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Frequently Asked Questions about Savannahs

Click here if you want to understand the genetics in Savannah breeding

 

Why are they so expensive?

Savannahs are difficult to breed and a breeder needs a Serval to create the Savannahs. Not in every state are the Servals allowed and therefore not many breeders produce F1 Savannahs. Also the Serval has to be raised with several females to make his "pick" to breed with. Needs in many states permits, license and has to be kept in a big enclosure. It takes several years and lots of money to purchase and raise a Serval with several queens. Some Servals will never breed the females he lives with. The gestation is also an issue when the Serval breed another species. Many F1 babies are born premature and will not survive. It is for the breeder a lot of commitment and dedication to raise F1's and before we can have more lower generations, F2-F3 etc we need to have the F1.

Why is the shipping so expensive?

To explain all charges before the shipping is paid; these are all my cost,Vet examination and health certificate $80.00 rabies vaccination $ 20.00, new carrier $ 30.00 till $40.00 depending on size, the flight to your state $ 210.00 up to $325.00 depending on the airline I can use, round trip airport gas $60.00. Total cost of $500.00 for me. Means the $300.00/$350.00 I ask the new owners to pay for shipping is not the whole amount I have to pay to cover all cost..

How big do they get?

A reputable breeder will not give a guarantee size, because you can have huge F5's and small F2's. Never a guarantee how big they can get. The heritage of the Savannah is the Serval and a normal sized domestic cat, means the kittens could grow into either size. The higher generations are general a lot taller, bigger and heavier then the lower generations. Each subsequent generation will decrease slightly in size until the F3 and F4 generation where the size stabilizes. Savannahs mature 3 years till they reach full size. The height will be reached in the 1st year, but a inch or two might be grown later on. Muscles in the second year and the third year the whole body will reach maturity in size, height and weight.

What is an Ashera?

A big scam!!! for more info: http://ashera-savannah-cat.blogspot.com

 

Myths about the Savannahs

http://svrescue.com/myths.html

 

Is a Savannah hypoallergenic?
There is misconception on Savannahs and people that are allergic to other cats. No cat is hypoallergentic. There's the fur, dander, saliva, skin/gland secretions and so forth what can cause an allergic reaction to people who are sensitive for it. If you have an allergie to animals, please don't believe the story that a Savannah causes no allergic reactions, it will.  


Bengal vs Savannah?

The Bengal is more know then the Savannah. There are big differences in both breeds. The Bengal is bred out of the Asian Leopard (ALC), who is smaller, more compact bodied cat with big rosette spots. (dark spots with a lighter center) The Asian Leopard is shyer and is less friendly and sociable. This is obvious not a pet. The Bengal breed want to have the glitter in the coat, is a very shiny coat, what we don't want in the Savannah breed. The Serval is very social and the more "dog-like" of the exotic cats. Their outgoing personality is passed on to the Savannahs in a domestic form, what is so desirable in this breed, the sweet personalities. The African Serval is a long, tall, lean cat with huge ears and closed black spots. Our goal is to breed the Savannahs to look like the serval. We also want the solid black spots, long legs, lean body, athletic build and the huge ears in our Savannahs.

 

What does F1, F2 and A, B, etc mean?

The "F" stands for Filial Generation and indicates how many generations removed the cat is from its African Serval ancestry.
Savannah codes:
An A Savannah means one parent was a Savannah and the other parent was an out-cross, or both parents are non-Savannah's.
An B Savannah means that at least one Grandparent was of a different breed and both parents were Savannahs.
An C Savannah means that at least one Great Grandparent was of a different breed, both grandparents were Savannahs, and both parents were Savannahs.

SBT means "Stud Book Traditional" and is a Savannah with three generations of Savannah to Savannah breeding. This is what is considered a purebred cat and is the ultimate goal for our Savannahs, and can be shown in Tica shows.An F4 can be the first SBT generation, and later on.

Click here to read all about the Tica codes what they mean.

 

What to feed a Savannah?

Nutrition is always very importent to keep your Savannah healthy and happy. Variety is the keyword, not to feed always the same. This is very boring for the Savannah and will be a really picky eater later on. We people don't like to eat the same food every day either.... We feed her all our cats: Dry food Earthborn Holistic, Primitive, a bowl with dry food is always out so the cats can eat whatever they want too. Can food: Authority, Pro-Plan, Soulistic can food. Chicken, Turkey we feed home made raw diet and cooked. If you want to feed raw, be aware to add a good vitamine to it. We use NuVet, an super excellent product. Any good grain free brand is good for your Savannah's just watch for all ingredients, do NOT feed food with a lot of veggies, fruits etc, very bad on a later age for the cat. To much salt (sodium) is also not good, can give crystals what will cause a lot of health issue's. Feed enough, but don't overfeed your Savannah. Once or twice a day is enough for an adult, kittens about 3-4 times a day.

 

What colors do Savannah have?

Tica recognize the spotted pattern in these colors: Brown spotted tabby, Silver spotted tabby, Black (melanistic) and Black smoke. The Black and the Black smokes are spotted but the spots are only to see when they walk in the light because the fur is black and the spots are black. On Black smokes the spots are easy to see .Sometimes a Non-standard color will be born coming from the out crosses we use in the Savannah breed. Like: Classic (marble), Snow (seal lynx point) Blue and even Red and Cinnamon.

To see several pictures from the Savannah colors, click here

 

Which generation is the best for me and my family?

This depends on what you want to spend for a kitten and what you are looking for. A higher generation (F1 till F3) is more expensive then a lower generation (F4 till F7) A higher generation is more intense, is more vocal, it can bark, grow more, hiss more and can sjirp like the Serval does. This is the language of the higher generation trough the F3 generation. The higher generation is many times bigger/taller than the lower generation but both generations are full of energy, also more independent and does what it does on their terms, not yours. Many higher generations are not lap cats. It needs good socialization to be bonded with all members of the family. A lower generation is in general a lot easier with handling and loves to sit on your lap, and being hold. A higher generation chooses to come to you and many don't like it to be picked up or to be restrained. A lower generation will be a better companion in a household with young children then a higher generation.

How are Savannahs with other pets and kids?

With the proper introducing and socialization they become buddies with all other animals. Savannahs are highly social and love to play with all kind of other animals and humans. Savannahs are highly energetic, so to place one with an older cranky pet can give some problems with a bouncing, rambunctious, enthusiasm Savannah in the house. When you have birds or small other pets, (open fish tanks, hamsters, ferrets, Gerbils etc) be aware that the Savannah can see this as dinner. Savannahs love to hunt and can be not left alone with these animals. A higher generation can be getting cranky with small children because they don't want to be restrained what children often do. Be always around when your kids want to play with your higher generation Savannah. Lower generations take up easily with kids and have many times no problem with younger children. Be always aware that the children play not rough or being mean with them or pull hairs, ears or tails. No cat likes that.

Are they destructive?

Any cat what is left alone to long will get into something. Savannahs are high energy cats and very intelligent. If the Savannah has to spend a lot of time alone it will find something to play with that may not be what you would choose for them. Higher generation loves to "steal" silverware, keys and pens, drag cloths around, destroy paper towels and toilet paper, shred all paper they can find and will figure out how to open cabinets and drawers easy to get more in trouble. Even the lower generations can do this also. It is important to make sure that they are well occupied, maybe with another pet or that your house is well Savannah proofed. Another idea is to give the Savannah when left alone a room for itself with plenty of toys and a scratching post to keep them happy. It is very important to be consequent with your Savannah to teach him what is inappropriate behavior. If you don't have much spare time between your job and other activities, then maybe a Savannah is not the right cat for you.

What is their life span?

Many domestic cats live as long as 15 years plus. Servals have been known to live as long as 17-20 years. With the right quality food, supplements (NuVet Plus), and exercise to keep them happy and healthy and good veterinary care, your cat can have a long life.

Do Savannahs like water?

Some do some don't. Servals hunt in the water for fish and frogs, so the Savannah inherited this behavior from his Serval ancestor. Many Savannahs loves to sit by the water facet and play with the water, other will jump in the bathtub with you. The higher generations seems more fascinated with the water, but many of my lower generation loves to play in the water bowls also.

Can Savannahs be leash trained?

Savannah are curious and when you start early to "harness" or walking jacket train them many will except this. Some will never like it. Be sure to buy a good walking jacket that the savannah can't escape out of it. A good link is: www.joykatz.net/walkingjackets.htm

Are Savannahs outdoor cats?

NO and NO! Savannahs will disappear for sure when it escapes. Because of his curiosity, high intelligence and amazing energy it will chase everything what will fly or jump around. Also a lot of people have no idea what a Savannah is and think that it is a wild cat when they see one roaming and maybe shoot it. It can be easily run over by cars, or maybe when lucky someone can pick it up and has a free Savannah. A savannah will not find their way back home because it will roam miles from your home in a short time because everything will fascinate him. The solution will be to build a nice outdoor enclosure for your Savannah so he is outside and safe. Savannah can jump very high and will jump even the highest fence and will find away to get out.

Do sterile males need to be neutered?

Even when a male is sterile ( the cat doesn't know that fact) he still has the testosterone flying around in his body what tells him to mark his space with urine to attract females. We recommend neutering the males around 5-6 months of age before they start to spray. Many intact cats start to spray, male or female to tell everyone where they are.

Savannah proofing my house?

When you have a Savannah be aware that nothing is safe for this super exploring animal. Savannahs love to chew on cables, plastic and rubber. Bitter spray can help but apply it every day to keep it safe. Especially the higher generations chew more, many lower generation are not too bad with this habit. Breakables high up is a good plan, but you have the change that the Savannah will knock it over. Savannahs love to shred paperwork so don't be mad when the Savannah eats your mail or bills when it is tempting on a counter. Pens, keys, cloths and even sometimes shoes will disappear when the Savannah want to play with these items. Watch and check always cupboards, cabinets, drawers, washers, dryers and dishwashers when your Savannah has excess to these. Before you know it the Savannah will climb into it and will get a bad injury or even worse when you don't check it before turning on one of these machines. Remove poisonous plants out of the house. You can Google a lot of good web site what plants are safe. Potted plant will be a lot of fun to dig in and the plant itself is asking to be dragged out of the pot. Some Savannahs love to splash around in toilet bowls and make a mess as a bonus out of the toilet paper. Keep the toilet lid down! Even some savannahs will figure out how to turn the water tap on. Keep any doors shut. Not all Savannahs will be this adventurous, it depends also how much time you spend with him and how bored the Savannah is to do all this. A good cat tree and toys will entertain your savannah for hours and can be well behaved.

Do they eat regular cat food?

Yes, Savannahs are a domestic cat and eat a good quality food. We feed our cats a grain free diet, can food Authority, Chicken soup. Dry food Eukanuba and we feed also raw and cooked chicken with supplement (NuVet Plus)

A permit for a Savannah?

Every state, county and cities are different in their laws with hybrid cats. Some states, cities require permits and some outlaw the hybrid completely. Therefore it is very important to check with local, county and state what is allowed where you live. A good updated site is: www.hybridlaw.com Many times a lower generation is allowed in several states when the higher generations are banned.

Can I show my Savannah?

Tica is the only one who recognizes the Savannah and allows the F3 and lower generations to being showed on Tica shows. Savannahs can be shown in the Preliminary New Breed classes as a way of introducing the breed to the Tica judges and to the public. The cat has to be a "C" generation or an SBT. In the upcoming years, we hope our breed will advance to, First Advanced New Breed, and ultimately, to Championship status.

To learn more about showing your Savannah, click here

 

 

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