The Savannah cat is a relatively new breed and has only been recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA) since 2012. This unique cat is considered to be exotic because of its distinctly patterned coat and its resemblance to its wild ancestor the African Serval. However, as with any domesticated animal, there are very specific qualities and characteristics of the Savannah that you will want to take into consideration when pet parenting this breed.
According to PetMD, the Savannah is a highly intelligent and active breed. It is always on the move and will look for new or interesting things to investigate. Although, it’s great to have a smart pet, it also means your Savannah will need tough, sturdy objects to play with, interactive toys, cat posts and daily playtime. Savannahs tend to get destructive if they become bored, so they do best with a person that is willing to spend quality time with them to meet this need. In addition, when it comes to the old adage of cats hating water, the Savannah may have missed the memo. Pet parents of this lovable breed often report of their Savannahs joining them in the shower or just puddling in the sink or under a drippy faucet.
Unlike some feline cats that may be aloof and show indifference to humans, the Savannah loves people and being included in all the going-ons of the family. This breed of cat is a good choice for those families with children, as long as the little ones are taught the proper way to interact with an animal of the feline-persuasion. When caring for a Savannah cat you will want to be prepared for a lovable animal that wants and needs to spend time with you.
Since the coat of the Savannah is very short, all it will need is a quick brushing twice-a-week to capture the loose hairs and to distribute the oils in its skin.
Dental care is also important in keeping this breed healthy. Vets recommend brushing your cat’s teeth, but if this cannot be accomplished, then hard kibble and treats that are designed to remove tartar build up is the next best thing.
Building an outdoor enclosure and/or teaching your Savannah to walk on a leash, are both excellent ways to give her the taste of being in nature, without the risk of injury or death. A Savannah that is left to roam outside is at a higher risk of being attacked by other animals, being hit by a car or simply being snatched because of its exotic and appealing appearance.
Savannah cats are one of the healthiest breeds with very few genetic issues. However, since this feline is a direct descendant of the African Serval, your Savannah should be checked to see if it has inherited the Serval’s propensity of having a smaller liver. In addition, due to this genetic “defect” your vet should not be administering the drug known as ketamine as this is metabolized through the liver. This drug is used as an anesthetic and has been known to cause serious complications in the Savannah breed.
All cats need taurine in their diets for a healthy life, the Savannah is no exception. In fact, this breed is especially prone to developing a taurine deficiency. Taurine is found in meat, fish and poultry and is naturally utilized by the cat’s system from these sources. In order to prevent a taurine deficiency from happening, it’s recommended to feed your Savannah a protein-based diet. This can be found in high-quality cat foods, without the use of grain fillers like corn or wheat.
The Savannah, like any other cat, needs some basic care to ensure it has a long and healthy life. By following these simple breed-specific guidelines, you are sure to have one happy and content kitty.