What is a Savannah cat

What is a Savannah cat?

A Savannah cat is a hybrid between an African serval and a domestic cat.  Usually, now in 2020, the cross is between a serval and a Savannah.  The resulting kittens come in four flavors and have specific names.

  • Brown Spotted Tabby. A cool brown all the way to golden color background with brown to black colored spots.
  • Silver Spotted Tabby. A silver background with black to dark grey spotting.
  • Black Smoke Savannah. The black smoke is closely related to the silver because it has a white ground color at the skin line.  However, the color of the hair is black, and the spots are backlit with white.
  • Finally, the Black Savannah. The coat will show the spotting pattern when young but as an adult much of that is lost and the cat is a beautiful shiny black.  Breeders call this melanistic or mel for short.

A little about the African Serval

The serval cat lives in the grassy plains across the middle part of the Africa.  That is because there are rivers and streams for a drinking water. Servals are referred to as Clowns of the Veldt. The Veldt is simply the wide-open grassy plateaus in Africa.

The Savannah breed is based on the African Serval,  They are one of a very few hybrid type breeds.  A couple of other hybrid breeds are Bengals based on the Asian Leopard cat and Chausie which is based on the Jungle Cat.

Servals have a less fearful existence than an Asian Leopard cat. That makes a difference in their personalities. This carries through to the first-generation (F1) Savannah Cat and even later generations.  The serval does not make a good house pet.


Savannah Cats are Intelligent

Starting at the first generation, Savannahs are pleasant and very aware of their surroundings. Their marked intelligence tends to get them into many mischievous situations in the home. Due to this, it prompts owners to congregate to tell stories about how smart their cats are. Owners have lovingly coined the phrase “Savandalism” for their antics. Also, owners may sometimes ‘baby-proof certain cabinets or faucets to keep the contents safe from cat paws.

Misleading Info

There are many sites that state information that is misleading and at times plain wrong about Savannahs. For instance, Savannah Cats jump up on refrigerators just like any cat of any breed. However, they do not have an 8 foot straight-up, vertical jump ability. A booster on their hind end would be needed to do that feat. Also, they do not grow to be 35 or 40 pounds unless they have a serious weight problem.  They are normally a bit taller, longer, and weigh slightly more than domestic cats.

How big are they?

Are Savannah cats Big?

Savannahs are tall and their body is long.  Also, their muscles are lean.  Quite like swimmers’ muscles.  Due to their height and length, many people think Savannah cats weigh much more than they do.  In fact, most Savannahs are in the 18 to 20-pound range with some less and a few a bit more. Many people misjudge the weight of many items, cats included.Surprisingly, Savannahs are not the biggest cat breed.  That honor goes to the Maine Coon cat.  Something else that is important to know is that the Bengal cat was used often as the domestic breed when Savannah cats began.Therefore, some pedigrees to this day have heavier boning and muscles.  There are Savannah cats built heavier and who will weigh more but it is not the goal of the breed.  The best cats resemble the tall, long and thin body style with the graceful boning of the serval.

Savannahs Talk

Some Savannah cats are loud.  The serval has a tiny bird chirp type of voice and the Bengal has a loud and demanding tone.  Therefore, if you are a person who likes quiet, then look for a Savannah cat with little Bengal in the pedigree.  Savannah cats will talk to you, just with a tiny sweet voice.  They will let you know when they want food or attention, when they want to play and even if there is something bothering them.  It is your duty to figure out what they are telling you.

Much to Know When Buying a Savannah

It would be nice to go to the nearest town and buy a Maine Coon, or Bengal cat, or even a Savannah cat.  However, there is not a place to do that.  Breeders are spread out across the world.  In addition, unless you talk to the Savannah breeder directly you do not know which kittens are available.  Not to mention a kitten that will match your family and budget.  Please stay with us while we walk you through the process.  We do supply a list of Questions to ask the breeder of choice so you will get the best kitten.

Are They Good pets?

Yes and no.  To be honest, if you are a person who has had Persians all your life, a Savannah cat is probably not for you.  The difference would be a shocking experience.

Right from the beginning, Savannah kittens are active and want to interact with their family.  They are always available and ready  to:


  • Play.
  • Walk on a leash.
  • Take a bath.
  • Watch hockey or football (because they like to chase the ball on the screen).
  • And in general, be an interactive cat at to drop of a hat.


To be fair, not every Savannah cat will like water or will jog with someone.  They are, however, replacing dogs in many hike and bike trails for fitness-minded people and ease of care.

Kids and Savannahs

Children of reasoning age tend to get along with Savannah cats.  In fact, many Savannahs kittens will bond strongly with their children.  They will enjoy playtime and walks with them.  *It is the Savannah Cat Association’s position that families with young children or babies should not invite an F1 or F2 into their homes until the children are about 3-5 due to danger from scratches or toppling when learning to walk.  Talk to your breeder and evaluate your situation carefully.

Kids love these cats

Take a Walk

Savannah cats will readily learn to wear a walking jacket, which is the only safe way to harness a cat. Once they become accustomed to the walking jacket, a Savannah will readily walk on a leash and go on walks with their owners.

Savannahs Love Water Sports

Water is a Savannah cat passion. They will play in tubs, sinks, splash water out of water bowls and even off to help their people drink their cold beverages; especially those with ice floating in them.

Hide and Seek

Fetch and Catch

Another favorite pastime is the game of fetch. Oh yes, these little wonders will play fetch for long periods of time just like a Labrador Retriever. Some will also invent games like tag where they want their owner to chase them and tag them and then reverse the process. Beware though, a Savannah Cat can catch a person lots quicker than a person can catch them. Also, some will play catch. The Cat will bring a toy and then go somewhere and wait for their person to throw it to them. They are amazingly agile and catch their item and bring it back to do it again and again. Another fun game is hide and seek.The joy in this is that they have no idea you can see them as long as their head is covered.Even so, pretending you are looking for them is tons of fun.

Sticker Shock

When it comes to the cost of Savannah cats and kittens, many who are new to the breed want the best-looking Savannahs.  That means F1, F2 or F3.  The F1 is a Savannah kitten that born to a Savannah bred to a serval cat.  Breed an F1 to a Savannah male and you get an F2.  Take an F2 and breed it and the kittens are F3’s.  So, each time a Savannah cat gets one more generation away from the serval, it adds a number. As you might imagine, trying to breed a huge serval to a Savannah cat is not an easy task.  Therefore, a lot of expense goes into buying and caring for a serval and his eventual Savannah wife.  It can take years to have even one kitten.  Sometimes, a breeder will never have one. Breeders who buy an F1 Savannah cat, to begin with still have some issues when breeding.  As do those who start out with an F2 Savannahs.  Many breeders will say the F2 is the hardest Savannah cat to get bred..

Are Savannah Cats Expensive?

Once at the F4 generation of Savannah, you will find pricing level off and it will be about the same as any other pedigreed breed.  There is an in-depth chart on our website.  In the meantime, here is a bit of a range for you to plan which generation of Savannah will be best for your family.

  • F1 – $10,000 – $18,000
  • F2 – $6.000 – $9,000
  • F3 – $3,000 – $5000
  • F4  – $2,500 – $4,000
  • F5 and later generation – $1,000 – $3,000

 Diet and Litter

As far as food and litter box habits go, Savannahs are clean and fastidious.  They use the litter box just like a domestic cat would. Many breeders use pine pellets as litter because it has a nice fresh smell.  It also has no clumping danger.  Feed is and regular high-quality grain-free kibble and wet cat food or even a raw diet.  Savannahs are sometimes finicky about their food but we all know that cats are like that most of the time.

Diet and litter

Buy Savannahs Here

The breeders of the SCA are some of the best on the planet.  They not only sign the pledge to use fair dealings with every person and family, but they also take more steps to enhance your experience with them.  On our Facebook group of the same name, many of our breeders volunteer their time to mentor new breeders and owners as well.On our breeder listing page, you can see what each breeder does to ensure you find the best Savannah kitten available anywhere.  Many breeders do genetic and disease testing.  In addition, they will give you references you can contact to see how other families liked their Savannah kittens.

Savvy Prints Newsletter

We have a newsletter that comes out six times a year. There are many helpful articles and lots of Savannah cat pictures.  Plus, this site is chock full of information for before and after you buy your cat. There is a sheet of questions to ask that will help in your search for Savannah cats for sale.   The FAQs give you short answers on how/what to do when they get to your house. Savannah Cats make a great pet for families with children* and other pets. Get one or two for your family’s entertainment today!  Have a look at the Savannah kittens available from our breeders below.

Visit our Approved Breeders 

DixieDotz Cattery


There may come a time when you need to convince a spouse, parent, or even yourself why you should own a Savannah.  Now we know this might take place before you purchase one. On the other hand, there may be a time when you are reminding yourself as your new kitten is sitting in front of the TV while you are trying to watch it that owning a Savannah is the best thing since.…MORE

Young girl with Savannah cat


All generations of Savannahs and children happily share a household. Above all, proper socialization from the breeder and responsible ownership are key. It can also be a great thing since both have plenty of energy. Savannahs need a lot of enrichment and most children are more than ...MORE

high percentage Savannah Cats
kittens for sale


At the top of this page on the menu you will be able to find just about any answer that is Savannah cat related.  From extensive price information to terms you may hear some breeders use that can be just hype.  There are care tips, vaccines, diet, and much more.  You are always welcome to contact us with questions about your Savannah or for our help with serious problems or even help sniffing out a scammer.

Picture of USA

List of States that allow Savannah cats

Savannah cat legal ownership is very important.  Not only to reputable breeders should car but also ownership when you are looking to buy a Savannah.  One of the worst things that can happen to a Savannah cat is to settle in with its family only to be turned in and your cat is confiscated.  Many not so savory breeders will tell you not to worry and that Savannah cat laws are not really enforced.  Nothing is further from the truth…

Savannah Cat Breeders, WHY SUBSCRIBE?

The staff started Savannah Cat Association in order for honest breeders who have Savannah cats for sale to show they are not scam artists.  Because in today’s world, it is so hard to tell who is legit online, we provide many ways for you to show your clients how hard it is to be legitimate.Our Savannah cat breeder members pay their dues and our staff all work as volunteers without pay.  The funds are used to assist FIP research.  FIP is the worst disease that affects a cat or kitten and the scientists we support, make great progress with our contributionsIn addition, we provide owners and would-be owners with many articles about Savannah cats to make your job choosing a breeder easier. For instance, the care a responsible breeder takes.  As opposed to a backyard breeder who will throw two cats together and sell sick and unregistered kittens that get little to no attention.  In addition, there are articles so Savannah cat owners may do a better job raising and care for their cats.  Also for buyers, there are lists and advice to figure out which kitten is best for them.

Our Mission

Equally important to our Savannah cat breeders and owners, is our commitment to battle FIP in any way we can and not just for Savannah cats. Consequently, through educating people on cleanliness techniques that kill the Coronavirus, the precursor to FIP.  Additionally, raising funds to facilitate FIP research.  FIP is a not only a Savannah cat cat killer, but it affects all cats.  Of course, we have no cure yet, but we hope with our help we will have a cure soon.In addition, members are allowed to show off their Savannah cats and kittens on the front page of this site as a way to help them with their donations and support. Our Facebook group and page by the name Savannah Cat Association  are also set up for donations. However, lately, Facebook has been not-allowing Savannah cat groups much exposure. Consequently, we have recently opened a Savannah Association group on MeWe.com.  That group is https://mewe.com/join/savannahcatassociation.Come join us.

Savannah Cat Association

Non Profit Organization

The Savannah Cat Association is a 501(c)(3) Organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service since 2018

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