Are all Savannahs BIG?..
Savannah Size is based on generation (F1, F2, F3). These typically tend to be bigger, HOWEVER there can be large and small savannahs in each generation. Males are typically twice the size of a female on average.
ARE Savannahs aggressive toward other cats, small dogs, and kids?
No, they won't eat your chihuahua! Because of their exotic looks they often get labled as "wild" tempered but if they are raised correctly with lots of socialization when small, they are excellent pets with children, dogs, etc.
How active are they?
Very- they are like a toddler that is into everything. If you have a designer home with delicate furnishings and knick-nacks, then the Savannah WON'T fit into your decor.
I want to let my cat outside- is that okay? After all, all the neighbors let their cats out?
Savannahs are bold and inquisitive. They wander, get in trouble, and get killed. They make very bad outdoor cats unless you have a safe outdoor enclosure.
What is F1, F2, F3?
This is the filial generations or in other words, first generation to the serval, second generation to the serval, etc with "lower" generations being higher numbers (F6, F7).
Do pet males spray?
Altered (neutered) males will not spray or pee inappropriately if raised in a clean environment. Any adult cat, Savannah or not, can start "marking" usually do to some behaviorial issue that can be worked through. Any breed of cat, domestic or otherwise can have marking issues. Usually it is do to a change, feral cat marking outside the house or feral cat colonies nearby perhaps looking in windows or challenging house cats at night. It can also be from new individuals, stress in the home, new pets. Is is NOT just a Savannah thing. Sadly so called Rescue groups like Big Cat Rescue are spreading unfounded bad press about the Savannah breed for their own profit. Do NOT support them or believe their "doctrine" about hybrids pet to be true. As a breeder AND pet owner that have also lived with this breed IN MY OWN HOME and not just in a cattery, cage enviroment, my experience in this breed is nothing less that positive. Rarely, have I had a cat that grew up to have inappropriate marking behaviors UNLESS there were not also issues like urinary tract infections or a surplus of added pets that were the causitive factor.
I really want to breed my pet if I pay that much for it?
Breeding is a complicated undertaking and you should do some research and devote some to do it well. If you love your pet, their temperament will change as a breeder and sometimes won't be the best pet (spraying, marking, escaping etc). That is the price paid for being a breeder. :(
What should I look for when purchasing a savannah?
Because Savannahs are very expensive, they have unfortunately have become prey to profit breeders and pet brokers who have to sell quantity to support expensive advertizing and marketing. Once the kitten is sold, the buyer receives very little advice or assistence from the "breeder". The buyer doesn't know what sort of conditions the parents are living in or has little background information on the kitten. This is why you don't want to buy from a pet shop or cat mill. Understand that all big breeders aren't cat mills and some have good reputations and lovely cats.
Make sure the kittens are handled daily, socialized, and treated as an individual and not a product to be sold.
Don't buy from a breeder is not going to sell kittens too early (6 weeks is too early!). Each breeder has their own standard of when a kitten is ready to go, but TICA does recommend 12 weeks with 2 vaccines. Savannahs need the socialization of their siblings to become a well rounded pet.
Do they have to eat a special food?
They need to eat a good premium cat food, raw or whole prey. Everybody has an opinion on diet but Savannahs don't have to eat something different from any other cat. I recommend a variety which includes dry, canned, raw or whole prey which can be purchased frozen. Noone wants to eat the same thing everyday so why would your cat?
Will the use of anestetic drugs hurt them
This is a fear based Savannah myth that is being propagated on certain websites that are claiming as truth. The bigger issue is that ANY animal can be sensitive to certain types of anaesthetic drugs however, one insident does not make it fact. Poor quality vets that see a large cat will give them a high does of anaesthetic drug because they do not want to deal with a struggling big cat and the end product is an overdose which they will blame as a breed specific sensitivity. The SV should not be treated as a big fat cat. Fat and lean mass metabolize anaesthetic differently- in other words- the amount of sedative for a 15 lb fat cat should be different than a 15 lb lean cat but some veterinararians do not see it this way. A quality vet will dose accordingly often usuing a premedication to limit the amount of general anasthetic used. What they use is not as improtant as how it is used. Ask your vet what their protocol on gas anaesthetic is? Do they monitor heart rate and blood pressure? Are they conservative with sedation with lean mass animals? Ask if they ever have losses during sedation? If the answers you get don't make sence, have them explain further. Please don't come off as a frighten owner due to bad internet dogma.
Are Savannahs hypoallergenic?
Although some Savannahs do not cause an allergic reaction in some people, they are NOT hypoallergenic.
I will not always have what you are looking for but I can recommend other breeders that I would trust and recommend, or if you have more questions. Please feel free to email.
Wyldthingz Savannah Cats • Kelly Sheppard