All you need to know about the Savannah cat – Petrebels

Savannah op Cityview 195

All you need to know about the Savannah cat – Petrebels

Savannahs op Cityview 195

Are you looking for an active and smart cat that will ‘talk’ to you? Then perhaps a Savannah is something for you. But beware, this breed is not suitable for everyone. Curious? Here you can read all about this special cat breed.

How did the Savannah cat orginate?

This cat breed is very popular now, but it has been around for just 30 years – a breeder from America first crossed a Siamese cat with a male Serval in 1986. And from that, the first Savannah cat was born. A particularly beautiful cat that became super-popular among breeders in the late 1990s. And in 2001, TICA (The International Cat Association) recognised the Savannah as a new cat breed for the first time.

Where does the name come from?

A Savannah is a cross between a domesticated house cat and a wild cat. A hybrid cat. In this case, that wildcat is a Serval – a beautiful feline that lives in the wild on the African savannahs. And because a Savannah has many of the characteristics of its sturdy ancestor – it is large and has the same spotted coat – it was given the beautiful name of Savannah.

three savannahs on a grey cat tree

The appearance of a Savannah

Savannahs are, because they are descended from the Serval, larger than ordinary house and kitchen cats. They weigh between four and seven kilograms, are slim, muscular and athletically built. Their necks are long, as are their legs. The tail of a Savannah, on the other hand, is not particularly long, but it is thick and has a nice rounded tip.

The head of a Savannah is actually quite small compared to their imposing body. It has the shape of a triangle with two beautifully large and upright ears on top. And some Savannahs also have very cute little feathers growing out of them.

Coat of a Savannah cat

The coat of a Savannah is tough. It is short, feels somewhat coarse and has a full structure. Only Savannahs with clear spots (dots) on their coat meet the breed standard. In terms of colours, a lot is possible. Think black/brown spotted tabby, silver spotted tabby, melanistic and black smoke.

Fun fact: although the coat is somewhat coarse, the spots feel very soft. Just like the undercoat.

Character of a Savannah

To learn a bit about the character of a Savannah, it is good to first tell something about the different generations in which this breed of cat is bred. Because that has a lot of influence on the final character of the cat.

Bred kittens are often marked with the letter ‘F’ followed by a number. An F1 Savannah kitten is directly descended from a cross between a wild Serval and a domestic cat. So an F1 is often large and has many of the wild characteristics of a Serval.

Hereafter according to Savannahs of a type F2 up to for example F4. And the higher that figure gets, the further away the Savannah is from the Serval. So it will have more of a house cat’s character. Something to think about if you are considering taking a Savannah into your home. Because with small pets or children, it’s better to have a quiet cat with little hunting instinct

But now back to the character.

Savannahs are friendly and sociable towards people, other cats and dogs. And they are very loyal to their owners. They like to be around them and they like to be everywhere. A Savannah has a lot of energy and therefore needs space. As well as a large cat tree, you will need a large house with a generous outdoor area if you get a Savannah. Fun: most Savannahs can be trained to walk on a lead and love going to the woods with their owners.

Care of a Savannah

The coat of a Savannah is easy to maintain. They lose less hair than normal cats and so do not need to be brushed very often – once a month is fine. They like it too, by the way.

In terms of diet, it is not very complicated either – Savannahs eat almost the same as regular house cats. Good quality pellets and wet food and a nice treat from time to time. But this cat breed does need supplementary food to keep their muscles and bones strong. Therefore, their daily diet must be supplemented with good quality fresh meat.

And furthermore, you look after a Savannah just like any other cat. Love and enough cuddles and attention are of course indispensable. As well as sufficient drinking bowls with fresh water, preventive de-fleaing, de-worming and, of course a clean litterbox. And their teeth and general health should of course be checked by the vet every year.

Savannahs have a lot of energy and they need to be able to use it. As we just mentioned, a large outdoor area is a must, as is a regular long walk on a leash. But in the house, Savannahs also need a challenge. Make sure you have enough toys and make time to play with your cat too. A small cat tree is not enough for a Savannah. Therefore, always choose a cat tree that is specially designed for Savannahs. Here, they can do their thing every day.

Diseases and disorders Savannah

This cat breed can be called very strong and healthy – there are few or no hereditary disorders or diseases in Savannahs. However, you should always keep an eye on your cat’s health, especially as it gets older. Diabetes, osteoarthritis, cystitis, cancer and kidney stones occur in every cat.

How old does a Savannah become?

Because these cats are so healthy and strong, their life expectancy is also high. A Savannah can live up to 20 years. And that is very nice of course, but it is something to think about when you take such a cute kitten into your home. Savannah kittens eventually become big cats that need care and attention.

For whom is a Savannah cat suitable?

A Savannah of the F1 type is a direct descendant of a Serval as mentioned above. They are very beautiful cats, but they are wilder than ordinary house cats. Savannahs of this type are not suitable for

  • If you have a small home
  • People who do not have space for an outdoor area
  • People who are often away from home for long periods
  • Owners who do not have time for good care and sufficient attention

Do you choose a Savannah of type F4, for example? Then the cat is most like an ordinary house cat in terms of character. Then it is not a problem if you live a bit smaller, work during the day or do not have an outdoor area. But of course you must always make time for care and lots of cuddles and attention!

Buying a Savannah

If you think a Savannah is right for you, then feel free to buy a Savannah kitten. But always do that with a good cattery or with a recognised breeder who is a member of a breed association. Because then you know for sure that you are buying a healthy and happy cat. Cats should never be bought from a bread breeder or from ebay!

Evelyne has 12 Savannah cats and tells all about them in Cat Talk!

Disclaimer: Petrebels is not a veterinarian or behavioural expert: all content, information and tips on this blog are meant to inspire you and are informative only. Does your cat have complaints or problems and do you have doubts about its health? If so, always go to the vet or a behaviourist.

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DE LUIE REBEL

Katten slapen gemiddeld 16 uur per dag en doen dat vol overgave: er wordt gerekt, gestrekt en schaamteloos gegaapt. Heerlijk. De Luie Rebel is er wel héél goed in. Die laat rennen en spelen liever aan een ander over en ploft met gemak overal neer voor een overheerlijk dutje. Maar het liefst ligt deze Rebel in een lekker zacht mandje of hangmatje.


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DE KRABBEL REBEL

Katten hebben van nature de behoefte om hun nagels te scherpen. Ze markeren daarmee hun territorium en worden er ontspannen en blij van. De Krabbel Rebel weet van geen ophouden als het om krabbelen gaat. Maak van je huis daarom een feestje voor deze Rebel en zet één (of meer) goede krabpalen neer.


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DE OUTDOOR REBEL

Buitenkatten houden van hun vrijheid en van avontuur. Ze verstoppen zich vaak in struiken en houden de hele buurt in de gaten. Ze kunnen zich uren vermaken met rondvliegende insecten en nemen – als het even meezit – een echte muis voor je mee naar huis. De Outdoor Rebel komt thuis om gezellig met de baasjes te kroelen en rustig te eten. En stelt het op prijs als er een fijn plekje is om uit te rusten voor het volgende avontuur.


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DE INDOOR REBEL

Sommige katten blijven liever binnen. Of het baasje wil dit graag. Indoor Rebels vinden het heerlijk om naar buiten te kijken – naar al het spannends wat zich daar afspeelt. Je maakt deze katten blij door het binnen net zo spannend te maken als buiten. Prikkel hun instincten met speeltjes en krabmeubels waar ze lekker in kunnen klimmen, want dan blijven ze gelukkig en gezond.


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THE LAZY REBEL

Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day with full commitment: lots of stretching and shameless yawning… Mhmm, delicious. The lazy Rebel masters this trait like no other and prefers to leave the running and playing to someone else. This lazy napper is able to lie down anywhere to take a well-deserved rest, but they prefer a nice and soft hammock or basket.


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THE SCRATCHING REBEL

Cats naturally have the need to sharpen their nails. This way they mark their territory. It also makes them relaxed and happy. The scratching Rebel will never stop when it comes to this. Transform your house into a “scratching paradise” for this Rebel and supply it with one or several good cat trees.


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THE OUTDOOR REBEL

Outdoor cats love adventure and freedom. They often hide in bushes to keep an eye on their surroundings. They can entertain themselves for hours with bugs flying around and they might even take home a real mouse for you! The outdoor Rebel will come home to cuddle with its owner and to eat peacefully. This adventurer would appreciate it if there is a nice spot in your house to rest before the next adventure.


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THE INDOOR REBEL

Some cats prefer to stay inside, this can also be a decision made by the owner. Indoor Rebels enjoy watching the outside world – and everything exciting that happens there. You can make these cats happy by making the indoor world just as exciting as the outdoor world. Stimulate their senses with toys and cat furniture in which they can climb. This way they remain healthy and happy.


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DER FAULE REBELL

Katzen schlafen durchschnittlich 16 Stunden pro Tag und tun dies voller Hingabe. Sie strecken sich, dehnen sich und gähnen unverhohlen. Herrlich! Der faule Rebell ist sehr gut darin. Er überlässt das Toben und Spielen am liebsten jemand anderem und macht stattdessen lieber ein kleines Nickerchen. Am liebsten bevorzugt dieser Schläfer ein weiches Sofa oder ein gepolsterte Liegefläche.


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DER KRATZENDE REBELL

Katzen haben von Natur aus das Bedürfnis, ihre Nägel zu schärfen. Damit markieren sie zum einen ihr Territorium und verhindern zum anderen, dass die Nägel zu lang werden und einwachsen. Kratzen, wetzen und schärfen macht sie entspannt und glücklich. Der Kratz-Rebell kennt dann auch kein Halten mehr, wenn es ums Wetzen und Kratzen geht. Mach dein Zuhause also zu einer Partyzone für diesen Rebellen und stelle einen (oder mehrere) gute Kratzbäume mit viel Wetzmöglichkeiten auf.


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DER OUTDOOR-REBELL

Freigängerkatzen lieben die Freiheit und das Abenteuer. Oft verstecken sie sich im Gebüsch und behalten die ganze Nachbarschaft im Auge. Sie können sich stundenlang mit fliegenden Insekten vergnügen, streunen herum und bringen im schlimmsten Fall eine Maus als Geschenk mit nach Hause. Der Outdoor-Rebell kommt nur nach Hause, um mit den Besitzern eventuell zu kuscheln und sich sein Fressen servieren zu lassen. Und er schätzt es über alle Maßen, wenn er einen schönen, gemütlichen Platz am liebsten auf einem Kratzbaum zum Ausruhen für das nächste Abenteuer angeboten bekommt.


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DER INDOOR-REBELL

Einige Katzen sind reine Indoor-Rebellen. Entweder, weil sie es vorziehen in einem warmen und gefahrlosen Zuhause zu leben oder weil der Besitzer dies so möchte. Indoor-Rebellen lieben es nach draußen zu schauen – und das aufregende Leben draußen aus sicherer Entfernung zu beobachten. Diese Katzen sind glücklich, wenn man drinnen die gleichen Abenteuer simuliert, die sie draußen beobachten können. Stimuliere deren Instinkte mit Spielzeug und Kratzmöbeln, in denen sie herumklettern und toben können, damit sie gesund, agil und glücklich bleiben.


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