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A Brief Insight Into Different Generations of the Savannah Cat

Fact about generations of the Savannah cat
Not your regular laid-back Garfield.
Savannahs are understood to be an exotic hybrid cross. There are certain states within the U.S. along with a few other countries that have specific laws pertaining to the ownership of hybrid pets. Before bringing home your Savannah, ensure that you are fully aware of the rules and regulations in your country.
It was in 1986 that the first Savannah cat was bred by crossing a male serval with a domestic Siamese. The cat was born on April 7, 1986, and was named ‘Savannah’ by the breeder, Judee Frank. These cats began to gain popularity as a result of their exotic looks, and by 2001, The International Cat Association (TICA) had registered it as a new breed. In 2012, the Savannah gained acceptance as a championship breed.
So, what makes the Savannah a rather special species among other contenders? Let’s take a look at their history to know more.



Domestic Cat

The Savannah is a hybrid, created by crossing the African Serval with domestic cats. These hybrids were later bred with Bengals, Egyptian Maus, and Oriental Shorthairs to obtain what we now know and recognize as the Savannah.


F2 Savannah

◾ In case you have been reading up or researching on Savannahs, you are most likely to have encountered terms like F1 generation, along with F2, F3, going on to F6. These figures are filial numbers, referring to each progressive generation of the Savannah.

◾ Thus, a cat born out of crossing a serval and domestic cat becomes a first generation or an F1 Savannah. This cat is considered to be between 50% and up to 75% serval.

◾ The next generation, i.e., F2, is created by breeding an F1 Savannah female with a male Savannah. Remember, the cats born in this litter will have a serval grandparent and will, therefore, be 25% to 37.5% serval.

◾ The F3 generation has a serval great grandparent, and is born to an F2 female, with a Savannah male as the father. An F3 Savannah will be about 12.5% serval.

Young Savannah Cats

F6 Savannah kittens

◾ Future generations like the F4, F5, F6, and F7 are bred in a similar manner, with the serval influence diminishing to a great extent. Thus, the later generations of the Savannah are more or less similar to domestic cats rather than their wild ancestor.

◾ Being hybrids, Savannahs display certain characteristics associated with hybrid inviability. This results in male Savannahs being sterile under the F5 generation, whereas the females exhibit normal fertility from the F1 generation.


Young Savannah cat
Today, the Savannah enjoys a position of pride among other domestic cat breeds. This cat is highly prized for its exotic looks and striking resemblance to wild cats―you’ll find a Savannah looking slim and tall with a lush, velvety orange coat that is covered with black spots or stripes. The ears may sometimes have hair tufts quite like the serval, and are high set on a triangle-shaped head. The Savannah is a medium-sized cat, weighing between 10 and 20 pounds, with males being heavier than the females in most cases.
The Savannah is certainly not a lap cat―she is outgoing, intelligent, and an extremely curious explorer. She loves to knock things off high surfaces, and with time, she may even learn to open faucets in order to feed her need to play with water. Yes, this is one cat who is not shy of water, and will even make a play toy of her water bowl. As an owner, you will constantly be kept on your toes by the Savannah. This cat is curious to no end, and besides opening faucets, she will also love peeking into your cabinets and closets and raiding whatever she likes. The Savannah is a highly energetic and intelligent pet, known to possess traits that are usually associated with dogs. A Savannah cat will follow you around the house, play fetch, will be open to using a leash, and learning new tricks. Those looking for a cat-like cat should know that the Savannah isn’t the best breed for them. This strong-headed cat is certainly not recommended for first-time cat seekers as well.
As a hybrid, one expects Savannahs to bear a few health concerns, but there are not to many worries on this count. This is a healthy breed, and is not known to have any specific genetic problems.

Savannah as a pet

Savannah as a pet
At the risk of sounding repetitive, the Savannah, though an utterly delightful breed, is certainly not meant for everyone. Unfortunately, there may be some who disregard warnings and wish to own a pet that is exotic looking, or has a unique lineage. Handling the Savannah calls for a certain amount of patience, experience, and skill, and not many would be as willing to care for a slightly demanding pet, once the initial thrill of owning an exotic being fades. Returning this pet (or any other pet, for that matter) to a shelter or abandoning it would be highly unfortunate, owing to its special needs as a hybrid. Therefore, understand the graveness of bringing home a Savannah, and consider all the pros and cons, along with the legal matters before you actually welcome it into your life.
Updated: May 30, 2018 — 12:15 am

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