Savanna Cats are the result of breeding of an African Serval wild cat with a domestic cat. This produces a large, tall and slim, wild looking cat with a playful personality and dog-like loyalty.
Savannah Cats are one of the larger breeds of domestic cats. The marks of the coat tend to be that of an exotic looking spotted tabby. The face of Savannah cats have a tear-stain marking from the inner point of the eye downward. The tall, erect ears have ocelli, a central light band bordered by black, dark gray or brown. The tail is short with black rings and a black tip. The eyes may be green, brown, or gold and are slightly hooded. Early generations were known for a light coat and dark spots. Today the breed standard identifies four color variations:
- Brown spotted tabby, shades of brown coat with dark spots
- Silver spotted tabby, silver coat with black or dark gray spots
- Black, black with black spots
- Black smoke, black tipped silver with black spots.
Savannah Cats are playful and social, interested in dogs and children. They possess a dog-like loyalty and will follow their owners around the house and can also be trained to walk with a leash. They frequently greet people with head-butts or an unexpected pounce. Savannah Cats are known for their ability to jump from a standing position as high as eight feet to the tops of refrigerators and high cabinets. They have no fear of water, in fact, they may play in it.
In 1986, Judee Frank crossbred an African Serval with a domestic cat producing the first Savannah. In 1989 Patrick Kelly purchased one of Franks kittens and started pursuing other cat breeders in an attempt to develop this new breed. Finally Kelly convinces Joyce Sroufe to join him in establishing the Savannah Cats breed and in 1996, they wrote the original version of the breed standard.
Early generations of Savannah Cats weighed from 10 – 25 lbs, while some breeders report Savannahs weighing at at 30 lbs. More recent generations are usually between 8 – 17 lbs. It was relatively common in the early generations for these cats to chirp and hiss, like their wildcat fathers, and meow, like their domestic mothers. The wildcat hissing sounds like a very loud snake hiss. However you do not hear the chirping and wildcat hissing as often in recent generations.
Some breeders recommended a diet which includes raw feeding of 32% protein and no grains or by-products. Otherwise, care and grooming of Savannah Cats bought to be kept up with any other housecat; good nutrition, regular play and veterinary visits.