The Savannah cat is an unusual, yet beautifully elegant cross between the African serval cat and the domestic cat. This captivating hybrid inherited the delightfully good looks of its wild relative, while remaining the utmost loving furriend of a hooman. Thanks to their enchanting beauty and affectionate personality, Savannah cats truly have the entire world at their paws.
Savannah cats are slim and tall, but their size greatly depends on sex, as well as the generation of the hybrid. First generations are usually larger, weighing around 8 to 20 pounds, while later generations (F3 and on) tend to be smaller. Savannah is distinguished by some prominent characteristics of its wild relative. They have long lanky bodies, tall and cupped ears, puffy noses and hooded eyes. Their coat is short and dense. TICA accepts only spotted coat pattern which can be brown, silver or black smoke (as these are the only patterns found in the serval cat). However, non-standard colors and patterns can be found too, such as marble, rosette, pointed, cinnamon, chocolate brown and many more.
The Savannah cat was first created by Judee Frank, who crossbred a male African serval cat with a Siamese domestic cat. The very first Savannah kitten, named Savannah, was born on April 7, 1986. The breed was first presented to the board of The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1996 and was finally accepted in 2001. While the wild cat was originally crossed with a Siamese breed, the hybrids were outcrossed with other domestic cats in the early days.
This enriched the gene pool of the breed and brought a lot of variation to it. TICA accepts outcrosses with the Egyptian Mau, Ocicat, Oriental Shorthair and Polycats. Outcrosses with the Bengal and Maine Coon cats are not permissible. Since the 1990s, however, outcrossing is considered unfavorable and as of 2012, Savannah cats are mostly bred only with other Savannah cats.
Savannah cats are known as loyal, friendly and calm. They are very trainable and enjoy leashed walks. As with many other breeds, some Savannah cats may be shy and independent, while others cherish the company of many different hoomans. They are athletic and agile and love jumping, climbing and playing.
Savannahs are highly intelligent and curious. These energetic and cheerful animals will continually seek amusement. While they will make for a great companion to many, it is important to keep in mind that they are typically more attention-demanding than some tamer breeds.
Health and care
All cats face a certain risk of developing some health issues that may be inherited. However, there are currently no known conditions tightly associated with this particular breed.
Wild facts about the glorious cat
1. They are FUN! Savannah cats are truly amusing to have around. Continually looking for entertainment, this cat will always find new ways to kill time. They love exploring the top of every piece of furniture you own and playing with pretty much any 'toy' they get their paws on.
2. They LOVE water! Savannah genuinely enjoys a little dip under the faucet, a splash in the toilet or an actual swim in your bath. You name it, your Savannah is down for it!
3. They are chatty. Much like their Siamese relative, the Savannah is not shy in terms of sounds. They will meow, chirp and hiss as much as needed to communicate their feelings to you.
4. The laws governing ownership of Savannah cats vary upon the state. The ownership restrictions over hybrid animals are not uniform across the United States. Some states consider the breed domesticated after a certain number of generations, while other completely forbid the ownership of this cat. It is important to keep this in mind if you're considering this cat as a pet.
5. They are the tallest domestic cats. So far, two Savannah cats have held the Guinness World Record titles for Tallest Domestic Cat. Troubles was the first holder, measured at 19 inches and crowned in 2013. He was surpassed in 2017 by Arcturus measured at just over 19 inches.
The Savannah is a breath-taking cat. Not only are they one of the most affectionate and loving companion animals we know, but they are also truly entertaining. Always on the lookout for a new adventure, this kitty will bring a tremendous amount of laughter into every home! Do you have a 'little' Savannah in your home? Share your photos with us, we would love to meet your bundle of joy!For more introductions to cat breeds, please follow our tag BREEDS below.