When you can’t decide between getting a cat or a dog, there is one solution – get them both. This might seem like an impossible feat since we are made to learn that cats and dogs are mortal enemies.
When you mix and match temperaments, odd compatibility rises between cats and dogs. So would a Savannah cat get along with a dog?
To answer that question in short –yes, but there are conditions. Most of its breeds hail from a wild gene. An F1-F2 generation of Savannah would find it difficult to mingle with a dog, but an F3 will have a ball with them. A Savannah from F3-F8 will make for a good companion with similar temperament dogs.
If you know which generation of Savannah to choose for your dog or vice versa, then you can make it happen. We will guide you on factors that will make this mix and match a success.
Understanding The Generation Gaps In Savannah Cats
Savannah cats come from breeding African Serval with a domesticated cat. The genes, as well as the traits, outcross each other to make less-wild and exotic-looking cat.
These Savannah cats are distinguished by their Filial Generation numbers ranging from F1 to even F8. F1 and F2 generation of cats are closer to their wild genes than F5 or F8 generation.
F1 generation will acquire most of the animal and wild instincts of an African Serval. F2 will have slightly watered down wild traits.
The ‘wildness’ or their temperament-unpredictability will become less and less prominent as each generation is born.
Of course, most of the time, a savannah cat that is less wild is more likely to get along with dogs well. However, it also depends on the individual character of the savannah cat.
F5 Savannahs will get along better with dogs than F1 or F2
Savannah cats can live up to 15 years of age. This can be extended to even 20 years. F1 and F2 generation of Savannahs are known to have their wild streak on till the end of their life.
Generations from F3 to F5 will exhibit a lower level of wildness. F5 to F8 will have a domesticated temperament with reserved exotic looks.
Here, wild means their unpredictability, independent streak, and stubborn behavior, which will be hard to tame.
Only those people who have some experience in rearing wild animals should go for F1 or F2 generation of Savannah. They also tend to be less social and reserved to their ‘person’.
F3 to F5 cats are more sociable with a little percentage of their wild streak. They are not difficult to tame, but it is anyway a challenge. But once tamed to obedience, they exhibit more desirable traits.
F5 to F8 cats are more easy to tame and easy to train. They are the friendliest of the other generation groups.
It is also important to note that F1 to F3 generations are bigger in size and they tend to grow shorter as the generation proceeds. We will elaborate on why this is important in the next section.
Choosing A Savannah For Your Household With A Dog
A lot depends on the order of adoption and the temperament of your existing pet. If you already have a dog in your home, then take note of its temperament – is it active? Does it prefer high activity or low activity? Is it small or big? Is it friendly or does it get aggressive?
F1 to F3 generation of cats will be good with dogs with similar temperaments and sizes. The dogs shouldn’t be too tiny for the Savannah, else there will be a chance of the dog getting bullied in a corner.
If your dog is big and aggressive, then having a Savannah from generation F3 to F5 might help, as they will not be keen on hurting the dog back for safety.
F5 to F8 generation of cats are usually friendly and hence, they are easier to adapt to a new household and pets.
They might become best friends with your dog if your dog has a similar spark of joy. But if it is big and aggressive, it might take a while to get to that point.
Familiarizing Your Dog With The Savannah
If your dog came first in the household, it will take time to accept the new member. Savannah cats will adapt to the new rules easily if they are from the generation ranging from F3 to F8. F1 and F2 are more reserved and need more care during introduction and interaction.
However, if you had a Savannah first, you need to protect the dog from the wrath of the cat. They are very territorial and will not accept the dog immediately or as warmly as a dog.
If you are adopting a small breed of dog and have a big Savannah waiting for you to get home, then things might cook up.
In every case, it is indeed possible to familiarize them with each other if not deep friendship. They both will be loyal to you and will learn to tolerate the presence of the other.
If you have other pets such as fishes, hamsters, parrots or mice, then make sure to secure those areas tightly to save them from the hunting eyes of the Savannah.
Tips To Break The Ice Between Your Savannah Cat And Your Dog
When you introduce your dog to a Savannah or vice versa, make sure you always have a watchful eye over them. It will take time to fully trust them alone with each other, especially if they have a size or temperament difference.
Choose A Meeting Room
Keep the new one in a secure cage while introducing. Initially, there should be one common room for them to meet and interact. The old member will gather all the biological details through sniffing and questioning in their own language.
Watch Their Behavior
Observe how they react to each other. There can be cases where both parties are curious to know each other. In another scenario, one can be interested and the other can be disinterested or even aggressive. Then in the third scenario, both of them can be aggressive.
Start With Short Sessions
If both of them are aggressive, then keep the guarded interaction as short as 2-5 minutes. Gradually increase the time limit, as they start to tolerate each other more and more.
Each Pet Should Have Its Own Space
Make sure they both have their separate space to roam around and be themselves. They shouldn’t feel threatened by the presence of another. Interact with them in their designated space.
Do not punish either of them if they start to react negatively. Give them a treat for every positive reaction or action.
Supervise Them Until They Are Completely Calm
Keep a keen eye on them and do not let them be alone with each other. Train them not to go over to each other’s space.
Are Savannah cats like dogs?
In terms of commonly known traits that we associate with dogs such as friendliness, playfulness, loyalty, and obedience – then yes. F5 to F8 generation of Savannahs often display traits similar to that of dogs.