The Savannah originally descended from the Serval. Therefore, keeping the active and exotic cat breed in an apartment is only recommended to a limited extent. Owning the first-generation Savannah even requires permission from an official veterinarian and an outdoor enclosure that is as large and secure as possible. F4 to F6 generation Savannahs are already a bit easier to hold. However, they still need a lot of attention, space, and plenty of job opportunities so that they don’t get bored and feel completely occupied.
The Savannah is a relatively new breed of cats. Like the Bengal, it is one of the hybrid breeds and was created by mating domestic cat breeds with wild cats (in this case Serval).
Today the Savannah is a TICA (International Cat Association) recognized breed. But it was a long way to get there. The first mating of a serval with a domesticated Siamese cat took place in the 1980s and resulted in a kitten. Patrick Kelley, a lover of exotic cat breeds, bought such a kitten in 1989. However, it took a lot of persuasions before the breeding of this extraordinary breed really got going in the mid-1990s.
Since the male cats were often sterile in the first generation, domestic cat breeds such as the Egyptian Mau, Ocicat, Oriental Shorthair, Bengal, and even Maine Coons were crossed over and over again.
In the meantime, however, there are enough fertile Savannah males that the mating of Savannahs has become the standard in many cases.
Savannahs are friendly, sociable cats who get on well with other pets and also quickly make friends with children. You should often greet people with affectionate head buttons or pounce on them at an unexpected moment to say “hello”. It is also often reported that they follow their human from room to room in the house in a dog-like manner.
How openly a Savannah reacts to people, other cats or dogs usually depends on the degree of socialization, but also on the respective generation of breeding (i.e. how many wild cats there are in the Savannah).
It is said that Savannahs are very curious and intelligent. Some breed representatives even teach themselves how to open doors and drawers. There are also repeated reports of their great love for water – many play with or in the water. Some Savannahs also learn to fetch and, if they get used to it early, walk on a leash.
Attitude and care
The Savannah attitude is subject to legal requirements. If you want to buy a first-generation Savannah, you should be aware that you must first get permission from an official veterinarian. For example, the breed standard officially recognized by the TICA (International Cat Association) is only achieved with the F4 to the F6 generation.
From a legal point of view, first-generation Savannahs are also not allowed to have a free exit but have to live in an enclosure. You should definitely consult an official veterinarian for more detailed information.
Overall, the Savannah is only suitable for residential housing to a limited extent. If you decide to do so, you need a lot of space and a large and stably attached scratching post. In addition, a Savannah needs plenty of job opportunities and should be left alone as rarely as possible as it quickly becomes boring.