Savannah Cats: The Wildest of All Domestic Breeds?

Here's everything you need to know about this modern, majestic breed...

Where Do They Come From?

Savannah cats are a relatively new type of domestic breed that grew in popularity in the 1990s, with the very first one appearing in 1986. It's a hybrid cross between a domestic cat and a serval, a wild African cat.

Because of this, Savannahs are often classified based on their generation, marking how much serval they have in their genes. After the first generation (called F1), Savannahs are generally bred with other Savannahs, creating generations F2, F3, and so on.

Being a hybrid breed has caused these cats (or sometimes specifically just the early generation litters) to be banned in select states across the USA. The large majority of states, however, allow the domestic breed, which was accepted by The International Cat Association in 2001.

What Are Their Prominent Features?

Savannahs are quite large and tall in comparison with most domestic breeds, thanks to their serval ancestor. This trait is especially prominent in the earlier generations. They are also very slender.

Naturally, the serval-like features are also strongest in the earlier generations, but even later Savannahs possess this breed's notable spotted coat, small head, and enormous ears. The backs of their ears are also remarkable, with a unique ocelli (eye-like) pattern, and their tails are striped black all the way until the tip, which is fully black.

What Are They Like?

This breed has a variety of characteristics attributed to it, and much of what determines an individual's personality is their specific ancestors, what generation the cat is, and also how they are socialized (perhaps the most important of these three).

Generally, Savannahs tend to be extremely loyal and will often follow their owners around, similar to a dog. Don't think this means that they're dull, though: they're very curious and intelligent creatures and are very likely to learn how to open doors, get into cabinets, and get up to a whole lot of mischief!

While all breeds have pretty remarkable jumping abilities, these cats' skill for it far exceeds the average. They are also one of the rare breeds that are typically not afraid of water and have been known to play in it – or even jump in the shower with their human!


So what do you think? Would you ever consider adopting a Savannah?


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by Andrea Heckler