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What Does the "F" and other Letters Mean?

admin

Paige
Staff member
#1
The Savannah Cat is referred to by its ‘F’ generation. The ‘F’ stands for ‘filial’ and refers to how many generations away from the Serval it is. So an F1 is one generation from the Serval (has a Serval parent), an F2 is two generations removed so has a Serval grandparent, and so on.

The other classification you will hear in reference to Savannah Cats is a letter coding. This has to do with when and where in the pedigree outcrosses (non-Savannah domestic cats) have been used. The reason this is important is because when you are crossing two different species there are usually fertility issues. For instance, crossing a horse with a donkey creates a mule, but a mule is sterile so can never procreate. However, in the feline world, crossing two different species such as the Serval and a domestic cat renders only the males sterile. This means that Savannah breeders have had to continue to cross their Savannah females to domestic males for several generations, until the retained Serval percent was low enough that the males were fertile and could be used to breed the female Savannahs.

A means that one parent is a (non-Savannah) domestic outcross
B means that both parents are Savannahs
C means that both parents and grandparents are all Savannahs
SBT means that parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are all Savannahs. It is at the SBT (Stud Book Tradition) level that the Savannah is considered a true breed and potentially eligible for Championship with TICA (The International Cat Association).

So..If two "A" registered Savannahs are bred, "B" registered savannah kittens result. “B” means both parents are Savannahs, but the cat has at least one grandparent of a different breed.

Cross two "B" registered Savannahs and you have a “C” registered savannah kitten. "C" tells both parents and grandparents are Savannahs, but at least one great grandparent is of a different breed.

When you cross two "C" registered Savannahs, an "SBT" results. A savannah kitten with “SBT” in it’s registration number has three generations of Savannah to Savannah matings in it’s pedigree – parents, grandparents, great grandparents. It is not possible to have SBT kittens before the fourth generation. The SBT designation is what is needed to show in Championship Class.

Lastly, Savannah Cats are often referred to as either ‘high generation’ or ‘low generation’. Usually ‘high generation’ means higher Serval percent so F1, F2, F3; and ‘low generation’ means lower Serval percent so F4, F5, F6, etc. However, many assume ‘high’ to mean a higher filial number so that for instance an F5 would be considered a high generation and an F1 a low generation. To help alleviate this confusion many breeders now prefer the terms ‘early generation’ (F1, F2, F3) and later generation (F4, F5, etc.).

Information obtained from the Savannah Breed Section