The Savannah Cat is a beautiful, exotic cat. It is a domesticated hybrid cat breed. This cat is bred by mating a domestic cat with a serval- a medium sized African cat with large ears. It has been popular with cat breeders since it was first bred in 1986. In 2001, the International Cat Association began recognizing it as an official breed.
These cats are very social and are often compared to dogs due to their loyal nature. They can also be taught how to play fetch and enjoy taking walks on a leash.
Traits and Features of the Savannah Cat
Savannah cats are one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. Weights range from 7 to 30lbs. Males are generally bigger than females. Also, cats which are closer in generation to the original African ancestor will be larger in size than those lower down the gene line.
Their coat and coloring is dependent on the domestic cat used for breeding. Spots only occur on early generations, unless the breeding occurs with naturally spotted cats. There are various colorings accepted by TICA, including: brown-spotted tabby (cool to warm brown, tan or gold with black or dark brown spots), silver-spotted tabby (silver coat with black or dark grey spots), black (black with black spots), and black smoke (black-tipped silver with black spots). Although you can find them with different coats, those are the only ones accepted as full-bred and in competition.
Savannah cats have a very “wild” look to them. This is due to some very distinct features. The first is, of course, the coat and coloring. Other “wild” features include: wide, rounded, deeply cupped ears; fat puffy noses, hooded eyes, and long legs.
It can be quite difficult to breed a Savannah Cat. The gestation period for servals and domestic cats is different (65 and 75 days respectively). Many pregnancies are absorbed or aborted.
Savannah Cats are often compared to dogs in that they are loyal, follow their owners around, and can even be trained to walk on a leash. Early exposure to people and pets are key to a Savannah cats’ friendliness as an adult.
They have very good jumping abilities. They can leap up to 8 feet high from standing. They are very curious and can potentially get into a lot of trouble if you are not careful! Unlike most cats, Savannah Cats do not fear water and actually enjoy playing in it! Don’t be surprised if the cat tries to jump into the bath while the water’s running.
A common health problem in Savannah Cats is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It is also a condition which affects many purebreds.