Savannah Cat: 5 Things You Should Know About Salon Lions

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The Savannah cat originated from a cross between Serval and different cat breeds. She is tall, slim and has a great urge to move. The following tips reveal what else you should know about these fascinating house tigers. Savannah cats are descended from the wild Serval, which is reflected in their exotic appearance - Shutterstock / Korneevets-Vydrenkova

The Serval is a wildcat from Africa and can grow up to 100 centimeters long with a shoulder height of up to 62 centimeters. They can be tamed and kept as pets, but the species-appropriate keeping conditions are very complex. The Savannah cat, on the other hand, has only partly wild blood in it and is somewhat easier to care for.

1. Savannah cats are a hybrid breed

Hybrid cat breeds are crosses between different subspecies of the cat family. For example, Bengal cats were created from the mating of an Asian wild Bengal cat and a short-haired domestic cat. There is also the Caracat, which comes from the Karakal or the Safari, which has a small spotted cat as a parent.

The first Savannah cat was the result of a cross between Serval and Siamese and was born in 1980. The breeder's name was Judy Frank, an American. But it was only in the mid-1990s that breed Joyce Srouve tried to establish itself.

2. Different generations of Savannah

Savannah cats are given the additives SBT and F1 to F5 by the breeder. This shows the amount of wildcat blood in the animals. The letter "F" stands for "branch generation", the number behind it shows how many generations the pairing of a serval with a domestic cat was. You children get the addition "F1" and are 50 percent serval. If such a Savannah cat is mated with another domestic cat breed, "F2" Savannahs with a serval share of 25 percent come out. "F3" are the great-grandchildren of the Serval with a wild cat share of 12.5 percent.

The hangovers from generations "F1" and "F2" are sterile; from the third generation of branches, it is only possible to mate two thoroughbred Savannahs without having to cross other breeds of cats. The descendants of the generations "F4", "F5" and later receive the addition "SBT" if the breeders can prove that the great-grandparents, grandparents and parents were all pure-bred Savannah cats. Since this is very complicated and time-consuming, these special salon lions are correspondingly expensive. For animals of the generation "F2" you have to pay up to 8,000 euros, Savannahs of the generation "F5" cost less, but still up to 2,500 euros.

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3. Requirements for the purchase of a Savannah cat

Especially the first generations of the Savannah cat from "F1" to "F4" are not easy to keep. They are therefore subject to the Washington Agreement on Species Conservation and are therefore subject to the Species Protection Act. If you want to import such animals from the United States or other non-EU countries, this involves considerable paperwork and restrictions. You need a so-called CITES certificate, housing and walking permits and special vaccinations. The regulations for Savannahs from EU countries are somewhat looser, but here too the fairly high proportion of wildcat blood in the animals must be taken into account.

4. Savannah cat is fully grown at three years old

Savannah cats grow very big, especially if they are children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the Servals. The stately velvet paws really only mature when they are three years old - you should also consider this before purchasing.

5. Savannahs take up a lot of space

As a result, Savannahs take up a lot of space. Their great urge to move also makes them feel very uncomfortable in a small apartment. If you live in a large house and you have the option of fencing your garden in an escape-proof manner or building a large outdoor enclosure, these are good conditions for offering your Savannah cat a species-appropriate environment. The animals like to climb and jump - so make sure you have sufficiently large, stable scratching posts and climbing walls that turn your house into a cat playground. You can also teach your Savannah cat to walk on a leash and walk with it. Also keep in mind that Savannahs do not like to be alone - this means you have to plan for more room tigers.


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