Savannah Cats – Exotically Good Looking
What are these graceful and muscular felines? Long, lean and tall, they have large ears that sit high on the top of the head. And how about those magnificent spotted coats? Surely these must be some species of wildcat!
No, these beauties are the domestic Savannahs, a hybrid cross between a Serval (an African wildcat) and a domestic cat.
The Savannah Cat is a relatively new breed of cat. Registered with TICA and currently in Advance New Breed (ANB) category. They are named after the African grasslands that are native to the Serval. This spotted cat encompasses the beauty of the “exotic” look of the Serval with the laid-back, playful and affectionate purr-sonality of a domestic cat. Their personalities are like no other domestic cat. They are very loyal and bond heavily with their owners.
They have striking, elegant, boldly-spotted and striped coats in a range of colors ( black spotted, black, silver, and black smoke ), a long sleek neck and large, rounded ears, and a three-quarter-length tail. The bodies are long with a deep rib cage, the rear end is often higher than the shoulders, supported by long, slender but strong legs with small oval feet and lengthy toes. The head is slightly smaller than in proportion to the body. In profile, the nose is long but with a small chin and should add to the cat’s wild appearance. The ears should be large and alert, with a wide base and slightly rounded tips. Dramatic black “tear drop” markings around the eyes give them a very unique and beautiful appearance. These fabulous felines grow to a very impressive size, measuring up to 30 inches from nose to tip of tail and weighing from 12 to 25 pounds <depending on generation>. The Savannah is a new breed and still under development and there is variability in the appearance and size of the offspring. The spotting pattern will generally be very similar to the Serval, though the background color will vary. The texture of the fur will also vary from the coarser coats of the Serval, to the finer smoother coats of the domestic. Although the breed is still very new, it appears that they have very few health problems. Warm and friendly, this new domestic cat makes a great family pet and are easy to care for. They do not require a special diet or health regimen and are easily litter-trained. Their main requirement is plenty of love, attention, hugs and kisses.
The first documented breeding of an African Serval to a domestic cat was accomplished in the mid 1980′s by Judy Frank, a Bengal breeder in Pennsylvania. She was the first to cross an African Serval male with a domestic female cat and soon the resulting Savannah breed became a hit with cat enthusiasts. Progeny resulting from the breeding of a Serval cat to a domestic cat, as well as subsequent breedings are recognized as DOMESTIC Savannah cats. The desire of breeders is to create a domestic cat which mimics many of the exotic features indicative of the Serval while retaining the loving temperament of a domestic cat. Savannahs are known to be extremely friendly and talkative, very playful and curious in nature. They are the largest hybrid cat available at this time.
The first generation cross is referred to as the F1 (Serval x domestic). The next breeding (F1 Savannah x domestic) is called an F2 and so on. In 1996, the Savannah was first presented to the TICA board of directors, at which time they gained registration rights as an experimental breed. The Savannah has continued to evolve both as a breed, and in the recognition and popularity of the breed through TICA ( The International Cat Association )and cat fanciers. In 2001, the Savannah advanced to evaluation status in TICA. In 2008, they advanced to Advanced New Breed. The next step is Championship Status.