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Savannah Cat General Info


Staff member
What is a Savannah?
A Savannah is a domestic cat with a Serval ancestor.

What is the Difference Between a Savannah and a Bengal?
This is a question frequently asked! There are some obvious differences between the two breeds. Bengals are derived from the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). Savannahs are derived from the African Serval.

The different species of wild cat influences many attributes of the two breeds. Although both have beautiful spots, Bengal spots are tri-colored “rosettes” and Savannah spots are solid. There are several differences in physical type, also. The Bengal has a compact body type similar to a wrestler or football player. It has smaller ears set wide apart and large round eyes. The Savannah is taller and leaner in body likening to a basketball player. It has large ears set close on top of its head.

What is the Difference Between a Savannah and an Ashera?
The Ashera is basically a designer cat created from the Savannah, Bengal, and possibly other breeds. They receive a great deal of hype and publicity, and are sold for about 10 times the cost of a Savannah. You can read more about the Ashera Cat here

Will My Savannah kitten be BIG?
There are no guarantees when it comes to the size of a Savannah cat. The heritage of Savannahs is both the very tall Serval and the normal-sized domestic cat, therefore the kittens could end up close to either size. The extremely tall kittens occasionally produced started out as average weight and size kittens. They do not exhibit tell-tale signs of how big they will be often until they are three months or older. Most breeders will not guarantee a large sized cat, though it often happens anyway.

The size of a Savannah depends on the generation and cats outcrossed into a particular pedigree to create him. Although there have been some huge F2 and F3 SVs, the largest generation is the one closest to the Serval – the F1 generation. By the time you get down to F4 and F5 generations, most Savannahs are simply taller and longer than a domestic but not much heavier.

When Does a Savannah Reach Full Size?
Savannahs appear to grow for up to three years. Most of the height of a Savannah will be achieved in the first year, but still an inch or two might be added later on. More muscle mass is gained in the second year, and the body will fill out over a year or two once it is not growing upwards so fast.

What Colors and Patterns Do Savannahs Come In?
Savannahs come in a variety of colors and patterns. Most Savannahs are spotted, preferably with solid black or dark brown spots. Some are brown spotted tabbies (BST), which means they have golden, cream, or sandy colored backgrounds. Others are silver spotted tabbies (SST), which means they have white backgrounds. Still others are black, or smoke (black with white hair roots) with a spotting pattern. Because of the variety of domestic breeds introduced into the Savannahs’ gene pool you might also see some non-standard colors including chocolate, cinnamon, blue, red, or colorpoint. You might also see a marble pattern, which looks like s swirling elongated bullseye pattern.

What are the Most Important Attributes of the Savannah Breed?
Size is NOT the most important attribute. Of course, it is impressive to see a BIG cat, but the Savannah is so much more than ‘big.’ The Savannah should be tall, long, lean and elegant in appearance. His ears should be tall and upstanding and the spots dramatic. It is the proportions that make a Savannah appear exotic, and so, simply being large does not necessarily mean ‘correct.’ Most Savannah owners will probably tell you that the attribute they consider the most important and unique is their Savannah’s personality.

What is the Savannah’s Personality Like?
The Savannah personality is highly energetic, intelligent and sociable. It is hard to describe what it is like to live with a Savannah. They are wonderful companions for people who enjoy interacting with their pets. Because of their intelligence and energy, they may also be trouble too; they think up a lot of pranks, and you might not always be too impressed with what they come up with! A sense of humor is essential to live with a Savannah.

Will My Savannah Play in Water and Jump into the Bath with Me?
Servals hunt in water for frogs and small fish, so we often find that a Savannah tolerates water more than the average domestic cat. Some Savannahs LOVE water and will turn on taps and jump into baths and showers whenever possible. However, not all Savannahs share this trait, so please do not expect them to love the bath. No cat likes to HAVE to do anything. And, like all cats, Savannahs do not wish to be dumped into the water – if they enjoy water they will come to play all by themselves.

Many Savannahs enjoy going outside into an outdoor enclosure when it rains and come in dripping wet, but not all want to jump in the bath!

Can You Walk a Savannah on a Leash like a Dog?
Savannahs are curious, outgoing cats that often enjoy going for walks. They usually adapt well to a harness or walking jacket ( ). With careful training you can often have them walking on a leash like a dog, except maybe not quite as obedient. They love to explore so will want to wander around.

Information courtesy of the Savannah Breed Section