What is a Savannah Cat Like?
A Savannah is a relatively new breed a cat. A hybrid between an African Serval and a domestic cat makes for a striking kitty with spots and a remarkable personality. Is this the breed for you?
Makena, My Savannah.
I have always been an animal lover. We had dogs and cats when I was growing up and at one point, I even had a pony. One might think I was a very lucky girl to have a pony, but that pony was one mean little sob!! That is a story for another time. So, while I have always had dogs and cats in my life, my heart tends to lean towards cats just a tiny bit more. I love their independence and their aloofness. I like that they love me on their terms but they love me.
This past summer, I learned of a breed of cat called a Savannah. I thought I had heard of most breeds, but this one was new to me. It is a hybrid between a domestic cat and an African Serval. Most breeders strive for a cat with a spotted coat with golden undertones, long legs, and a short tail. They are striking cats with fun, friendly personalities. More dog-like in some of their behaviors. For example; a lot of Savannah owners report that their cats will come when called by name, play fetch, seem to enjoy water, and can be leash trained. When I heard this, I had to see for myself!!
I started researching the breed and began talking to Savannah owners. The people who have Savannahs couldn’t rave enough about their “babies”. It seems that these cats are extremely smart felines. They become very attached to their people and can have issues when a home doesn’t work out well for them and they need to find a new one. They bond very closely with the humans in the household and want to be with them in whatever room they are in. However, they are NOT lap cats. They may want to be in the same room with you, but don’t expect them to be sitting still. They are very active and curious kitties and always looking for some fun and something new to do.
I decided I had to have one. My husband wasn’t exactly thrilled with my decision but he came around eventually. I met a breeder online who just happened to have some kittens available for sale. She sent me some pictures and I picked out a cute little female that I thought I wanted. I showed the picture to my husband and he finally caved. We live in Colorado and the breeder is in Las Vegas, Nevada. We decided to drive out and pick up our new baby.
Makena was 12 weeks old when we picked her up to bring her home with us. I was a little unsure of how the trip home would be with a 12 hour car ride and a kitten, but she did remarkably well. She started out in a carrier and by the time we left Vegas, she was riding very quietly in the backseat. I talked to her and she just looked at me and her surroundings with what seemed to be curiosity. After a couple of hours, I let her out of the carrier and she alternated between playing in the back seat and climbing up to sit in my lap and watch the passing scenery. I had never seen such a small kitten take such notice of what was going on around her. The only time she fussed was when we stopped to get hamburgers and she decided that it smelled pretty good. I gave her tiny little bites of the burger and she scarfed those down and was happy.
For the first two weeks after we got her home, she was kept in her own room away from the other animals in the house. This was done to make sure she was healthy and so she would bond with me and my husband instead of with one of the other animals. She adjusted beautifully and became part of the family in no time. She follows my husband and me around like one of the dogs. Where we are, there she is, too. She comes when we call her name, but not to, “Here Kitty, kitty, kitty”. She plays fetch with her stuffed mice and loves to dabble in the water bowls and the sink. She is also not afraid of much. We have a German shepherd who has intimidated our other cats, not because she is mean, but because she just wants to love on them so much. Makena and Missy will lie in front of the fireplace together and Makena will groom Missy. It is so cute to watch them.
Honestly, Makena has ruined any other breeds for me. Her personality and spunk just make her so much fun and she really is a beautiful cat. My husband is wrapped completely around her little paw and is proud of it. He is the one who gets up first in the mornings, so is the one who feeds the kitties. She talks to him all the way down the stairs and keeps him company while he gets the food ready in the mornings. He is allergic to cats and would always be very careful to wash his hands after touching my other cats, but with Makena, he has found that he has not had any allergy problems with her. We really aren’t sure why, yet, but think it is probably because she is a hybrid. Her coat even feels different from my other cats.
If you would like a Savannah kitten, please do your homework first. They require lots of love and attention. If you don’t have time for one of these gorgeous cats, then please don’t buy one. They really do suffer terribly when they have to change homes. It just isn’t fair to them. Also, go through a reliable breeder and research before you buy. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the Savannah breed, but with a good breeder on your side you can find a lovely cat to help fill your home with laughter and love.