savannah breed information
common health issues
Originally created in 1986 by crossing an African serval with a domestic Siamese, the Savannah is a new domestic hybrid breed. Patrick Kelley, who purchased one of the first Savannah kittens in 1989, was one of the first enthusiasts who worked towards establishing a new domestic breed based on a serval/domestic cat cross. In 1996, Kelley and Joyce Sroufe wrote the original version of the Savannah breed standard and presented it to the board of The International Cat Association (TICA). In 2001, the standard was accepted for registration.
The Savannah is one of the larger breeds of domesticated cats, with a tall, slim build that makes them look even bigger than they are. Size is largely dependent on generation and sex — early-generation males can weigh 20 lbs. or more! Later-generation Savannahs are usually smaller, though size can vary greatly, even in the same litter. The Savannah’s coat depends on which domestic breed is being crossed, but the breed standard calls for brown-spotted tabby, silver-spotted tabby, black and black smoke (black-tipped silver with black spots).
Friendly, intelligent, sociable, energetic and playful, the Savannah has a curious nature — he can even learn to open doors, cabinets and drawers on his own to find treats within! He will also scale heights with his excellent jumping skills, and can learn to walk on a leash. Devoted to his family, he will fluff or wag his tail in greeting. When introduced at a young age, the Savannah will adapt well to living with dogs, other cats and children. One carryover from his African serval ancestors is a unique “chirping” sound that he may make in excitement.
Exotic ancestry aside, Savannahs are nonetheless prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Savannahs are prone to include immune-mediated diseases such as neonatal isoerythrolysis; heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; eye problems such as glaucoma; metabolic diseases such as diabetes; thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism; and kidney diseases such as polycystic kidney disease.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Savannah inherits his mom’s bad eyes or his dad’s weak heart, you’re covered.