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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Savannah?
A Savannah is the name for a new breed that has been created by the breeding of a Serval to a domestic cat. Savannahs may also be referred to as Serval hybrids. The purpose of the breed is to provide people with a large cat that looks like a Serval in body composition and coat pattern, but acts like a domestic.

2. How long has the breed been around?
Savannahs are still one of the newest breeds available. The first successful mating of the Serval with a domestic cat was accomplished in the mid 1980's by Judy Frank an inovative Bengal breeder. The breed got Registration Status with The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1999 and Evaluation Status with TICA in 2001.

3. Are there many available?
There are extremely limited numbers of Savannahs available throughout the world.

4. What makes a Savannah the most desired feline?
Servals have long been admired for their magnificent beauty. They possess an elegant golden coat marked with strikingly clear black spots. Not only is their coat beautiful, but also their body type and personality. Many states do not allow private ownership of exotic cats (Servals), but do allow hybrids (Savannahs). Savannahs are smaller (approximately 25 pounds) and more manageable than a Serval (do not require special diets or facilities). Savannahs simply possess the beauty of the Serval, but are considered domestic. Savannahs are the largest hybrid feline available. They are excellent with other pets and children. Savannahs are extremely intelligent and "talk" quite often. They create strong bonds with their owners. Savannahs are the exotic feline of the 21st century!

5. When are Savannah kittens ready to go to a new home?
Savannah kittens are typically ready to be shipped at approximately 8-12 weeks of age. This is so they can be fully vaccinated prior to leaving. They then only need an annual booster.

6. Do Savannahs use a litterbox?
Yes. Just like other domestic cats, savannahs are usually litter box trained prior to leaving for their new home. The kittens will use a litterbox as faithfully as any domestics. Male kittens do need to be neutered to prevent spraying even though they are sterile.

7. Do Savannahs really have a domestic personality?
Savannahs have a domestic "dog-like" personality. Owners have reported that they are amazed with how their Savannah follows them around the house and comes when his name is called.

8. Why do Savannahs cost more than Servals?
Servals themselves breed quite readily, whereas the crossing of species between the Serval and domestics is extremely difficult. There are many people attempting this cross; however, only a few breeders worldwide have had any success. Years of time and money have been invested in what seems to be the impossible. There are few first generation Savannahs in the world and the demand for these exotic beauties is tremendous. One must also remember that Servals almost always require a raw meat diet that can be quite costly, whereas Savannahs eat a regular domestic cat diet.

9. Do Savannahs get along with children and other pets?
Introducing a Savannah to the household is like introducing any domestic cat. The breed itself is extremely energetic, being very active and playful.

10. Is the Savannah breed recognized by any breed registries?
TICA accepts Savannahs for registration. Ask your Savannah breeder for details.

11. Do Savannahs have to be kept indoors?
No, they do not have to be kept indoors. However, breeders strongly urge new owners to keep their Savannah cats on a leash due to the fact that there are often stray animals that carry various diseases.

12. What kind of care is needed for a Savannah?
A Savannah can be treated just like any domestic cat. NO SPECIAL CARE IS REQUIRED. A regular veterinarian is qualified to treat a Savannah. Savannahs are vaccinated the same as domestic cats.

13. Is there a Savannah Standard?
Yes there is a Standard and it can be found on the TICA website by clicking here.



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Copyright 2002 Patrick Kelley