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Savannah Cat Breed Profile

Weight 7.7-22 lbs (3.5-10 kg)
Origin USA
Color Silver, brown, black; multi-colored
Fur Short
Lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Entertaining, curious, loyal, adventurous

Savannah Photo: Kolomenskaya Kseniya/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

The Savannah cat, or just Savannah, is a large slim cat with long legs and exotic fur markings. It comes from a cross between a house cat and a serval, an African wild cat. The serval gives the Savannah its unusual spotty coat that looks a little like that of a leopard. So it’s no wonder that the Savannah is one of the most expensive domestic cat breeds.

Personality and Temperament

The Savannah is very curious and intelligent - and known for constantly eating. These cats can even set off alarm clocks, turn on water faucets, open cupboards and doors, turn lights on (or off) and even turn the TV on.


The Savannah is very friendly and sociable. That’s why they get on so wonderfully well with other cats and/or dogs. They’re open and confident with strangers. But that doesn’t mean that the Savannah is a cuddly cat. They’re much too active to want to sit in your lap. But they will give you plenty of affectionate headbutts.

The Savannah isn’t afraid of water at all, and will love splashing around in kiddie pools or bathtubs.

Savannah Photo: Kolomenskaya Kseniya/Shutterstock

Keeping Them Happy

To make sure this cat doesn’t come up with silly ideas to fill the time (or at least not quite as many), it needs challenging toys. They’ll also have to be pretty robust, otherwise the Savannah will make short work of them.

Like the Bengal, Siamese, Balinese and Burmese, the Savannah is a little like a dog as it can be walked on a leash and be taught to fetch.


The adventurous Savannah loves to climb and jump - the higher the better! When they’re fully grown, they can jump 6.5 feet (2 meters) high from standing still! To make sure they don’t climb on your bookshelves (and throw things off), you’ll need an especially high cat tree.

Savannah Photo: Kolomenskaya Kseniya/Shutterstock

Pros and Cons


  • Very active and playful
  • Loves to climb and jump
  • People-oriented
  • Very intelligent
  • Learns to walk on a leash
  • Easy grooming
  • Gets along well with other pets


  • Not a good choice for first-time owners
  • One of the largest cat breeds
  • Needs a lot of attention
  • Needs a lot of exercise
  • Needs a lot of toy

Savannah Photo: Kolomenskaya Kseniya/Shutterstock

Good For Beginners?

Watch out: if you’re thinking of getting your first cat, such a confident, clever and active cat as the Savannah could be much too big a challenge.


The Savannah is a large, slim cat with big ears, long legs, a long neck and spotted fur.


Savannahs are hybrid cats. Hybrid means something combined, crossed or mixed and comes from the Latin “hybrida” for “mongrel”. This cat breed dates back to 1986, when a normal house cat bred with a wild serval cat.

Cruel Breeding

The Savannah is considered as animal cruelty. It's a so-called hybrid cat. This is a mix of a female domestic cat and a male feral cat. In this case the African serval. At first, this doesn't sound like a problem. But servals, measuring 60 cm at the shoulder and weighing 20 kg, are much larger and heavier than a domestic cat. The kittens are three to four times larger than „normal“ ones. This often leads to premature births, miscarriages or stillbirths. The mothers can even die giving birth to their young. The male offspring are infertile up to the third generation. Only the "great-grandchildren" can father again.

Keeping hybrid cats also requires a lot of experience. The owners often know too little about their needs or are unable to meet them. This makes the cats unhappy and causes them to develop problematic behaviors. For direct offspring there is even a registration obligation in Germany and there must be an outdoor enclosure of at least 160 square feet (15 square meters). Only from the fifth generation (= great-great-great-grandchildren) are they considered normal house cats. Maybe another race would be an option too. What do you think?

Fun Facts

The Savannah jumps faster than a normal domestic cat.

Comparable Breeds

Savannah Photo: Kolomenskaya Kseniya/Shutterstock