What is a Savannah?
How long has the breed been around?
What makes a Savannah the most desirable feline?
How big do they get?
Why are they so expensive?
Do Savannahs have wild personalities?
Which gender is larger?
Do Savannahs get along with other pets and children?
Are they affectionate "lap-cats"?
Do Savannahs use the litter box?

Is the Savannah recognized by any Breed Registry?
What does the F1, F2, F3, A, B, C, SBT, etc. mean?
What colors to they come in?
Can I enter my Savannah into a show?

Do Savannahs have to be kept indoors?
Can they be leash trained?
Do they like to play in water?
What do I feed my Savannah?
Do Savannahs require special veterinarian care?
Are they destructive?
Should I declaw my Savannah?
Are Savannahs hypoallergenic?
What is an "Ashera" cat?
Are some male Savannahs unable to reproduce?
Do I need a permit to own a Savannah?

When are Savannah kittens ready to go to a new home?
Should I Savannah-proof/childproof my home before my kitten arrives?
How do I get a kitten from Spotlight Savannahs?


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What is a Savannah?
A Savannah is the name for the feline that has been created by the breeding of an African serval to a domestic cat. Savannahs may also be referred to as serval hybrids. The purpose of the breed is to provide people with a large cat that looks like a serval in body composition and coat pattern, but acts like a domestic. Learn More Here.

How long has the breed been around?
Savannahs are one of the newest breeds available (although ranked top 5 most popular breeds by TICA). The first successful mating of the serval with a domestic cat was accomplished in the mid 1980's by Judy Frank an innovative Bengal breeder. The breed got Registration Status with The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1999 and Evaluation Status with TICA in 2001. Savannahs became a Championship breed in January of 2012. There are relatively limited numbers of Savannahs available throughout the world. At present the public demand for Savannah kittens far outweigh availability.

What makes a Savannah the most desirable feline?
Many states do not allow private ownership of exotic cats (servals), but do allow hybrids (Savannahs). Savannahs are smaller (approximately 15-30 pounds) and more manageable than a serval (do not require special diets or facilities). Savannahs simply possess the beauty of the serval, but are considered domestic. Savannahs are the largest hybrid feline available. They are normally excellent with other pets and children. Savannahs are extremely intelligent and "talk" quite often. They create strong bonds with their owners. Savannahs are the exotic feline of the 21st century!

How big do they get?
Savannahs reach maturity at approximately 3 years of age. F1's can weigh approximately 15-30 pounds when full grown, and each subsequent generation decreases slightly in size. Although still distinctively exotic in appearance, by the fourth (F4) generation, Savannahs are only slightly larger than a regular housecat.

Why are they so expensive?
Savannahs are very difficult to breed. It takes several years and lots of money to purchase and raise a serval with several queens. Out of these queens few will go on to produce litters. Savannahs are very rare thus they are priced accordingly. Servals themselves breed quite readily, whereas the crossing of species between the serval and domestics is extremely difficult. There are many people attempting this cross; however, only a few breeders worldwide have had any success. Years of time and money have been invested in what seems to be the impossible. There are few first generation Savannahs in the world and the demand for these exotic beauties is tremendous.

Our pricing depends on the kittens closeness to the breed standard, confirmation, coat color and pattern quality. We always post our pet pricing, and you may inquire for breeder pricing. Our savannah kittens will only be sold as "breeders" if the potential buyer has a registered TICA Cattery and completes an application/breeder interview. We reserve the right to be very selective when selling our kittens, and we hope you can understand that we have the breed's best interest in mind. You can learn more about SV sizes and prices here: Savannah Pricing.

Do Savannahs have wild personalities?
Savannahs have been said to have a domestic "dog-like" personality. Owners have reported that they are amazed with how their Savannah follows them around the house and comes when his name is called. Several of our Savannahs play fetch!

Which gender is larger?
The male kittens in most litters are generally larger than their female littermates.

Do Savannahs get along with other pets and children?
Introducing a Savannah to the household is like introducing any domestic cat. The breed itself is extremely energetic, being very active and playful. Savannahs seem to bond with and can be trusted with well behaved children. As with any animal, interaction with infants or very small children should be supervised at all times.

Are they affectionate "lap-cats"?
Ours are! Savannahs are extremely active cats and rarely enjoy being picked up, carried around, or being restrained in any way. But most of the kittens produced here at Spotlight Savannahs are so highly socialized, that they will happily climb up into our laps for pets and napping. They like to sleep in bed with their owners, they follow their owners around the house, give headbutts, love to be petted and especially love interactive play (cat wands with feathers are our favorite!).

Do Savannahs use the litter box?
Yes. Just like other domestic cats, Savannahs are usually litter box trained prior to leaving for their new home. The kittens will use a litter box as faithfully as any domestics. We recommend natural pine litter and tall Sterilite tubs (those long legs can kick a lot of litter around!), but have known some cats to have an allergy to pine - so please use with caution. We also require all pet male kittens (F1-F4) be neutered to prevent spraying.

Is the Savannah recognized by any Breed Registry?
The TICA (The International Cat Association) and the CCA (Canadian Cat Association) are the only two known breed registries that recognize the Savannah. Because we are in the US, all kittens purchased from Spotlight Savannahs will come with TICA registration papers.

What does the F1, F2, F3, A, B, C, SBT, etc. mean?
The F stands for filial generation, meaning it is the sequence of generations following the hybridization of a serval crossed with a domestic. The number is how many generations away from the serval it is. See a more in-depth explanation here: SV Genetics De-Coded

What colors to they come in?
Our registry, TICA, recognizes the spotted pattern in the colors brown spotted tabby, silver spotted tabby, black and black smoke (the black and black smoke display the spotting pattern however the spots are not acknowledged in the color). Savannahs are produced in other colors and some have the classic pattern due to the outcrosses that were used. These non-standard colors and patterns may be registered but not shown.

Can I enter my Savannah into a show?
Currently, only SBT generations can be shown. This is why we strive to achieve the earliest generation SBT's. You can educate yourself on the TICA Breed Standard. Also check out our page with generation explanations SV Genetics De-Coded.

Do Savannahs have to be kept indoors?
No, they do not have to be kept indoors. However, we require our owners to keep their Savannahs on a leash due to the fact that there are often stray animals that carry various diseases. There are also large numbers of risks you take when allowing your cat to freely roam outside - such as traffic, larger animals and/or theft. You have to ask yourself: after that kind of investment, is it really worth the risk? If they desire, our cats enjoy the outdoors safely in a 15'x20' screened porch that is attached to our home.

Can they be leash trained?
Some Savannah's love to walk on a leash and they learn easily due to their "dog-like" personality. We do not currently walk our Savannahs, but are happy to assist in early training and walking-jacket wearing for owners who request it.

Do they like to play in water?
Many pure domestic cats find a fascination with water. It is believed it to be the highly active cats that tend to want to play in water thus many of the Savannahs do find pleasure playing in water. The serval loves to play in water so it only comes natural for a Savannah to enjoy it, too.

What do I feed my Savannah?
Savannahs can be fed a broad spectrum of diets, from regular food to completely raw. Yes, they are considered domestic cats and eat the premium cat foods on the market. We require our owners maintain a high-quality diet for their cats, such as holistic or grain-free kibble or raw.

Do Savannahs require special veterinarian care?
It is important to note that Savannah cats must old receive KILLED VIRUS vaccines and under no circumstances should be administered anything classified as live or modified live. Also please do not vaccinate for FELV (Feline Leukemia Virus) or FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitus) as it has been reported these vaccines either have very bad side effects or may even predispose cats to contract the very diseases they are purported to prevent. Other than that, a Savannah can be treated just like any domestic cat. A regular veterinarian is qualified to treat a Savannah. The only other difference between the average domestic and a Savannah is really that they look "wild" and a vet that has never met one before might be worried and extra-cautious, while a vet that treats exotic/hybrid cats on a regular basis wouldn't give them a second glance.

Are they destructive?
Honestly, cats in general can be destructive depending on how you train them, what you provide for them to scratch on or play with and how you handle them when they're scared, upset, etc. The early generation Savannahs tend to be more high-energy cats. They love to romp and play. You must provide them with plenty of toys and playmates to prevent destructive behavior.

Should I declaw my Savannah?
We have chosen to not de-claw our Savannahs, but maintain a "pro-choice" mentality on the subject. We regularly trim all of our Savannahs claws and they don't mind much. A cat's toe has three bones; the claw grows from the end of the last bone. In traditional declawing, the veterinarian amputates the end section of the last bone, along with the nail. This removes the claw and prevents it from growing back. We do not recommend this method. Surgical lasers have been used in declawing for several years at veterinary colleges, but it has just recently become an affordable option for veterinary hospitals to offer clients. Laser declaw surgery requires anesthesia and amputation of the bone and nails as described above. However, laser surgery offers advantages. As it cuts, the laser automatically seals small blood vessels and nerve endings around the cut, so there is less bleeding and pain. As a consequence, cats recover faster from laser declawing. We recommend you speak with your vet about options if you decide you want to de-claw.

Are Savannahs hypoallergenic?
No. Savannahs are a low-shedding breed of cat and that basically means that people tend to react less to them than other cats and assume it is "hypoallergenicity". If you are allergic to cats, be very careful! There is no substantiated data on these cats and allergies. You may have less reaction, it most likely depends on what triggers your allergies and what threshold you have to that allergen.

What is an "Ashera" cat?
A Savannah with an OUTRAGEOUS price tag. The "Ashera" was a hybrid cat marketed by Lifestyle Pets. The "Ashera" was an alleged domestic/wild hybrid cat, a hybrid between the African serval, the Asian leopard cat, and a domestic housecat. The authenticity of this breed has been challenged, as the only known examples of "Ashera" cats have been proven by DNA testing to be Savannah cats. See the controversy laid out by Wikipedia here: "Ashera"/Savannah Information.

Are some male Savannahs unable to reproduce?
Savannah males are typically sterile until the 5th (F5) generation. This directly relates to the difference in genetics/DNA between a domestic cat and a serval. Fertility in 4th (F4) generation males is possible, but not common.

Do I need a permit to own a Savannah?
Every state is different. In fact, even in states where no permit is required by State law, some localities require permits, and others outlaw hybrids altogether. Therefore, it is crucial to research the laws in your city, municipality, county, township AND state BEFORE attempting to acquire a Savannah. Check out this website for specification: HybridLaw.com

When are Savannah kittens ready to go to a new home?
Savannah kittens are typically ready to be shipped at approximately 12 or more weeks of age. Spotlight Savannahs does not allow our kittens to leave the "nest" prior to 12 weeks of age. This is because their immune systems are not developed prior to that and a single serious bout of something as simple as diarrhea can kill a kitten. Dehydration can kill a kitten. A good chill can kill a kitten. They are so very very fragile up until 12-14 weeks of age. At 6 weeks (for example) kittens have just left the nest box about the week before. They are still getting used to the world- still experiencing the world. When left with Momma for the next 6-8 weeks, Momma teaches them everything. It is a very important time development-wise for kittens. We currently think that it takes until at least 12 weeks for kittens to have a fully functional immune system which is why we also recommend at least one vaccine at or after 12 weeks of age as the second vaccine. We can't just "fast-track" immunity by giving vaccines earlier and expecting that to give proper protection. They learn a lot from their siblings and momma cat, but their personalities also develop along with their confidence. At 12 weeks of age, Savannah kittens are very outgoing and interested in new things while at 7-8 weeks of age they are more easily worried and stressed. (Text reference from Paige at Agato Savannahs.)

Should I Savannah-proof/childproof my home before my kitten arrives?
Yes. Taking precautionary measures by indentifying and addressing basic safety issues will give you peace of mind regardless of your kitten's personality. Just like most human children, inquisitive kittens seem to have a knack for finding trouble, so safeguarding your environment is an ABSOLUTE MUST. We supply a helpful list of ways to "Savannah-proof your home" on our Care and Basics page.

How do I get a kitten from Spotlight Savannahs?
Visit our Purchasing a Spotlight SV page, pick our your future baby on our Available Kittens page then fill out an Online Kitten Application.




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