Breeding and description of the Savannah cat breed

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Breeding and description of the Savannah cat breed
Breeding and description of the Savannah cat breed

The origin of the Savannah cat breed, the standard of appearance, color options and character, health, care for adult specimens and kittens, price upon purchase. Savannah - from the very name of this unique cat breed, the unbearable heat of the endless African plain blows, although it was bred in America. And the wild beauty, strength and grace of these magnificent energetic animals are simply mesmerizing. By their appearance, savanna cats resemble miniature cheetahs with a more graceful neck and a surprisingly noble, regal posture.

Savannah history


The eternal fashion for keeping wild and dangerous animals at home prompted the founder of the breed, American Bengal cat breeder Judy Frank, to a difficult experiment. He was the first to successfully cross a domestic Siamese cat with a wild African serval cat, having received the first representative of the savannah on April 7, 1986, the Savannah cat. Before that, no one had been able to do this. And the point here is not only in the large size of the male wild serval, but also in his unbridled, difficult-to-groom character, which not every domestic cat likes.

Therefore, the most difficult stage of selection is to obtain offspring from a wild serval and a domestic cat, which has an F1 index and is the most expensive. Subsequent generations of savannahs are obtained by crossing cats (cats from this marriage are sterile) savannah semi-serval (F1) with representatives of other breeds of domestic cats. Usually, a Bengal, Oriental, Siamese or Egyptian Mau is taken as a partner for the Savannah cat.

All subsequent generations of savannahs also have their own indexing - from F2 to F5, the price of which, as the serial number increases, significantly decreases - they contain less and less blood of a real wild serval and more and more - an ordinary domestic cat. The most valuable representatives of the breed are kittens obtained by crossing a savannah cat and, again, a wild serval cat.

Later, professional breeder Patrick Kelly joined the Savannah project, who, together with cat breeder Joyce Sroufe, in addition to breeding and popularizing the newly-born breed, developed the foundations of its external standards, adopted in 1996.

Despite the fact that due to the complexity of selection, the breed immediately fell into the category of one of the most expensive, it very quickly gained wild popularity among wealthy connoisseurs and connoisseurs of cats.

Ultimately, in 2001, the savannah was officially recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA). At present, intensive work is underway to prepare the standards for the first championships for this class of cats.

The external standard of Savannah cats

Savannah sits

Savannah, being a relatively new breed, with unstable inherited external characteristics, at the moment does not yet have particularly stringent evaluation criteria. But some guidelines have been set by the developers.

The head is small, in shape it resembles a regular equilateral triangle, outlined by the lines of the cheekbones, brows and chin. Easy transition from forehead to nose. The nose is quite wide. The muzzle is wedge-shaped with a smooth transition to the cheekbones. The protruding small chin complements the triangular line of the head. The neck is long, thin, graceful, forming a regal posture in a sitting animal.

The ears are large, set high and rather wide, with rounded tips and a short furry inside. The distance between the ears of the Savannah cat is small.

The eyes are large, almond-shaped. The top line resembles a boomerang.At the inner edge of the eyes are dark markings that look like flowing tears. Eye color - yellow, copper-yellow, yellowish-green, green. Eye color does not depend on color, but the advantage in assessment is always behind a brighter and more saturated shade of eye color.

The savannah trunk is elongated, athletic, flexible, with muscular shoulders and thighs, with a deep groin line. The line of the back is raised to the croup.

The cat's body length reaches 135 centimeters. The maximum height is 50-60 centimeters. According to its growth parameters, this breed is even listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the tallest among cats - pets. The average weight is 7 kg, but there are also larger representatives with a body weight of up to 15 kg. In general, the height and body weight of savannah cats depends on the generation class. The heaviest and largest are representatives of the F1 and F2 class (they reach the maximum weight of 15 kg). Height and weight indicators of representatives of subsequent generations entirely depend on the breed of the father-cat used in breeding.

The legs are long, slender and well muscled, the hind legs are longer than the front ones. The shape of the feet is oval, with elongated phalanges of the toes. The tail is medium in length and thickness, gradually tapering towards the tip. The length of the tail is such that it does not reach the ground level of a standing animal by 10–12 cm.

The fur of the Savannah cat is coarse, harsh, leopard-colored, and is short to medium in length. There is a softer undercoat. The density of the fur is approximately uniform throughout the body of the animal.

Savannah color standards

Savannah on the fence

Despite the fact that the breed was based on the color as close as possible to the natural color of the wild African serval, there are currently a number of color options obtained as a result of selection of the wild serval with a variety of breeds of domestic cats. Some particularly exotic variants of color were obtained from further crosses of savannah cats with the best representatives of the Egyptian, Burmese, Siamese and oriental breeds.

At the moment, the following colors are allowed by the breed standards:

  • Black uniform (Black) and black smoky (Black Smoke) - the color of a rich black or smoky-black color scheme with a drawing of shadow outlines of spots. The nose and paw pads are black or jet black.
  • Brown Spotted - the main coat color is from dark brown to brownish with oval spots of a darker color, arranged in parallel rows along the entire length of the body. The nose is brown or black.
  • Silver Spotted - A silver base color with contrasting black spots. The nose is black.
  • Tabby (Tabby) - golden, golden yellow, golden orange basic color, the spots are very bright, distinct. The nose may be red, reddish brown, black with a pink or reddish dividing line in the center of the nose.

Other colors of savannah cats are not allowed by the approved standards.

Savannah cat personality traits

Savannah grins

The breeders of the breed still managed to achieve considerable success. Despite the fact that all the animals of the resulting breed look almost as exotic as wild as their wild African serval relatives, in fact, this is just an appearance. In fact, representatives of this feline tribe are distinguished by a very friendly disposition and are almost as loyal and affectionate to the owner as the old friends of the dog man.

The Savannah cat is a very energetic, agile, jumping and inquisitive creature with pronounced exploratory and hunter habits. She loves outdoor games, especially those that resemble hunting: with sneaking up, jumping (and this hefty cat is jumping 2.5 meters in height), pursuit and caught prey at the finish line. Having played out, this pet of considerable weight can easily disrupt the interior of your home, ruin furniture, scratch or even bite the child on purpose. Therefore, you should not leave such an energetic cat alone with children. However, this breed cannot be called aggressive. This is not noted for her. It's just that hunting instincts, inherited from the savage serval, sometimes take their toll and require special attention and the necessary control of the owner.

All savannahs are very fond of dropping objects and watching what happens. And it turns out, as a rule, a scandal. Especially if this item turned out to be an old Chinese vase or an important document, beautifully planted into a puddle. After a reprimand from the owner, they go around “sulking” for a long time, not wanting to communicate.

Savannahs quickly find common ground with other pets living in the house. They have a particularly good relationship with dogs. Yes, they themselves are more like dogs than cats. They love to catch and bring a thrown ball or stick, they easily get used to the leash and walk with pleasure and for a long time, run out to meet guests who have come or the owner who has been absent for a long time.

The most amazing thing is that such a lively and playful cat can easily endure its own loneliness. Probably because servals in nature are also lone hunters, he is able to stay for a long time in a state of waiting for the arrival of people or other animals, without experiencing much anxiety or stress.

The savannah cat is smart and highly resourceful. Easy to train. In the company of pets, especially other cats, she always tries to be boss, which is not surprising given her rather big size and very active character. She is very persistent in achieving what she wants, if she has already put something in her head, then be sure - she will achieve her goal.

Do not mind taking a ride in a car or taking a walk in nature. He loves water very much and, on occasion, will never deny himself the pleasure of swimming or at least wetting his paws. Easily accustomed to daily routines (but loves to wander at night in search of adventure), feeding schedules, and litter box.

The animal is unusually expressive in communication. Especially in the language of postures and gestures. Savannah voice communication is also usually different from that of common domestic cats. For example, their hiss, which sometimes resembles the hiss of a snake, does not mean that the savannah is aggressive or scared by something. No - it's just that she is trying to tell you something in secret, share her impressions of life.

Savannahs are very attached to their owners and to the house in which they live. This should never be forgotten when starting such an exotic pet.

Cat health

Savannah on a leash with children

Representatives of all generations of this breed are distinguished by good health and do not cause much trouble to their owners.

However, this does not mean that they do not need preventive examinations and the necessary vaccinations against standard feline diseases. Sometimes, according to the observations of veterinarians, in adults, already in adulthood, liver problems arise, primarily associated with an improper diet.

It is a well-known fact that all males of savannas up to the fourth generation are sterile. Therefore, male kittens of these generations are usually castrated by breeders before being sold.

The average life span of these large cats, under good conditions, reaches 15 years.

Savannah cat care

Savannah cat and cat

Although savannahs are an exotic cat breed, keeping and caring for them is not much different from caring for other large breeds.

When preparing to purchase this unusual pet, the future owner should discuss the necessary rules of behavior with a cat with his family members, especially with children (it is children who most often suffer from joint games with this animal).

In order to develop a unified line of animal upbringing, it is necessary to immediately stipulate the mandatory restrictions and rules of behavior for the future pet, the place of its feeding and toilet.

It is necessary to create conditions not only for comfortable, but also for the safe existence of the savanna in the house. Especially if the animal is planned to live in a house with several floors or in an apartment of a high-rise building. Reliable decorative grilles on the windows will help prevent the playing jumping hunter from falling out of the window through the mosquito net.

It is also necessary to remove all indoor plants with toxic properties and electrical appliances further away. The young savanna will definitely try to taste all the plants and wires that surround it. Savannah is quite problematic to keep in a city apartment, the cat requires too much free space. In this sense, a country house or a manor house is always preferable.

A spacious aviary with a multi-level climbing complex, a secluded nook for sleeping and a log for sharpening claws is best suited directly for placing the savannah. There you can also equip a place for a toilet, eating, put a deep and stable container of water (savannahs like to go into the water while drinking). The aviary should be warm - savannas do not like cold. Keeping in an aviary does not mean that the animal can not be walked. Walking in nature for 1-2 hours is a must.

Savannah wool in its structure does not require constant tedious care, a standard combing out during the shedding period is sufficient. But these animals love to swim. And if the owners have such an opportunity, then you can give your pet to communicate with the water to its fullest. It is necessary to bathe a cat with shampoo only in cases of severe pollution, which is rare - savannahs are well-known cleanliness.

Since savannas are purebred and very expensive cats, their diet should be at the level. It is recommended to feed with high quality feed from the best manufacturers (in accordance with the indicated norms), supplemented with natural ingredients: lean raw meat and lean fish. Eating fermented milk products, pork and fatty fish (tuna, salmon, cod, etc.) is excluded. An adult animal is fed no more than 2-3 times a day.

Kittens "home serval"

Cat with kittens of Savannah breed

The difficulties of breeding do not allow ordinary animal owners to independently engage in obtaining offspring. This is done exclusively by professional breeders who, respecting their clients, the mother-cat and their work, sell only kittens that have already reached the age of three months (kittens should receive maximum communication and training from the mother-cat).

The Savannah kitten becomes ready for long-distance transportation only at the age of five months, after appropriate preparation and vaccination.

Price when buying a Savannah kitten

Savannah kitten

Difficulties in breeding, uniqueness and exoticism of the Savannah breed naturally affected the price. Savannah is one of the most expensive cats in the world. Its cost, depending on the generation (F1 – F5) and gender, ranges from 4 to 22 thousand US dollars.

Moreover, the scarcity of this rare breed served as an incentive for a scam, which was organized by the fraudster Simon Brody, who began to sell the rarest representatives of the Savannah breed as the newest exclusive Ashera breed. And although the swindler himself is on the wanted list, the Asher scam is still ongoing, be careful.

More information about this breed in the following video:

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