What you need to know about this fascinating hybrid between a serval and a domestic cat
The Savannah cat, as its name suggests, is a feline breed that has a wild nature and looks reminiscent of a lion, as its oldest ancestor is the Serval. It is a rather recent cross that has become immensely popular, thanks to the unique physical and dimensional characteristics that this cat has. Let’s find out more in this dedicated guide.
The savannah cat is a hybrid between the Serval and the domestic cat that maintains all the physical characteristics of a wild feline in appearance. Its history is long and fascinating: the first example of a savannah cat was obtained in 1986 by Judee Frank from the crossing of a Siamese female and a male serval.
The official recognition of the breed, however, took place only in 2001 when a classification based on the generations was also established:
- F1 are the first generation specimens, much more similar to the serval
- F2 are the second generation savannahs, with 25% of the serval’s gene pool
- F3, F4, F5 are the next generation of Savannah cats that reflect the morphological qualities of the serval respectively for 12, 6 and 5%.
The first and only kennel in Italy is that of Renata Mestichelli, former breeder of the other Ragdoll breed.
Savannah cat: appearance
Finding him in Italy is really rare, but crossing his magnetic eyes is an unforgettable experience.
The dimensions vary a lot according to the generation of belonging, that is the percentage of morphological characteristics of serval present in the genetic profile of the animal.
- The largest specimens are those of the F1 generation and the F2 males that grow more than double that of a common domestic cat, weighing as much as 15 kg for a length that can exceed one meter.
- The largest Savannah cat is in the Serengeti desert and weighs 18 kg by 120 centimetres in length.
With these physical characteristics and the wildness that its own, this animal can safely jump over 2 meters in height with a single leap. The body is slender, the legs are long, powerful and muscular, the coat generally brown-orange with large black spots.
Savannah cat: character
Having this cat wandering around the house or lying on the sofa is like having a little leopard who is just waiting to be cuddled and invited to play.
Beyond its sly and wild appearances, the savannah is a playful, curious and affectionate, lover of company and very sociable even with strangers. It is also the ideal companion for children with whom it tends to relate in an affectionate and extremely positive way.
Savannah cat: education
If well trained from the first months of life, the savannah cat will tend to develop an obedient and devoted character towards the owner.
- Its love for their family and their master will result in continuous displays of affection that will almost leave us forgetting its wild origins .
- In the game, it shows a natural propensity to bring back objects and toys almost like a dog and allows themselves to be led outside on a leash without making a fuss.
- It loves canned food and eagerly accepts a bath every now and then. For the care of the coat, the ideal is to brush it from time to time and rub it with a soft cloth soaked in warm water and vinegar .
- Given its size and physical characteristics, it needs large enough space to move around, but in apartment life it is as easily manageable as any other cat.
Savannah cat: price
The price of a savannah cat varies according to the ‘F’ to which it is registered and the number that indicates the degree of wildness and therefore of direct descent from the serval. On average, the cost of a specimen is around 23755.30 USD .
The breed, in fact, is relatively new and the savannah males remain sterile until the fifth generation; to this we must add that pregnancy in females lasts over 80 days and that during gestation or after birth not all puppies (at most 3) can survive.
For all these reasons, it is undoubtedly one of the most expensive and rare pets in the world.