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How big will my Savannah get?

 



The average Savannah is not significantly larger than your average housecat.  They are often between 10-20lbs, with the earlier generations being on the higher end of the scale.  There have been the occasional huge Savannah being 20+lbs, but this is not common.  They are usually males of the F1-F3 generation, and is a fluke of genes.  These cats are in EXTREMELY high demand and their price reflects this. While many breeders do have large size as one of their breeding goals, finding a very large Savannah can be difficult and costly.  Be aware, that no breeder can guarantee size, however your chances of getting a large cat are increased if the parents are large and/or have consistently produce kittens that are large as adults.  Also, Savannahs tend to be long, tall, and slender, and it is their TALLNESS that makes them appear large, rather than their weight.  Unfortunately there have been some sensationalized photos and stories of huge Savannahs, which have made people think all Savannahs are huge.  And while a big cat is certainly impressive, it is not what makes a Savannah so different from other cats.


What makes a Savannah unique?


Apart from their exotic appearence, the thing that really holds a Savannah highly in their owners' affections is their temperament, or personality.  There really is nothing quite like a Savannah cat.  Bold yet friendly, confident and inquisitive, interactive and playful, outgoing and affectionate.  I often think if a Savannah had a human profession, they'd be detectives or investigators of some sort.  They are full of limitless energy, and always want to be a part of anything you are doing, especially if it is something new.  Some Savannahs love water, others don't.  Some Savannahs will fluff up the base of their tails and/or hair on their backs when excited or happy, and in greeting.  Some will chirp like Servals or meow like a domestic, or both.   Most Savannahs are incredible jumpers and like to be up high.  If you're looking for a cat that will always be around you, to play or cuddle, then a Savannah is for you.  If you want a cat that will race around your house irrespective of lamps, knick-knacks and other things in their way, the Savannah is for you.  If you want a cat that will make you laugh, keep you busy, act like a clown, shower you with love, and is always happy to see you, a Savannah is for you.  If however you want a quiet, aloof cat that will sit about and look beautiful, never get into anything they shouldn't, never disturb you or talk to you, then a Savannah is most definitely NOT the cat for you! 


Why are Savannahs so expensive?


The main reason for this is the difficulty in producing foundation cats (Serval x Domestic) and in male fertility issues.  Because of the differences in chromosomes and gestation periods between the Serval and a Domestic cat, many pregnancies fail.  The embryos are reabsorbed, miscarried, stillborn or born prematurely and die when the father is a Serval.  But, without the foundation cats, the Savannah breed would not exist.  Also, male Savannahs are not fertile until the F5 and F6 generation.  There have been a handful of fertile F4 males, but these are few and far between.  So, the expense of running an F1 program, with all necessary permits to own a Serval, puts the cost of these cats very high.  As you get into later generations further from the Serval, the price goes down. 



What does F1, F2, F3, etc. mean?

 



The "F" is the filial generation of the cat, or how far removed from the Serval a cat is.   An F2 has a Serval grandfather, F3 have a Serval as a greatgrandfather, and so on down the line.  F1 are foundation cats, and always have a Serval father.


 

What does "A", "B", "C", and "SBT" mean?

 



The letters listed after the F generations indicate how far back an outcross has been used in a particular cat.  An "A" cat has a parent that is a non-Savannah.  So, an F1 Savannah will always be an "F1A" cat since a Serval is a non-savannah.  "B" indicates one or more grandparents are non-Savannahs, but both parents are Savannahs;  so they have one generation of Savannah-to-Savannah breeding.  "C" indicates 2 generations of Savannah-to-Savannah breeding, so one or more greatgrandparent is non-Savannah.  "SBT" means "stud book tradition" and indicates a cat with a 3 generation pedigree of all Savannahs.  This is what T.I.C.A. (the international cat association) considers a purebred cat, and is one of our breeding goals in the Savannah breeding community.


 


 

Does a Savannah require any special care or food?

 



A Savannah requires pretty much the same care and diet as any domestic breed of cat.  A premium brand of high-quality kibble, or Raw and/or homemade diets properly supplemented with balanced vitamins are all acceptable ways to feed your Savannah.  It really depends on what you prefer to feed, and what the cat is willing to eat.  I prefer to use premium kibble for its convenience and lack of preparation, though I do suppliment with Raw.


The two main differences with Savannahs is they seem to require a higher than normal amount of taurine, and they seem to be sensitive to sedatives.  Taurine is inexpensive and any excess is excreted in the urine.  Sedatives should be used only when absolutely necessary, and NEVER ketamine, as this drug has caused fatalities in savannahs.


 

 

When will my Savannah reach fullsize?

 



This varies from cat to cat, but generally by 1-2yrs of age.  The early generation cats tend to mature slower as they are closer to their Serval ancestors, so can take up to 3 years before they are fully matured.


 

Can I let my Savannah outside?

 



If you allow your Savannah outdoors, it should be allowed to do so only in a completely enclosed area set aside for them.  The area needs to be enclosed by proper, secure wire fencing not only vertically like a standard fence, but also the ceiling fence to ensure they cannot escape.  It is very easy for a Savannah to stray from home, never to be seen again, or stolen, or even mistaken as a wild animal and trapped/killed.  Letting your cat roam also presents the danger of disease or injury from other animals and wildlife, and getting hit by a car.  All reputable breeders have in their contracts specific details outlining that the kittens they sell you can only be permitted outside in these types of enclosures or walked on a leash with securely fitted harness and only while supervised.


 

Why do I need to keep my Savannah confined to one room for 2 weeks when I first bring him/her home?

 



There are several reasons for this.  First, it is important that your Savannah bond with you, rather than other pets in the home, and by having only contact with you for the first few weeks, you become the center of your new cat's world.  Also, if you have other pets, it is important that they are kept separate in case your new kitten/cat has brought any illnesses with them.  Two weeks will be enough time for most illnesses to surface.  If you have other pets, it is important for them to be introduced slowly and in a stressfree manner.  If you have a kitten, bringing him/her into a home they have never seen before, after being separated from their mother and littermates can be overwhelming.  By confining the cat to one room, you make him/her more comfortable.  Also in the case of a kitten, it continues good litterbox habits.  If a kitten is allowed to roam an unfamiliar house or apartment with many rooms, they can become lost and unsure of where the litterbox is.  When a kitten has to go, they have to go NOW, and if they can't locate a litterbox in short order, they'll select what they think is the next best thing.