Cats are notorious but can certain breed of cats be dangerous? Big felines do not make us doubt about their prowess, but how about breeds like 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 they can be destructive if they feel boredom. Savannah cats ‘wildness’ tends to water down with each generation called Filial Generation. F1 generation cat will retain more wild instincts than 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 it? We will get into it in a while.
Knowing Subtle Differences Between All The Generations
Savannah cats are a crossbreed of African serval and domestic cats. African serval’s coat, active nature, and physical characteristics are much in demand and desired.
Their wild nature and unpredictable temperament are cut down by mixing them with 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 and females were mostly chosen to be breed.
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 instinct they will retain. But it hardly changes anything about their overall personality.
They are intelligent, active, and social. Younger generations are more social than older ones. Their persona can match with that of a dog.
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.
Their high-spirit in sports is compatible with that of dogs. This is one of the reasons why it can get difficult to handle them.
People might be attracted towards their exotic appeal, but their hyperactive persona is a part of the package.
They are high-achievers – they can jump up to 8 feet of height and prefer running and jumping around. They are very intelligent and will know around their ways – 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 than the younger ones.
They would need your attention most of the time and hence, 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 since their kitten-age.
If you are a person who stays home and can afford to dedicate most of their time training these cats, then you can handle cats from F3 to F5 generation. Since they always lookout for a company, you should have someone at home or with them most of the time.
F1 and F2 generation of cats tilt more towards the wild side. If you do not have experience, time, or patience to tame them or work around their behavior, then do not go for them.
They can be very active and would need your attention. Plus, 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 any pet 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 handle the situation with care.
- Give them high perches to rest on. They like an aerial view of everything and everyone they love.
- Give them suitable scratch posts (horizontal and vertical) to keep them clawing off your furniture.
- Spend time with them, pet them when they want, play with them.
- When selecting toys for them, go for something sturdy and flexible. It shouldn’t break into pieces and get ingested by them.
Since they like to play rough with their toys, get them something that would last their bites and claws.
- Childproof everything. They are very smart and will observe everything. Their curious nature will find a way out of unsecured areas.
- Treat them when you train them. Positive reinforcement works well with Savannah cats.
- 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.
The more they exert their physical energy, the less likely they engage in destructive behavior
- 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 breaks apart.
- 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 positively affects 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.
Both of these conditions are dangerous for the Savannah. They are crossbred to be compatible with the indoor lifestyle.
Are Savannah cats legal? 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 supposed 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 as the other. They bond well with another Savannah, Siamese, and Abyssinian cats. They also bond well with dogs of similar temperament. Smaller cats or lazier cats might find Savannah’s 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 cat. They detest any type of restriction, especially physical. But with positive reinforcement, you can make them tolerate your hugs.