The Savannah Breed Origin
Savannahs are a relatively new breed in the cat world, originally created through the breeding of an African Serval (Wild cat) and a Domestic Cat. This is a highly specialist breeding program and something which can only be tackled with the right environment to ensure the safety, wellbeing and happiness of the breeding cats. The kittens derived from the Serval and Domestic Cat are called "F1" Savannah kittens.
We prefer to select breeding Queens and Studs from the most pure Savannahs and that means that the Servals have been mated with Savannahs and not general domestic cats. Some of our boys are also SBT's, which means that they have been created through 3 consecutive Savannah matings, classing them as "Purebred".
It has a tall and slim build which makes them look very big, even though their weight may not be what is seems. Size is very dependent on generation and sex. The F1 Hybrid male cats usually are the largest due to genetic factors. F1 and F2 hybrids are usually the largest, due to the stronger genetic influence of the African serval ancestor. Male Savannahs tend to be larger than females but because of the large variance in distribution of genetics in any one hybrid litter, weight and size can vary greatly. It can take a Savannah up to 2 years to grow to their adult size. Earlier generation Savannahs tend to take a further year to grow to full size.
They can grow in height similar to a small dog...but we never offer any guarantees - don't be duped based on kitten size. Some our smallest kittens have grown up to to be the largest out of all siblings. It simply is - just your luck.
Males F1 - F3
Around 9kg/ 20 lbs. and higher.
Females F1 - F3
Usually up to 6.8kg/15 lbs. and higher.
F2 onwards (wood is okay to use but still not chew proof):
You can have a run fitted on to your house by a local joiner.
African Serval or F1 Savannah enclosure:
For an F1 or serval, you need an enclosure. We prefer full metal enclosures - contact us for a supplier. We have a special licence which covers an area of our home under the special breeder DWA Licence we hold, but this is not easily attained or recommended.
It is not just about the construction of the enclosure that is important but also what is inside it that counts. You need to think about the natural environment and not just pop them into a wooden shed with a small outdoor area. They should be able to run and get out of breath, Play hide and seek, splash in the water, jump up high, sit on a perch, shelter from rain or sun, scratch their claws, do the toilet in a clean area every time and, of course, explore new objects.
From time to time we will reconstruct the whole inside of the enclosures to ensure that they feel like they are somewhere exciting again.
The minimum space we would keep F1's (up to 3 plus a male) or a serval (per serval) in is 50 square metres. An example of this is in the picture on the right. The enclosures pictured will be doubled again in size during 2016 just for the F1's and the serval is moving over to her new enclosure with our other servals. This means the F1's will have 120 metres squared to play in.
Savannahs are very fast and they can jump very high. You really need to consider that the Savannah is a high energy cat and that when they are whizzing around the house at a high speed, that they don't really have any consideration for special photo frames on tables or lamps which aren't secure. Having a Savannah Kitten equals remembering to toddler proof your house. We advise you to fit cupboard latches on chemical cupboards just in case your water-loving Savannah decides to try and find out where that sink water is going!
Yes. Savannahs are high energy cats and can move around at high speeds, rather carelessly. This should be taken into consideration if you have small children, as they make get banged into accidentally and be knocked off balance.
They don't require any MORE special supervision when around small children or pets than you would normally be prepared to do with any cat.
You need to work with your Savannah from the very beginning to build a trusting, loving relationship. Any cat is going to react to being mishandled or whacked with a book from a toddler! Children usually need more supervision with your Savannah than the supervision of the cat! The only pets which aren't advisable to combine with your Savannah are goldfish or small rodents as your Savannah will make sure she finds a way in there to get her live food! Always make sure you gradually socialise other pets with your Savannah to reduce the stress and upset that is caused from the new arrival.
Costs we must incur
Costs through choice
This is a very frequently asked question - and rightly so! We always say on a basic level, if you are an inexperienced cat owner then anything from F3 onwards is very similar to a domestic cat in terms of temperament.
An F2 is a bit more 'quirky' and can have more hunting, rough play or wild attributes. You need to have good behaviour training methods and know how to be firm with your Savannah. They do learn the word 'No' but at F2 it may be that you need to reinforce rules more often than F3 onwards.
An F1 requires a licence in the UK so we would expect you not only to be an experienced cat owner, but also preferably an F2 Savannah owner. We would need to see a copy of your licence before we would consider you for an F1 within the UK.
A serval requires a licence in the UK but not in many places outwith the UK. If you are interested in a serval then contact us. This cat requires a lot of patience and understanding of feline behaviours to effectively care for. See our Youtube videos.
The Golden Rule - Don't expect love, trust and compassion to come naturally - work for it.