What are Savannah Cats Like?
People often ask me if Savannah Cats are really that different from your average domestic cat. As a proud owner of 2 amazing F5 Savannahs, I tend to believe they are quite unique. You can’t help but notice their characteristic wild appearance. But there’s definitely more to this breed of cat than their exotic looks. Savannah Cats have some distinct personality traits that make them appealing to even “non-cat people”.
What is a Savannah Cat?
Before we take a look at the unique personality traits of Savannahs, let’s go over the basics. What is a Savannah? Savannahs are a hybrid mix between an African Serval and a domestic cat. Their characteristic features include dark brown spots, large rounded ears, long legs, and hooded eyes.
There are several different generations of Savannahs which are identified by their filial generation number (F1, F2, F3…). An F1 Savannah is only one generation removed from the African Serval. A higher filial number, like an F6, will generally equate to a more domestic and less wild Savannah Cat. The price of a Savannah will vary greatly depending on the breeder, filial number, and several other factors. They can cost anywhere from $800 to over $20,000!
Aside from their unique appearance, the trait that will be most apparent to new Savannah Cat owners is their high activity level. Compared to an average domestic cat, Savannahs will sleep less and play much more. They don’t tire out very easily either. A 15-minute semi-engaged play session might be a lot to ask of Fluffy, but chances are your Savannah Cat will wear you out before they get tired. And if you aren’t focused on playing with them, be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Roughness of Play / Destructiveness
A lot of Savannah Cat owners claim their Savannahs get along much better with dogs than other cats. Savannahs tend to play rougher than most domestic cats. Dogs can usually put up with the abuse from Savannahs and in a lot of cases, end up enjoying them as playmates. If you don’t have a dog, getting 2 Savannah kittens is highly recommended. That way they can play with each other rather than terrorizing your other pets, or you.
Savannahs can also be much more destructive than your average cat. If they don’t have an appropriate outlet for all of their energy, they’ll most likely take it out on your furniture, rugs, or clothing. Buying cat toys can be a bit more of a hassle as well. Most plush cat toys will get shredded within a few days. Interactive wand toys should NEVER be left out, especially around Savannah Cats. But even if you just use them during play sessions, they probably won’t last a fraction of the time they would with a normal cat. Check out our recommendations for the Best Cat Toys for Savannah Cats here.
Socialness / Curiosity
Here’s where dog people tend to gravitate towards Savannahs. Savannah Cats are much more social than the average domestic cat. Their curiosity far outweighs their fear, much like dogs. Savannahs are like your average cat in that they tend to be very possessive of their owners. But what makes them different is their openness to strangers or even large groups of people. Savannah Cats will usually want to be in the middle of the action. I’ve never once had to question the whereabouts of my Savannah Cats. Savannahs require much more attention than your average cat that is content staring out the window all day long. Savannahs will greet you at the door when you come home and follow you around until you pay attention to them. In this regard, they are pretty high maintenance. But having a cat that noticeably craves your attention can be very rewarding.
Most people will agree that cats are incredibly curious creatures by nature. Savannahs are no different. When it comes down to persistence, Savannahs can be absolutely relentless. While your average cat might be entertained momentarily by a tissue sticking out of the tissue box, a Savannah Cat won’t lose interest until every last tissue has been removed and shredded to pieces. My Savannah Cats have learned how to open sliding doors and cabinet drawers to retrieve something they want. If you’re thinking of hiding that wand toy up high in the closet, think again. My Savannahs have scaled clothing and shelves to get “hidden” toys. In a lot of ways, a Savannah Cat is like a toddler. If you aren’t on your toes, they could end up making huge messes or hurting themselves. As a Savannah Cat owner, you must take extra precautions to cat-proof your home.
Why are Savannah Cats Amazing?
If you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking that you’d have to be crazy to get a Savannah Cat. In some ways, that’s probably a fair assumption. But if you’re a serious cat person who is looking for a fearless, constantly entertaining, loyal companion, Savannahs are the cat for you. Savannah Cats make excellent pets for owners who are willing to put in a little extra effort. The reward of having a truly fascinating feline buddy makes everything worth it.