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Ways Savannahs are different than regular cats?

#1
I am wondering if Savannahs, even late generation Savannahs, tend to have some more extreme cat behavior than most domestic cats?

Reading here it sounds like a lot of people living with a Savannah have to work to figure out exactly what to offer them that they want to eat. Do Savannah cats tend to have stronger food preferences than other types of cats, and more of a tendency to have a personality that will insist on getting exactly that and nothing else?

Also are Savannah cats more likely to be a bit obsessive about going through the motions of burying food or uncovering food? I have never had a cat that does that before and have seen it mentioned a lot here.

Do Savannah cats tend to be more sensitive to cold / attracted to warm places, than regular domestic cats?

And do Savannah cats tend to get lonelier than other cats? I am with Moggie all the time, but he goes through spells where he starts deep yowling and ?barking? talking like he is searching for something. The other night he was doing that so I found a youtube video of a Siamese cat talking and he was riveted and kept reaching out with his paw to touch the screen. Then after a few minutes he sort of pulled back into himself and got an expression of his face that looked so sad it brought tears to my eyes. I have never had a cat that seemed to really miss other cat friends... Am I imagining that or could that be a real thing?
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#2
Savannahs are highly intelligent and very social. While I think some prefer to be alone, most prefer a buddy.

Burying or covering for is a cat thing.

All the rest are just cat idiosyncrasies, imo


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Elf

Savannah Super Cat
#3
I had an F1 for 10 years (we lost him this past spring) and now have an F3. We also have 2 normal cats, and I have had many others of those as well. We also wondered how much of the "quirkiness" in our F1 was from being a Savannah, or just him being him. Now that we have an F3, I am starting to think a lot of it was "Savannah". They both are/were HIGH energy. They love to run like crazy for no reason (we clocked Nimar, the F1, at nearly 40mph INSIDE the house). They both love to leap over the sofa in mid run, even if you are on it (I am shocked I never had a coronary). They both climb the walls in our log cabin and like to launch sneak attacks from high places like the refrigerator or top kitchen cabinets.

They both DEMAND attention. Super, super social and always want to be with the people. They also both waited at the door like a dog when we were coming home from work. Playing fetch, for an eternity, is a mandatory game... usually for far longer than I want to play it. They both understand "No" but will look at you and just do what they want anyways. Nimar was tall enough to reach door knobs and could open any door, drawer or cabinet in the house, and take whatever he wanted from it. Siada is still a baby, really, so isnt big enough for those escapades. They also both chew up boxes into tiny little bits.

The also both could throw amazing temper tantrums.

Weirdly enough, we both think that Nimar and Siada see themselves as being "different" than our domestic cats. We always swore that Nimar thought he was more like me and my boyfriend than like our two other cats. lol

Nimar VERY much wanted to play with those other cats though, but they did not like him. At all. They like Siada even less. Getting her another Savannah is going to be mandatory at some point.

Neither of them are fussy about food though, whatever food, whatever flavor was fine. Neither of them buried their food, though my one domestic cat does that all the time.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I think that most of the behaviors can be seen in other cat breeds. Compare an Abyssinian to a Savannah and you will find great similarities in energy, intelligence, mischief and generally BIG personalities. There is a range of kitty personalities and Savannahs are on the high energy intelligent end but many other cats of different breeds are there too (Abys for example). Nothing a Savannah does is exclusive to the breed.

So saying that, F1s and some other early generations are definitely MORE, they are more active, more intense in reaction, more persistent and determined.
 
#6
Thanks for all the interesting replies!

I have only lived with 5 cats as long time companions, so my own experience is limited. None of them ever did the burying food thing or treated me like a dim witted waitress in a fancy restaurant, and my past cats were all just happy to have 1 menu choice which was whatever I could afford. And people I know have never talked about having a cat that is a picky eater. The Siamese cat I grew up with ate nothing but this disgusting plain canned dog food our vet recommended. She was never a picky eater and lived to be 18 in good health till the end, except problems from eating plastic... So I was thinking maybe the stubbornness about wanting only the current most favorite food was a Savannah thing. Part of their tendency to be determined and strong willed. Anyways today I went to town and was talking to the woman who runs a high quality food pet store and she said she hears about super picky cats all the time. So maybe the strong food preferences and stubbornness I see mentioned here often are not so much a Savannah thing but a thing for cats that get offered a wide selection of high quality food. Cats with no choices probably never start making them...

I wonder if some breeds are more inclined to do the covering motions than others?
 
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Sol

Savannah Super Cat
#7
I think that most of the behaviors can be seen in other cat breeds. Compare an Abyssinian to a Savannah and you will find great similarities in energy, intelligence, mischief and generally BIG personalities. There is a range of kitty personalities and Savannahs are on the high energy intelligent end but many other cats of different breeds are there too (Abys for example). Nothing a Savannah does is exclusive to the breed.

So saying that, F1s and some other early generations are definitely MORE, they are more active, more intense in reaction, more persistent and determined.
I can truly say that an F1 is very determined and has a big big personality.

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Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I can truly say that an F1 is very determined and has a big big personality.

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Isn't your F1 more than 50% Serval though? I think it hard to compare a 75% or more F1 to other generations, in this case they are better compared to a Serval...
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#9
So saying that, F1s and some other early generations are definitely MORE, they are more active, more intense in reaction, more persistent and determined.
While I always question if they are more intelligent than other cats, they are certainly more persistent, curious and determined. They didn't figure out how to open a drawer or a cabinet because they were smarter than other cats, they managed to gain access because they worked at it a lot longer.

FOCD perhaps? Feline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
 
#10
All the interesting replies are really appreciated...

As my 7 and a 1/2 month old kitten is only purported to have had an F7 Savannah Mom, my 2 cents worth is probably not evrn worth 2 cents... But...

When I got my kitten I just expected it would learn to fit into my life like kittens and cats in the past. But instead my life has had to expand in a lot of directions to accomadate my kitten. Part of that may be I am older with less pressing responsibities and more time to be indulgent, but it is also my cats personality.

A couple weeks ago I needed to get my chimney cleaned and I was worried Moggie might get scared and run off, and I was concerned about his health at the time, so I locked his cat door and barricaded it from both sides, and told the chimney sweep I would deal with the inside end of things. At first it was just meowing which got increasingly more urgent and gutteral. And then as me and the sweep chatted on the front porch the cat door opens onto, and Moggie was inside having a fit, to the horror of the sweep Moggie proceeded to bust the first barricade remove the cat door from the hinges and bust through the outer barricade. The sweeps eyes were bugging out and he kept saying... That is not normal... That cat is not normal... That cat has serious seperation anxiety issues ... Like he was witnessing a feline version of Rosemary's Baby. LOL Once he got out, Moggie just wanted to say Hi and be part of the socializing. (I have now repurposed a metal cookie sheet that slides between 2 rows of screws into a Moggie proof barricade)

But, like Brigitte says, in Moggies case that isn't necessarily from a Savannah influence. I read someone on thecatsite saying if you want to know if your cat is part Siamese just stand on the other side of a door and see if the cat acts like it is 1000 babies being boiled alive.

But Moggie does tend to get his own way... So I can relate to the descriptions describing Savannah cats as unusually determined, and say this may extend even to very dilute generations.