About Savannahs

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Email – Jungletouch@comcast.net

What is A Savannah Cat?

A Savannah cat is a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat. The savannah ancestor, the African Serval is a tall, lanky cat with large ears, bold black spots, a long neck, and a short tail. The goal of a savannah breeder is to try and replicate the African Serval as close as they can. They are one of the newest and most exciting breeds of cats, currently being developed by a select group of breeders from around the world. The Savannah, in spite of its exotic heritage, is considered a domestic breed. There are still relatively few Savannahs in existence compared to other established breeds, and the demand for them is quite high.

Do Savannahs Get Along Well With Other Pets or Children?

Absolutely! If raised in a home with well behaved children and pets, a Savannah kitten will thrive and are often seen sleeping with those they own.

What is a Savannah’s Temperament Like?

Savannah Cats have very loving and outgoing personalities and are commonly compared to dogs in their loyalty. They will follow their owners around the house like a canine. They can also be trained to walk on a leash, and even fetch.

They are highly intelligent cats and learn quickly. A Savannah is happiest being a family member that is involved in every activity, rather than being just a usual house pet.

They definitely love water and have surprised many an owner with a spontaneous visit in the running shower.

How Big Does A Savannah Get?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to size in Savannah Cats. The size depends much on the size and type of their parents and also of the percentage of wild blood they have from the Serval. I have an F2 female that is only 8 or 9 pounds. There is no guarantee on size and it is nearly impossible to predict as the same breeding can produce both large and smaller savannah kittens in different litters.

The biggest cats are F1 Savannahs and males of the F2 Generations. They get about 1 to 2 ½ times larger than regular house cats, with their weight ranging from 13 to 28 pounds. F3 males are often still considerably bigger than a regular house cat but many are the same size of a domestic cat.

F3 females and all cats of further generations decrease in size but keep their long legs, big ears and the wild appearance. Savannahs can take up to 3 years to reach their full size. After the F3 generation, it is common for to see savannahs the same size as domestic cats.

If you absolutely must have a large cat you should choose an F1 or F2 male for sure. After that there are no guarantees that any savannah will be a large cat. Some cats will fall outside these numbers

Generation Height @ Shoulder Approx. Weight
F1 (50%) 16-20 inches 13-28 lbs
F2 (25% ) 13-16 inches 11-25 lbs
F3 (12.5% ) 12-14.5 inches 9-16 lbs
F4 (6.25% ) 11-13 inches 7-15 lbs
F5 (3.12% ) domestic in size but a few have been known to get to 18 pounds

Diet & Health Care

Savannahs do very well on a high quality dry cat food supplemented with canned wet food and some raw (or cooked) meat.

Stay away from kibble with grains in it like soy, wheat, and corn. Please try and stay away from grocery store brand dry cat foods as they are all mostly fillers and very low quality.

Savannah Breeders give the same vaccinations and veterinarian health care to their savannah cats as the domestic cat gets. I prefer to use “all killed” versus a “modified live” vaccination with my cats.
Of course, all of our savannah kittens are fully litter box trained and properly vaccinated before they go to their new owners.

How Much Does A Savannah Cost?

The price of a Savannah will vary depending on the quality of the individual cat. Our Savannahs will be individually priced based on gender, fertility, generation and type. Their cost will be noted with their pictures.

Higher percentage Savannahs (F1’s and F2’s) are rarer and often, very difficult to breed. It takes many years and a lot of luck to mate a Serval with a domestic cat. Only a few breeders worldwide have had success.

Servals are wild cats with special needs in terms of their caging requirements, their diet and their health care. Caring for pure Servals and mating them to domestic cats is costly, time consuming and demanding.

Following are average price ranges for PET kittens, breeders are priced higher: I do not produce F1’s. Most breeders are in this price range.

F2’s will range from $4500 – $5500
F3’s will range from $3000 – $4000
F4’s will range from $1500 – $2500
F5’s will range from $1200 – $2000
SBT will range from $1000 -$1500

Cats may at times be out of the specified price range for various reasons.

Understanding the generations

Most people know what the generations are but here is a simple explanation. All earlier (foundation) Savannahs have an F and a number associated with it to indicate how many generations it is from its Serval ancestor. The “F” stands for filial and the number tells the generations away from the Serval. When breeding the filial number drops down one from the lowest number.

F1 X F6 = F2
F4 X F7 = F5
F3 X F5 = F4 etc
F1 = one generation (50% Serval) Has a Serval Parent
F2 = two generations (25% Serval) Has a Serval Grandparent
F3 = three generations (12.5% Serval) Has a Serval Great Grandparent etc.

As a general rule, the lower the generation the closer to the size of a domestic cat. Nothing is ever 100% but don’t get your hopes up for a giant cat in the lower generations.

You will terms like ‘high generation’ or ‘low generation’. ‘High generation’ means that there is a higher Serval percentage and includes the F1, F2, F3; and ‘low generation’ means that there is a lower Serval percentage so F4, F5, F6, and so on.

The basic TICA codes

Some of the codes you will see may sound complicated but are actually quite easy to understand. They will A, B, C and SBT.

A – One parent is a (non-Savannah) domestic out cross
B – Both parents are Savannahs
C – Both parents and grandparents are all Savannahs
SBT – Parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are all Savannahs.

It is the SBT level that cats are eligible for showing within TICA (The International Cat Association) and the level that Savannah Cats are considered a true breed.

When breeding the letters always drop down one from the lowest letter. The progression to SBT is as follows:

A + A = B
B + B = C
C + C = SBT
A + B = B
B + SBT = C
A + C = B etc

I won’t go into the rest of the TICA codes as it might get confusing to understand. Brigitte Cowell Moyne has written a great PDF explaining the TICA codes.You can see it HERE


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What is the Savannah’s temperament like?

Savannah cats are intelligent, curious, loyal and very people oriented. They are high energy cats that need things to do, so lots of toys and places for them to climb are essential. Don’t expect your Savannah to be a lap cat or a cat that can sit still for long periods of time. They need regular interaction and exercise, and games that involve running and jumping. Many people say they are “dog like” but that is not quite correct. They are fairly easy to train to walk on a leash, like to play in water, follow you all over the house and can learn to play fetch but other than that, they act like cats. :) Socialization is very important for a Savannah Kitten. Most breeders do fabulous jobs of socializing their kittens. Continuing to socialize them with new people is a good idea.

Why is the Savannah Cat so expensive?

This is a question that many people ask. Savannahs are a remarkable breed and breeders had to overcome many obstacles to get this breed started. It is a fairly new breed (just over 20 years old) that was created by crossing domestic cats of various breeds with an African Serval. Pricing can depend on location (one close to you), the breeder and the quality of the cat as well as generation, color, pattern, sex, whether show quality and if a pet or breeder.

Creating the first generation (F1’s) is a very difficult endeavor. Only a handful of breeders have been successful. There is a gestation difference between the Servals and domestics. It takes a lot of work and a pile of money to find a domestic that can carry to term as well as finding a Serval that has an interest in breeding a domestic. Breeders have put a lot of time, care, financial investment and energy into creating an F1 program. The number of F1’s available each year is limited. The supply is low and the demand is high.

There is a lot of cost that goes into making F1’s. There is the price of a Serval that ranges from $4000.00 to $5500.00. Then there is the acquisition of the domestics and savannahs that are being used in the breeding programs. Raw food diets and vitamins for the Servals and high quality dry and wet food the females, as well as large enclosures that are very pricey to build and maintain factor in as well. Add vet bills and bottle feeding to the mix and you will see a lot of money going out the door before ever having the first F1 born. These costs have to be maintained for up to 2 years before a Serval might even begin to have an interest in breeding. If the male Serval doesn’t breed, a breeder will have to start over with a new Serval male.

How much do savannah cats cost?
Price depends on many, many factors so I will simplify the cost by making chart for a broad price range below. The higher the percentages of Serval blood in a generation, the higher the price. I have seen F1’s from 50 % to 78% Serval. Price range will include all percentages of each generation. The range will also include pet and breeder cats. Almost all F1 females are sold as breeders. The lower price is for pets only and the higher prices are breeder only. Some breeders may price kittens outside of this price range.

Are there other cost considerations when purchasing a Savannah?
Yes, there will be other cost. A few breeders will microchip kittens before leaving but most do not. You will have the cost of neutering and micro chipping once you receive your new forever fur baby. There also may be shipping cost if you are not close enough to drive. Shipping runs between $300.00 and $400.00 on average for all shipping cost (airfare, crate, health certificate, and rabies). Breeders will also require a vet visit within 72 hours of you receiving your new kitten for the health guarantee. Savannahs also require a higher quality food that is grain free. This food is more expensive
I have seen the same generation with a lot of different prices. Why is there a price difference?

There are many reasons for the price difference. Quality, coloring, male or female, pet or breeder and age are all factors. Quality should play the largest part in price in the way kittens are priced. A kitten that has large ears, golden coat, black spots and conforms to the standard should command a higher price. A kitten that has small ears, spots not well defined, with a ticked background coat and a round head would not be as close to the standard, therefore less money. It would be wise to for anyone wishing to purchase a pet or breeder to study the savannah cat standard to learn about type (head, ear, tail, coloring and body shape). Things such as a crooked tail, lockets (unwanted white spots), off colored (cinnamons, blues, reds etc), not conforming to standard etc are a few things that might reduce the price on a given kitten.

A breeder that pays top dollar for the best breeding stock will most likely be asking a higher price. The kittens that are closer to the breed standard and will of course cost more. Some kitten in the same litter can also be priced differently. Some may not be the expectations the breeders was looking for or be close enough to the breed standard to command top dollar. That does not mean the kittens will not be exotic looking or have any less than a great personality. Some Savannahs kittens may be priced higher but are not always a higher quality kitten. That means is the breeder is asking a top dollar and not taking quality into the quotient. It is imperative that a buyer do their best to research what a good quality savannah should look like. Check kittens on different pages that look similar and see what the pricing is. Contact multiple breeders and ask questions. You can join savannah cat lovers on Facebook as well. There are a lot of the top breeders there. You can ask questions and see the pics people post (there are lots and lots) and learn what you are looking for in a savannah.

Gary Fulgham
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