Next, housing for the serval is a consideration soon after the purchase. A whole (unneutered) male, will begin to spray. Some breeders choose to add an addition or remodel a garage. Then there are those who build an outbuilding. Any of the choices can range from $2000 to $10,000. We will take the mid-line choice of $6000 for this discussion.
Cost of Feed
Another consideration that makes Savannah cats so expensive is the cost to feed the cats until they even produce a kitten. A growing serval will eat about 2 pounds of raw meat each day. Servals usually eat chicken thighs and breast meat. Chicken prices vary from state to state. For the sake of this article, we will say that chicken is $2 per pound. That is a cost of $4 per day to feed a serval. That does not include the additives that a serval must have mixed in the chicken to stay healthy. $4 per day for one year is $1460. Take into consideration that a serval may not begin to breed until 2-3 years old. That can be as much as $4380 before our breeder sees a kitten. We will use half of that amount to be considered $2190.
Add serval food @ $2190 to our total above of $15000 and that comes to $17190.
Now we talk about raising one female until the breeding age of 1 year. Savannah breeders typically feed good-quality, grain-free kibble (dry food) and grain-free canned food. If this female eats one cup of kibble and one can of food each day the following are the calculations.
We averaged Instinct, Taste of the Wild, and Solid Gold kibble, and the daily cost is $2.53. We also averaged Pride, Earthborn, and Weruva canned and the daily cost for one cat averages $2.05. The daily cost to feed one Savannah cat is $4.58. This is $1671.70 for a year.
Add that $1671.70 to our previous running total of $17190 and we have $18861.70.
Also relevant, is that the prices we used do not include sales tax and they are from a discount site, not the premium cat stores.
Are Savannah Cats Expensive yet?
We have not yet talked about Veterinary visits, immunizations, PK Def testing for parents, PCR testing for parents, and kittens. Also Fed Ex fees for sending time-sensitive testing. Litter and other supplies like water bowls, litter boxes, scoops, beds, and scratching posts. Both servals and growing cats need toys and activities to keep them busy.
We are not done yet. Paying for website construction, the prices vary. There are yearly hosting fees for the site and renewal of the URL.
In addition, some states require permits
, breeding licenses, county tax assessments, and sales taxes. Based on new rules, many breeders must be USDA licensed. Not all of the taxes and fees are cheap.
The International Cat Association charges to register a cattery and yearly membership fees. Besides, each cat and litter has a registration fee.
The list goes on and we haven’t even touched on how little a breeder makes per hour when there is a kitten to sell. If a breeder worked only one hour per day (which is never the case) and paid himself $5 for that hour, that adds up to $1825. Few people would work for those wages.
Finally, we can consider that a serval may never consider a Savannah as a mate. So all the expense raising a serval may be for nothing. The responsible breeder will have a lifetime of caring for that serval. Many breeders breed simply breed for the love of the cats. Others choose to never get a serval and yet the costs can be the same or higher. Buying a good-looking and fertile male is very similar.
A breeder will have spent a huge amount of money just to start breeding and the feeding and care cost is ongoing.