about savannah cat breed
The Savannah is an active, confident cat who enjoys interacting with people and other cats. Intelligent and curious, he is always looking for something interesting to do, the more adventurous the better. Provide him with plenty of tough, sturdy toys and frequent playtimes, or you will probably discover that he can be quite destructive.
He bonds strongly to his family and makes every effort to be with them, including learning to walk on leash or retrieve toys. When he’s not displaying his affection by giving a few headbutts, he might be seeking out water to play in. This is a happy, entertaining cat who does best with a person who will enjoy playing and interacting with him. When raised with them, he can get along well with kids, other cats and friendly dogs.
The Savannah’s short coat is easy to groom with weekly brushing or combing. Trim the nails and clean the ears as needed, and don't forget to brush the teeth.
Other Quick Facts
- The Savannah has a long body with long legs, but he’s about the same size as any other large domestic cat.
- The Savannah is a spotted cat with bold, solid, dark-brown to black spots that can be round, oval or elongated. A series of parallel stripes fan out slightly over the back, and the spotting pattern follows the line of the stripes from the shoulders and continues the length of the body. Smaller spots cover the face, legs and feet.
- A Savannah can be black, brown spotted tabby, black silver spotted tabby or black smoke. Black Savannahs are solid black but may have faint “ghost spots” that can be seen beneath the black color.
The History of the Savannah
A kitten sired by a serval (a small African wild cat) on a female domestic cat in 1986 was the beginning of the Savannah as a breed. This first-generation cross was named Savannah, and when breeder Patrick Kelly heard about her, he decided to create a new breed. Kelly and fellow breeder Joyce Sroufe began a breeding program and wrote a standard for the new cats.
The Savannah was recognized as a breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2012.
Savannah Temperament and Personality
The Savannah is a lovely cat who’s full of personality, but he’s definitely not the cat for everyone, or for first-time cat owners. A Savannah is highly intelligent, curious and active, qualities that require a lot of patience to live with. He demands a lot of interaction and will find ways to make you give it to him if you aren’t on the ball enough to provide it without asking. For instance, he might learn to set off the alarm on your clock-radio to make you come running to turn it off.
This is a cat with a sense of humor and likes a good joke, especially if it’s at your expense. He likes to climb up high—higher than you might have thought a cat could go—then push things down onto you. He likes to hide, assuming that you can’t see him, and then tag you when you’re not looking. Or he might drop his favorite toy into whatever you’re drinking, to make a splash and cause you to have to fish it out.
At bedtime, the Savannah will of course share your bed, snuggling in under the covers if he’s cold. Others might perch at the top of your head, spoon against your back, or bring favorite toys to bed with them.
This is a cat who needs a lot of vertical territory. Savannahs love to climb, the higher the better. Provide them with tall cat trees and window perches.
Besides being athletic, Savannahs are also highly intelligent and enjoy the attention that comes with being clicker-trained. Challenge their brain and keep them interested in life by teaching them tricks and games and providing them with interactive toys or puzzle toys that will reward them with kibble or treats when they learn how to manipulate them.
Always choose a kitten from a breeder who raises litters in the home and handles them from an early age. Meet at least one and ideally both of the parents to ensure that they have nice temperaments.
The Basics of Savannah Grooming
Savannahs have a short, luxurious, soft coat that is easy to care for with weekly brushing. He will love the attention, and if you brush him more often you will find fewer dust bunnies and hairballs around the house.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually weekly. Check the ears every week for redness or a bad smell that could indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth frequently at home with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath, and schedule veterinary dental cleanings as needed. Start brushing, nail trimming and teeth brushing early so your kitten becomes accepting of this activity.