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Savannah

Feature image

Intelligent, loyal and graceful, Savannahs are a captivating breed with wildcat roots. While some people enjoy this rare breed as a pet, it’s a different story here in Australia. In 2001, then Environment Minister Peter Garrett banned Savannah cats on the grounds they pose an extreme risk to native animals and the environment. It’s a pity because they’re certainly a good looking breed!

Where I'm From

The first Savannah cat was born in April, 1986 following the successful mating of a female Siamese Sealpoint and a male Serval cat (wild African animal). Suzy Wood, who owned the Serval, kept the kitten and named it ‘Savannah’ as a nod to her cat’s ancestry. The kitten became the first, first generation hybrid cross, meaning it shared 50% of its genes with a wildcat and the other 50% with a domestic breed.

Savannah went on to produce a litter of F2 kittens that were a 75/25 split of domestic and wildcat. Confusing right?

The second-generation kittens peaked the interest of a man named Patrick Kelly who bought one of them with a goal in mind to create a new breed of cat. He persisted with his cause until he managed to convince cat breeder Joyce Sroufe to help make his dream a reality.

After much research and planning, Patrick and Joyce, succeeded in producing a new feline breed that was recognised as a New Advanced Breed Class by the International Cat Association in 2001. It is the newest breed of cat and demands a price tag of up to $20,000.

What I Look Like

Savannahs are an eye-catching and exotic breed of domestic cat with a striking spotted coat. This breed comes in brown, tan, silver or gold colouring with black or brown spots and short fur.

They sport a muscular build, long legs, lengthy neck and very large ears. They’re roughly double the size of an average household cat, making them the largest domestic breed in the world.

How I Act

Savannahs are adventurous and energetic cats. Their playful temperaments make them suitable pets for children and enjoyable buddies to other cats. They have an endearing, loyal nature that will see them follow you around the house choosing not to leave your side, similar to a dog. Some even show their affection for their owners by head butting them softly.

These creatures are highly intelligent and easily trainable. It won’t take much to teach them to walk on a lead or play a game of fetch. They’re strange characters that are curiously fond of water, which is a rare quality in a cat! The hissing sound of a Savannah is also quite different to an average domestic cat. Sounding more like a loud snake hiss than anything else.

Looking After Me

Unlike a lot of cats, Savannahs are not the result of inbreeding, which makes them one of the healthiest breeds. They have no known genetic conditions and are very easy to groom. Their short coats only require a brush once a week, and as with any cat, you should trim their nails and clean their ears as needed.

Am I the pet for you?

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.