Savannah Cat: A Complete Guide To The Hybrid Breed

Mating two to several species together with different appearances or personal traits is conducted frequently and scientifically thanks to the current development of technology. Not only for the purpose of maintaining the original breed, but cross-breeding is also sometimes considered as a method to generate a brand new beautiful creature that has never been spotted before. 

If you are, at the moment, interested in gaining more information about a hybrid breed, or even seeking for adopting one, then this article covering different standards of Savannah Cat is designed completely for you. 

After reading it, you possibly find yourself striving for living with a Savannah Cat. Who knows?


When and how a Savannah Cat breed was first discovered?

The first-ever appearance of Savannah kittens can be traced back to the 1980s. During that time, Judee Frank started to make an adventure in crossbreeding: she mated a male African Serval and a domesticated Siamese. It was, consequently, not long after the event that she received a totally new breed, which then named Savannah on the 7th of April, 1986. 

To be more specific, the original objective of crossbreeding two different types of cat is to obtain a cheetah-like appearance yet human-friendly characters staying inside one creature.  

After being informed about the unique kitten, Joyce Sroufe and Patrick Kelly joined the breeding adventure, published a document providing information about Savannah kittens, and sent it to the TICA (The International Cat Association).

Finally, since 2001, the hybrid breed has been acknowledged as an officially domestic pet, which is one of the most recent cat types to be discovered. Guinness Book World Record also accepted Savannah cats as the world’s tallest household cat in 2006.

With that being said, this hybrid pet derives special physical and emotional features from not only the African Serval but also the Siamese, which leads to its highly active personality and wild-looking image.

How to tell if it is a Savannah Cat? What does it look like at first sight?

Natural standards

  • Lifespan

Normally healthy Savannah kittens have a wide range of age, from 12 to 20 years from the womb to the tomb.

  • Height

Since widely known as the world’s tallest cat by Guinness, this hybrid breed is between 14” and 17”. In reality, they are as tall as a medium-sized dog.

  • Weight

Even having an impressive height, Savannah cat size actually is not considered as well-rounded or fat. As measured, their weight usually varies from 8 to 30 pounds and hybrid males are likely to be larger than females.

  • Working out habits

This breed possesses their ancestors – the African Servals’ wildness and lively character since living in the natural habitat. It is, therefore, reasonable to also adopt their activeness during the day as well as night time.

Physical appearance

  • Wild appearance

As mentioned above, its ancestor is the African Servals, which are accustomed to living in semi-arid areas and cork oak forests. They are initially carnivores, its hybrid, therefore, obtains their wild and rough look.

Since Savannah kittens’ body is filled with black spots or stripes, its appearance is usually compared to cheetahs with lots of similarities.

  • Eyes

The hybrid breed has a wide range of eye colors, from blue, green, brown, gold, or even a mixture of all those shades when it reaches adulthood.

With a medium size, the outer corner of the cat eyes is at a high position, while the inner one is much lower. This strange structure creates boomerang-shaped eyes and a dangerous look at the same time. 

The brows are not much far from the eyes in order to protect them from intense sunlight. It is understandable when considering the case of African Servals always being exposed to the sun in deserts. 

  • Legs

The world’s tallest domestic cat – Savannah kittens obviously have really thin and long legs. Specifically, their back legs are usually longer than the front ones, which helps them a lot while jumping from place to place.

  • Teardrop marks

Again, deriving from their ancestors, F1 Savannah Cat obtains a beautiful black “tear-streak”, “teardrop”, or “cheetah tear” marks running down from the inner corner of their eyes, along with the nose shape, and down to the outside edges of their mouth.

  • Ears

Being very much alike to cheetahs, the hybrid cat’s ears operate as radars scanning small sounds to even 180 degrees. These ears are usually raised as high as they can, which makes them appear like always listening carefully to some predators. 


  • Noises

Just similar to any other domestic cats, Savannah kittens meow and make weird noises sometimes after getting familiar with its owner. Here is the list of different kinds of sounds they produce in accordance with their current emotions concluded from cat owners’ experiences:

    1. Good morning meow
      There is a sweet and a little dreamy vibe in their tone since just waking up. During this time, it is nice for you to cuddle with them for a while before getting ready for work.
    2. Chatty meow
      Lying on the sofa, yawning and rolling here and there, they definitely want a small “talk” with you by meowing sleepily and patiently. Let us just have a small conversation with them before they start to take a nap.
    3. Attention seeking meow
      If they are running outside and looking back at you to search for a companion, you are going to catch some short, abrupt, and strong sound from them. That is the sign which conveys a message: “Hey, come here and play together”.
    4. Exciting meow
      Before taking a shower, they start to look here and there while making some curious meows. It is obvious that Savannah cats also understand and feel really excited about the next event.
    5. Missing my owner meow
      Yes, here is the sound that every owner loves to listen to carefully. Looking through a window, wandering around the door, and being sensitive to every single sound, your cat is surely waiting for you to come home.
    6. Odd noises coming from the wild
      Even if Savannah cats are officially acknowledged as domestic cats, they still obtain the wild origin in their blood from African Servals. Therefore, while enjoying a happy time at your house, they might often make odd noises that sound really like being in the middle of the wild.
  • Head

Their head shape is not very bigger than a typical American man’s fist, which is an average size. Even its face is not as wide as the size of two ears combined. 

Under the eyes there lies the fierce and bold dark line of a nose, which bends slightly forward and creates a really sharp and distinct appearance when looking from one side. 

  • Pattern

The pattern includes black or dark brown spots appearing all over their body. Each one is totally separated from the others and can be in round or oval shapes. Spots appear not only on their head but also on legs, arms, stomach, and back. 

As their hair is short and dense, it can be easily kept clean and softened by taking a shower. 

  • Colors

When considering the case of Savannah cats, TICA (The International Cat Association) only accepts certain coat colors since they are much alike to Servals’, which include:

    1. Brown-spotted tabby: dark to warm brown, gold filled with dark brown spots
    2. Silver-spotted tabby: silver fur and black or dark grey spots
    3. Black: black and black spots 
    4. Black smoke: black-tipped silver filled with black spots 

Other non-standard colors such as blue, snow, chocolate, lilac, or marble, etc. are not officially acknowledged. 

What are Savannah Cat’s personal traits? How would it be if we live in the same environment?

This is a very interesting side of F1 Savannah cats that Wewpet really wants to tell you all. When mentioning their traits, we can actually see the mixture between a wild cat and a domestic one combining together in one creature. 


Here is the list of some of their traits which might be your favorites:

  • Super active, courageous feline

They enjoy the fast lane and cannot maintain at one place for a prolonged time. Usually, cat owners catch sight of their cat running, jumping, playing, or rolling on the ground instead of quietly meditating.

  • Self-confident

It might be because of their height that they take pride in themselves a lot, especially when staying around other domesticated pets.

  • Alert

As obtaining a really sensitive pair of ears, they are usually using them to recognize danger, small insects, faraway signs, or just the sound of their owner opening the door.

  • Highly intelligent, curious

As deriving this advantage from their ancestor, F1 Savannah cat is intensely smart, fierce, and ready to study new things about the outside world. This might contribute to the fact that they always on the move to learn and discover.

  • Attention and connection seeking

If you are staying in the same house with Savannah kittens, then you must know that they are very attention-driven and always in need of your love. When not receiving enough care from owners, cats frequently and angrily meow in a loud tone to remind you of their existence.

  • Loyal

However, it does not mean that they will stop loving you if you are too busy and do not have enough time to cherish them. In fact, these hybrid breed is very loyal to one family whom they get familiar to for a prolonged time.

  • Friendly

When friends or relatives come to your house for dinner, Savannah cats can be slightly afraid at first. But that condition does not last long since they are very friendly species. After a while, they will get along well with guests and might even play with them.

After all, they really need attention and love not only from you but also from the people you care for!

  • Able to learn quickly

As a very intelligent breed, they are able to learn things quickly and adapt to the circumstances and surroundings without any limitations. Therefore, it is normal for them to perform from simple to complex tasks daily.

  • Taking 3 years to be fully matured

Like any other cats that require time to learn and grow, for Savannah kittens, it normally takes them three years to grow in size and mentality. Therefore, just be patient and give them enough love!

  • Excellent in jumping

As their back legs are longer than the front ones, these hybrid males or females have the ability to jump even up to 8 feet horizontally which is higher than other domestic animals.

How much does a Savannah Cat cost?

Specifically, it is sad to admit that Savannah females are very hard to produce, which expectedly makes them a very rare and expensive cat breed.

Here the table of average Savannah cat price in comparison between generations:

Generation Price ($) Difficulty
F1 20.000 Intensely difficult
F2 10.000 Difficult
F3 3000 Average

The financial state plays an important role in growing, giving a cat happy and fulfilled times. Therefore, before making the final decisions of adopting Savannah kittens or not, please consider it carefully, and scribble down all the risks as well as the advantages.

Why do you should/should not own a Savannah Cat?

To help cat owners during their decision making and analyzing processes, Wewpet sends you several reasons why you would rather own or not own Savannah kittens.

Reasons to own

  • They love to cuddle, happily meow, or roll on the ground, which will be a favorite time for you two to have fun together.
  • They are extremely friendly to you after coming home from work or your friends visiting by.
  • They are fond of having fun and can be playful.
  • If you love active workouts, they can satisfy you by going for walks.
  • You cannot resist their physical charm with a cheetah-like appearance and fierce coat colors.

Reasons not to own

  • They always need lots of attention. If not, they can shout and make you angry.
  • They hate unusual and sudden loud noises, which is definitely not suitable for a house with a baby
  • They can be messy after eating, leaving litterboxes on the ground, and requiring your patience to clean it.
  • They are very self-confident so there are possibilities that other pets in your house might be bullied.

Let us come to the final decision

After all of these reasons, if you are still insist on owning this hybrid feline, then try to search for “Savannah Cat for sale” on your neighborhood or area. 

Be patient, you will find your most favorite cat in this world after considering its size, price, and color which are suited to your lifestyle.

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Please notice: Savannah Cat vs. Bobcat of Savannah

  • They are totally two different kinds of animals.
  • A bobcat sometimes can be considered dangerous with gray to brown fur and smaller size than the Canada lynx. 
  • It is twice as big as a domesticated cat.

In conclusion, notice these signs to make sure that you own a right Savannah cat. Wewpet wishes you the best on your way finding your destined companion after reading this article!

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