A highly energetic Savannah is capable of giving an abundant amount of affection via headbutts, enthusiastic meowing, and following you around the house. But are Savannah cats lap cats? Do they enjoy being warm and cozy in the lap of their pet-parent?
Most of the Savannah cats are not lap cats. Since they exhibit an active nature, holding steady at one place might seem restrictive to them. Their curious ears tingle at every noise and movement, so it is difficult to keep them in your lap for long. However, they enjoy being petted and adoring you in a distance.
All Savannahs are not the same. Their generational gaps make a big difference in their temperament. Which generation of Savannah is more likely to tolerate your display of affection? How do we make them a little more tolerant of our love language?
Understanding Temperamental Difference Through Generation Gap
Savannah cats are an offspring of an African Serval mated with a domesticated cat. The first litter that came out of this union was categorized as F1.
When F1 mates with another domesticated cat, they carry forward a generation with a litter of F2 Savannah cats and this process goes on till F8.
F here denotes Filial generation and the numeral tells us how close they are to their wild genes. An F1 generation of Savannah will retain 50%-75% of their wild genes.
The wild gene makes it harder for a pet-parent to tame them. This also gives them an unpredictable temperament. The percentage lowers as the generation moves forward.
F1 and F2 generation of Savannahs are more socially reserved and have retained most of their wild genes than the others. They are supposed to be in a household where people know how to ethically tame a wild animal. This generation is not for everyone.
However, F3-F5 generation lies somewhere in the middle range, having 50-50 of both domestic and wild traits.
F5 to F8 will be a lot tamer and a lot more social having the least amount of wild traits. This makes it easier to train them.
They Might Not Like Sitting On Your Lap – They Will Probably Do This To Show You Love
Be it F1 or F8 generation of Savannah, they all love to play! Most of them like to play roughhouse, exhaust themselves physically, and be curious about the things around them.
They definitely don’t like to be bored. It is important to them that they remain engaged physically and mentally.
Being an active breed, they are going to remain active until the end of their time. If you cannot match up to their activity level, then do not adopt them.
They are generally friendly to people and pets. Only F1 and F2 generation reserve their love and trust to one or two people.
They all love to be petted and would give you affectionate head-butts. They will also chase you around like you mean the world to them. They will never be tired for a playing session.
At the end of the day, they might snuggle up just right beside you. They also enjoy outdoors and can be leash trained.
They are highly intelligent and will know their way around most of the things. They will quickly figure out how to open drawers, take the lid off and open doors with their paws. It is important to childproof your home.
Do not let them out without a leash. They tend to get curious and would get lost in the outside, diminishing their chances of coming back.
Finding Middle Ground To Difference In Display Of Affection
There is one thing that all the generations of Savannah loathes, being picked or restricted in any way. Their curious nature perceives it as a threat to their freedom.
It is quite predictable that your Savannah wouldn’t appreciate being ‘held down’ in a hug. They like to display love in their own terms.
However, making them tolerate your display of affection for 5 minutes is the middle ground that they can submit to. Making that transition will take a bit of effort from your side.
If you are up for a challenge then here is how you can make it happen.
- Start with petting them. Pet them from their head to tail. Repeat this as frequently as you can. Make them comfortable with your touch. This is the first step in breaking the ice.
- Play with them and make them come to your lap by directing playthings there. It might be uncomfortable with F1 to F3 cats since they are bigger in size than an average-sized domestic cat.
- When they sit on your lap, give them a treat and pet them. It doesn’t matter if it starts with 10 seconds, it should start anyhow.
- With enough patience and training, you will reach the 5-minute mark of affection.
One should never force their love on a cat, which they do not approve of. You need to respect their space and pace.
If you force them, they will feel more repelled by the action. This will be counter-effective. Also, do not punish them if they do not choose to come to your lap.
Personal Experiences Of Savannah Cats Owners – Lap cats after all?
There are a lot of forums where we found various Savannah parents’ experiences on taming them to be a lap cat. Here are a few pearls of wisdom and hilarity that they have to share.
Jeburr27 on SavannahCatChat has two Savannahs – one of them being a cuddly one and another who plays by his own rules. However, neither of them likes to be picked up or carried.
PolinaKarakostova, who has a pure F3 along with one big dog, two cats, and an African hedgehog, has penned down her experience on Quora.
She has observed that Savannah cats are not generally a lap cat but they are affectionate in other ways such as giving you company on your couch to chasing you around the house.
Another user on SavannahCatChat, Brigette Cowell, has a pearl of wisdom to share.
She is affirmative that Savannahs are not lap cats because they do not like staying put in one place for hours. She also enlightened the readers that a high energy kitten/cat, like Savannahs, would prefer playing as a bonding activity more than cuddling.
However, after exhausting themselves, they will snuggle right next to you.
Will My Savannah Never Sit On My Lap?
Just because Savannah cat’s are not known for being lap cats it doesn’t mean that your Savannah cat will never enjoy sitting on your lap and cuddling with you. It just means that you should not expect your Savannah cat to be like a Persian cat, for example.
Savannah cats love action and playing, but they also love their owners and being near them. Enjoy the short time it lasts. After a short while, they will want to play again. Just have a look at the video below!
Can Savannah cats live with domesticated cats? Savannah cats can live with other domesticated cats, especially if they have the same energy level. If they have a different temperament, make sure that you slowly introduce them to each other and make them familiarize with each other’s presence.
Do Savannah cats love to cuddle? While they are not a lap cat, they will love to snuggle beside you during the night. Some Savannah cats might prefer cuddling and some may not. This factor is entirely dependent on their personality and whom they like to cuddle with.
Can I let my Savannah cat outside? It is not recommended that you let them out on their own. Since they have a curious nature, it is easier for them to get lost while chasing something. This becomes especially dangerous in a busy city setting or in the wild. Always leash train them if you intend to take them out.