Some "Free Savannah" Advice


"The WORLDS FIRST Savannah Sire to Serval Dam F1 Savannah Breeder"


What is a Savannah Cat?
A Savannah cat is a cross between a African Serval and a domesticated house cat. Savannahs are noted for their tall and slender bodies, big ears and of course their spots!. It is one of the newest breeds in the world and there are just a handfull of breeders in the world that have managed to successfully mate a Serval to a domesticated cat.
All Foundation Savannahs have F and a number to indicate what generation it is away from its Serval ancestor.

F1 a parent is a Serval. .
F2 a grandparent is a Serval. .
F3 a great grandparent is a Serval. .
F4 a great, great grandparent is a Serval. .etc,etc.

Savannah Temprament
Savannah Cats have outgoing personalities and are very loving. They are intelligent cats and learn quickly. They want to be a member of the family and not your usual pet. It is not uncommon for them to follow you round the house telling you about their busy day when you come home. Make time for a game of fetch which they will enjoy when they want to play, they will decide when! They may suprise you with their love of water and most enjoy a spray down in summer. Beware an unattended running tap is a guilty pleasure for some savannahs! Most can be walked outside on a cat lead if trained early on at around 6 months. It is highly advisable to get them used to a lead and harness indoors first.

Savannah Households
Savannahs are very adaptable cats. They will easily get along with well-behaved, respectful children. If your current cats or dogs are socialable they will have a new cuddle partner in their basket. Toilet lids should be down and baths attended whilst running as although not at all common they may become a source of death or more likely embarrasment for a savannah kitten.

What is an SBT Savannah Cat?
The History of the SBT Savannahs starts at A1 Savannahs. An SBT is bred down from the Serval but it is at least 4 Generations removed. While many Savannahs F1 through F5 are diluted with blood of regular house cats.The SBT Savannah is a "pure" Savannah that has guaranteed only Savannahs parents for at least 3 Generations.
There are several advantages to owning an SBT Savannah as they are more consistent in their type. An SBT's size and personality are more reliable and the temperament is predictable. An SBT Savannah is the perfect choice for a family with other pets and children.

How big will a SBT Savannah become?
There is no exact science with size of the Savannah Cat. That said it depends very much on the size and type of their parents and the percentage of wild blood they have from the Serval. The breeder will have a good guess on its adult size.
The biggest cats are F1 Savannahs and males of the F2 Generations. They are around 2 and a half times larger than regular house cats, with their weight from 7kg to 12kg and sometimes more. F3 males are often still considerably bigger than a regular house cat. F3 females and all cats of further generations decrease in size but keep their long legs, big ears and the wild appearance. Savannahs need up to 2 years to reach their full size. It is sad that some breeders claim thier cats will be 2 to 3 times the size of a normal cat, it is not possible to guarentee this!

What does a Savannah cat eat?
Savannahs should be fed regularly and will eat human grade raw chicken, mince or chunks of red meat and cooked ham, beef, chicken or lamb. Savannahs can be fed regular good-quality cat food aswell with a complete dry food for grazing throughout the day. However we only recommend raw for our babies.

What healthcare does a Savannah need?
You wont need a special vet and they receive the same injections and health care as any other domestic cat.
All of our kittens are fully vaccinated and litter trained before going to their new homes. Please do not declaw it is unnecessary and cruel. We are strongly against it.

How much does a Savannah cost?
The price of a Savannah will vary depending on the quality of the individual cat. Our pet savannah cat prices start at £600.

The Advice below is a guide, the opinion of one person with some years of first-hand experience.
What you should know before buying a Savannah kitten.

Firstly I'd like to say "I have Servals F1s, F2s and I'm not speculating on their behaviour, I know the Early Generations through experience.
There is nothing worse than hearing late generation savannah breeders saying how "wild" the F1 & F2s are! They don't know, they may have heard the odd story but not had first-hand experience. These people are relatively ignorant by choice as they cannot produce such intelligent, wise, beautiful, exquisite felines!.
Savannah breeders get a lot of phone calls from people asking "do you have any F1 or F2 Savannah kittens?" A reputable savannah breeders first question would be "have you ever had a Savannah cat?" The reason they ask this is because the effort involved in looking after and entertaining an F1 or F2 Savannah cat is very different and much more involved than a normal cat and maybe would recommend you start with an F6 or F7 to start to get used to this quirky breed. That's not to say you can't start with an F2.
Please don't listen to breeders who tell you F1 & F2 kittens/cats are wild and unruly as if raised correctly this is not true and far from that they make the most amazing pets. Their behaviour is "dog like" to a point but if you want a dog, buy a dog! The early generations learn quickly and keep learning. If you have a house full of pets or you live alone they will be boss, no question about it! If you have other savannahs the earlier the F the more likely to rule! Make no mistake even if you have big dogs the Savannah whatever generation will rule the roost. It has been said by many Bengal breeders that the Savannah is similar in many ways but better behaved and not as destructive. The other noticeable difference is the Savannah is far more intelligent! They will watch and learn how to open a door, then once you start locking it to prevent their escape they watch and learn how to unlock that door. If they had thumbs?!?! F6 and F7 Savannah cats display the same characteristics but not as strongly as F1 or F2s. It would not be recommended to start with an "F1 Savannah" without at least having experienced looking after an F2 for at least a year to 18 months to truly start to understand this breed. That said if you are a willing servant who has plenty of time and energy who's to say an F1 is not right for you?

What should I feed my Savannah?

Firstly you should ask the kitten's breeder what they recommend? We recommend a raw diet for several reasons and the primary reason being the cat's health. Did you know if you feed a completely raw diet your cats poop will barely smell. You can feed uncooked chicken on the bone to your cat. Uncooked bones dont splinter like cooked ones do and they are safe for your savannah to eat/chew. If you feed raw packet foods then check that this is 100% complete. Not 100% natural as there is a difference. If you wish to try a recommended raw food try "Purrform". We use and recommend Purrform as it is complete. Also be aware that a growing F1/2 kitten will need its full daily intake of calcium, taurine and lysine to develop properly! This is especially important in earlier generations. Please remember your cats natural diet is raw, they don't pop out for dried biscuits in the wild and cooked meat products. Cats are Obligate Carnivores and Raw is the most sensible diet for them. Remember to please be careful to clean their food bowls after each meal.

Should I let my Savannah Outside?

Are you mad? It's not recommended by any breeder I've spoken too. With their sleek and spotted good looks and friendly inquisitive personality I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before they will go missing. Build a nice large enclosed run around 2.4m (8ft) x 4m (13ft) minimum adding another 30% for each extra cat. Ensure your outdoor enclosure has an insulated box for them to shelter from the cold or heat, a covered area to shelter from the rain and snow and a shaded area for those hot sunny days. Your savannah will enjoy a large bowl of water to play in in the summer and we recommend the hard plastic children's sand pits. Include various height shelves in the enclosure to encourage play and jumping. Please please make sure you padlock this run for security and so they don't end up letting themselves out! Many owners have found putting them out to play whilst at work or entertaining visitors works for them. Please include as many swinging toys as possible without blocking a good running area on and around the floor. There are more and more cat wheels becoming available for these larger cats.

Ok so you want a Savannah?!

The first thing to look at is the price you will not buy an F1 Savannah cat for £500! There are many "con" artists out there who will happily take your deposit and then disappear into the night. Many of these people steal legitimate breeder's photos and wording from websites and adverts so it all looks very feasible, although when you start to question them it generally all falls apart. You should never put a deposit on a kitten without having actually seen it and touched it (not touch it before its first injections though) or from recommendation. It should also go without saying that you don't send money to a foreign bank account when the kitten is supposed to be in the UK but believe me people have! The Savannah is becoming very popular and there are still only a small handful of breeders in the UK (around 5) capable of producing F1 kittens and therefore you may have to wait for an early generation kitten. Do not be surprised if you have to be put on a waiting list with a reputable Breeder. When eventually the call comes that there now is a kitten with your name on it is possible to change your mind. Breeders will ring you very early once their kittens are born so they have plenty of time to resell the kitten or just call the next lucky person down the list if you have sourced one elsewhere. There are a few well-known breeders which you can trust and you will find lots of information about them online. Savannah social media groups such as Savannah Cats Uk on Facebook are a great way to find out how helpful the breeders after service and support are. However you do it, do your research not all breeders are the same and there are visual differences in the breeding lines too. Remember you are looking for a cat that resembles the serval. Different lines do look different and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You are going to live with the kitten for up to 20 years so you should choose carefully.

Ok so you want to buy a Savannah but what for?!

Are you looking to buy a Savannah for a pet or are you looking for a breeding Stud or Queen? If you'd like to breed your new kitten once he/she is a year old plus then you will need to get help from the breeder you are buying them from?
Have you researched all the costs involved?
Did you know that you should not breed them on their first season and certainly only breed if they are large enough?
Do you know what the stud fees may be?
Does the stud fee cover the visit or as many visits as it takes? Some breeders charge per visit and some until pregnant.
Are you prepared to wait 18 months to 3 years before seeing any kittens?
What will the breeder do if your cat is infertile? Let's face it, 18 months down the road and your cat is infertile is going to be a considerable blow!
How much is a Stud or Queen going to cost?
Should you have a stud or a Queen?
Savannah cats are still a reasonably new breed and the best Kittens should be kept for improving breeding lines and improving the breed as a whole. A breeding stud or queen will almost certainly cost you two or three times as much as a pet Savannah if not more. Make sure they that come with a "blue TICA slip" certificate. The slip will not in a lot of cases be released until neutering is proved but without the blue slip the cat is worthless in a breeding program and its kittens cannot be registered. That having been said all kittens should come with a blue slip or it should be sent to you after your pet has been neutered. You can always ask to see the blue slip when you view the kitten. It should be available for you to view once the kitten is 8/10 weeks old. It is particularly important with the early generation F1, 2, 3 Savannah Cats that you see both parents or at the very least the mother. Let's face it; it is highly unlikely that someone selling F2 Savannah cats will not have an F1 Savannah queen. Or if they are where have they come from? Yes this has happened I'm sad to say.

What colours are available?

COLOURS: Black, Brown (Black) Spotted Tabby, Black Silver Spotted Tabby and Black Smoke. These are the current breed standard as set on 1st May 2012. No Snow? I hear you ask. Well the snow savannah is cause for argument amongst the world's savannah breeders at the moment. The snow Bengal was in the same situation some years ago but is now accepted. The argument for the snow is that they are simply gorgeous! There is such a thing as a white serval although not common it does occur. That said it is considered a weakness in the wild as they are almost always albino. The Bengal cat was used and accepted as a cross breed to develop the savannah breed and this is where the snow gene comes from in their case. So why is silver accepted? The silver gene is regressive and therefore wipes out any colouring in the hair of the cat. Is there such a thing as a silver serval? Not seen one have you? These are the reasons that the snow savannah will be accepted in the future as more and more are shown and bred.

What should you expect to pay for a good Savannah?

Prices vary depending on where you are in the World. Also as with many things you do get what you pay for with the better breeders. There is a guide below as to what you should expect to pay for Savannahs in 2016. This is only a guide and remember if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is!. There are price differences in colours, the prices are based on good Brown spotted cats. Silvers will be more. Black noses are also more desirable although most servals do not have solid black noses.
Sex & Generation As a Pet (non-active) For Breeding (Active)
Male F1 circa £6500 Priceless !!
Male F2 circa £4000 N/A*
Male F3 circa £2500 N/A*
Male F4 circa £1500 N/A*
Male F5sbt circa £750 £1800 / £3000
Male F6sbt circa £600 £1500 / £2500
Male F7sbt circa £600 £1500 / £2500
*It is recognised that 95% of males F4 and under are infertile and there for not suitable to keep as studs.

Sex & Generation As a Pet (non-active) For Breeding (Active)
Female F1 circa £6500 circa £12,000
Female F2 circa £6500 circa £8,000
Female F3 circa £3000 circa £3500
Female F4 circa £2000 circa £3000
Female F5sbt circa £1500 circa £2500
Female F6sbt circa £1000 circa £2000
Female F7sbt circa £750 circa £1500

 Blimey! they are half the price in the USA

Yes of course they are, Not!
Yes it may be the F5 female you have your eye on in the USA is $1750 and that may be £1200 at todays exchange rate but you may have overlooked a few bits.
You will need to apply for a cities licence that is around £50. A traces licence. You need a pet friendly air carrier and flight, around £1200 and then when you collect your cat from the airport you will need to pay the vat(20%) another £240. So you still save a few pounds? Yes but this kitten is now 17 weeks old so bonding is a little harder or very hard in F1 and F2 cases. Then what if a problem arises? or you need to send it back? thats 4weeks to get your cities licence if they will take it back and another £1200 in flights.
So now you can understand why Savannah cats are expensive as the breeders are heavily invested in the creation of their lines. With the exception of a few breeders in the United Kindom such as Bulgari Cats the F1s were mainly bred in the USA and imported into the UK. Things are changing now and the UK have some of the very best cats in the World from their own UK lines

Should I really consider spending that sort of money on a cat?

The answer to that question depends on your commitment to this new addition to your family. You reap what you sow with a Savannah cat. They will come when called and sit on command when trained. They play fetch and hide and seek, walk on a lead or go jogging with you! They are truly amazing animals and make amazing pets. Please remember this is a commitment for as long as this cat lives which is expected to be 18-20years.

R Foskett
Bulgari Cats, Hertfordshire, England.
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