Have you ever wished you had a cat that looked a bit more like a leopard and acted a bit more like a dog? Well, meet the Savannah cat! These sought-after moggies aren’t really “moggies” at all, but are actually a hybrid between domestic cats and a wild species of cat called the serval, hence their exotic looks.
Savannah cats are a hybrid between a domestic cat and the serval, a species of big cat found across sub-Saharan Africa. F1 (or first generation) Savannahs tend to be larger and more “wild” than most domestic cats, making them difficult to keep as pets. On the other hand, an F2 (second generation) or F3 Savannah is easier to deal with, and can make a great pet for the right owner. Even though the breed has only been around for 30 years, and was only officially recognised by The International Cat Association in 2012, it’s becoming increasingly popular for cat lovers who are looking for an unusual feline friend.
Their unique mix of serval and cat genes has given Savannahs a reputation for having a dog-like temperament. They are particularly loyal to their families, and will often follow their owners around the house like a dog might. Savannahs are very inquisitive and intelligent, so they enjoy being taught new tricks – they can even be trained to walk on a lead and to play fetch!
But prospective owners be warned, these felines have a penchant for making mischief! They can jump up to 8 feet in the air, meaning that even top shelves aren’t safe from a nosey Savannah cat. They also are able to learn how to open doors and cupboards, so keep an eye on the cat treats! Unlike many other moggies, Savannahs love to play in water, and are even known to jump into the bath or shower with their owners!
As much as they might seem like every cat lover’s dream pet, Savannah cats are a bit more awkward to acquire than most other breeds of cat. Ownership of an F1 Savannah cat in the UK is restricted under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, which means that potential owners need to obtain a license to be allowed to keep the cat legally. And even if that hasn’t put you off, the price might – Savannah kittens can go for anything up to £5,000!
Featured image via Mark Yamamoto.