) Also will they get overwhelmed when guests/family come over? Should I have a room prepared for them to go to so they don't lash out. I obviously wouldn't have 10 people in a small room with my Savannah but would it be fine to let him/her just find a nice aloof place in the house or should I have a small little "territory" for them to go to as a comfort zone.

I apologize if some of these questions are stupid but where I live in Florida I don't know any savannah owners so I don't really have anyone to ask.

Thanks for all the help and information you all can provide.

Bob
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
Welcome Bob!
Good idea asking questions. I am sure many members will respond.
I have 4 cats, three of which are savannah's, F5 female, and two F3 full brothers. I will try to make it simple. They really are regular cats in most ways. I don't let them out. They are above average in activity. They are over the top in intelligence, which is why they get into things more than other breeds, yet there are other cat breeds with this intelligence level. They really do get involved with the lives of humans in their house, believe me, they consider us servants (which in essence we are!). I feel it really helps to have other active cats around to keep them "occupied". In short, you really can't ignore these cats, they are quite interactive with humans.
But they are cats just the same, so don't get worried about challenges. This is where the servants come when they have a challenge, and I would argue you see a disproportionate representation of the breed challenges. I have very well behaved cats. I respond a lot to help others with this wonderful breed. I've said it before and I will say it again, the best cats of my life!
The breeders will chime in with the acclamation process. The humans tend to have more challenges with the quarantine period! I know, I did!. You get some savannahs that are shy, and others that are gregarious. My F3 brothers are an example. Yet the shy cat will warm up to guests after the greetings are over and the bustle settles down.
Where in Florida? My sister (member Sue) lives in SW Florida and has a savannah. There are many members in Florida who will probably also speak up.
I would argue most of us do not know other savannah owners unless they obtained their savannah because they met one (my sister did!).
This is a very fast growing breed. I am confident you will not be disappointed!
 

SavannahDreamer20

Savannah Kitten
I'm in NE Florida just outside of Jacksonville. A cattery opened up recently nearby so when it begins to have kittens I will stop by to get some first hand looks at the Savannah Breed. Their intelligence is what most excites me about the breed. I have read a lot and watched videos (Obviously no substitute for being around one in person but the best I could do.) I have read having another is good so they have a playmate so it's good to hear that reinforced and probably something I will do.

What do you feed yours? I have heard from breeders that dry and wet food is all thats needed, as well as a raw diet is best and finally that a mix of the two is best so I am not sure if it comes down to the cat or if there is truly a "best" diet for them. I have read they live to around 20 and I would definitely want mine to live as a long and healthy life.
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
As far as feeding, I use a combination of wet and dry. For the wet I use a variety of ProPlan, Royal Canin, and Fancy Feast. I have dry available, Blue Wilderness. They are very healthy cats. I have had many cats in my life, and most lived to the 17 to 18 year range. These SV's look good to 20 as they seem to be the most healthy cats I've had so far.
Many members feed raw and there are many discussions available on this topic.
 

MattM

Savannah Super Cat
I feed my SV a combination of raw chicken and turkey. I have been doing it for about two months and can't believe I waited this long to start it. If you can afford the extra cost and time to make it, I highly recommend.
 

Tort518

Savannah Super Cat
Welcome to the forum.

These Savannahs are wonderful. Rascal Dad covered a lot of ground and has more experience with them than I do. I can say that I could not be happier with how my decision to get Savannahs has turned out and that even counts the unusual events at the start and the ringworm (fungal) issue.

I am currently working on trying to convert my domestic shorthair over to raw along with the Savannahs. They were fed some raw at the breeder so they are the easy ones and love raw. Currently they are eating a mix of raw, high quality canned, and high quality kibble. The kibble is slowly being phased out and will be used mostly for times I know I cannot be there enough to keep up regular feedings.

The mischief they can get up to doesn't make me mad, it instead presents a challege which I knew about ahead of time thanks to this great forum, and I tend to enjoy a bit of comical chaos. :big grin:
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Greetings Everyone,


I have read all the danger checklists and how to proof your house so I was wondering what else should I prepare for? If you have breakable items that are expensive or of sentimental value either put them away or buy some quake-hold and museum gel (available at Home Depot, Walmart, or online) to ensure they can't get knocked over. All of my breakable objects are secured with this as well as light pieces of furniture that the cats can knock over. I also use it to keep artwork on the wall since my guys occasionally try to knock pieces off the wall.
What do you guys feed your savannah? I feed a whole prey diet and various meats such as bison & rabbit. If you read the info at catinfo.org you can weight the pros and cons of feeding canned vs dry. IMHO, dry is the the worst thing you can feed if you're feeding it exclusively.
How often do you take them on walks? If you don't do walks often what other alternatives do you all use for exercise? You don't need to worry much about these cats getting exercise. It's usually the opposite. You're left wondering if they ever stop moving. As they mature, their activity level may drop a bit. For cats who take to leash training, some may be satisfied with 1 walk a day, others may become demanding about walks and insist on as many as you can take them on. Two of mine love to go for walks and I take them out once a day as a minimum. The other hates the harness so I bought him a pet stroller and he loves it. Although they can entertain themselves with toys, we play with ours frequently during the evening with feather wands or playing fetch. I used to have an outdoor enclosure for them but screened in the entire patio for them last year so they have safe access to outdoors.
On average how much one on one time a day do you spend with your savannah? Do you allow him/her to roam around the house freely or do you have an enclosure for them? When I was working, I played with them a bit before I left the house and as much as possible after I got home. They'll let you know how much time they need. Mine were given free access to the house after they were big enough and experienced enough to not get hurt which was around 4 wks of arrival.
If you have a backyard that they are freely allowed to play in how high is the fence/ how far underground does it go? I have seen videos of savannahs jumping well of 8 feet (Which I find amazing) and from what I have read they seem extremely eager to explore the wild so is a backyard with a high fence even an option? or should they just be on leash at all times. They cannot have free access outside and must be on a leash if you don't plan on having some sort of enclosure. I bought a 3x5 ft enclosure for my first SV but by the time I added 2 more cats, decided that screening in the patio was the better option. They have lots of room to run and cat trees to climb. The bird feeders & bird bath are directly opposite the patio which provide tons of cat entertainment.
How well can they be trained? (To the point when they don't need to be on leash?) and is it standard protocol for training or should I be doing an other specific methods. I recommend that you purchase Naughty No More by Marilyn Krieger (the cat coach). It will arm you with ways to deal with any behavior issues you encounter (door darting, for example) and gives tips on how to train your cat using the clicker method. The key to training, as with dogs, is consistency. How well the cat adapts depends on the cat. I can say from personal experience, that I don't have the patience to be consistent with training which is sad because my cats enjoy the mental stimulation from the training.

I have read that they will become comfortable with humans slowly and that they may initially need their own room to adjust to the owner and new home. There is a quarantine period of 2 wks during which the cat should be confined to one room of the house. It gives the cat time to adjust to new surroundings and makes it easier to establish a bond with the cat. That is more than fine and I am happy to facilitate that need but how long on average does it take? (Obviously this will vary between savannah but just in your guys experience I guess) I got all 3 of mine as kittens. Two were highly socialized by their breeders and adjusted to us and the home immediately. The third was a challenge -- not well socialized and it took a year before he was comfortable being touched. You mentioned that you prefer getting a rescue cat. There is no way to predict how long adjustment to a new home/owner will take. It depends on the age & personality of the cat as well as the circumstances to which the cat was exposed prior to rescue. It could take a short time or a very long time (years) for the cat to adjust.
Also will they get overwhelmed when guests/family come over? Should I have a room prepared for them to go to so they don't lash out. I obviously wouldn't have 10 people in a small room with my Savannah but would it be fine to let him/her just find a nice aloof place in the house or should I have a small little "territory" for them to go to as a comfort zone. I think it's a great idea to have an area where the cat can go to get away regardless of how many people are around. I inform guests that if the cat runs away not to follow it. Mine will retreat to the bedroom or on top of the laundry room cabinets when they want to be left alone so people who come over are told to respect that.

I apologize if some of these questions are stupid but where I live in Florida I don't know any savannah owners so I don't really have anyone to ask. There is a list of Florida breeders here http://www.savannahcat.com/public/index.php that includes the new one near you. I highly recommend that you do your research, email or phone breeders, ask for references, etc. before you choose. Most breeders will ship a cat to you or you can choose to travel to pick it up so you aren't confined to those in Florida Check out our breeder section here. We are fortunate to have member breeders with exceptional reputations.

Thanks for all the help and information you all can provide.

Bob
 

Mischief

Savannah Super Cat
Hi, Bob,

My name is Sharon and welcome to the forum. I am owned by an F5 names Whiskey and I asked a ton of questions like you are before I decided that the Savannah was the cat for me so don't feel bad. The only question that is stupid is one you don't ask. My Savannah took awhile to warm up to me but now that she has, (I also got her as an adult so that's why it may have taken longer) there is a bond between her and I that isn't there with my other cats. It's as if I can sense her soul and vice versa. A Savannah is unlike any cat you will ever either meet or own in terms of its intelligence. I'm also amazed at how fast she can run and how high she jumps. As far as food, I try to feed her either Pro Plan selects or Petsmart's Nourish but she's not fussy so she gets what my others get in terms of dry and canned cat food. Oh and toys...she loves to play. Her and I love playing together. I hope this helps and good luck.
 

Becki

Savannah Super Cat
Hi Bob! Welcome. You are sure to get a ton of information here from the very best, those of us who are pet owners are incredibly lucky to be able to tap in to the knowledge of great breeders and a vet. I have 2 SVs, both f2bs, a boy and a girl. My girl started out life very, very shy but is now very loving and cuddly. She is still not a big fan of strangers, but at my husband's last poker game at the house, she stayed right in the middle of the action. So long as no one outside the family tried to actually pet her, she helped out by knocking people's snacks over and trying to take a chip or 2. She doesn't like being held, but will certainly park herself in your lap and will let you know how unhappy she is if you move her off before she is finished loving on you! Never, ever mean but she is vocal. You can have conversations with her.

My boy is just a baby, but he loves everyone. He is on constant purr, and frankly is the devil kitten. He is in everything and a frequent tester of gravity with himself and objects. He is a repetitive offender of sock thieving and immediately rips holes in them once he gets his mitts on them. We have to watch that as I am afraid he will choke! He also will just jump up on you when he wants to be carried with zero warning, and is very offended if you happen to not want to carry a kitten because you are, say, cooking dinner at the time! He is also obviously part puppy as he licks your face non stop.

They are very, very smart kitties. Nyah and Kovu have begun to work in tandem in their antics. Nyah is able to open doors, so Kovu's quarantine period was limited as Nyah kept setting him free. They have now figured out how to open drawers together, though I think Nyah has alterior motives here. I always seem to find Kovu sitting in the drawer they opened and it looks like Nyah is trying to push it shut....

They are high energy for sure, but wow are they fun. We actually sit on the couch and just watch the cats do whatever crazy thing they are doing like other people watch TV! I can't tell you how much we love them. They are like having furry 2 year olds, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I feed raw and supplement with canned chicken from weruva and tiki cat. We have plans to screen in one of our porches. Kovu is learning to walk on a leash, not sure Nyah is a fan, but maybe when she sees Kovu do it. They don't go outside, but do have lots of places to climb and windows to look out.

I will end this with a warning....stopping at one is near impossible!
 
Top