From an honest breeder to another...
It is important to consider if a trade is really a smart or beneficial move for your programme given that you cannot see ahead into the future and guarantee any results. First of all, trade-‐offs often cause friction between the breeders involved if both parties do not get the outcome from such a deal as they had expected or hoped for.
In the first instance it works out well because the Seller has placed the kitten into a preferred home with someone they like or someone who has a nice programme to their taste. The buyer will often have traits or lines that the Seller doesn’t have and therefore it can seem like a great idea at the time. The buyer also feels more than happy to agree to the trade off because they get the kitten they wanted without much or any payment in exchange and they get to work with the cat/ lines of their choice. At this point everything is going great and may stay that way should the outcome work out well.
More often now you will be offered an exchange on the next litter or a ‘kitten back’ deal either from the sold kitten or one of the buyers other cats. In this case, there are many things you need to consider before agreeing to such deals. I want to go over a few points here and will outline below:
A year or three passes and the kitten is now breeding age
1. What if the cat doesn’t have the desired sex of kitten outlined in the trade off?
You see now what happens is the original deal is often changed because now the buyer is at an advantage and the seller has now lost out on the kitten back they were hoping for. Often the conversation will contain phrases such as “oh but I thought that” “Oh I just assumed that” “Well can we do this instead”. IT would be natural for the seller to feel ‘short changed’ in this case and they start to resent the buyer, even though it was likely the sellers idea in the first place, I see this all the time. A situation may arise where the seller suddenly feels entitled to a higher generation kitten because they have waited so long for a kitten back if it has been years of waiting or they need to wait until the next litter. When they have placed a kitten with the buyer worth £3,000 or £6,000 and they are still waiting 3 years for a kitten back, the frustration arises that they should’ve waited and sold it in the first place, because the buyer is now benefitting from the breeding and the seller isn’t. This is natural human feelings but it’s preventing it from happening in the first place which is important. This is why if you did decide to sell on this route then it is important to have every entuality in your contract which means it’s written in black and white. Beware though that
even though you agree to a contract won’t stop the resentment feeling which is only natural, should things go wrong. What’s more important in your relationship?
2. What if the cat only had one and it’s the one you want?
Did you stipulate that the kitten should be given to you from the first litter or was it just ‘a kitten back’? You leave yourself wide open to being taken advantage of should this issue arise. If you agree to a kitten back make sure you stipulate the terms very clearly. Should it be from the first litter and if there is only one kitten should it be that one kitten that comes to you? If not, then perhaps by the third litter or it can be completely at your request when you decide, so the buyer must offer the kittens to you by first before anyone else?
3. What if the kittens aren’t breeding quality?
So you sold them a lovely cat without actually exchanging funds but is there a get out clause if they aren’t breeder quality? I mean, did it say ‘a breeder quality kitten back’ or just a kitten back? Be absolutely clear on what you require in exchange for all the hard work you and your beautiful cats have done to produce this kitten. If the cats aren’t compatible or they just aren’t up to standard for what your eye usually demands then can you say you would prefer to be paid instead?
4. Do you get to assist in the mating choice for your kitten back?
You might not want a mel carrier or you might need one! If they only have one which will give you the genes you want back then make sure that you agree what you are looking for beforehand and that way there is no confusion.Agree on certain studs or queens as part of the deal to ensure that you really do get the benefit out of the wait otherwise there would be no point in doing the exchange in the first place, which brings me to my next point:
5. Do you agree to ‘pick of the litter’?
IF you agree to ‘pick of the litter’ you are agreeing to the best out of a bunch. Just because there are 8 kittens it doesn’t mean that any of them are breeder quality but you have agreed to take the best of the bunch because it then concludes the deal. This then means that just to conclude the deal, there are substandard cats being injected back into the blood of your programme instead of really waiting for the ones that really work with your aims and objectives. There would be no point in doing a pick of the litter agreement unless you were absolutely confident on the pairing, but in this game there are no guarantees, it’s Russian roulette, it’s just your luck and some of us are lucky….some of us not so. Don’t just settle because it means that you finally conclude after 3 years waiting.
6. What if you discover a genetic fault in the line and they have already had kittens from the cat?
It doesn’t happen very often thankfully but occasionally things do crop up.. IF the buyer has bred your cat and sold the offspring you have your ‘kitten-‐back’ and things are going great then there is a problem in the line you need to work together to achieve an eradication of this fault. Some things are normal and ‘just happen’ some things are part of growth and differ in the kittens, some things are genetic and need to be removed from the line. In this instance do they get another cat as a replacement despite the fact that no money has changed hands and you already have your kitten back? Protect yourself. These things happen but when there has been no money changing hands, you don’t want to be sued for a replacement cat that was worth £6,000 when you weren’t even paid for it in the first place. People can change and sometimes things going wrong can change people’s attitudes and expectations.
7. What if the cat gets ill and dies before you get your kitten back?
Occasionally a cat will get pyometra through no fault of the buyer or seller before the kitten is a year old. It would be up to the parties to agree what should be done to prevent this and what expectations each party has. Some breeders may completely disagree on these terms and then the blame gets placed on the other party. The parties need to agree if a cat has X heat cycles then it will be bred but only by X months old or by X cat in the cattery. This means that if anything should happen to the cat through lack of breeding before one year old then the onus is on the seller to decide if they want to give the buyer another kitten or close the deal off. This would mean that there would be no kitten due back to the Seller for the original deal. If the cat gets ill from something else or isn’t fertile then there needs to be an agreement on what outcome or procedure would be followed to prevent argument or disagreement. Make it clear.
8. What if now is not the right time for your kitten back?
Is there a time limit? The buyer may not want to feel like they ‘owe you’ something indefinitely and might ask respectfully that you choose from the litter they have available. I would always make it clear that there is no specific timeline on this and it is up to you when you decide for your kitten back or what choice you make for your programme. You are the one who has bred this kitten by your own standards to get it to this point and so therefore it is up to you to choose which one you would like back. Likewise though, I would always ensure you place a number on this to respect the buyers cattery such as ‘by the X litter but only if there has been a choice of at least X males/females in the total amount of kittens which have been offered back’. Don’t limit yourself to 3rd litter – what if it’s all boys and you wanted a girl? By their rights they wouldn’t need to give you one back.
Think you’ve covered everything? Think again. Think of every eventuality – these points are just some of the things to consider in a kitten back contract.
This is exactly the reason why we don’t do them. It’s not worth the hassle.
The most exciting part after you have chosen your baby wildcat or hybrid kitten is the part where you bring them home.
We recommend using IATA approved carrier boxes because they are very robust and most importantly secure. You can use a soft carrier if you are travelling on a plane however we recommend you use one with the least mesh to ensure that you can keep an eye on the meshed window during the flight to prevent escape. The beauty of soft carriers is that they can be squeezed or moved slightly to allow for different seats in the aircraft. Many airlines will not allow you to put the animal anywhere apart from securely under the seat during the duration of the flight. Some may allow you to sit the box on your knee during the flight to comfort your kitten. More on this in the flying section below.
We recommend Vet Bedding as it is highly absorbent and is easy to wash. IT also dries very quickly. Keep an eye on the water supply during travel because if it spills on the vet bed then it will absorb it and it won’t be available for your cat to lap up through the journey, which other beds may allow for.
If you can, get a big enough box that you can put in a litter tray and a bed, along with two bowls on the door. You can buy special bowls that have clips on the rear for carriers. This way you can provide wet or dry and some water. I would always recommend wet food for the flight because dry food will dehydrate the cat if they don’t feel like drinking. Do not put the bowls too close together because if the water spills slightly then it will go onto the food next to it. Space them as far apart as possible.
You can use natural medication such as Zylkene to calm your kitten for the flight, rail, air or boat journey. ALWAYS start one week before the trip to allow it to work. Always leave the cat carrier around from at least 2 weeks before if possible so that it smells like them and they feel comfortable with going inside it. You can then use the blanket for the travel for comfort.
Plan well in advance with any agencies involved in the travel of your kitten.
For UK travel, there are no travel requirements from us. Your kitten will be vaccinated twice, wormed three times and treated with advocate for fleas and any other potential parasites such as ear mites or fleas. Bringing in to the UK can be a lot more complicated due to our strict requirements. Any Wild Cat or F1 generation hybrid will require 3 months quarantine in Scotland and 4 months in England at a Dangerous Wild Animal licensed facility. Any F2 – F5 will require CITES which is a system of import and export permits to control the movement of the species.
For travelling abroad, your kitten will be delivered by us personally so you can trust we are experienced with the multiple agencies involved such as APHA, DEFRA, USDA, CFIA and other CITES departments.
For those overseas, we apply for a CITES permit [export] and after we receive this within 30 days, you need to apply for an import permit with the Fish and Wildlife Department in your country. Please beware of that the USA can take up to 4 months to process an Import and Export. The whole CITES process can take up to 6 months for UK to USA – occasionally 9 months. You have to be dedicated to the kitten of your choice and also be prepared to put in extra time to bond with it when it finally arrives. We request if you have a CITES kitten from us that you take at least 2 weeks off work to ensure they have your full attention when they arrive. We want our kittens to live happy, safe and fulfilled lifes so we have to look ahead to their arrival in their new homes before they have arrived. This is important even more so for wild cats. It’s a good point here to remind you that a wild cat may never bond with a human they have just met after being 6 months old.
The other qualifiers are usually a rabies vaccination at 12 weeks old, then at least 21 days wait before travel, a passport issued by a qualified vet, recorded parasite treatment, a rabies blood test may be required for some countries, a skin test to check for ringworm may be required and occasionally countries may place additional requirements on proof of lineage.
If you are buying from us then we know all about which requirements are in force for your country and can work quickly and efficiently to get these documents in place. Be very careful about importing or exporting a kitten without the correct documents, this can result in confiscation of the animal, death of the animal, a monetary fine and worst of all it puts the animal at risk.
So, after all that work, your animal is home...
You are required to take your kitten to your own Veterinary Surgeon within 48 hours of leaving our premises. The purpose of this visit is to ensure you and your vet are satisfied that the kitten is in perfect health; the kitten is fit for purpose i.e. breeding and there are no visible genetic faults.
Your new baby kitten will take a few days to come round and feel back to their usual self. They have been used to litter mates jumping on them, playing at all hours of the night and best of all – Mummy! Now with no friends, no mum and being taken to a strange place you new baby will be feeling a bit scared and sorry for itself. Try to put them in a room on their own such as a utility room. Ensure you remove all chemicals and close toilet lids if you decide to place them in their for two weeks. Coax them out, if hiding, with their new feather stick (they all love these) and ball tube toys are also great. We recommend you buy a scratch post, as this is what they are used to playing on and will bring some home familiarities.
Your kitten may exhibit stress signs through a funny tummy, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and/ or constipation with all the stress of coming to their new home and could have diarrhea for the first week. This should settle down by the first week. As we’ve said above – your cat has been fully tested for everything so if there are any runny bottoms then it will be down to the move or if you have changed their diet. Please ensure you have fresh water available at all times for your new kitten and change twice daily.
Once you get your kitten home try and give them some time alone. A couple of days of the various visits to their room will help your kitten realize that everything it okay and there is nothing to be scared of. Once the kitten is settled with you and demonstrates a happiness to see you with purrs, puffy tail and back, along with possibly chatting to you, they are ready to explore the rest of the house. DO keep an eye on them on stairs as they are still babies. Try not to move the litter tray and DO introduce a few more if you have a large house. This may result in confusion and accidents. Your kitten is used to: Wood Litter Pellets.
Always introduce other pets to your kitten gradually and ALWAYS supervise. It is natural for your kitten to puff up and growl or spit to show they are defending themselves and your pet may do this also. Try not to intervene heavily and keep a calm, encourage voice telling them it is okay. It CAN take a few MONTHS for your kitten to be fully accepted in a house with pets already there. Animals do have a hierarchy system and is a natural process for them to let each other know where they belong in that system! Try to be confident and calm as animals do feed off our actions and energy.
Try and baby-proof your home. They will knock of your favourite ornaments by accident when whizzing around playing, may disappear behind the fridge, squeeze out a window, fall down the toilet (and possibly drown!), and eat a plant or flowers, which may be poisonous to cats. Also select good toys, which do not have chokable items, which could come loose. Please note – we can supply you with cat food, litter, bedding and toys at discounted prices so do get in touch if you require anything. Most breeders call it Savannah-Proofing. You have to lock your medicine cupboard, razors in a sharp box and in a lot of cases you are better to have a fridge latch too. One of our F2’s managed to open our freezer door and steal some “Fish Fingers” out of the second drawer, inside a cardboard box. You can’t really be angry at their intelligence, they knew that’s where the food was. They watched us getting food from there and cooking it. They have often opened the oven door to check for any leftovers so it’s important to always be one step ahead of your Savannah cat. Don’t leave anything, anywhere that could be dangerous. You MUST find their intelligence fascinating otherwise it may not be the breed for you.
Birth to 4 weeks old
Kittens can wean from 4 weeks old but we like them to stay with their mothers until at least 6 weeks old when they are fully weaned. Our new cattery buildings have hospital grade flooring in each room, which means each cat has a full-sized single bedroom to have privacy and give birth in – and I can sleep on the floor beside them. The cattery has music on through out the day and then they get a DVD on a bedtime in the evening. This helps to acclimatize them to all the usual sounds. The daytime is so busy vacuuming and cleaning that they are used to all household noises before they have even progressed to the kitten room. We watch each of the rooms on CCTV, which is linked, to our mobile phones and a large 50” CCTV screen central in our kitchen with all cameras featured on it so they are supervised at all times. Their enclosures also have CCTV, which means there is no place unseen in our cattery. It means then that they are not moved out of their home into a different zone to have their babies. There are 4 of us that work on the cattery and enclosures to maintain an excellent level of hygiene and an excellent level of interaction with all our animals.
5 weeks old till leaving day
Once the babies are weaned, we bring them into the kitten room and they enjoy their integration into family life. Your baby will be used to typical things in our house such as Disney Junior, Xbox Car racing and Just Dance, along with a mixture of Country, Dance, Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Pop and Rock/ Metal Music.
They will be used to playing with toy cars, craft and anything else a 6 year old would take into the kitten room with him! We also watch some movies with the surround sound on, which can be funny to watch them adapting to. They are placed beside dinosaurs as part of an attack on an army of dragon warriors or given an important role in choosing colour of paint for a picture although sometimes our Son does disagree with their choice of pink for his pictures!
These souls can breathe family life and we aim for them to be just as important in their furrever home. This is why selecting a breeder is crucial when choosing your Savannah. If all they have learned through their short time with the breeder is that humans are there to feed them and change their litter tray, then they will not want to be around them. They will not want to be around you and you will need to work hard to win them round.
2. First few days
Your cat has been brought up in a very social environment with children. Your kitten should not be nervous after a week in it’s new home with you. Remember that our kittens are full wild or hybrid cats and can be picky with who they decide to bond with. They usually form a parent/child type bond with one person but that is not to say that your kitten will not be approachable by anyone else. Encourage visitors to talk to your cat and pet them but do not force people or children on your kitten as it may deter them from people in future. Gradual is a key word we use for just about everything as cat breeders. Introduce them gradually to both you and your new home.
Don’t feed normal portions. Offer smaller amounts and more regularly. This helps to encourage your kitten to eat as the food is fresh each time and the amount is not overwhelming. Also, it helps to let them know that you are there to care.
3. What to feed and when
Your kitten is used to being fed 4 times a day.
These times are:
7am, 12pm, 5pm and 9pm.
We feed Purrform Kitten Food and Carny Kitten, which is a complete diet. We do not put on any extras such as powders because the food they are eating is complete. With Wild cats, you can add some Taurine or Calcium as they can require higher doses than domestic cats. You can feed raw food or any other kitten food as long as it is a good quality food. We do not force you to feed raw but we do ask that you feed grain-free food because it is much better for them. We do not feed wild cats biscuits or kibble. They have a full meat/ prey diet only.
4. Litter trays and toileting
Wild cats usually prefer open top trays or 25 litre tubs. Wood pellet litter is usually best although for smaller kittens chick feed can be better in case they eat parts of it. Our hybrid cats prefer hooded trays but they must be very clean. One toilet break can mean the whole tray is deemed unusable – so grab a few before your baby comes home. Make sure you have a few about the house to ensure the cat knows where it is. Put your new cat in the litter tray several times a day to encourage them to use it and remind them where it is.
5. Introduction to other cats
Don’t just let them loose and expect everything to be great. It can be! But it doesn’t always work out like that. You need to remember that any animal is an intruder in an already formed household. The pack needs to restructure and build again. This takes time. Be very encouraging and calm. If they hiss and spit, alongside puffing up just speak calmly and let them know it’s okay. Never give them into trouble or shout as it only heightens the anxiety and makes a bad atmosphere within the situation.
6. Introduction to dogs and other pets
Always ensure that your cat has somewhere high to get away from the other pets. If you find that the dog is very aggressive through a controlled introduction such as through a glass door or through a baby gate, then make sure they are on the lead so you can be in control of the situation. Never panic if they start to fight. Try to diffuse the situation quickly and calmly. You will be surprised how quick they will get used to each other. It does take time and patience.
7. Good Suppliers
Suppliers we recommend are:-
McClaw cat wheels
B & M Stores Cat Litter and toys
8. Calling for advice
You can call us for absolutely anything at all! When you buy a kitten from us you get a 24 hour number for advice.
9. Choosing a vet
Ensure that your vet is comfortable treating a wildcat or hybrid. Most vets are okay with it but some of them can be uncomfortable as it is not the normal protocol and they don’t want to make a mistake, which could cost them their career. Power is knowledge so you don’t need to fear taking them to the vet – help your vet understand their needs.
10. Vaccinations and Healthcare
You kitten is vaccinated twice before it leaves unless you have them young for bonding as wild cats. Afterwards, we recommend vaccinations every 18 months. Every 12 months is over-vaccinating, although your vet will recommend it.
We recommend always using Advocate Spot On. If you can, import it to your country, as it’s very effective against just about every parasite.
Do not use any Bob Martin product as they can be dangerous and are cheap for a reason. You can use frontline or Advocate spot on.
If your cat is injured or suffering in any way then take them to the vet. Do not rely on social media for a response. Take them to the vet immediately, but please do let us know.
It is advisable to ensure that you don’t use ketamine in emergency surgeries as it is known cause issues or even death in wild cats or hybrids., however, we have used this in spay/neuter and also some emergency surgeries and had no problems with it on our hybrid cats. It is believed any complications associated with ketamine and hybrid cats could be linked to HCM because of the way it alters blood pressure and heart rates. There is no proof on this subject however hearsay causes us to be cautious and advise caution in any case.
It is definitely worth insuring your kitten or cat. Certain companies will only cover you for short term or long term illnesses but be certain to write down what you need cover for and work out a budget. Many insurers won’t guarantee the purchase price of a hybrid or wild cat and may only offer a small amount against the purchase price. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t insure them as vets bills can run into the thousands.
12. TICA Registration
We will ensure that you receive the Green slip or breeder slip when you receive your cat or kitten. If you have chosen your own name then we guarantee it will be with you within 2 months of arrival.
13. Bonding for life
Your baby needs to know you are the number one thing in their life. This is why it’s important to help them realise this bond from day one. It will come, but the older the cat, the earlier the generation, the harder they are to ‘break’. All our cats are completely socialized so we don’t have any concerns in terms of willingness to play or come and greet you, however if you have a wild cat, the bonding process is more difficult and you will need to work hard with them alongside being very patient. Your visitors need to know how to respect and care for the animals and also if you are on holiday, you might want to get someone to come to your home, rather than them going to the cattery to reduce the stress on them. Patience, playtime and basic care are the start of the bonding process. Talk to your cat and A LOT. Let them recognize your voice and feel the comfort from it. They will learn to love you.
14. Breeding and Code of Ethics
You are not allowed to breed from this cat unless we have registered it, Stylisticat, on the active register with TICA. If your cat has been sold on the inactive register then it MUST be neutered or spayed by the time it is 5 months of age and certainly before we will transfer them into your name through TICA. Please see our TICA Voluntary Code of Ethics as to why we follow this rule.
We work extremely hard to develop an excellent breeding standard. We are inspected annually from a Veterinary Surgeon and the local council to receive our Cattery of Excellence by TICA and renew our Dangerous Wild Animal Licence, which is required to have Serval’s and F1’s.
If you are buying a DWA you MUST have suitable housing and provide us with a copy of your DWA before we will sell you one. We are required to keep a log of DWA sales by the local council as part of our licence.
We are certified as “Responsible Breeders” by The International Cat Association and have signed the Voluntary Code of Ethics.
We abide by these rules as follows:
1. We will remain in good standing of TICA and have a registered cattery.
2. We will breed discriminately and ensure we find appropriate homes who can provide a life-long commitment
Any cat sold as a pet or show will be sold under the following conditions:
a) We guarantee the cats in good health at the time of sale.
b) We urge the buyer to have the cat examined by his or her own vet.
c) We require the cat be neutered or spayed.
d) We have explained the dangers of the outdoors.
e) We have provided a written sales agreement.
f) We will only provide the TICA registration/ pedigree for the kitten ONLY AFTER we have received written confirmation from a licensed VS that the cat has been neutered or spayed.
g) We encourage you to contact us if you have questions and will respond in a timely manner.
h) We will not release a kitten, which hasn’t been inoculated twice against at least: Rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia and calicivirus.
If you can afford to build your enclosure fully in metal then we would recommend it simply because it’s easier to clean, much more longer lasting and require minimum maintenance. You can build one yourself or use a supplier.
Try to include different zones such as water play, balls, rolling around, jumping, climbing. These areas need to be cleaned and also they need to be maintained so try not to make them too difficult to look after. Cats often find places to defecate that are inaccessible by humans so try not to construct something, which causes issues before the cats are even in it. A planted are is also desirable – even with artificial plants.
You can use rope swings, plants, balls, ball pits, swimming pools, sand pits, bark, hanging baskets, water features, boxes, artificial ivy and logs to create beautiful zones which are interesting to your cat. Try to avoid using concrete slabs over the whole area because it isn’t soft on your cat’s paws and therefore they can wear their pads away walking on concrete all day. Try and think like a cat, make it interesting, put food inside cardboard boxes, have high shelves, hang logs to walk along – important part – have fun doing it!
Contact us for local suppliers in the UK.
"Spread your wings and breed the best!"
as featured in an interview for "Cat-Info", Russia - Special Savannah Edition
Translation to Follow!
Recently, the discovery of the PRA-gene has been dicovered in a few cats within the Savannah breed. These cats are from A1Savannahs lines and are A1Savannahs cats with several cats in the ancestry which we, as breeders, are all likely to have in our pedigrees. The concern is that finding out where these cats are currently located to be able to test will be a collaborative nightmare between breeders and pet buyers. Some of the cats are even now deceased and unable to be tested.
So what is PRA and why do we need to be concerned?
PRA is the shortened version of the disease Progressive Retinal Atrophy and this gene means that a mutation, which is scientifically labelled as rdAc occurs in the CEP290 gene. This means that a deficient protein that is associated with progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in the Abyssinian cat and related cats.
Usually, clinical signs typically become evident between 8 and 20 weeks of age and the disease progresses so that by around one year of age complete retinal degeneration is apparent in most cats according to Ofri R, Reilly CM, Maggs DJ, et al. Characterization of an early-onset, autosomal recessive, progressive retinal degeneration in Bengal cats. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015;56:5299–5308. The problem is that this is not always the case as more research is being done, a lot older cats have the gene but haven't yet shown any signs of the disease. (Langfords Vets, UK)
PRA is a disease which affected the sight of cats. The photo receptors start to deteriorate in the retina and affected cats develop 'late onset blindness'. This is usually detectable, I am advised by Langfords Vets, usually by 3 to 5 years of age. Worryingly though, it may not be detectable until they are aged 6 or older. The problem for many breeders who have retired and sold breeding cats at 2 or 3 years old is that some of the pet buyers are unknown to the breeder by the time the cat turns 7 (4 years later!) or if the cat shows any signs of blindness, the buyer often will not contact the breeder to let them know, leaving them blissfully unaware that there is a problem in the line. Some owners may also put sight deterioration down to old age, even though it is actually a defective gene which the cat possesses. It is very important to know that the age of disease onset and progression can be variable and some affected cats may not develop clinical signs, and eventually blindness, until later in life.
Is this the same as PRA-B?
PRA-B is the gene for the same disease which has been identified in the Bengal breed. You will often hear Bengal breeders saying "PRA-B Normal" in their cattery information or on their kitten adverts. This means they have screened their cats and are only using normal breeding cats in their programme.
Langfords Vets gave me very detailed information about this disease on the 30th of January 2017. They stated that is works in exactly the same way as PK Deficiency (see here) and carriers should not be bred together which has recently happened, producing affected kittens.
A lot of Savannah breeders are still in their infancy of their 'breeding career' (under 10 years) and so therefore, it is difficult to discern IF we have a major cause for concern within the breed or if it is something we can eradicate from a few lines within a few generations.
How many cats are realistically affected and what do I do about it?
By January 30th 2017, Langfords Veterinary Laboratories in the UK had performed tests on 309 Savannah Cats for PK Deficiency and a grand total of 0 (zero) tests were performed for PRA and 0 (zero) for PRA-B. They were happy for me to publish this data. I am currently awaiting UC Davis (University of California Laboratory) to respond to me with this data. They will now have all of our swabs to process, the first Savannah's in the UK to be tested, and can only identify certain markers or breed-specific problems if we all test for this defective gene.
Breeds known to be currently affecting by PRA are:
* American Curl
* American Wirehair
* Colourpoint Shorthair
* Cornish Rex
* Oriental Shorthair
We all have several of those breeds behind our Savannah's and then some....!
Langfords advised me that as Bengal cats have such a heavy influence in the early lines (and some current) of the Savannah breed:
"ALL Savannah breeding cats would definitely benefit from the PRA and PRA-B test. It's a simple swab and we can re-use DNA already stored on the system provided we have received the sample in the last two years".
I would like to publish our data once it comes back for the testing carried out on our cattery and at present I am hoping that we have all normal cats.
I will also publish the full list of the cats in the pedigree of the rdAc/rdAc (Affected) cat which has recently been discovered and is now in our possession. This is aiming to encourage all breeders with those cats in their pedigree to test as soon as physically possible to prevent any other kittens being produced as carriers or affected.
So what do I do if my cat is positive or a carrier of PRA?
Well, that it entirely at your own discretion but please be responsible for the sake of the breed and the animals. We found out about PRA in Savannah's after recently bringing in a male this month who has tested as "affected - rdAc/ rdAc - positive". We have not used him yet and what brings my concern is that he is an F6 SBT and has basically a whole pedigree of A1Savannah cats. So where did it come from? We all know that old A1Savannahs pedigrees aren't all true to word and may not even be the cats that are on them flowing through into current pedigrees on cats, or so I have heard through close relationships with breeders, so realistically we can't really be sure that we will know where it's come from. What we can do though, is we can work together to eradicate it before it does become an issue, especially something that takes years to show up in most cases.
If you have a homozygous cat then it is AFFECTED = rdAc/ rdAc = Positive and will develop the disease at some point in their life.
If you have a heterozygous cat then it is a CARRIER = rdAc / normal = Will not develop the disease but can pass on the gene. It should not be used for mating with another carrier as there is 25% chance of producing affected kittens and 50% chance of producing more carriers.
If you have a normal cat then it does not have the gene.
But the Savannah isn't related to the Abyssinian, Siamese or any other cats?
Well, theoretically we don't actually know how many have been used, given that the first cat within the breed was actually a siamese mated to a serval for the first F1's. Another issue is that a lot of cats are registered as DSH (domestic shorthair) when they are in fact other breeds, to prevent knowledge of the actual outcross used. This was commonplace years ago when the breed was further developing.
What does it mean for our Savannah cats?
For many of us, it may mean nothing as you may have normal cats in your breeding programme. Some breeders may have carriers of the PRA gene but not be mating them to normal, therefore producing affected or positive kittens.
Result = Positive
Neuter or spay the cat.
It is not advisable to knowingly bring a PRA Affected cat into your cattery.
Result = Carrier (Heterozygous) or rdAc/Normal
Neuter or spay the cat.
Result =Normal or Normal/Normal (N/N)
Your cat does not have PRA and therefore is able to be bred from without worrying about PRA. It is advisable to check for PRA in any cats you use for breeding moving forward.
A careful breeder is a wise breeder.
Here are the cats which are contained within the pedigree of one known affected cat so any number of these cats could be the source of the PRA defective genes being passed on.
We have been doing an ongoing investigation over the past month on the regulations around wild cat ownership within the UK. It's been a lot of work. There is a lot of difference in opinion when it comes to "What is a Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) and what security arrangements must be in place to ensure not only the animal is safe and secure but also to guard the public as per the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976".
Unfortunately for us (meaning all of you too), as wild animal owners, the difference of opinion is actually down to the Veterinarian who inspects us annually. These "Professional appointed persons" are the ones who may have never seen a wild cat in their life, let alone actually cared for one whether that be medically or in terms of providing daily care. Some of them have great knowledge on the cats and what environment they need to be kept in for their welfare, others simply revert to colleagues in the field or...google (heaven forbid).
Recently, we decided since we are constantly inundated with requests for Servals, Caracals and F1 Savannahs who must be kept with a licence, and realistically we have no real good information on every council in the UK to offer them that we would take it upon ourselves to source an overall set of information on every council within Scotland and England.
There is a common misconception that because someone else has a set of rules (or lack of them) that the same set will be applied on the applicants licence. It really is down to a vet to decide if what you have constructed (or again, perhaps not even bothered to construct) will be approved as a secure environment for your DWA. What we really want to address here is WHY there is so much scope for variation on rules for the same animals. We asked several licence holders about what they are required to do with the DWA's and what rules apply. We have seen several licences. The range of rules, or again, lack of, is completely unacceptable to those who feel they are being dicriminated against just because the vet who has processed their licence, doesn't agree with a vet across the country and applies a completely different set of rules.
We recently had DEFRA come to the house to review our quarantine site. They went through all our paperwork and discussed the enclosures with our licensing vet and animal health officer from the council. It was good to have all three parties there at the one time considering it's a rare occasion to have them all present to explore and discuss issues face-to-face.
What is concerning here is, my cats are deemed wild animals which DEFRA have advised me that if the DWA cats must go to the vet or, we move them into different enclosures for mating purposes then we had to obtain a "Carrying Agents Licence" - (“authorised carrying agent” means a person authorised by the Minister under Article 10 of this order to carry animals, The Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974). This was not an easy process. This involved us having to re-fit the car with anchor points, securing chains, padlocks, double-cages (where one is fitted inside the other for double security), metal mesh, perspex and gloves. It means we can transport cats for rabies purposes who are entering the UK for quarantine - the exact same licence that is required to move the DWA cats on the same premises to a different pen.
This brings me to some of my questions, which are;
It is not particularly convincing that people are being treated fairly and equally given that licence holders are often very secretive and don't want to say what they can and can't do because they have a fear of it being removed from their licence due to a complaint, which appears to be rife within the wild cat ownership field. Also, there is the flip side of this where you have people claiming that their cats are permitted to be in their house living life as part of the family, when in reality we have just been lodged with e-mails as part of this study showing that those same people are in fact only licenced for their enclosures; for example one council replied, "not in the house under any circumstances". Some councils in England are "not really bothered if they are in the house as long as there's a double door at each exit", according to one DWA licence holder.
I don't understand why some holders have to have heavy duty mesh, one that you could in fact jump on without it breaking, when there is chicken wire being used in another enclosure or simply just two entry doors. Bearing in mind that these cats are really clever and can open doors (even doorknobs), I can understand why this is simply not secure enough for licensing under some vets supervision.
If DEFRA advise us to have a licence to move the cats, then why are there others who are able to walk outside with their cats freely only on a harness.
Recently, we were reported to Child Protection Services because we had our Son inside our Caracals enclosure for some petting. This was our choice and of course the licensing department in the council advised us against this. There are other people with similar cats in the UK who have their wild cats with their children at all times, even unsupervised. Different rules, different regions. It's completely unacceptable that we should have to keep our animals in their enclosures at all times unless they are nursing kittens or until they are a certain age, whereas others have an easy come, easy go licence.
Upon contacting the council, we have submitted the following:
We have yet to put everything together and form a detailed result on the information we have received to date. The information we have received is actually data which is owned by the council and therefore we cannot physically publish e-mails received. We will however be forming a table with the responses within each area and what requirements they have, if any. It will also detail if each council are happy for the wild cats or F1's to be kept within the house or outwith the home for walking purposes or, if they have currently got licence holders in the area with house access. The aim of this is to enable us all to be able to keep these cats under the same set of rules - it also means that when someone gets one of these cats or plans to, they will know what will be acceptable or not within their region and plan if it is still something they want to pursue. It is part of gaining equality for us all as owners. Acts and legislation should be transparent and rigid meaning there is a set minimum standard for these vets to use or perhaps a checklist with more detail to ensure we are all treated with the same respect instead of being discriminated against.
We will take the data to DEFRA and try to ensure that we can all enjoy ownership of our cats indoors since this has already been permitted. We will fight for equality - we will fight for you.
More information can be seen below.
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
(Modification) (No.2) Order 2007
“SCHEDULE KINDS OF DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS"
NOTE: See section 7(5) of this Act for the effect of the second column of this Schedule
(a) the species Felis silvestris, Otocolobus manul, Leopardus tigrinus, Oncifelis geoffroyi, Oncifelis guigna, Catopuma badia, Felis margarita, Felis nigripes, Prionailurus rubiginosus and Felis silvestris catus;
(b) a hybrid which is descended exclusively from any one or more species within paragraph (a);
(c) a hybrid of which--
(i) one parent is Felis silvestris catus, and
(ii) the other parent is a first generation hybrid of Felis silvestris catus and any cat not within paragraph (a);
(d) any cat which is descended exclusively from any one or more hybrids within paragraph (c) (ignoring, for the purpose of determining exclusivity of descent, the parents and remoter ancestors of any hybrid within paragraph (c));
(e) any cat which is descended exclusively from Felis silvestris catus and any one or more hybrids within paragraph (c) (ignoring, for the purpose of determining exclusivity of descent, the parents and remoter ancestors of any hybrid within paragraph (c)).
All cats including the bobcat, caracal, cheetah, jaguar, leopard, lion, lynx, ocelot, puma, serval and tiger.
The following are excepted:
(i)the wild cat, the pallas cat, the little spotted cat, the Geoffroy’s cat, the kodkod, the bay cat, the sand cat, the black-footed cat, the rusty-spotted cat and the domestic cat;
(ii)a hybrid cat which is descended exclusively from any one or more species within paragraph (a);
(iii)a hybrid cat having as one parent a domestic cat and as the other parent a first generation hybrid of a domestic cat and any cat not within paragraph (a);
(iv)any cat which is descended exclusively from any one or more hybrids within paragraph (c);
(v)any cat which is descended exclusively from a domestic cat and any one or more hybrids within paragraph (c).
Scottish Local Authority/ Councils for
Dangerous Wild Animal Licensing
We contacted the 32 councils in Scotland and await their response.
English Local Authority/ Councils for
Dangerous Wild Animal Licensing
We contacted the overall total of 353 councils in England:
Please stay tuned for the results of the DWA information within each area relevant to you. Thank you for those who have taken part in this and supported the investigation into equality of licence distribution.
We will publish data on those councils which have stated "up to the vet at the time", "under no circumstances", "under some circumstances - more details" and those which "allow" to give a clear picture of each area.
I have been asked by a few people recently for help with feeding their serval and caracal kittens. I thought I would compose this guide to make things easier for you instead of you having to recalculate daily and getting all flustered!
Firstly, congratulations on your new baby and hello to those who are here as part of their research on owning one of these beautiful animals. I would also like to recommend this guide to those who have asked how much milk to feed a Savannah kitten or how much to feed a newborn kitten.
I will also include some recommendations on what you can purchase to support the feeding routine of your serval kitten in the UK. This includes teats, bottles and methods which we use to feed our kittens.
Generally, we recommend that as soon as we have established a good feeding routine with a serval or caracal kitten, that it comes to you to start the bonding process. We recently visited fellow 'feline slaves' at Cat Haven in California, USA (Dale Anderson) and we were discussing the age of which it important for these kind of cats to make the transition to their new owners. Dale and I both agreed that by waiting even past 6 weeks can really impact of the bonding process which you will have and the trust that can be built from a crucial stage in their emotional and sensory development.
I always recommend that your serval or caracal kitten vaccination is not normally carried out until at least 16 weeks of age due to the slower rate of growth. This is why the feeding requirements are crucial because you become Mum or Dad; you become the only source of life for these kittens and it's crucial you get it right.
Many of you who follow serval and caracal groups on social media will have read recently of a number of servals who have been suffering from a calcium deficiency where, in layman's terms, the bones fracture in the legs and the kittens become unable to support the weight of their bodies on their legs. Many of them have died. There has been a number of deaths of serval and caracal kittens which have been delivered with broken legs over the past few years, not only in the USA but in Europe and this rate appears to be increasing as people buy servals, often related, then breed them to make a quick buck. None of these breeders appear to know or more importantly care what they are doing. These servals are arriving with CITES papers with Savannah written on them and we have been contacted by people who are living in fear that their cats are illegal and fear of them being seized and destroyed. Two breeders which we urge to err on the side of caution (or basically just set your money on fire) with are in Russia and Ukraine. You do not want to go through the heartache that several people have been through with these breeders. Even more recently, servals are being sold from the UK without any paperwork at all and sent abroad in the hope that they won’t get caught or seized. This becomes more about the money than the animals. BE CAREFUL.
As you know, I am very keen on supplementation and diet research for all of our cats. Some breeders heavily stress by feeding a mixed whole prey diet, that your serval or caracal kitten would be perfectly healthy and this is true to an extent. Often cats in captivity do not eat the whole prey which they would in the wild because they know that their next meal is coming by sunset. Feeding your serval or caracal kitten on chicken drumsticks and mixed minced meat is NOT sufficient for their diet. They need much more than raw meat and some bones. We always recommend you buy Keizebrink Organ Mix to add to your meat and we ALWAYS use carefully measured supplements which are like multivitamins for cats - the main ones are here. It is important that once your serval kitten is weaned that you still add some milk to their meat for the first 6 - 9 months of their life as kittens. Many will still feed them bottles to keep that bond - and that is perfectly okay also. If you do not want to feed a bottle to a serval or caracal then this is not the right kitten for you. This is a major part of the 'breakthrough-barrier' in getting them used to living in captivity alongside you.
So here are some details that should hopefully get you started.
We recommend that you start to wean on a mixture of Animonda Carny Kitten “Baby Paté” and then onto the mixed varieties. This is because there is a good quality meat within these tins and there is much less risk of bacteria growth than raw meat. We also use Purrform Complete Raw Meat which must be supervised at all times to prevent the spread of bacteria potential. The best thing you can do at feeding time is place the meat on a plate on top of a puppy training pad, this way it can be disposed of immediately after feeding and a bath can be given to the kittens feet and face.
You can buy the Animonda Kitten food on Zooplus and Purrform is directly from their website.
Animonda Carny Kitten is a well-balanced moist food for growing cats. Your kitten needs lots of good quality protein to ensure that it has a good start in life and grows in a healthy way. This is why the Animonda Carny Kitten recipes only contain selected premium meat varieties. The freshly prepared varieties are gently cooked to preserve nutrients and fulfill the nutritional needs of growing cats.
These foods only contain fresh muscle meat and offal, so that the structure of the meat is maintained, providing your cat with a healthy dose of natural taurine. All of the varieties are grain free, making them suitable for cats with allergies and intolerances. Animonda Carny is also free from artificial additives and soya.
Animonda Carny Kitten has a natural, authentic meat flavour that cats love. The label shows which meat types are included, so that you know exactly what you are feeding to your pet.
Beef, Chicken & Rabbit: Beef (33%, lung, meat, heart, kidney, udder), chicken liver (20%), rabbit (12%), calcium carbonate.
Beef, Veal & Chicken: Beef (32%, meat, heart, kidney, udder), veal (17%, lungs, liver), chicken (16%, liver, neck), calcium carbonate.
Beef & Turkey Hearts: Beef (50%, lung, meat, heart, kidney, liver, udder), turkey hearts (15%), calcium carbonate.
Poultry: Beef (39%, lung, meat, heart, kidney, udder), chicken liver (14%), turkey hearts (6%), duck hearts (6%), calcium carbonate.
Nutritional additives /kg:
Vitamin D3 (200 IU), iodine (0.2 mg), manganese (1.5mg), zinc (10mg).
protein 11.0 %
fat 6.0 %
fibre 0.3 %
ash 1.7 %
moisture 80.0 %
taurine 0.8 g/kg
You can buy the Animonda Kitten food on Zooplus and Purrform is directly from their website.
How to start
You would ideally feed from a teaspoon (silver spoon) and wedge just under the front teeth at about 4 weeks old. Your kitten will show resistance to this, but once they get a taste, they will likely start to nibble it off the spoon. You may find whatever you get into their mouth they just push back out again with their tongue. This is a normal part of weaning and don’t lose hope. Keep trying twice a day and continue with bottle feeds as normal. Once they take it easily off the spoon you can lure them to lean down to the bowl with the spoon. You might find they only eat the bits you scoop onto the spoon but keep encouraging them to follow the spoon to the bowl and they will soon be eating from the bowl without your help.
You should only need weaning paste for about a week at the most and then you can move onto more chewy, thicker textures. Be very careful about giving him chicken drumsticks as they don’t really have that much goodness in them due to the fact that the cats need organs in their diet to be complete. The chicken meat and bone is good but they will be too little to chew the bone. The better alternative is day old chicks. They are GREAT fun. Very tasty, high in nutrients and fun to throw about for an hour before eating. The bones are soft in day old chicks and so easy to eat.
AT NO POINT SHOULD YOU GIVE YOUR SERVAL BISCUITS/ KIBBLE. IT IS NOT A NATURAL FOOD FOR THEM.
You can feed your kitten up to 6 - 10% of their body weight per day for good growth.Once your serval has got to 4 months they should be ready to eat quail and larger whole prey. You can give this to them gradually by cutting them in half with a butcher’s knife and serving in parts. Be careful not to leave uneaten food lying around for too long as the bacteria grows at room temperature and you do not want a sick baby serval. By the time they have got to 4 months of age you really do not need to give them any bottles but can continue to do so for bonding purposes.
You can really mix it up to make it interesting for your serval or caracal cat. You can tie food on string to the roof of their enclsoures so they have to find a way up to it, you can hide it inside cardboard boxes or up a tree! They enjoy 1 quail and 5 day old chicks in the morning 0800 hours, then they have around 500grams/ 1.1lbs of meat at night for dinner at 2000 hours. You really want to stick to around 3 – 5% of their bodyweight in meat per day depending on their metabolism.
A pregnant serval or caracal should be allowed at least 2 – 3 times the amount they would normally eat on a daily basis. They will need it for the growth and feeding of the kittens after birth. We always continue to feed our servals this amount for 3 months after the birth of their kittens even though the kittens are hand-reared by us from 3 weeks of age for socialisation purposes. This helps to bring mum back to perfect condition. A “working” serval male will also require a good diet to keep his energy levels high.
Servals and caracals do become lazy if overfed, so try and keep them in a nice lean condition.
This is copyright and watermarked. You may contact us for a copy of this table for personal use.
We even import the milk for you!
You can buy the milk required for healthy Serval, Caracal and Savannah Kittens.
Zoo Logic Milk Matrix 33/40
A milk replacer and nutritional supplement fortified with vitamins and minerals to be used in feeding wild and exotic non-domestic animals such as Squirrels, Rabbits, Opossum, Wolves, Lions, Tigers, Pumas, Servals, Caracals, Binturongs and all Rodents. Part of an integrated system designed to let you virtually match any mammal’s milk.
Reconstituting milk replacers with water is most accurately accomplished by weighing the individual components. If weighing is not possible, use the following volume measurements to reconstitute Milk Matrix 33/40 powder to the indicated concentrations:
A volume is a measurement such as a teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, etc. Suggested powder:water mixing ratios for various species:
1:1 Rabbit. Most Rodents
1:1.5 Squirrel, Opossum
1:2 Serval, Caracal, Lion, Tiger, Puma, Wolf
Milk Matrix 33/40
Weights determined by scooping powder from the container and leveling. These values are only guidelines and can vary 5-10% due to variation in production.
Milk Replacer: Milk Matrix 33/40 may be used alone or blended with other products in the Matrix family to formulate a milk replacer with nutrient levels that closely match a species’ natural milk.
As a general rule, liquid or reconstituted milk replacer should be fed at a rate of 10% to 20% of the bodyweight daily or as tolerated and required for steady growth and proper stool condition. Divide the total daily amount into 6 to 12 feedings per day, depending on age, condition, species and staffing.
Reconstituted milk replacers should be refrigerated and used within 24 hours. Feed at room or body temperature depending on size and condition of animal.
Weaning Food Supplement: Because of its highly digestible milk nutrients, the formula used during suckling is an excellent supplement during weaning as a transition from milk to solid food. Add to the diet at the rate of one teaspoon of powder per 10 lbs. of bodyweight.
Calorie Content (calculated)
The calorie content (ME) is 740 kcal/kg or 11.1kcal/tbs when powder is reconstituted 1:2.
Unblended product: Refrigerate after opening. Discard if unused after three months.
Blended powder: Refrigerate for up to three months.
Note: To extend storage life of opened or blended powder, freeze in sealed container; discard after six months. Unopened product may be frozen to extend shelf life for six months beyond expiration date.
Crude Protein, min. 33.0%
Crude Fat, min. 40.0%
Crude Fiber 0.0%
Moisture, max. 5.0%
Vegetable oil (preserved with BHA, BHT, propyl gallate and citric acid), dried skimmed milk, casein, egg yolk, L-arginine, DL-methionine, calcium carbonate precipitated, potassium phosphate monobasic, lecithin, dried corn syrup, calcium hydroxide, salt, monocalcium phosphate, sodium hydroxide, choline chloride, potassium chloride, silicon dioxide, magnesium carbonate, taurine, magnesium sulfate, vitamin A supplement, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, manganese sulfate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride.
KMR Kitten Milk Replacer - PetAg
RECOMMENDED FOR F2 SAVANNAHS ONWARDS.
Opened powder should be stored in a cool, dry place. Reconstituted KMR must be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Opened powder must be refrigerated for up to 3 months, or can be frozen for up to 6 months to preserve freshness.
Dried skim milk, casein, vegetable oil, butterfat, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides of edible fat-forming acids, lecithin, L-arginine, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, monopotassium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, salt, carrageenan, tricalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, taurine, ferrous sulfate, dicalcium phosphate, ascorbic acid, zinc sulfate, niacinamide, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, vitamin E supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, potassium citrate, thiamin mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, potassium iodide, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin.
Crude Protein, min
Crude Fat, min
Crude Fiber, max
Miracle Nipples and Syringes
Beaphar Lactol Feeding Set
SERVAL KITTENS UK
We have a crazy waiting list at the moment for boys. As much as we love getting to know you all and chatting with you in PMs, without a copy of your licence, we cannot legally sell you a serval.
We also expect you to have gained a reasonable amount of knowledge either through our website http://www.stylisticat.com/blog/dwa-licence-questions
or other avenues, understand basics on what serval dietary requirements are, the specialist veterinary care you require, imprinting process and if you plan to become a licensed carrier to take them to the vet in your vehicle (yes you need a licence for that too) and when our baby comes to you it needs to be their forever home and had experience either visually or at another owners.
In the UK, you need a DWA Licence to own a serval and this means a secure enclosure approved by your local council for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence. The pictures you see of them in the family home are not generally allowed in the UK, unless a breeder is licensed for one room within the house.
To save us replying to all your private messages and e-mails individually with the same response - If you would be interested in a serval from us and want to be on a waiting list then we ask all persons to send us a copy of their licence and pictures of their enclosures to email@example.com.
We could sell these cats 5 times over to unlicensed homes but we are responsible breeders who are most interested in the welfare of our cats. Your cat will be seized without a licence.
We will not sell a serval to breeders of Savannahs with less than 3 years breeding experience, this to ensure you are truly in it for the long haul.
And are you ready to give up your holidays away from home? Your baby will need you and that could possibly mean only you!
We won't ship them outside the UK> 16-30 weeks is too old for them to imprint.
We won't fake dates on vaccinations to enable you to get them overseas very young like breeders in Ukraine, Belgium other places in Europe and Russia.
Chances are if you get CITES paperwork it will be fake as there are no CITES for a serval to the UK from the EU. Check the CITES, does it say Savannah when it's supposed to say serval?...
"But they are cheaper overseas". Yes, they are a lot cheaper but there is a reason why our prices are what they are. Importing a serval or a cheap F1 Savannah to the UK means:
This is why buying from the UK makes all the difference as we make sure that your serval is with you in time to imprint on you. You become their one and only.
We will give you guidance on settling in.
We will give you a lifetime of love and support.
We will give you a very special piece of our hearts.
We will give you a very socialised baby serval which has been raised properly.
We will deliver to your door. (We like to have a look at where they are going to live).
We only want the best for our babies and to make sure that you are going to be dedicated for the next 20 or so years to this wonderful animal that you would like to take home.
Some say we don't even want to sell them because we are so rigorous. We think that if you want a serval to be your world for the next 20 years then getting your licence is only the start. Our clients are those who are dedicating their lives to these animals, who are eager to learn and ready to take on the highs and lows of owning a truly magnificent wild animal.
"We're not saying it will be easy but we're saying it will be worth it."
- Kayleigh @ Stylisticat
This post is to prevent timewasters. Thank you for understanding.
>SERVAL KITTENS AVAILABLE<
F1 Savannah Cat for sale....no, not worded correctly. I’ll try again.
Beautiful F1 Savannah Cat who loves her Mummy and her other F1 friends so much but not the serval she lives with....
Not really the ideal sales advert or the ideal solution for either the cat in question or myself.
Owning early generation hybrids and wild cats means that you really do need to be responsive to their needs and change things to suit them where possible. Sometimes when a group have been friends through a juvenile period, after becoming Mothers themselves or even approaching adulthood, the hormones can really upset the balance in a cattery environment, even in large enclosures. We always aim to keep the cats occupied through various enrichment experiences and change things up regularly within their enclosures. Sometimes when the cats take a dislike to each other, they can stay in their “mood” for weeks and even months at a time. You, as a responsible owner, must take the sufficient steps to ensure there is a balance at all times.
Emira our F1 Savannah has always been the most stand-off-ish out of our F1’s and a bit less predictable. She was completely un-socialised when we got her, which meant she was absolutely terrified to come near us. Our advice when we received her was, “here is some Supermarket branded pouches with gravy, she likes those best and kibble along with a couple of mice”. I kept her on the Tesco value sachets and biscuits for the first few weeks as I didn’t want to make her feel even worse. We then moved to what she should’ve been on and that was raw meat. The breeder had also kindly included a blanket – for comfort of smell you would think? No, the blanket was for picking her up with, it was for our 'protection', not for the comfort of the kitten. We were advised not to look her in the eyes and put the blanket over our hands before picking her up, ideally from her backed into a corner so we could control her spitting fit. “She is an F1” we were told. “This is what they are like at 10 weeks, totally wild but will come round through time”.
Emira was our first F1, we were very naïve and didn’t realise that she was far from what a socialised and loved F1 should be like on arrival. Thankfully all our other F1’s were raised in the family home and loved dearly before they came to us. They purred! Purring is something we never got from Emi until she was with us for about 6 months. I wouldn’t give up on her.
After time progressed Emira came round, never really enjoying male human company despite the endless nights of playing without eye contact and reaching out to her without force from my Husband. She has always been so striking in looks and produced lovely kittens for us. She got on with my female serval so well when she was introduced as a playmate as a kitten. They played great together and even slept beside each other in the indoor sleeping house.
After Emira had kittens, she decided she didn’t like the serval anymore. The serval grew bigger and Emira just ‘felt different’. We resisted the sale of Emi for so long and tried changing the cats round, but then it left everyone else upset. She gave my serval a hard time and then as the serval grew, she got it back twice as hard. “I’ll have to rehome her, it’s the only option to rework the balance”, I said to Gordon. “She just hates this serval and I don’t know what else to do”. I asked a breeder who owns Emira’s sisters at her cattery and she said, “I don’t want her. We have enough problems with her sisters!”. I thought, well, at least Emira is not causing any problems when she is not with the serval, so that is a bonus!
F1 Savannah cats are notorious, along with servals for imprinting on one (to two at the most) human. They do this from a young age, within the first few months of their life and that is why getting an F1 no later than 12 weeks is advisable. Getting an F1 after 12 weeks old could be too late and mean that they won’t accept you without a tremendous amount of work, sometimes to no avail. Moving them to a new home can be catastrophic for them and the new owners. I had heard this for years from several breeders, namely of servals and F1's, where they said they would keep all their cats for life…until recently we were told that several breeders cats had been offered for free as an “off-load” to make way for new cats. Along with advice on how never to advertise on certain listings and just to give them away cheap to make it look like you are in demand. They advised me on not selling cats unless they were excellent type and to give away those ones less than perfect, which would ensure your image was perfect because of the way of customer perception. “Everyone is full of shit”, I thought. "I'm my own person, honest, first and foremost and I can make the right decisions for my own cattery". The people who have done this for way longer than us, that preached the best way to care for early generation hybrids and wild cats in the beginning, were doing exactly what they told us never to do - rehoming! You now see their own advice not applying to the person giving it but happy to deceive everyone through hiding the less-than-perfect parts of breeding. I thought to myself, who-ever I decide to home Emi with must have vast amount of experience and be willing to put in the work to bring her round to trusting them. How else could we work out the situation to accommodate, most importantly? But who can I trust?
I reluctantly advertised her. The advert was the largest post I have ever written for an advert on a cat for sale. I boasted about her type, my darling baby, so perfect in every way, the perfect cat. “Doesn’t get along with my serval”, I wrote. I thought this is absolutely killing me.
I received loads of e-mails every day about her. People saw it as a bargain.
“I don’t have a licence but I’ll get one, how much is it?”
“I breed blue puppies because I get £1,000 more a puppy than regular puppies – breed removed- so I’d like an F1 Savannah 'cause they make the most”
“I’ll give you X for her as she is less valuable than a kitten”
It was ALL about money, no-one had a *swear word removed* care about the difficulties in mating F1's. How can I even consider discussing the TYPE of home on offer when we can’t even get past the financial ‘interest’. This isn’t working. To be honest, she is a really friendly F1 now when she is not kittening and I had no concerns with her temperament on a regular day. No-one was really ever going to understand the difference of an F1’s temperament when they have kittens and how to suit/ adjust things to suit an F1 queen which has kittens, when they were more interested in the financial outcome of such kittens. And what happened when they realised how hard it can be to produce F2 kittens or to have live F2 kittens even AFTER a mating has been successful? The thing I most interested in for my F1 was TRUST.
We sat on the bench one evening, as we do, while I have a cup of tea and a chat with the early generation Savannah girls. They know all my stories and secrets. They chat back to me. Emi was reaching up and pawing my face so I would lower it in order for her to reach and give me a head bop. “Ma-ma”, she meowed and I just burst into tears.
I just can’t let my girl go. She is my child and I am her Mother, her world. I have to make this work, there must be another way.
Revelation moment and total re-evaluation of the setup. We pulled together and brain-stormed, drew up plans, put ideas across to each other.
Emira has a new fantastic enclosure pictured above where she now lives happily with some of our other F1’s, her best friends.
The plans were drawn up, the enclosures were all re-worked and within 2 weeks of re-working it all, the equilibrium that we once had, was restored. We now have other enclosures drawn up to ensure that we can move any more girls if required. They are our babies and I couldn’t ever imagine them going anywhere else.
What do you think of your new enclosure Emi?
She just looked at me, just like in this picture below.
"I am home", she said with her eyes, then smiled.
F1 Savannah Cat "NOT" for sale.
#savannahcat #f1savannahcat #savannahcatforsale #f1savannahkitten #savannahkittens #hybridcats #hybrid #servalcats #servalcatforsale #servalsintheuk #savannahcatsuk #savannahinGB #Stylisticatsavannahcats #catoftheday #instacat #stylisticathybridcats #hybridkittens #hybridownership
With the holiday season coming up I thought it was relevant to share general advice on travelling with your pet. Some of you may decide to put your cats into kennels during your holiday. The aim of this advice is to help your pet be the most comfortable on it’s travels. This can also be relevant if you are purchasing a kitten and want it delivered throughout the UK or internationally.
Make sure it is a suitable size for your pet. It should be big enough for your animal to stand up and turn around in without feeling cramped. It should be long enough for them to lie down in and a have a nap.
It should provide fresh air to the animal inside and is one of the most important factors to prevent it getting to hot on it’s journey.
The carrier should be escape-proof and is better if it means the animal is unable to stick their paw or head out of. There are new plastic fronted carriers which are sturdy and prevent the paw injuries which can occur in general mesh fronted carriers. It is always best to use IATA approved carriers. This means they are deemed safe for use in flights. Always strap your carrier down in any transport situation.
We prefer vet bed for travel but it can be messy. The best thing on the first few hours of your journey is puppy training pads as these can easily be put into the bin and replaced if a toilet break has been required. Generally after a few hours the introduction of your pets favourite blanket or bedding can help relax your animal and encourage them to nap the journey.
Litter tray on not?
We use extra large carriers on our long distances. This enables us to have a litter tray and a bed side by side. This is to make sure that the cat feels comfortable to be able to go to the toilet.
Access to Water and Food
Bowls which clip onto the carrier are the best as this way they are unable to be stood on or knocked over. They are very cheap to buy and some even come with the carrier as standard. Your pet may not feel like eating or drinking but water is the most important offering on a journey because the stress can make your animal become dehydrated, alongside the heat.
Make sure you leave the carrier beside the animal a few weeks before the journey to ensure it has their scent and the have got used to the idea of going inside it to nap. We also offer food inside it so that the cat feels comfortable eating inside – this encourages them to eat on the journey. Toys inside also help them feel safe.
Feed well in advance
Feeding animals right before travelling is not adviseable as not only will this encourage travel sickness, but the potential is greater for toileting and vomiting.
Even with a dog, they are better to be transported in crates. Animals can be distracting in a car and if there is a vehicle collision, your animal could go through the windscreen or cause a deadly injury to a passenger (yes even cats too). The force of an animal projected through a vehicle in a collision can be deadly to the animal and passengers.
If travelling in the car then try to ensure you go on the coolest part of the day. This will make the trip more comfortable for all involved.
Ensure stops are minimal and the time that your animal spends alone is minimal.
Are you insured?
Some car insurance policies don’t cover you for travelling with a pet unless they are carried securely. Some don’t cover you for carrying a pet at all. Check.
Some pets can benefit from a special proven supplement which can help with the stress of travelling. Ask your vet about this product or contact us for advice. This product must be started in advance of your travel to ensure it has started to work.
Travelling by: CAR
Try to take your animal on short trips first to show them that it is okay to travel and they don’t need to be scared. Reward them after each trip with attention and treats. Make it a happy, enjoyable experience where possible.
Secure your animal
It is the law in the UK to restrain an animal and prevent them from distracting you whilst driving. For dogs, you must use a dog guard to prevent them from coming into the back seats from the boot, or an appropriate crate.
DO NOT LEAVE ANIMALS IN HOT CARS even for a few minutes. It only takes a few minutes for a car to double the temperature of the outside.
Take regular stops
Cats and dogs prefer to drink when stationary and dogs prefer to do the toilet outside! You can also change pads and food at stops for cats.
You can usually take animals on all public transport, even dogs. Check in advance.
Always take animals in carriers where possible to prevent escape or discomfort.
Time of day
Try to avoid busy periods as this will reduce the stress to both you and the animal.
Take poo bags in case you need to do what we all wish we didn’t have to – clean up poo!!
Usually you can pay a small fee to have your animal on a pet passport, travel on the ferry with you. You usually have to leave them in the car and may only have select times to return back to the car to check on them. If it is very hot you may decide not to travel to prevent risk to your animal as you will have to leave them in the car. The car decks can be noisy so it is worth getting a supplement for your animal before travelling to reduce stress. See above.
Make sure the carrier is well ventilated and if possible, leave the windows of your car all slightly open. Make sure the animal can’t escape from the window!
Always check with the airline for their individual requirements on your pets travel. In the UK it is not permitted to have any animals in the cabin and they must go into the hold. Some pet owners decide to drive out of the UK and fly from the EU to enable them to fly in the cabin with the owners. This applies to all our kittens. We cannot ship a cat to you in cabin unless you wish to collect from anywhere out of the UK. Additional fees may apply. Carriers must be IATA approved.
Sometimes it may be necessary to have a courier transport your animal for you. We always recommend fully vetting your courier before paying any deposit or in full before having them transport your kitten. There are many things you should consider when selecting a courier for your kitten.
Firstly, is the animal insured to be travelling with the courier?
Are they giving you a contract for the transportation of your animal?
Will the animal be alone or travelling with other pets?
What's the infection control process to ensure your pet is kept safe and secure from infectious diseases?
Do they have secure carriers for your pet?
If they are transporting a DWA animal - do they have a carrying licence for the animal?
We are Defra-Approved registered carriers for the transportation of Dangerous Wild Animal cats and can carry rabies-risk/ quarantine cats. Generally, we hand-deliver all of our kittens where possible and collect any new cats ourselves with relevant paperwork for border control inspection.
Passport and Paperwork
You must have a passport of equivalent paperwork for your animal you wish to travel with, import or export. Generally most animals fall into the Pet Travel Scheme set by DEFRA, the UK Government, but it is worth bearing in mind that some do not. In order to cross the border at some countries you may also require an additional licence granted by CITES. The purpose of the passport is to make sure the microchip matches the passport and vaccinations are up to date.
In our case, for Savannahs, you can import and export anything to/ from the UK with no CITES required provided it's within the EU. A brief guide below:
Wild Cat Transportation, Import/ Export
We are often asked about importing cats into the UK because they are less expensive abroad (see hidden fees below!). The same rules apply to wild cats as it does to F1 Savannahs. You must have a carrying agent transport your cat.
So, although there are cheaper cats such as £4,500 for a wild cat in europe, by the time you import the cat and pay for the quarantine it will cost you anything up to £9,000 in Scotland and £10,000 in England after all the fees. Most importantly, the cats cannot enter the quarantine until they have had a rabies injection at 12 weeks old (no earlier) and waited 21 days. The cat will arrive into quarantine at 15 weeks old and undergo the most important bonding period in isolation. The cute kitten you originally purchased, will arrive to you around 8 months old (almost adult size) and may not be approachable by you as it's new owner. It is not good for the cat or you as the new owner. Do you really want to miss out on those bottle feeds and special bonding suckles?
The above is to demonstrate the substantial cost of importing these animals and why the kittens from such animals are therefore more expensive in the UK than in Europe and USA/ CA.
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ようこそ！| Sveiki | Добро пожаловат | Välkomna | Velkommen | ยินดีต้อนรับ | خوش آمدید | 환영 |
All about Stylisticat, written by Kayleigh McIntosh-Lowrie
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