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Savannah

Savannah

Photo by Lautdigital

Description

The Savannah is an unusual, exotic breed of domestic cat that looks much like its ancestor, the African Serval, but is smaller in size.  One of the features that make this breed so unique is its strikingly bold and spotted coat, which can vary from brown, tan or gold with black or dark brown spots; silver with black or dark grey spots; black spots; and black tipped silver with black spots.  Savannah’s fur can also have the classic marble pattern, snow coloration or other diluted colors.  Their overall look depends greatly on generational breeding and genetic dilution.  The Savannah has a lean muscular build, a short, thick tail, a long neck and long legs.  These traits give the feline a tall appearance, but it is actually medium sized and tends to weigh less than other similarly sized domesticated cats.  One of its most striking features is the shape of its hooded eyes, which are flat on top, and its large, tall ears that are situated right at the top of its head.

Origin

Originally bred in the United States, the Savannah is a relatively new breed of domesticated feline first documented in 1986.  It was created by crossing African Servals with domesticated cats and then breeding their offspring to cats such as the Egyptian Mau, Oriental Shorthair, Savannah, Ocicat and others.  The cat derives its name from the African grasslands that the Serval calls home.  The usual cross became popular among breeders at the end of the 1990’s, and in in 2001 the International Cat Association (TICA) accepted it as a new registered breed and in 2012, TICA accepted it as a championship breed.

Compatibility

Savannahs love to play in water, and are easily trained to walk on a leash with a harness.  They also love to play active games such as fetch, for these reasons they’re often described as being very dog like in personality.  Assertive attention seekers, the Savannah require lots of interaction on a daily basis with its owners or other pets.  These loyal curious cats develop strong bonds with people, and if you’re not forthcoming with the attention required of you by your feline without asking, they will find a way to get it on their own.  For example, they might learn to set off the alarm on your clock-radio to make you come running to turn it off.  There are three basic factors that affect the nature of the Savannah cat behavior: lineage and socialization.  These three factors follow the nature vs. nurture argument, with nature being breed lines combined with generation and nurture being social upbringing.  As of 2014, the Savannah breed development is still in its infancy and most Savannah cats have a very broad range of behaviors.  Legal restrictions for Savannahs (as they apply to your location) must be addressed before buying or adopting them as pets.

Health

Savannahs are one of the healthiest breeds and have no known established health problems, however due to their direct lineage to the Serval, care should be taken to establish, whether they have inherited the Serval’s tendency to have a proportionately small liver for its body size.  With that being said (this goes for any pet, especially one acquired from a breeder), do not get an animal from anyone who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens or tell you that their kittens are isolated from another part of their facility for health reasons.


Sources

Lautdigital. (n.d.).

pawnation. (n.d.). Retrieved from pawnation.com: http://www.pawnation.com/cats/breeds/savannah

vetstreet. (n.d.). Retrieved from vetstreet.com: http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/savannah#overview

wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savannah_cat#Temperament