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Owning Savannahs and Ages

Stormi

Savannah Super Cat
Hey everyone, one thing I have noticed a lot in questionnaires and forms by breeders is they ask for Ages a lot. I feel extremely intimidated by this question- No breeder will want to sell to an 18 year old I feel.
I feel a lot of people will see "Oh, it's a teen. She can't be serious. I bet she wants it so she stands out." And that scares me that I will fall in love with a Savannah I could afford but the breeder will say 'no' simply for my age.


What's the youngest you've sold a cat to? Or how old were you when you first got yours? And what are your feelings on young people being so interested in the breed and seriously wanting to purchase/adopt one as their own?
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
I own 4 savannahs (2 F2s, 1 F6, 1 F1) the total cost of which exceeds five figures. I acquired my first when I was 54 yrs old, the next 2 by the time I was 56, and the F1 this Feb. at the age of 59 (he isn't home yet). I was within 1 year of retiring when I bought the first and live in a state with no restrictions on hybrid cat ownership. We also intend to spend the rest of our lives in our current location.

I know our breeders will chime in and offer their thoughts on age and SV ownership. Here are mine:
*In general, cats aren't particularly fond of change and SVs can be even more averse to it;

*Higher generation SVs have an earned reputation for bonding closely to one or two people;

*Certain generations of SVs are banned in some cities/states/countries;

*For those who are members of young and potentially mobile groups, there is a chance that at some point, a move for education and career will occur. Then the issue of who takes care of the cat comes into play if the cat cannot be taken along for any reason. If I were a breeder, it would be the unsettled nature of a younger person's life that would give me pause;

*And lastly, it takes money to properly care for an animal. Not all young people have a stable source of income to provide normal care, let alone emergency care.

That said, if I were a breeder, selling an SV to an elder person would give me pause too. Retirees can be as mobile as younger groups. Then there's the issue of what happens to a cat if an elder owner dies. This was my concern when I got my cats. I'm hoping that my cats and my DH and I will all grow old together. We knew that these would be the last pets we owned and the issue of providing for their care should we die first had to be addressed.

When I think back to some of the cats I've seen in SV rescue this past year or two, those that stick in my mind are the ones whose owners died and the family didn't want to take the cat or the cat's owner married and didn't mesh with the new family unit, or the family had a baby and didn't have time for the cat. Any breeder worth his/her salt wants to place their cats, to the best of their ability, in stabile homes where they will be cared for their entire lifetime. To that end, they have to take into account age, income, experience with animals, and the life stage of potential owners.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
As a breeder, I don't ask for age. If I feel, by correspondence with a prospective customer that they are very young...say 14...I might ask then, but in general do not ask for a person's age. I have sold a kitten to a person as young as 19 and another to a couple in their late 50's (my age;). Both are fantastic homes! Honestly, my worst experience was placing a pair of kittens with a couple in their mid-30's. Both were medical professionals with no children or other pets, had visited my home and the kittens several times before taking them, were delighted here to play with bouncy and very active babies, had done the research and were initially very excited and happy for several months after taking home their kittens...I thought them a perfect home, and I did not foresee the terse text from them demanding I take the kittens back because this couple could not deal any longer with the kittens playing with the throw rugs and lamp fringe....apparently they were neat freaks (nothing wrong with that) and were no longer amused by typical kitten antics of playing with any and all objects. That experience taught me to ask subsequent kitten customers if they are going to mind a bit of mess and misplaced throw rugs now and then, and a willingness to baby-proof their home....

What I like to see is a person who had done the research on them, and believes a Savannah is the perfect cat for them, based on their lifestyle, living situation, knowledge of the breed's high-energy and intelligence, as well as an ability to afford routine and unforeseen vet expenses during the cat's lifetime, among other factors (feeding a quality diet, keeping a Savannah indoors only, etc).

In general, I find that younger people have done more research than most, and are ready and able to have a Savannah in their life.

A person who is young (under 21 or so) and still in the process of attending school, living in a dorm with several roommates or with parents, and can barely make ends meet probably would not pass my standards for a good kitten home.

What I suggest for you is to explain your current living situation in great detail to any breeder whose kittens you are interested in. If you are living with a parent, are they in agreement with a high-energy cat moving in? Who will be responsible for the care of that kitten/cat? Are there other pets or people in your home, and what is their opinion on a new cat in your life? Is anyone in your home allergic to cats, or is there a dog who is NOT cat-friendly? Are pets allowed in your home if you rent? Do you have a steady and reliable source of income, or are you attending college? If you are working, will your wages allow you to afford care for both a cat and yourself...including medical emergencies? At 18, are you willing to make a commitment for the duration of the life of a cat? What if you meet someone who does not like cats? I am going to assume you are going to have children in the future...will the cat stay with you then? What if you accept a job or position in the future in a state or location that does not allow Savannah cats? (check here: www.hybridlaw.com ). What if the only housing you are able to find or afford does not allow pets? If attending school...how much time will you reasonably have to spend with a cat...including time spent in school, studying, partying, a job.....

I think it great you are asking this question. Even if the time or conditions are not right for a Savannah in your life at this time, you will be well-prepared when it does happen :)
 

Stormi

Savannah Super Cat
I will not be pursuing a further education anytime soon- simply baking from home in what will one day be a separate kitchen. I've had animals my entire life- some others called evil, some that were shy as could be.
My parents have seen every single Savannah I have looked at and they are also encouraging me getting one and they are hoping that we can get one sometime here soon. Thankfully I have a job that I will be with for a while.
I'm use to messes, very use to it! I think it'd be fun to see what messes they'd try to make with a house that doesn't have a bunch of stuff to get into! I'll not be moving into any of the states where they are not legal-no reason to. :D

Thank you also for taking my question seriously and giving me such detailed responses. It's a nice change to have people take my inquiries about this seriously. And I had a lot more in my head that I was going to say, but it all went poof so I may say it later! xD
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
I think it'd be fun to see what messes they'd try to make with a house that doesn't have a bunch of stuff to get into!
LOL! Well when you get your SV, be sure to come back and let us know if you still feel the same. You'll be amazed at what havoc a SV in an empty room can cause. As you read more here, you'll probably see the need for vertical space mentioned a lot. You'll need at least 1 cat tree. And if you don't have a name for your business yet, I suggest "paw prints" because that's what all of your baked goods will have on top for decoration if your SV "helps" you in the kitchen:big grin:
 

Kristin

Animal Communicator
I am not a breeder, and have only one savannah who isn't yet 2 years old. I am 22, I purchased Zeddie when I was 21. She was the third pet that I have brought home and am responsible for. I live with my parents, and each animal that was brought home was cleared with them (my grandma was in for a shock with two of them though).

I bought my rabbit when I was 15, and 6 months later I bought my parrot. I was working part time and in high school, but I am a really good saver. I didn't go to college/university after high school, and instead began work full time. My parrot has never been sick, but my rabbit was unfortunate enough to have GI problems (go figure for those of you know who the problems I am having with Zeddie). My rabbit passed away 2 years ago the end of this month. I spent $300 on a vet visit, and she died 2 days later.

Zeddie came into my life shortly there after. I also decided to go to college, and that has put a huge strain on my income. I have paid my own way for this year, no loans from the bank or my parents. Along the way Zeddie has gotten sick...luckily I work at a vet clinic and get a huge discount, and can pay my bill off bit by bit through my pay checks.

If you decide to go back to school at any point, my advice is to either get pet insurance, or put money away in another account in case something goes wrong. There is nothing worse that not being able to afford an unforeseen problem.

I know this is long winded, but I also have one other perspective to share. My friend brought a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy home when she was 16 (I was 19). She went through an extremely difficult time and ended up surrendering the BMD to me when the pup was about 7 months old. I was unable to keep her and had to adopt her out. The situation was all around bad, and I can see how breeders would be very cautious selling to a minor. My friend checked out talking to the breeder, but unfortunately she lacked the maturity to put her dog above certain issues even though she loved that dog.

I hope you find the perfect savannah for you. It might help breeders that are afraid of your age to talk to your parents as well. As someone who purchased pets at a young age, I know the prejudice you face. I also know that I would NEVER ever ever allow anything to come between myself and them. Be it money, family problems, or a job. It is my responsibility as their caregiver to do the absolute best I can to give them the life they deserve.
 

Stormi

Savannah Super Cat
Well if I do move, it would be moving in with my Significant Other, but seeing as he is currently in the Navy, until he is in a more permanent situation or at least in his next station, I won't be joining him soon. I grew up moving and while I love it, I don't want to get settled in and move a week later. He also knows I wish to be a Stay At Home Wife- So I would have all day to devote to a Savannah. And yes, I do understand that there would be a very good chance that what ever cat I end up with would not take to him quickly-if at all. And he does understand this as well.

I have no problem of sucking up my ego and reaching out to get help for whatever problems may arise- be it temperaments or health or anything else that could occur. I actually really love how open and helpful the Savannah community seems to be! ^-^
 

Stormi

Savannah Super Cat
LOL! Well when you get your SV, be sure to come back and let us know if you still feel the same. You'll be amazed at what havoc a SV in an empty room can cause. As you read more here, you'll probably see the need for vertical space mentioned a lot. You'll need at least 1 cat tree. And if you don't have a name for your business yet, I suggest "paw prints" because that's what all of your baked goods will have on top for decoration if your SV "helps" you in the kitchen:big grin:

I have already actually been working on building some Cat Shelves and will next be working on two different cat trees. And "Paw Prints" sounds so cute! There'd be so many different ways I could work it into a name. <3 :3
 

John Campbell

Site Supporter
Staff member
I have owned pets (dogs and cats) since being 5 years old at least. However, My first Savannah is 4 months old and I am now 52 years old. I had quite a few reasons for choosing the Savannah and that is Longevity, bonding, low health issues, and a unique attitude. Elsa is now 4 months old, and every day is an adventure.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
I do ask about age and student status on my questionnaire because that will prompt me to ask further questions. Typically, if I have someone younger than 21 and/or living at home then I want to talk to the parents and make sure they are on board, and include their names on the contract as well. The youngest I have sold to was 12 years old - his entire family (as well as several neighbor children) were part of the purchase process but it was his money that he saved for a Savannah. The oldest was in his 60s. Unfortunately, both these homes ended up surrendering their Savannahs - the first because of newly developed cat allergies in a family member, and the latter because of health issues. However, both honored their contract and returned the cats to me, so I had no beef with them, nor do I have reservations of ever selling into a similar situation in the future.
 
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