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Savannah cat breed – Facts and traits

Approx. 2 minutes read

The Savannah cat is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds – this slimline half-wild cat can weigh up to 11.3 kg. The Savannah cat is one of the newer feline breeds and made her first appearance in 1986, when the wild African serval was crossed with a domestic Siamese cat. On 7 April 1986, the first of this new breed was born in America and she was called Savannah.

The Savannah cat is a very active cat and loves jumping up high, going for walks on a lead, exploring new areas and even playing with water. The Savannah cat enjoys life in the fast lane, making them confident, alert and super friendly – so friendly that they will jump up to greet new guests and interact with them: she’s definitely not the usual ‘leave me alone’ feline at all.

If you have a Savannah cat, your home will have to be ‘Savannah-proofed’, since they tend to knock things off shelves and surfaces during their famous leaps. The Savannah can jump higher and further than any other domestic breed. Also ensure that electric wires are protected from gnawing kitties. Provide your cat with interactive toys and lots of stimulating attention to keep their minds busy and their primal instincts exercised – make sure the toys and games are challenging and also strong enough for their rough play.

The Savannah cat is generally a healthy breed and does not have any known genetic problems, however, an annual check-up is required to keep your cat healthy. The Savannah cat requires brushing once or twice a week to get rid of dead hair and to distribute skin oils. It’s also best to keep them indoors as they could get stolen, so regular walks on a lead are advised.

The Savannah cat has very long legs, which makes it about the same size as a medium-sized dog. F1 (or half-wild) Savannahs also have black tear marks running from the corner of their eyes down to their whiskers, which reflect lights when hunting. Their huge ears work like radar, spinning up to 180 degrees, allowing them to zoom in onto their prey.

The Savannah is a great family pet, but their size, strength and intelligence need to be considered before getting one. Owning a Savannah cat is a lot like owning a dog – they love water and walks. They also need lots of space and enjoy the wild side of life. Keep them away from smaller pets like hamsters, guinea pigs and fish, which would resemble their natural prey. The Savannah is a very fine hunter and can probably get past any safeguards that you attempt to put up.

Savannahs do best with breeds who either have a similar personality and activity level, such as Abyssinians, Siamese, Bengal, or more laid-back cats such as Maine coons, ragdolls or domestic shorthairs, who will just yawn good-naturedly as they watch the Savannah swing on the chandelier.

Average Adult Height 53 – 63.5 cm
Average Adult Weight 6.3 – 11.3 kg
Life Expectancy 17 – 20 years
Exercise Requirements Daily exercise needed
Similar Breeds Bengal cat
Rescues in South Africa None
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