Savannah kittens are the result of crossing a domesticated cat with a serval. A serval is a wild cat from Africa. This unique breed came about in the later part of the 20th century. The International Cat Association accepted this as a registered breed in 2001.
Judee Frank, a bengal breeder, crossbred a Siamese female with a male serval in 1986. The offspring of this mating was the start of the Savannah breed. By 1996, a breed standard was devised for the Savannah, and in 2001, the International Cat Association accepted the registration of the breed as stated earlier.
Classifications for Savannah Kittens
Savannahs are classified according to how many generations away they are from their serval relation. F1 means the kitten is about 53% serval, F2 is only about 29% serval. There are many classifications used with Savannahs in this manner. F1s are the hardest to breed because this group is usually the domesticated cat being directly bred with a serval instead of a serval and savannah or savannah-to-savannah combination.
Savannah kittens grow to be larger than other domesticated-cat breeds. They are slim and tall in build giving an illusion that they weigh more than they actually do weigh. Their size does vary between the various classifications. An example of this is the fact that the male cat will be larger in the F1 group. The group has the strongest characteristics of the serval bloodline is the reason for this. The Savannah cats can weigh up to 30 pounds.
The coloring and other traits of the coat for these kittens are influenced by what cat breed has been crossed with serval. There can be dark spotting on a light-colored coat. The breed standard requires the coloring to be as follows:
Brown Spotted Tabby – This is defined as warm to cool brown, gold or tan with dark brown or black spots.
Silver Spotted Tabby – This is described as silver coat containing dark gray or black spots.
Black Smoke – This is black tipped silver containing black spots.
Black – This coloring is black containing black spots.
Of course, there are nonstandard colors that show up during the breeding process. These could range from snow color to marble patterns. The ones with these colorings are not used for breeding stock, but sold as pets.
The price for savannah kittens can range from about $1000.00 to $22,000. Why do they cost so much money? It is difficult crossbreeding a serval with a domesticated cat. This is not an overnight process with this breed. It takes many years to perfect the breed of Savannah cats. In addition, caring for servals is expensive, as they need special needs in food and lodgings.
Savannahs make ideal pets because of their social and friendly nature. The earlier savannah kittens are exposed to other pets or people, the better. This helps them be comfortable and not afraid. They could growl or hiss at strangers, but some just go hide. They are loyal to their owner similar to dogs. The cats can be leash trained as well as trained to do other things. The intelligence of the cat breed is well known.