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New Savannah owner needs help! :)


Savannah Kitten
I recently acquired an 1 yr old male Hp F2. The owner was a college student, he was moving back into his parents home and they were all moving to a state that bans F2's.
I've had Kovu now for 10 days. He has his own room, my husband and I take turns spending time with him. Kovu has allowed me to hold him for a few seconds and he has sat by me and allowed me the honor of petting him. He head butts me, talks alot and BUT sometimes "hisses" at me. It's not an aggressive hiss, he'll just walk by me and hiss or when I'm trying to leave his room and I'm blocking him he will hiss. Why would he hiss at me for no apparent reason? .
Another question .. I have 7 cats (5 domestic, Bengal F5 and F2 Jungle cat) When do I allow him to meet my other cats? Do I allow him to meet all of them at once? He has escaped from his room several times and I have witnessed some pretty serious cat fights that had to be broken up..
I have worked with animal rescue for a long time. I would consider myself to be very knowledgable with cats but exotics are VERY different from domestics .. Sooo help and advice is needed!

Lori Greer

Cahaba Cats
It sounds like he is hissing because you are blocking him. He is also very aware of the other cats in the main house and if there has been fighting already then it is possible he is hissing a warning to them and not you. You have a lot of cats for the average household and introductions may be very dicey. Might be helpful if you could put up a screen on his door to let them sniff, see and get used to each other with that protective barrier in place.


Staff member
Hissing is a very common form of communication with Savannahs, it is not necessarily (and not usually) a sign of aggression or warning. I would ignore the hissing and watch the body language. If the ears are forward, no worries. If they are somewhat back he is probably a bit nervous. If they are flat on the back of his head then you need to give him space.

As for introducing him to the other cats, first you need to try as best as possible to keep him separated from the other cats until he is more settled in. He will be able to smell the other cats on you as can the other cats smell him on you. It sounds like it might be best to introduce one cat at a time. Lori has a good suggestion - is it possible to install a screen door so that the cats can 'meet' each other in a safe way? Alternatively you can put the Savannah in a large crate while the others come check him out, then put the other cats in crates one or two at a time (remove the other cats) and allow the Savannah freedom to explore the room and the cats while staying safe from potentially aggressive behavior.

It may take quite some time to integrate them all, and in some cat colonies there are often one or two cats who just never get along well, so you just need to adapt and go with the flow as best as possible...

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
As has been said, hissing is not as important as his ear position and all those other kitty clues to how threatened he is feeling...

I would also caution you that that number of cats is a LOT to deal with! Generally speaking, when up to three kitties introductions go much easier... the more cats the more potential for toxic relationships...much like us humans I guess! The slower the introductory process, the better chance of inducing at least tolerance between them all...


Savannah Kitten
Thanks for all the great advice! Kovu escaped from his room last night. Everyone was on high alert this morning. Starting my day with a trip to home depot!