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Why Savannah Kittens Should Not Leave before 12-16 Weeks


The Kasbah

There is a very delicate dance that happens between the mouth and the digestive tract when infant animals are developing their intestinal flora. Saliva kills some bacteria allowing other bacteria through to form the microflora in the intestines. Changing environment as well as food can interrupt proper flora being created, and basically change the roadmap.

Change of environment or food can change the make up of a very carefully crafted ecosystem of bacteria/intestinal flora, and just like different humans the footprint of intestinal flora isn't the same from one of us to another. Deviation of the incoming bacteria disrupts the ecosystem being created in the intestines, and that of course makes it more difficult for saliva which becomes the gatekeeper for bacteria to sort out what is a healthy digestive tract.
We are in agreement that a change in diet can upset the digestive system. We always impress upon our clients the importance of continuing to feed what the kitten is used to and if the client wishes to change foods, they should do so gradually, over a period of a few weeks, to avoid any sensitive tummy issues.

Regarding chronic diarrhea resulting from a change of environment alone? I have to disagree with you on this one. We have bred and delivered hundreds of kittens over our breeding career and have never had any of our clients experience anything like this. Not once.

I'm not saying that this is impossible. Perhaps you were just the unlucky guy who it happened to, but in our ten + years in business it has never happened and therefore, my experience supports the fact that this is extremely rare.

John Popp

Site Supporter
I certainly don't have a clue as to what the actual cause of our first SV having loose stools for a time was. I do know he was younger when we brought him home than our second SV who didn't have any issues from the same breeder.

At the same time, I do know that intestinal flora in young animals and humans is a very fragile thing. Saliva, the gate keeper to bacteria in the digestive tract, has a wide postnatal gate and begins closing out more and more bacteria with age as an ecosystem is formed in the intestines. It doesn't take much to throw that ecosystem off as tens of thousands of types of bacteria run through the digestive system, and when fully developed microflora is established the ecosystem is comprised of about 500 types of bacteria.

Something as simple as a pound of dirt or a liter of stream water can have well over 20,000 types of bacteria, and the same a hundred miles away could have only a third of overlap. There are so many types of bacteria that we as human beings are more closely related to an ear of corn than two types of bacteria. So to think that environmental changes can't have an effect on developing intestinal flora would be foolhardy despite the successes you've had.

I'm sure many of us, as adults with healthy digestive tracts have had issues with the breakdown of intestinal flora when traveling abroad and a mature eco system in our intestines. Just imagine what happens to a child that hasn't fully developed their intestinal flora.


Savannah Super Cat
Hi Paige, I'll mention to Karen about taking him home at 10 weeks to be sure......I sure don't want any health issues to deal with:(......maybe she has always done it with F2 kittens, I don't know. Thanks for showing me this information.


Savannah Super Cat
I'm sure this kitten will be fine to get at 10 weeks.....some breeders send them home alot earlier....Select Exotics does.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Some breeders do a lot of things that aren't the best choice for the kitten. Mostly the advice of people on this forum are aimed at the best case scenarios for the kittens, not the breeders' convenience.

Experience shows that more owners experience gastrointestinal issues with kittens that leave home earlier. So many kittens will be fine, but not all. Many more do better if they do not experience stress and change at a vulnerable time of development for their bodies. And then there is the psychological development which also benefits from that extra time. On the flipside, the only reason to send them out earlier is for need to do a second vaccination and less upkeep costs. I see why it is good business to do this, just it is not in the best interest of the kitten.
I got my kitten at 7 weeks or almost 7 weeks.. He was fine and he is 6 and a half months old now and doing great!! I do agree though that they should be atleast 12 weeks before they leave home. This was the lady's first litter and she did seem in a hurry. Here is my boy Titan guess what generation he is?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Staff member
Gosh, hard to tell from that pic, but I would guess a later generation - F5 or F6?
He looks like he is enjoying his tree climbing adventure!