savannah breed information


common health issues

This rare immune-mediated disease occurs in newborn kittens. When kittens with Type A blood nurse from a mother with type B blood, antibodies from the mother attach to the kitten's red blood cells and cause them to be destroyed, leading to anemia (low red blood cells). Affected kittens are born healthy, but fail to thrive.

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart walls become thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump properly. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and blood clots. Symptoms include heart murmurs and coughing.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition of increased thyroid hormone caused by a benign thyroid tumor. It is the most common hormone imbalance seen in cats, and its hallmark clinical sign is weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite. The disease can be controlled with medication or cured with radiotherapy.

Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.

The cells of the body need sugar to function and need insulin to carry sugar in through their walls. Diabetic animals do not have enough insulin to transport sugar into the cells, resulting in high blood sugar and starving cells. Treatment entails the lifelong administration of insulin shots, and usually requires frequent trips to the vet for rechecks.

As its name implies, polycystic kidney disease is a disease in which cysts form in the kidney. This causes them to be enlarged, and disrupts their normal function. Polycystic kidney disease generally leads to kidney failure. There is no specific treatment � supportive treatment for kidney failure improves quality of life.

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.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)