Savannah cat breed's portrait

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Savannah cat Origin and breed history

As Savannah cat are called crossings of the African wild cat Serval with different domestic cat breeds. The Serval is a middle-sized wild cat of middle and southern Africa. Serval cats can weigh up to 18 kilograms. They would be a serious danger even for humans. But they avoid humans wherever they can. They mainly hunt smaller prey like rodents or birds.

The serval hunts in the open savannah. Hence the name for the hybrid cats, which have been bred for some years. Outstanding is the jumping power of the Servals. With a single jump servals can cover a distance of 3.6 meters. Even more impressive are their abilities when jumping up into the air. Two meters from a standing position are no problem for them. According to credible reports, they can reach a bird flying almost four meters above the ground with outstretched paw. This is an unimaginable achievement! What a bundle of energy!

In the USA it has now become fashionable to keep hybrids of such barely to untameable wild animals on the one hand and domestic cats on the other hand as a representative pet. Especially wild cats like Bengal cat, the caracal, the ocelot and even the serval are taken for such projects because of their suitable size and their cheetah-like fur.

Experts agree that even in the fourth generation after mating with a Serval, hybrids are not always suitable as pets. Even if they are hand-raised and neutered, in many cases they cannot be kept as a pet in the usual sense anymore at the latest when they reach sexual maturity. Only from the F5-generation on (F5 = fifth filial generation after crossing) they are considered as suitable for pets according to their lovers.

The strict linebreeding, which is used to keep the attractive coat color of the serval in the following generations of Savannah, can become an additional burden for the welfare of these animals. In Germany Savannahs are offered for some years now. The Savannah is only recognized by a commercial registry in the USA, the TICA. It is not recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline or any other important breed cat association.


The Savannah cat is bigger than a house cat. It is very slim and high legged compared to the common domestic cat. In relation to the body it has a small head. She is supposed to be the reduced image of a serval, so the aim of her breeders and lovers. Ideally she has a coat, which reminds of a serval. According to the breeders, bred Bengal cats, which are hybrids with an Asian wild cat, as well as the breed cats Egyptian Mau, Ocicat, Oriental Shorthair and Maine Coon are used for crossbreeding and the later generations. Savannah males have an average weight of a good 10, cats around 8 kilograms.

Character and nature

The nature of a Savannah cat cannot be described in a generalized way, because it can vary from generation to generation. There are specimens, which already remind in their nature and behavior of a domestic cat and others, where the wild animal can appear very dominant. This is essentially because it is simply not possible to domesticate a wild animal in a few generations, especially since a single hunting cat is domesticated. Nature needs thousands of years for this - provided that it can succeed at all.

Some breeders try to counteract the extreme inbreeding and at the same time preserve the look and beautiful coat of the Serval by using original matings of the Serval with pedigree cats. But this can activate the untameable and not suitable for the domestic animal wildness in breeding. With F1- up to and including F4-generations of Savannah it is possible that they are no longer pussycats at the latest when they reach sexual maturity. They are then no longer to be kept as pets. Even after several generations the wildlife can appear spontaneously again and again, which can express itself in extreme shyness, partly aggressiveness, constant stress and the absolute will to break out of the confinement of an apartment or a house.

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