Watch the mannerisms of a Savannah cat for a little while, and you begin to notice their behavior reminds you of another animal you know-a dog!
Do Savannah Cats Act Like Dogs? Yes, compared to other cat breeds, they do act like dogs. They display a love for water, enjoy plenty of exercise and active play, are known to bring their owners cat toys, and display lots of affection toward other people. These are traits many of us would associate with a dog instead of a cat.
The Savannah is certainly its own unique breed of cat. To fully understand their behavior, you have to understand the differences between an F1 and an F5 savannah. Keep on reading to learn about that and what kind of dog-like behavior these cats show.
So let's talk about the breed differences first and get to the dog-like behavior after that.
The personality and mannerisms of your Savannah cat will depend on their breed differences. We will break them down now with a bit of information about each and what you can expect from your particular cat’s generation.
The Savannah is a relatively new breed, the first kitten having been born on April 7, 1986. An African Serval was crossbred with a domestic cat and the offspring was named Savannah.
This first generation displayed the traits of the common domestic cat with the African Serval. In 2012, the International Cat Association finally accepted the breed as official.
The reason you see “F” is to show you how far removed the cat is from its Serval originations. Here is a listing to give you a better idea:
F1 means one parent was a serval-57% Serval
F2 means one grandparent was a serval-35% Serval
F3 means one great grandparent was a serval-21% Serval
F4 means one great great grandparent was a serval-16% Serval
F5 means one great great great grandparent was a Serval-11% Serval
The males in this group weigh about 17 to 25 pounds, and the females about 13 to 19 pounds. These cats are relatively easy to keep in your home. They will use the litter box just as you would expect a cat to do, and with training and proper toys, won’t destroy the house.
They are friendly cats that will bond with about one or two individuals and tend to stay away from strangers.
They have a super amount of energy and may enjoy walking outside on a lead with a harness. They love to check out and play with water-garden hoses, ponds, and even the tub are interesting to an F1.
The video below shows an F1 savannah cat walking on a leash. Weird-looking dog, right? Haha!
Males in this group are about 16 to 25 lbs., and females about 12 to 16 pounds. These cats are quite social and love to hang around immediate family, even kids.
They love to play around for hours and love to be pet. Although a bit shy at first, these Savannahs do warm up to visitors in the home but tend to keep their distance, “observing”. With proper litter training, they use the box as you would expect.
Want to see how dog-like F2 savannah cats are? Just watch the video below!
For this group, males weigh about 14 to 20 pounds, while females are about 10 to 13 pounds. This level loves to be with their family and are quite bonded with them.
They also love to be social with strangers, too. They may be lap kitties, one moment sitting with you and the next playing around just as you would expect of a kitten.
These are the best of both worlds: Owners get the beautiful wild look of the Savannah but the personality of a family cat.
F4 and F5 Savannahs
The weights of the males (14-20 lbs.) and females (10-13 lbs.) are the same as the F3. The personality and temperament is nearly identical to the F3, also. The difference is in the energy level-this type is very active and outgoing.
Also, this level of Savannah is considered highly intelligent and will amaze (and possibly tire out) their owners with how smart and playful they are. They are pleasant and sweet cats.
Why Are They Like Dogs? 4 Facts!
Now that you have a good understanding of the Savannah cat personality, we can understand a bit more about what it is these cats do that make them like dogs.
Firstly, it is important to understand the size of the Savannah. These cats are very big, and to somebody who does not know about this breed, they may think you are keeping an exotic animal in your home! For example, an F1 will measure about 14 to 17 inches tall.
Savannahs not only mimic the size of a small dog; they have the big heart commonly associated with the canine breed. Their loyalty is unmatched, and some are even known to follow the owners around the home, even into the shower.
And much like a dog, they can get pretty noisy.
Most cats are known for being on the quiet side, save for a few breeds. The Savannah, on the other hand, may be known to howl during the night.
1. They Love the Water
Indeed, we have mentioned this, but it’s amazing: The Savannah is one of few cat breeds that really love to be in the water. Much like dogs enjoy playing in creeks, plastic kiddie pools, and the sprinkler, the Savannah loves it, too.
Most cats will gingerly take a bath when it is time to do so-or outright refuse-but the Savannah will treasure her bath or water time.
You can find plenty of evidence of this-simply search for “Savannah cats in water” and enjoy several cute photos of these cats getting ready for the bath, playtime in the pool, or even enjoying time on a boat.
2. Savannahs Play Fetch
One really cool thing about Savannahs is that they enjoy playing fetch. Some owners report that they required no teaching-their cats naturally wanted to play the game using various toys their owners had picked up for them.
It is indeed a fun and entertaining way for your Savannah to enjoy time with you and bond with your family.
You can search for this using your favorite search engine and you will see plenty of videos of these cats having fun retrieving their favorite toys. And like dogs, they love to play for hours on end-so be ready for this high energy cat!
3. They Walk on A Leash
As shown above, Savannahs love to walk on a leash just like a dog does. Of course, this is not as easy as it would be for a dog-Savannahs are still cats, after all-but it can be done. Savannahs love to be out in the world exploring around and having them on a leash is the way to go.
Make sure you use a collar or better yet, a harness, that will be comfortable for the Savannah cat’s neck. The neck of a Savannah is not as thick as that of a dog, so it’s important to keep their comfort in mind. Also, they may not take to a harness as well as a dog might.
You should begin by practicing putting on and taking off the harness. Make sure you praise your Savannah for being good during this practice. Then, you can move on to short walks with the leash around the backyard or the house.
4. They Love to Play Outside
Do not leave your Savannah alone outside. Owners of dogs sometimes fence in their backyard so the dog can run around freely.
However, a Savannah cat can run up to 35 miles an hour and is capable of jumping up to eight feet, taller than the average fence. These animals are very curious, and if strayed too far away from their home, may not be able to find their way back.
Much like dogs enjoy chasing squirrels and cars, Savannahs love to see what’s going on in the world around them and should always be on a leash when they play outside. Aside from hazards like cars, there are people who would steal your cat to simply make a profit off its beauty.
The Savannah is one of the most beautiful, intelligent and interesting cats you will ever have the pleasure of knowing. To own one is not for the faint of heart and requires lots of work, but the rewards are numerous when it comes to their intelligence, loyalty and high levels of energy.