Like a kid in a candy store, the world of exotic felines is thrilling. Each breed looks so inviting, but navigating through the different breeds and generations or levels within each breed can be totally confusing. What African Savannah cat to choose? This page is intended to help you decide which breed/generation is best for your individual situation. We have delineated the differences between each generation and each breed as we at Savannah Cat Breed see them. The following descriptions are with respect to the cats we have worked with over the last 15 or more years. Mature Savannah cat size will differ from breeder to breeder depending on the focus of their program.
Which cat is right for you?
The Savannah Cat
The Savannah, a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat, is a tall, lanky cat with solid spots over a basecoat that can range from warm golden orange to cool silver hues. Occasionally there will be black (melanistic) or white (snow) colorations. Due to their attenuated height and length, Savannahs will appear to be much heavier than they actually are. Most of Exotic Cattery F1 females, for instance, which range from 14 to 19 pounds, are estimated to weigh 25+ pounds when seen in person.
While the Savannah has existed since the mid-1990’s, most still carry a high percentage of wild blood. Even so, you will find great variety in quality and appearance from breeder to breeder. As each year passes, it seems that more variation in quality is found, especially in the later generations.
Based on the amount of wild blood, our Savannahs are priced from $600 to $9,000. Size and personality/temperament varies from generation to generation. Following is a breakdown for each.
F1 Savannah Cats
F1 Savannah cat size males are 17 to 25 pounds, standing approximately 16 to 18 inches at the shoulder and 22 to 24 inches from chest to rump. F1 females are 13 to 19 pounds. When compared to the pure Serval or the high percentage Bengals, the F1 Savannahs are quite manageable. They are good with their litter box and won’t destroy your house. They will bond with one or two people, being pretty standoffish with everyone else. Not aggressive, but for the most part, they won’t socialize with children or strangers. When people they don’t know visit, they retreat to a backroom or launch themselves onto a high place to watch the goings-on, but be outreach.
Even those with whom they are bonded, rarely can an F1 be held or contained for very long. They’ll want to play with you and expend an amazing amount of energy, but F1 Savannahs are definitely not lapped cats. Trips to the vet can be challenging. This can be combated by making at least one trip to the vet to get accustomed to the smells and be “oohed and awed” over without any negative experience. A positive first experience vet visit will make future trips much less stressful for both the Savannah cat and owner. if an F1 is upset them or they are trying to tell you something, occasionally they will opt not to use the litter box. They are also attracted to plastic grocery sacks if left within reach. They can be taught to walk on a harness and most are highly attracted to water, whether it be an outside pond, the garden hose or sprinkler, or your bathtub.
F2 Savannah Cats
F2 Savannah cat size: males are 16 to 25 pounds with some reaching 30+ pounds. They measure 15 to 18 inches at the shoulder and are 20 to 22 inches long. Females range from 12 to 16 pounds. There will be a small percentage of F2’s, probably 20%, whose personalities lean towards that of an F1. The rest will be very social with their immediate family, including children. Generally, they do not lap cats and do not like to be held, but will want to be petted and will play nonstop with you.
When strangers come into their home, they may initially hide, but will usually warm up to the visitors over the course of their stay. Some will allow your guests to them pet them, others will just stay in close proximity, checking out what’s going on. Litter box habits are good. Like the F1’s, some will be attracted to dry cleaning bags and grocery sacks. Vet visits are going to be more manageable than the F1’s, but going to the vet can still be a handful if they have had a prior negative experience.
F3 Savannah Cats
F3 Savannah cat size: males are 14 to 20 pounds, stand approximately 14 to 17 inches at the shoulder, and are 18 to 21 inches long. This is still a very large frame for a cat. Females range from 10 to 13 pounds. Almost all F3’s will be extremely bonded with their families and social with strangers who come into their homes. Some will allow you to hold them and will want to sit on your lap. Extremely intelligent and highly athletic cats, if selective, you can get an F3 that maintains the extremely vivid, wild markings of the F1 and F2, but with a guaranteed great personality. We prefer the F3’s and highly recommend these kittens to many pet homes as they are the best combination of a wild look with a sweet personality and make a great family pet.
F4 & F5 Savannah Cats
Savannah cat size: Males range from 14 to 20 pounds, stand 14 to 16 inches at the shoulder, and are 16 to 18 inches long. Females range from 10 to 13 pounds on a tall, lanky frame. These generations are very similar to the F3’s in temperament. Even more hands-on, they’ll want to be petted and played with often. Intelligent and energetic, social and outgoing, compared to a domestic cat, the F4 and F5 Savannah cats are considered much more intelligent and higher energy than a domestic.