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?
- -Savannahs are considered quiet cats
- -Intelligent and easily trainable
- -Will enjoy spending time with the family and other cats
- -Not a great pet if you enjoy your personal space!
- -While they don’t require much grooming, they still require double that of other breeds due to their large size
- -Not a good lap cat
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