Savannah cats are well known for their size and weight reaching heights of 17+ inches and incredible weights of 23+ pounds. This is more common among the high generation Savannah cats that contain high serval genetics, allowing them to have this size. Who wouldn’t want a snuggly cat that is bigger than your 4-year-old child? Unfortunately, there is no standard to higher generation savannahs size and weight, asking for their size is a very difficult question to answer. This is due to the random genetics the kittens inherit from the hybridization between a serval and a domestic cat. Some kittens may inherit more of their mother’s size and their fathers looks or vice versa. An estimate for size can be provided but the accuracy of the information given can be far off.
While higher generation savannahs are large, wonderful animals and well loved among the savannah community, in hybridization, they inherit many Serval characteristics and qualities. This can come in many different shapes and sizes. Many people love their cute “chirp” rather than the meow of your typical cat. A lot of people are looking for an exotic cat with mysterious or wild personalities. Some are fascinated with the spotted pattern and body structure that comes from the Serval.
From an outside eye looking in, this all seems cute and peeks everyone’s interest over a tabby cat that they may have grown up with. What people do not realize, because often this information is not disclosed, high generation savannahs do not make very well family pets. From our experience, we cannot, in all honesty, recommend these cats for a family home with infants and/or young children. They may make good companions to an individual, but typically enjoy the company of 1 or 2 people only. You must keep in mind that they contain high serval genetics that does make them 25 to 75+% wild African serval. The mindset of fun, cute, interesting, and mysterious may not be the correct mindset going into a 15+ year decision, while planning out your future. The real issue here is that they may not be as snuggly as you had hoped to those whose company they do not enjoy and being the size of a 4-year-old, can have severe consequences. This is one of the many reasons that higher generation savannah cats are made illegal, or a permit is required in some states and areas.
There is much maintenance and work that goes into having this beautiful animal in your home. While the “wild” part of them will show regardless of effort, they are very high energy animals and require a lot of attention and stimulation to keep them happy and well behaved. With this being said, if your home is empty for 8+ hours a day due to work, school, whatever the case may be, these high energy cats will find ways to entertain themselves which not every unoccupied home may be prepared for. This can consist of anything from property destruction to escape. A home with a large outdoor enclosure should be a requirement for anyone thinking about purchasing a high generation savannah. Unfortunately, in this business, many breeders are more concerned with money made than screening their clients, and cats are adopted into homes that are not prepared for these exotic cats.
A high generation savannah cat also has different diet requirements that not just anyone would be prepared to take on. They require a high protein diet not found in standard wet or dry food. Giving a raw diet, they may love you, at least until the next time they are hungry. If you are preparing to adopt a high generation savannah, we recommend investing in a high-quality meat grinder that can handle chicken thigh bones. Plan to use this grinder at least once a week mixing your concoction of nutritious foods together. Ensure a variety of nutrients from different sources because there is not one food that will provide all the nutrients that your cat will need, especially while they are growing. I say a grinder that can handle chicken thigh bones, only because this may be one of the harsher bones used that has caused us damage to a cheaper priced grinder. Please keep in mind the cost of food, when feeding raw, is substantially higher than a wet or dry food diet.
Not every home is prepared for a higher generation Savannah cat. Therefore, we would recommend purchasing an SBT Savannah instead. You get the best of both worlds with a SBT Savannah Cat. The exotic look of a Serval, but the fun loving personality of a domestic cat with some dog tendencies. SBT stands for Stud Book Tradition also known as a purebred Savannah. Often people still tend to ask for their generation, but this is a mindset that we would like to move away from. They are simply a Savannah just like one may refer to a Siamese cat or a Golden Retriever dog. We still must use SBT otherwise people can become confused. We recommend an SBT because they are basically more predictable in behavior and size while making wonderful companions for family homes that may consist of infants and/or young children.
When is comes to purebred Savannahs, it is no longer a random assortment of genetics received by the kitten making them unpredictable in size and behavior. This is made more predictable due to the comparable size and looks between mother and father. This makes it a lot easier to answer the very common how big will he/she get question. We can also expect these cats to be much easier to manage and keep happy while being more enjoyable to have around.
We would still recommend an outdoor enclosure, the bigger the better but this is no longer a requirement with SBT Savannahs. We recommend this because cats love being outdoors, it gives them time to be “wild”, play, exhaust energy, experience the wonderful happenings, sounds and available activities that they will not receive being indoors. The sun provides an excellent source of vitamin D that does wonders at enhancing the vibrancy of their coats and will always keep your cat looking their best.
SBT Savannahs are also much more adaptable to the lifestyles of many of us, where we have jobs and may be away from home for 8+ hours a day. They are still more high energy, social cats than your typical cat, but will get along fine without you being home so you can come home to a cat that loves you and wants to hang out. SBT Savannahs also do very well in multi pet homes and tend to be less territorial.
SBT cats adapt very well to typical wet and dry cat foods. We may have our own recommendations on diet for your cat, but we are much more open to leaving the diet decisions to the owner. Raw food is no longer a requirement, but they do really love a nice raw snack from time to time and this can be easily given in bite sized portions at the frequency of your choosing.
Overall, majority of people looking to purchase a Savannah cat, want a large high generation cat, but are completely unaware of what comes along with that. It is a select few people who are prepared and ready for this kind of life decision. This is why we recommend SBT Savannah cats for those seeking an exotic, friendly and stunning cat like no other.
This article is meant to be informative so that people are more aware of what they may be getting into.