Savannahs are curious, outgoing cats that often enjoy going for walks. They usually adapt well to a harness or walking jacket. With careful training you can often have them walking on a leash like a dog, except maybe not quite as obedient. They love to explore so will want to wander around.
Servals hunt in water for frogs and small fish, so we often find that a Savannah tolerates water more than the average domestic cat. Some Savannahs LOVE water and will turn on taps and jump into baths and showers whenever possible. However, not all Savannahs share this trait, so please do not expect them to love the bath. No cat likes to HAVE to do anything. And, like all cats, Savannahs do not wish to be dumped into the water – if they enjoy water they will come to play all by themselves.
Many Savannahs enjoy going outside into an outdoor enclosure when it rains and come in dripping wet, but not all want to jump in the bath!
The Savannah personality is highly energetic, intelligent and sociable. It is hard to describe what it is like to live with a Savannah. They are wonderful companions for people who enjoy interacting with their pets. Because of their intelligence and energy, they may also be trouble too; they think up a lot of pranks, and you might not always be too impressed with what they come up with! A sense of humor is essential to live with a Savannah.
Size is NOT the most important attribute. The Savannah should be tall, long, lean and elegant in appearance. The ears should be tall and upstanding and the spots dramatic. It is the proportions that make a Savannah appear exotic, and so, simply being large does not necessarily mean ‘correct.’ Most Savannah owners will probably tell you that the attribute they consider the most important and unique is their Savannah’s personality.
Savannahs come in a variety of colors and patterns. Most Savannahs are spotted, preferably with solid black or dark brown spots. Some are brown spotted tabbies (BST), which means they have golden, cream, or sandy colored backgrounds. Others are silver spotted tabbies (SST), which means they have white backgrounds. Still others are black, or smoke (black with white hair roots) with a spotting pattern. Because of the variety of domestic breeds introduced into the Savannahs’ gene pool you might also see some non-permissible colors including chocolate, cinnamon, blue, red, or colorpoint. You might also see a marble pattern, which looks like s swirling elongated bullseye pattern. In addition, the servaline pattern is a ticked pattern with small spots.
There are no guarantees when it comes to the size of a Savannah cat. The heritage of the Savannah cat is both the very tall Serval and the normal-sized domestic cat, therefore the kittens could end up close to either size. The extremely tall kittens occasionally produced started out as average weight and size kittens. They do not exhibit tell-tale signs of how big they will be often until they are three months or older.
The later generation Savannah is similar in size to a domestic cat, which can have quite a range from small 7 lb petite cats to large 18 lb bruisers.
The Ashera cat was a type of hybrid cat marketed by the controversial company Lifestyle Pets, owner by Simon Brodie. The hybrid cat breed was allegedly a cross between the African serval, the Asian leopard cat, and a domestic housecat. The truth though — discovered with the aid of DNA testing — was that the “Ashera” cats were simply Savannah cats which were bought from a different breeder and then resold.
This is a question frequently asked! There are some obvious differences between the two breeds. Bengals are derived from the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). Savannahs are derived from the African Serval. The different species of wild cat influences many attributes of the two breeds. Although both have beautiful spots, Bengal spots are tri-colored “rosettes” and Savannah spots are solid. There are several differences in physical type, also. The Bengal has a compact body type similar to a wrestler or football player. It has smaller ears set wide apart and large round eyes. The Savannah is taller and leaner in body likening to a basketball player. It has large ears set close on top of its head.
A Savannah is a domestic cat with a Serval ancestor.