If you are into more wild and unique breeds of cats, then you’ve perhaps looked into adopting a Savannah cat for your family. These wild cats have long, slender bodies, and the design on their pelts might remind you of the fierce animals that roam the forest. But you might have noticed something that caused you to take a step back- they cost a pretty penny.
They are expensive because it is hard to successfully breed a domesticated cat with a Serval. The generational differences may also influence price, as well as the cat’s gender. The cost of caring for Savannah cats and all the necessary vet costs also drive up the price.
Savannah cats are beautiful, loyal pets that require a lot of work and attention. With that being said, they’re the perfect addition to any home. If you want to learn more about Savannah cats and why they’re so expensive, read on.
What are Savannah Cats?
If this is the first time you have ever heard of a Savannah cat, you might be wondering what they are. It’s a new breed of cat that came about in the 1980s. Breeders take regular, domesticated cats and mate them with exotic African Servals.
It’s quite a bit difficult for this to happen, which is why Savannah cats are not so common. But more and more people are having success with this, so you might see more Savannah cats popping up.
This breed of cat is unique because it is the only one that is determined based on how much of each breed it contains. We will get into its generational classification later on.
Another thing that you will need to take into consideration is that Savannah cats are not legal to own in every state and county; be sure to check with the official legislation wherever you are. Some places have special laws regarding what generation you are allowed to purchase.
Factor That Makes Them Expensive #1: Generation
As we said, Savannah cats are the only ones that are determined based on their generation. The generation is classified using the letter ‘F.’ Below is how these generations are determined by breeders:
- F1: Cat’s parent is a Serval
- F2: Cat’s grandparent (one of them) is a Serval
- F3: Cat’s great-grandparent (one of them) is a Serval
- F4: Cat’s great-great-grandparent (one of them) is a Serval
- F5: Cat’s great-great-great-grandparent (one of them) is a Serval
And so forth.
The differences in generations will also determine the price that you will pay.
For example, if the cat that you want to purchase is an F1- the direct descendant of a Serval cat- then you’re going to pay a lot more than you would for a cat that is an F5- several generations away from their Serval ancestors.
And again, as we said above, some places ban people from keeping these cats as pets, especially ones that are closer to being Servals. You will need to check the laws of the area you live in if you are considering buying a Serval cat.
Factor That Makes Them Expensive #2: Gender
The gender of the Savannah cat will also determine its cost. Usually, Savannah cats between the F1-F3 generations will differ in terms of price between males and females. Then, as the generations move on to F4, F5, and so on, the price tends to even out.
This is due to the fact that F1-F3 male Savannah cats tend to be infertile from cross-breeding. So, breeders have to wait until at least the fourth generation in order to have a male that is capable of mating.
This is why a female Savannah cat that is closer to the Serval cat is more desirable and, therefore, costs a lot more.
Factor That Makes Them Expensive #3: Cost of Breeding
The next factor that makes Savannah cats so expensive is how much it costs the breeder to actually breed them. You might be surprised just by how expensive this process is. Let’s take a look at some of the different costs so that you can get a better idea.
First thing’s first, the breeder needs to purchase at least two cats- one being a Serval and the other being a domesticated cat. The Serval male cat would cost around $5,000, plus they may need a permit in order to be allowed to own a wild cat. The F3-F4 female cat will be around $4,000.
So that’s $9,000 already. But many breeders choose to purchase several of these cats so that they can have a higher chance of getting their desired result- which puts them way beyond $10,000.
There are some other things that need to be taken into consideration as well. The breeder needs to provide the appropriate housing for their cats as well as the proper food. Considering that Serval cats eat raw meat, this will certainly add to the overall cost.
You also must consider the supplements, veterinarian visits, vaccinations, and more. Breeders also have to get their cats DNA tested to determine what percentage of Serval they are in order to determine a price.
And, of course, while the female cat might not necessarily be eating raw meat, she needs to have the highest-quality cat food on the market.
And, of course, there is a major risk: the Serval cat might never approach the Savannah cat for mating, which would cause all of this money to be spent for… nothing.
In all, one should expect that the entire cost of breeding Savannah cats, from purchasing and taking care of their parents until the end, will cost at least $20,000 if we start at the F1. And breeders will most likely want to make some sort of profit, so they will price the kittens accordingly.
Factor That Makes Them Expensive #4: Care
Aside from what we mentioned before about how much it costs to breed them, it’s also going to cost you quite a lot to maintain them when you purchase a Savannah cat.
Although you should never get any pet without having done the proper amount of research, that is especially the case if you want to purchase a hybrid cat. This is because there might be some things that you will need to do differently in order to keep them as healthy as possible.
Considering the fact that this breed is very new and people will be able to make a lot of profit off of them, a breeder may try to take advantage of you.
Inform your vet of your plans to purchase a Savannah cat so they can provide you with the proper resources and information.
Savannah cats require a special diet consisting of both wet and dry food, especially meat. This food needs to be of the best quality and it should not contain any corn since Savannah cats cannot digest this too well.
You’ll want to give your Savannah cat some sort of combination of wet food and raw meat throughout the day. Some even recommend that you feed kittens cooked meats, such as chicken.
Costs at the vet:
The biggest thing that your vet will need to take into consideration is the fact that Savannah cats have smaller lives than regular domesticated cats. So, your vet will need to administer special medication or they will have to avoid some medicines.
There are anesthetics that are specific to hybrid cats, too.
If you own any pet, you probably find joy in spending money on toys and other gadgets to make them happy. But this is especially something that you will need to do with your Savannah cat.
Savannah cats require affection and love to play with many types of toys, which might not necessarily be features that you’d notice in a regular domestic cat.
How much does it cost to buy a Savannah cat?
This depends on the generation. For instance, an F1 Savannah cat can be close to $20,000. But the farther away the cat is generationally from its Serval ancestor, the cheaper it will be. An F5 Savannah cat, for example, can be anywhere around $2,500.
Are Savannah cats dangerous?
Some might worry that these part-wild cats will be dangerous to them, their kids, and their homes. The fact is, they are not dangerous at all and will most likely behave similarly to a regular domestic cat. Savannah cats are characterized by being fiercely loyal and loving, and they require a lot of attention.
What is it like to have a Savannah cat as a pet?
Many owners agree that Savannah cats are loving, happy, and affectionate. They want attention and need to have more interaction than your average domestic cat would. They’re active and enjoy playing often, and are often described as being dog-like.