Savannah Cat Personality [Traits and Temperament]

The Savannah cat is an adventurous, loyal, playful breed who loves to play fetch, splash around in the water and even take walks on a lead. Counting the wild African Serval as an ancestor, these cats can grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh in at up to 25 pounds. The Savannah is the perfect blend of exotic pets with a friendly and sociable nature.

Continue reading to discover the origins of the Savannah cat and how the filial generation can affect the traits and temperament of the feline. Learn the temperament, maintenance needs, and cost of a Savannah and fall in love with the personality traits of these beautiful creatures.

What Is A Savannah Cat?

The Savannah is a hybrid or crossbreed of the African Serval and a domestic cat. In 1986 the first known Savannah was born when Judee Frank’s domestic cat gave birth to a kitten whose father was an African Serval. 

Suzi Wood, the breeder who obtained this cat, called her and the breed “Savannah.” Savannah carried traits of both a domestic cat and a wild cat and produced several F2 litters.

What Are The Key Traits Of A Savannah?

Height14-17 inches
Weight12-25 pounds
Lifespan12-20 years
Easy to train
TemperamentFriendly toward humans and other pets
Highly territorial
Loyal and affectionate
Strong prey tendencies
Shedding RateLow
Easy to groom
Coat LengthShort
Solid or Tabby pattern

What Are The Characteristics Of A Savannah Cat?

Savannah cats have a similar weight to many other cat breeds, but their height makes them appear much larger. The characteristics of this breed are a triangular head with big ears and a long, slender neck. Their legs are also longer than the average cat.

Savannahs are exotic-looking cats that resemble their African ancestors. They typically come with black, brown, or silver tabby patterns, complete with dark brown or black spots. There are also Savannahs with lighter coat colors or smoky patterns.

One of the most striking features of a Savannah cat is that they resemble mini cheetahs. Guinness World Records have named them the world’s tallest domestic cat, with the male Savannah possessing the ability to grow up to 25 pounds. However, the exact size of your Savannah depends on their ancestry.

Another unique trait of the Savannah cat is the striking almond-shaped eyes that possess a dark tear duct line. Their eye color usually (but not always) corresponds to their coat color.

What Are The Different Generations Of A Savannah Cat?

Breeders define Servals by their F (filial) generation, which informs you how far removed a cat is from its wild ancestors. An F1 Savannah cat is the first generation of a Serval and a domestic cat. An F2 Savannah possesses one parent who is an F1 Savannah cat and one parent who is a domestic cat.

An F3 Savannah possesses one parent who is an F2 Savannah cat and one parent who is a domestic cat – and so on.

In addition, the filial number will have an accompanying letter that shows the Savannah to Savannah generational breeding. 

“A” represents a cat with one parent who is a Savannah and one parent who is an outcross (such as the Serval)

“B” represents a cat with two parents who are Savannahs. At least one parent is an A breed, and at least one grandparent is an outcross.

“C” represents a cat with two parents who are Savannahs. Both parents are A or B, and at least one grandparent is an A.

No matter which generation of Savannah you purchase, you will have a lively and friendly pet on your hands. An F1 – F3 Savannah will likely be larger than later generations but by no means guaranteed. Any generation of Savannah can grow up to be a small, medium, or large cat.

What Are The Characteristics Of Early Generation Savannah Cats?

F1 to F3 generation Savannahs have a closer ancestry to the African Serval and will often be more energetic than later generations. These earlier breeds form incredibly strong bonds with their humans, which is rewarding but challenging.

An early generation Savannah will not readily accept change, and they can quickly become fearful during guest visits, vet trips, or holidays. These cats make an exotic and special pet for owners with the time and energy to dedicate to their wellbeing.

What Are The Characteristics Of Later Generation Savannah Cats?

Mid-range (F4-F5) and later generation (F6-F8) Savannahs slot much more easily into the average lifestyle and are often compared to a pet dog in temperament. They are outgoing and sociable and love to meet new people.

Later-generation Savannahs accept change much more readily and are easier to train. These cats make more suitable family pets as they are lower maintenance, easier to manage, and lower cost while still maintaining the unique qualities that a Savannah offers.

How Long Does A Savannah Cat Take To Reach Maturity?

A Savannah cat takes around three years to fully mature and reach adult size.

What Is The Temperament Of A Savannah Cat?

Savannah Cats possess strong hunting instincts, so they aren’t ideal for a home with small pets such as fish, birds, or hamsters. However, the Savannah has a mild temperament, making it the perfect companion for humans, children, cats, and dogs.

These cats will sit on your lap (when they want to) and often choose a favorite person who they will stick close to. You must socialize Savannahs at an early age to get them used to the company of humans.

Savannahs are a playful breed that loves to run, climb, and jump; they possess an impressive ability to jump up to eight feet horizontally. People often say they are a talkative breed, and they will usually make a whole range of vocalizations to anyone who’ll listen.

Are Savannah Cats High Maintenance?

Savannah cats require less grooming than longhaired breeds, but they can often end up very dirty because of their playfulness. Luckily, they love water and will be happy to take a bath.

Savannah cats need plenty of fresh water and a high-protein diet to maintain the proper nutrition for an active lifestyle. One of the most important factors to consider is space.

This breed requires plenty of space to run, climb and hide. At a minimum, they need one cat tree, lots of interactive toys to challenge their minds, and several scratching posts. A Savannah will love to play outside but can easily jump over or crawl under fences, so you’ll need to ensure that your area is fully secured.

How Much Does A Savannah Cost?

First-generation Savannah’s are the most costly, with a price tag of up to $20,000. While later generations are cheaper, they can still cost you more than $1000.

Final Word

Savannah’s will make you fall in love with them, combining the exotic look of a wild cat with the gentle and playful temperament of a domestic feline.

F4 and later generations make the best family pets as their traits are less closely related to the wild cat. A later generation Savannah comes with a pleasant nature, intelligence, adaptability and is easy to train.

F1-F3 generations share more traits of their wild ancestors. Therefore, they will make a perfect companion for an exotic pet handler who has the time and attention to give to this cat but maybe a little too sensitive and unpredictable as a family pet. 

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