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Home Cat FAQ Are Savannah Cats Dangerous? What To Keep In Mind

Are Savannah Cats Dangerous? What To Keep In Mind

by Kamini

Are savannah cats dangerous?Cats are notorious for being great hunters, but can certain breeds of pet cats be dangerous? Big felines do not make us doubt their prowess, but how about the more wild pet breeds like the Savannah? They are part wild and part domesticated. Can their temperament be trusted with children, elders, and other pets?

To answer the question, Savannah cats aren’t dangerous but need appropriate play and stimulation, as  they can be destructive if they feel bored. Savannah cats ‘wildness’ tends to decrease with each generation removed from the initial crossbreed between an African serval and domestic house cat. This is called the Filial Generationl; an F1 generation cat will retain more wild instincts than an F5 generation Savannah cat.

Now, you must be thinking, which generation of Savannah cat should you bring home? Also, if they have destructive habits, how does one curb them?

Knowing Subtle Differences Between All The Generations

Savannah cats are a crossbreed of African serval and domestic cats, and this combination brings the African serval’s soft and luxurious coat, active nature, and trainable personality in combination with the more domesticated house cat.

The wild nature and unpredictable temperament of the serval is cut down by mixing them with the domestic cat’s genes.

As a rule of thumb, male Savannah cats are generally bigger than females of the same generation. F1 to F5 Savannah males are generally sterile, so females are chosen to be bred.

Older generations (F1-F4) are usually bigger than the younger ones (F5-F8). F1 Savannah cats are typically bigger than F5 or F8.

The older the generation, the wilder instincts they will retain. But it hardly changes anything about their overall personality.

They are intelligent, social, and known for their ability to jump high. Younger generations are more social than older ones. Their persona can match with that of a dog, and they tend to follow their owners around the house.

Handling These Hyperactive Babies

Calling them active will be an understatement. They will adore you and will be ready to play most of the time. You might get tired, but they wouldn’t. Be sure you are prepared for the time and space commitment to provide enough stimulation and play for your Savannah. Having another cat or dog in the home is helpful for them, as long as they are socialized with other animals early in life.

Their high spirit in sports is compatible with that of high energy dog breeds. While people are often attracted to their exotic appeal, their hyperactive personality is a part of the package.

They can jump up to 8 feet in height and prefer running and jumping around. They are very intelligent and will learn their way around the house well – from opening a door to opening a lid.

You will need to baby-proof and childproof your house before you plan to adopt them. The older generations are more notorious for mischief than the younger ones.

They don't do well left home alone, so it is important that you have ample time and patience for them.

Selecting The Right Generation Of Savannah Cat For Your Household

Savannah cats are hyperactive, but it doesn’t mean they cannot be trained. Rather, they can be very obedient and a joy to their owners.

If you want your Savannah cats to be more social with guests and others, you would need to socialize them from their kitten-age.

If you are a person who stays home and can afford to dedicate most of their time to training your cat, then you can handle cats from F3 to F5 generation. Since they are such social creatures, you should have someone at home or with them most of the time.

F1 and F2 generations of cats tilt more towards the wild side. If you are a first-time Savannah owner, or do not have someone helping with experience, as well as the time and patience to tame them or work around their behavior, then do not go for them.

This is a large breed of pet cat, and they can grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh 25 pounds. Their size combined with high energy means they can be heavy to handle, literally.

Generation F5 to F8 retain attractive traits of Savannah cats while also having the temperament and size of a domestic cat.

They are social and are friendly towards children as well. They are also compatible with other pets (but not recommended with pets smaller than they are).

Curbing Their Destructive Behavior

A bored cat is a destructive cat. When it comes to Savannah cats, they can bring the whole house down.

Every cat has the potential to be destructive, especially if they don’t find enough physical and mental stimulation. A Savannah cat demands more compared to other wild breeds of cat.

This is how you can prepare your environment to prevent destructive behavior:

  1. Give them high perches to rest on. They like an aerial view of everything and everyone they love.
  2. Give them suitable scratch posts (horizontal and vertical), in a variety of materials (cardboard or sisal) to keep them clawing off your furniture.
  3. Spend time with them, pet them when they want, and play with them.
  4. When selecting toys for them, go for something sturdy and flexible. It shouldn’t break into pieces and get ingested by them, as they can play rough. Since they like to play rough with their toys, get them something that would last their bites and claws.
  5. Childproof everything. They are very smart and will observe everything. Their curious nature will find a way out of unsecured areas.
  6. Treat them when you train them. Positive reinforcement works well with Savannah cats. Punishment should be avoided.
  7. If you want to make their playtime more enjoyable, you can teach them how to play fetch with you. Since they have their prey instincts high, they will catch on to it. Start training with throwing treats.
    The more they exert their physical energy, the less likely they engage in destructive behavior
  8. You can also leash-train them and take them out for walks if it is safe. They would like some fresh air and the outdoors can be mentally stimulating. But, be very careful and use a good quality leash that doesn’t hurt them or risk allowing an escape.
  9. Make sure you look out for physical signs of distress if they are being destructive beyond these measures. This could mean they are going through some medical problem. Check with a vet in such situations.

Neutering also calms down and helps in reducing their destructive behavior. Even though F1 to F5 male Savannah cats are sterile, they still need to be neutered, as their hormones are still active.

Also, try to keep them indoors or on a leash when going out. They can get hit by vehicles and they can wander off in the wild if they get out.

While they're famous for looking like wild cats, they are crossbred to be compatible with an indoor lifestyle.

Related Questions

Are Savannah cats legal? It varies from country to country. In the USA, Savannah cats are legal in some states and illegal in some other states. It depends on which country you reside in and what are the laws for adopting an exotic cat. In some cases, you are required to have a license to adopt a Savannah cat.

Can Savannah cats live with domestic cats? Yes, but they should have the same activity level. They bond well with other Savannah, Siamese, and Abyssinian cats. They also bond well with dogs of similar temperament. Smaller cats or lazier cats might find Savannahs overpowering.

Do Savannah cats like to cuddle? Savannah cats like to be petted and would love to play for hours. But they do not like to be held and are certainly not a lap cats. They detest any type of restriction, especially physical. But with positive reinforcement, you can make them tolerate gentle hugs.

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