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New, looking for advice / insight

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Savannah Kitten
Hi, i am male 45 (with a partner who loves cats). I have just lost an almost 2 year old Savannah type cat (pics below), i really liked her personality, was very demanding for play, always wanted to be outside but very excited to get back inside. This is the first time ive had a cat die out of the blue, all others lasted to at least 15 years old.... this has me questioning medical histories abit.

She had latched on to my partner, if she had gotten up, the cat was awake like a bolt to follow her ANYWHERE in the house, if she didnt like what you were eating she wasnt happy, for some reason if you held small metal clippers (like a nail file) she would come up to pull it out of your hand, she wouldn't play with it, she had an issue that you had hold of it).

I had read about the Savannah breed being similar, i believe our cat had a lot of this in her and looked similar (pictures below), due to how she was growing (SUPER strong and her personality above), clearly she isnt a high breed, but seem to inherit a lot of it, so with the questions...

As we found her dead outside and i proposed it appeared to be an internal issue (the certified veterinary doctor agreeing after examining her), that means no poisen or coolant, may have been slug pelletes but we live in South Ontario and it was very light snow, so unlikely to been still on the ground even if they were found, this is what worries me, it appears about the only issue with the Savannah is the hereditary heart problem (which isnt fixable). I am having a VERY hard time dealing with this death due to it being right out of the blue with no symptoms at all, she was even up in weight after dying from 3 weeks before (at the vet).

So how bad are these heart issues with the Savannah breed?
My cat really wanted to go out ALL the time, would run to the doors, is this native to the Savannah breed?
I understand they can be walked with a lead, do many owners do this? how often? (we had ours on a lead at first, once she was used to everything, she went out alone).

Questions / answers are welcome.


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Staff member
Condolences on your loss. It's traumatic and painful to lose a furry companion and I hope your heart will heal in time.

While Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease in cats, the Savannah breed isn't known for high occurrences of it. There are breeds, such as Bengal and Maine Coon, where it is prevalent. Both Bengals and Maine Coons were used as outcrosses in the early days of the Savannah breed. If you decide to purchase a Savannah, ask the breeder about foundation cats in her line to determine if Bengal or Maine Coon appears. That still doesn't mean cats from that breeder will develop HCM. Also ask the breeder whether any of her/his cats ever developed HCM. Ethical breeders won't breed cats who have the disease but there are sleazy people out there who will do anything if they think they can make money. So be diligent in doing your research and be sure you choose a breeder who has impeccable breeding standards and offers at least 1 year health guarantee against genetic diseases. Good breeders will have a health guarantee clause in their purchase contract.

IMO, Savannah cats should be indoor-only cats going outside only on a leash while supervised or in an enclosure. There's no way to know how many SVs are leash-trained. Two of my 4 are leash trained and I took them out for walks 1-2 times a day. Then too many outdoor cats and dogs off-leash started showing up in my neighborhood and to avoid any potential for harm to my cats, I bought pet strollers and that's how I walk them now. The other 2 never liked the leash and didn't enjoy going outside wearing one even to stand on the porch or front lawn. They didn't feel safe. All of them love the stroller.


Staff member
As Deborah said, HCM is a disease that can be found in all cat breeds but more prevalent in some, and only found in Savannahs because of the outcrosses used in the early days. Without your vet performing a necropsy it is impossible to determine, or even to guess what may have been the cause of your kitty's death. I'm very sorry for your loss, it sounds like she was a wonderful companion.


Staff member
Here's the entire list for Canada:

Alberta Savannahs - Randi Ingram -
Lynxcreek Savannahs - Angie Panzak -
Ministik Tau Savannahs - Frank Konanz -
SavannahsRUs - Charles & Lisa Lewis -
Simply Spots - Alison Peterson - -
Surreal Savannahs - Nicole Nanu -

Global Exotics - Delilah -
Argo's Pride - Helen Machado -
Hilltop Pride - Carley -
My SKA Savannahs - francyska lavoie -
Northern Savannahs w/Love - Susan Timewell-Jeffs -
Savvy Paws Savannahs - Christine -
Sexy Savannahs - Jason -

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Savannah Kitten
P.S. Savvy Paws is in Ontario. She has excellent comments here from people who own her cats as well as those on FB.
Thanks, i have reached out to them, i did notice they do screen for the heart issues and give some guarantee, i am looking for 2 so they can play together as i assume that would be better. I assume the breed is less wanting of lap time or was that just my cat?
Thanks, i have reached out to them, i did notice they do screen for the heart issues and give some guarantee, i am looking for 2 so they can play together as i assume that would be better. I assume the breed is less wanting of lap time or was that just my cat?
They like company, so if you can get two, or another kind of kitten at the same time, or even a chill breed puppy, definitely consider it. As for lap sitting, I'd say it depends on the cat - I have one who loves to lap sit in the evenings, and one who has only done it once. He likes to snooze close by, though, and is hands-down the most affectionate cat I've ever met.