The Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic cat and the African Serval. It is a tall, lean cat with striking solid spots and other bold markings over its’ basecoat which can range from cool silver hues to warm golden orange. It closely resembles its’ ancestral source, that is the African Serval, but it’s smaller in stature. In the year 2006, the Savannah cat entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the tallest domestic cat in the world.
History of the Savannah Cat
The 1st known Savannah cat was born in the year 1986, when an African Serval crossed with a female domestic cat which later gave birth to a kitten. The kitten was named Savannah, and it was the 1st generation hybrid cross (F1) to go on record. The unusual F1 female cat had both African Serval and domestic cat like traits. After hearing about the Savannah cat, Joyce Sroufe and Patrick Kelly decided that they wanted to create a new breed. Together they came up with the original, The International Cat Association (TICA) Breed Standard. In the year 2001, TICA accepted Savannah cat for registration. And in 2012, TICA granted this breed full recognition, which is also known as championship status. Today, there are several Savannah cat generations which include; F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6 and F7. The F stands for “Filial”which represents the number of pairings that have been removed from the exotic ancestor.
The size of the Savannah cats is usually exaggerated because they’re taller, longer bodied and thinner framed than most of the domestic cats. Their tall body type usually gives an illusion of a bigger body size and more weight. That being so, the Savannah cat is described as a medium size breed. The weight depends on the cat’s particular bloodline, but it usually ranges anywhere between 8 to 25 pounds. Males are usually larger and heavier than females.
Savannah cats are loving, sociable, friendly, and they get along very well with people and other household pets. The have a very playful temperament thus they easily get along with kids. They tend to show their affection by eagerly welcoming their owners, greeting the family members at the front door, giving frequent head butts and following the family members all around the house. Most of them have very outgoing personalities, and they like to get petted. They are very energetic and highly intelligent, and they learn things pretty quickly. They can can be leash trained (if started young), and can even learn their name.
Due to their long legs, and athletic bodies, they are very elegant jumpers and they often perform high leaps in the air. They love playing fetch, opening cabinets, finding toys and even playing with water. They are very curious, assertive and they tend to seek out adventures at every opportunity. Savannah cats expect to be treated as a member of the family that’s involved in the family activities. They are very active and need to interact on a daily basis.
They are also very loyal and bond very strongly with their human families. If you’re looking for a loyal, loving and friendly companion, then the Savannah cat is the ideal pet for you. If you want to have a Savannah cat as a pet, you should plan to spend lots of time playing and interacting with her. Also make sure she has enough interesting toys to play with when you are not around.
Health and Nutrition
The Savannah cat is generally healthy, and doesn’t have any predisposed genetic problems. The cat also requires exercise in order to maintain optimal health. When it comes to nutrition, the requirements are similar to those of the normal domestic cat. Savannah cats don’t require raw meat diet, but a well balanced raw meat diet is essential. You can work with your breeder or veterinarian to determine the ideal frequency of meals and the best diet so as to increase the cat’s lifespan. Adequate exercise combined with proper diet and socialization is especially important when training a Savannah kitten into adulthood.
You should brush the Savannah cat’s coat at least once a week so as to remove any dead hair, and also to distribute the skin oils. You should also brush their teeth so as to prevent the periodontal disease. Brushing their teeth on a daily basis is best, however, weekly brushing is also okay.
Savannah cats come in various different patterns and colors including; brown, black, black spotted tabby, black smoke and black silver spotted tabby. Most of them have dark brown or solid black spots on a sandy, golden, cream or white background. Savannah cats usually stand out because of their bold markings which can be oval, round or elongated. Some Savannah cats have what is known as a marble pattern, whereby the spots on the coat resemble an elongated bulls eye. Since the domestic short hairs are present in their ancestry, there are some Savannah cats which come in colors which aren’t described in the cat breed standard. Some of these colors include, but not limited to; red, chocolate, blue, and cinnamon.
It takes a Savannah cat about 3 years to reach full adult size. They can live for about 12 to 20 years, basically depending on the heritage from the African Serval. As mentioned earlier, you can give the Savannah cat a better chance at a much longer lifespan by ensuring it has a well balanced raw meat mixture diet.
Eyes of the Savannah cat resemble those of the African Serval and are usually medium sized. The eyes are set underneath the slightly hooded brow, and are consistent with their facial symmetry. There are tear stain markings which are present between and along the eyes and the nose. When it comes to the ears, Savannah cats have remarkably large ears which are high on the head. The ears are wide with a rather deep base, and are upright with rounded tips. They have a triangular head that is supported by a long neck and have a medium length tail.
Vocally, Savannah cats can chirp just like the African Servals or meow like the domestic cats. They can also chirp and meow, or even produce a mixture of the 2 sounds. Chirping is normally observed more in earlier Savannah generations.