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Savannah Cat Breed:

The Savannah is a breed of domestic cat that is a hybrid – it was developed as a cross between a domestic and the serval, a medium sized African wild cat.

The serval is slender but strong, with long legs. The coat is tawny, with black spots all over and a few black stripes on the head and neck. The Savannah has inherited these physical characteristics, and is a very attractive cat. However, in many ways, the features of the Savannah depend on the generation the cat belongs to.

Early Savannahs tend to be larger and have more of the characteristics of their wild ancestors. More recent generations of the Savannah are smaller, and look more like ordinary domestic cats. To preserve the original characteristics of the breed, many breeders cross Savannahs with similar domestic cats such as the Bengal cat or the Egyptian Mau. However, not all breeders do this, and as a result, newer generations do not always have the same distinctive characteristics.

Early generation Savannahs can weigh between 20 lb and 30 lb, while more recent generations weigh only between 12 lb and 20 lb.

Males are generally larger than females. The breed standard requires that the coloring be silver spotted tabby, brown spotted tabby, black, or black smoke. However, several other variations exist. In addition to the spots, Savannahs also have “tear stain” markings around the eyes and ocelli on the ears, which are tall and erect. The tail is short and ringed, and the legs are long and slender. Savannahs are affectionate, devoted pets, and are often compared to dogs in this matter. They are also unusually friendly and sociable, and few issues with aggression are reported. These cats can often be trained to follow commands, including commands such as “fetch,” which cats are rarely expected to learn. These cats are very smart, and quickly learn how to open various household items such as doors, boxes, and so on. Another unusual characteristic is their affinity for water. Unlike most domestic cats, Savannahs are not afraid of water, and in fact love to play in it. Savannahs are often reported to upset their water bowls just for fun.

There are no notable health issues among Savannahs, but some precautions are necessary. Like many hybrids, they may not respond well to certain drugs, including live vaccines and certain types of anesthesia. It is therefore essential that your veterinarian has experience and knowledge of such hybrid breeds.

  Submitted on January 22, 2010