The Savannah is an exotic species of cat that can even make the cat adverse reconsider their hatred for cats. But, do Savannah cats make good pets?
They are loving and playful cats. A Savannah’s unique personality makes a fantastic addition to any family. However, they aren’t always the most natural pet. They can be pretty wild at times, they are very active and they need a lot of attention.
Other factors come into play when considering getting a Savannah. You need to take an honest look at your life and capabilities then gain an understanding of the Savannah cat to see if they fit into your life.
Because people overestimate their abilities, the Savannah ends up at the shelter a lot.
A little bit of research and thought will prevent another animal from going through this trauma. Read further to understand the Savannah cat, who should own one, and their filial numbers.
Also, the pros and cons of the Savannah so that you have a clear understanding of what to expect when you bring one home.
Who should get a Savannah cat and Filial numbers
The factors that contribute to whether the Savannah will be the right pet for you are numerous. It depends on how long you have been a cat owner, how far removed from their African serval ancestor the Savannah is, and how you acquired the Savannah.
How long have you been a cat owner?
If you are a more seasoned cat owner, then the Savannah will pose less of a problem for you. You understand a domesticated cat well enough, and odds are you have had that one cat that tested your limits on how much you like cats.
While the Savannah is closer to a wild animal than your domesticated kitty, they are highly intelligent and therefore assume their way is the best. Someone with experience can handle that type of training.
The Savannah is a relatively new breed of cat that is a mix of a domesticated cat and the African serval. As a result, their behavior is highly influenced by how far removed they are from their serval ancestor.
They are categorized as Savannah’s filial number or F-number. The smaller the number, the closer the cat is to their ancestors such as F1 or F2. Around F3, they start to show more domesticated traits while still maintaining the distinctions of the breed.
F1 and F2 are more for seasoned owners, while more novice owners can begin with F3. If you have no experience with cats, it’s best to stick to the higher removed Savannahs such as F5 to F8. The tamer the Savannah the smaller they become.
While all Savannahs are lithe, they will be nearer the size of a typical housecat.
How you acquire your Savannah
How social the Savannah is depended heavily on the early upbringing by the breeder. They need those first years of interacting with multiple humans and animals to adjust well to a household full of children and other animals.
Without it, they might become very territorial, especially to those that are smaller than it. The Savannah will also pout if left out of anything.
You should do a thorough search for someone who knows what they are doing or visit a shelter where licensed professions are in charge of its interactions. That’s not to say that they aren’t trainable.
If you find out that your Savannah is closer to their ancestor, don’t worry, they are intelligent so can be taught. It will just take patience and firmness on your hand to accomplish that.
Understand the pros and cons for a Savannah to know if they are the right cat for you.
They love their owners
They tend to very people-oriented cats who wild great their owners at the door. They are not the type to lay about and calmly sit in your lap. So if you are looking for a more serene kitty, then move along.
If you want a jokester in your house always keeping you amused, then you have found the cat for you.
Instead of relaxing on your lap, they will follow you all around the house. They are observing what you are doing — then trying to see if they can do it themselves — either right in front of you or as soon as you walk out of the room.
A great cat to lease train and take with you wherever you are going. The Savannah even loves to go swimming a trait picked up from their serval ancestor.
The Savannah is completely low maintenance when it comes to upkeep. They have a short coat only requires the regular once a week go over. They also tend to shed a lot less and produce less dander than your regular kitty would.
While they are not hypoallergenic, someone with cat allergies might have an easier time with the Savannah. Depending on the severity of the allergy and the cat in question.
You will have to groom them more often when they are outdoors, but never to the extent that you would for say a Maine Coon who has a similar dog-like personality.
They have a high intelligence which means they will need a lot of play or they will get into everything. If you are an active person, then this is a great cat to take with you on your adventures.
They even love to swim. Just keep them on the leash because they don’t have a great sense of direction and might lose you.
With this high intelligence, they can be trained to understand several commands. Even with that intellect, you will still need to be equipped with patience when it comes to teaching an exotic creature.
They will want to do things their way. Just be active with positive firm enforcement.
If you have adopted a Savannah and then discovered that they are an F1-F3, then train your children on how to handle and show respect to an animal while you will still need to prepare your Savannah how to act around your children.
This show of respect will incline the cat to show respect in kind. Show them the correct way to pick up a cat instead of the typical grab by the neck kind. Let your Savannah get used to the new environment before introducing the kids to it.
Once it becomes relaxed in its new home, then present your children. Keep an eye on how they are interacting and how your Savannah is reacting. If you feel that your cat is getting annoyed, make the process slow.
That’s why it’s best to have older children with a Savannah because they will comprehend the responsibility needed to own one.
If trained high with other animals and children
Your Savannah can be very social towards other animals, around the same size, and humans if you start the process early in their life. Older children fair much better for the Savannah, and they tend to get along with dogs better than other cats.
It’s easier if you have Savannah that is more removed from their African serval ancestor such as an F5. It’s also more comfortable if the breed socialized the kitten early in life so search around for someone who knows what they are doing.
If you would instead adopt to understand that some training will be involved because you won’t have a clear picture of their temperament, if your children are at the age where they love to run about, then this is a cat that can match them.
Read under the con’s section before bringing one in the home with small pets.
Love to play
They do need a lot of attention. A lot of play and toys and activity. Which is great if you have children that have an abundance of energy. Let them wear themselves out. A word of caution when children and the Savannah.
This cat believes this it is it’s right to all of the attention. While children who are playing with the Savannah will be giving it the attention that it rightfully deserves this feline might be difficult for younger children.
Mostly because you’re diverted focus away from them.
For active adults, the Savannah makes a great companion adventurer. When doing anything outside, keep them on their leash unless you have them highly trained.
You can get more domesticated types
If you are looking for a more domesticated cat, then search for an F4 Savannah cat. They will still be playful but will be a lot calmer than an F1-F3.
If you don’t have children and have experience with cats, then you can handle a Savannah less removed from their wild ancestor.
These higher filial number Savannahs will act more like a traditional domesticated cat with some quirks. They will still get into everything that you own. They will also need just tons of exercise and activity.
So your home will always be a cat toy holder that you wade you way through. The more removed Savannahs will be better with children and other animals due to the calming of their temperament.
Pros depend on your situation and what you can commit to. Think logically if the Savannah would be happy in your household or would it just be too much. The Savannah is the type of cat that people want for their looks.
Once they have one in their home though they realize that this cat is much wilder than your typical feline, for novice owners, this it is too much to handle, and a lot of Savannahs end up in the shelter.
Which isn’t great for a highly intelligent animal that needs to be active. Rather than putting them through additional trauma, be thoughtful before bringing one home.
Not to say that they make bad pets, they are loyal and loving and playful. Instead, they have specific needs too. Just make sure you are in the place where you can fulfill those.
They are a relatively new breed
They are exotic wild cat hybrid so they will be less domesticated than your ordinary house cat, which is not that trained to begin with. The people who take on this hyper sweat heart need to be active themselves who have time to dedicate to playing with them.
They don’t necessarily tear things up. Instead, things just get broken in their pursuit in the knowledge of their environment. The closer they are to the serval ancestor, the more unpredictable their behavior is.
This behavior could range from being cute and trying to open doors like a human or being the weird loner who likes the hunt bugs that made the unfortunate mistake of coming inside.
They can get quite large
They tend to get quite large. Depending on the generation of your Savanah cat they can get up to 30 lbs, considering that they rarely get chunky that is excessively big cat indeed.
Depending on your situation, this might not be a con at all. However, if your surroundings are tight, then they will take up a lot of room.
Consider their size when assessing the animals that you already have in your home, because they will be territorial to those who are smaller than they are.
Since they do not have a long history of domestication, particular abilities are a bit more noticeable in the Savannah cat then your regular ole kitty. Their hunting instinct is very sharp, and due to their size, they rarely miss when acquiring prey.
If you have a household of tiny animals, it’s not advisable to have a Savanah cat as well, unless you want to come home to the bodies even if you don’t’ have tiny little fur babies remember to keep the Savannah inside or on a leash.
This kitty can put a real dent in the local wildlife around them. They are even banned from some states in the US due to this very reason.
You might think that your smaller pets enclosures protect them, just remember the Savannah is highly skilled in getting where they don’t belong.
They will see you opening and closing the cages then want to try it out for themselves, especially if the result is access to prey. At most, if you have a lot of room, you can have a separate room for the smaller animals away from the Savannah.
Depending on the generation of the Savannah, they might require a special diet. Since they have not as civilized as long as other cat breeds, they prefer food that resembles what they would eat in the wild.
Namely raw meat. The typical pre-packaged affair might be ignored entirely or give them stomach issues. The recommended diet for Savannah cats is the raw food diet which is a combination of flesh, organs, a bone, and a small amount of vegetation.
There are commercial products available, but it might be hard to find. If you have questions about your Savannah’s diet, talk to your vet about the raw diet or any commercial food products they recommend.
The Savannahs that are F3 and further do better with kitty food that you can buy at your local store. When you first bring them into your home, try a variety of options to see what they like. Just like any cat, they will let you know if they don’t want to eat something.
Territorial issues if not trained
It is a hit or miss if they get along with the other animals in the household. They are a highly national breed so they might react to the other animals aggressively.
However, if the other animals have a more dynamic nature, they might have a good relationship with them better since they can play. Playful dog breeds do well with the Savannah since they can run about and play with each other.
The Savannah will not be intimidated by more significant kinds if they are brought up with them. The same goes for cats. Go for playful kitties that have a long kitten stage as the Savannah does.
Lap cats and fussy dogs will not appreciate the Savannahs trickster ways and abundance of energy while the Savannah will hate anyone that takes attention away from them as a lap cat, even though they don’t want to get on your lap.
Think over your current situation and decide what is best for everyone in the household.
They will make sure to get into everything. Everything. The Savannah will watch your opening and closing doors, cabinets, or drawers, and it looks ever much like fun that they have to give it a try.
Say goodbye to all of your plants, knick-knacks or pillows. It all belongs to the cat now.
There are tales of people childproofing their home while living with a Savannah. That will be too much for the neat freaks amongst us, but those who like a good laugh and don’t mind the mess that comes along the way will be just fine.
Make sure all of the bad stuff or any cooking ware are not in places that they can easily access. Get them a cat tree or toys that they can puzzle out to draw their attention away from your cabinets and doors. Just take precautions.
They need to be the center of everything
They will get upset if they are not involved with everything going around. Which is fine if there are not a lot of people or animals in the household. However, it makes it difficult if there are.
If the Savannah is introduced to household members when they are young, they will start to see everyone as part of their family, though they do grow closer to the one who feeds them. If you have young children or a lot of responsibilities, the Savannah will become jealous.
It’s up to you, Con’s Conclusion
It’s essential to understand what exactly you are getting into when you adopt an exotic animal. While they are adorable and fun, they will also need a lot more patience and care to trained and cared for correctly.
If you have been a cat owner for a while they yeah you can handle a noisy cat that you will find cute but will also test all of your limits. If you can laugh about that, then you can deal with the Savannah, if it makes you cringe, then this kitty is not for you.
If you are new to cats, then this will honestly not be the best first cat for you. Your regular tabby is cute too and only destroys 30% of your home.
Something else to consider is the generation of the Savannah. F1 and F2 are closer to their serval ancestor and therefore behave in a more territorial way. The further down the line they are, the more time they will be like an F5.
However, they will still get into everything. Just the edges were shaved down.
Do Savannah cats get along with dogs? Dogs, especially the active kind, make great companions to the Savannah cat. If you away from home for long periods, it’s best to provide a friend. Due to their hunter’s instinct avoid anything smaller than the Savannah.
Can Savannah cats be left alone? The Savannah grows attached to their human to the point where they have to be involved with everything that you do. So long periods when they are alone is ill-advised. If that is just the reality of your life, make sure they have a companion that was brought up with them so that they stay active and don’t get lonely.
How long does a Savannah cat live? The average life span of the Savannah cat is 17 to 20 years which is longer than the domestic cat which comes in around 15 years. There is no indication that Savannah’s filial number plays a part in their life span; it does, however, affect their size.