As Savannah cats are half wild serval and half domesticated cat, all owners need to pay extra attention to their diet. After all, they are hybrid animals that are considered to be more active and energetic than most domesticated cats. This makes owners wonder if they need a special diet.
Savannah cats don’t need a special diet, though it’s highly recommended that they eat high-protein cat food because they are very active. While they don’t need to just eat raw meat, you can put your Savannah on a raw meat diet, if needed. However, regular wet and dry cat food works fine.
The issue of diet is commonly debated in the world of Savannah cats, and so below we will go into things in more detail, so that you can be sure what option is best for your Savannah cat.
Do Savannah Cats Need A Special Diet?
Because Savannah cats are hybrids — half wild serval and half domesticated cat — many often believe that they need to be fed a special diet. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. While Savannah cats should be on something akin to a high-protein diet (because of their high activity levels), they don’t need to be on a strict diet.
However, some owners and breeders have decided to put them on a raw meat diet, and this is completely okay! If you can afford and maintain a raw diet for your Savannah, then feel free to allow them to only eat raw meat. Before you begin transitioning your Savannah to a raw meat diet, however, you need to understand that they’ll need to eat more to stay healthy.
Above all else, do not change your cat’s diet all at once. Always start weaning your cat off or on certain foods slowly. The last thing you want to do is accidentally harm their gut or digestive system because of a quick change!
Talk With Your Breeder
If you’ve just adopted a Savannah kitten (or are about to) and are looking at what you should feed them, the first step you should take is to talk with your breeder. Every breeder is different in what they actually feed their kittens. So, it’s important to understand what your Savannah is currently eating, and what your breeder recommends they eat once they come home with you.
For example, some breeders start with feeding Savannah kittens raw chicken and then slowly wean them onto wet cat food. Breeders also sometimes always offer dry cat food to kittens and allow them to eat it, though their main diet consists of wet cat food. As a result, later on, when they’re an adult, they won’t be completely caught off guard with dry food.
However, every breeder is different. Your breeder may not follow the guidelines we discussed above that other breeders do. Therefore, it’s vital that you discuss your kitten’s diet with them, so you understand what you need to feed them when you first take them home. This also helps you plan out what diet to put them on in the future.
A High-Protein Diet
Whether your Savannah is on an all dry or all wet cat food diet, they need to have a high-protein diet. Savannah cats are incredibly active and energetic. Because of this, they tend to burn a lot of calories during the day. This means that, to stay healthy, they need to eat more food than your average cat.
This also means that it helps to give them a high-protein diet. The last thing you want is for your cat to not be getting the nourishment and vitamins that they need to lead a happy, healthy life.
It’s also recommended to not give your cat any regular cat food that includes grain or corn. Cats don’t need to eat grain or corn, and they actually don’t digest these ingredients as easily as meat. Many regular cat food brands offer these ingredients in their food, so be sure to be on the lookout for them!
Wet Food Vs. Dry Food
If you’ve decided to put your Savannah cat on a regular cat food diet instead of a raw meat diet, it’s easy to become confused as to whether wet or dry food is better for them. For the most part, many breeders and owners stress that dry food is best for Savannahs in the long term. The majority of wet food is water, so dry food gives cats more nutrition.
However, you can always give your Savannah a mix of dry and wet food. As you tend to bring kittens home when they are still on a wet food diet, slowly introduce dry food into their diet by adding it to the wet food. Once they’re fully okay with eating dry food alone, you can offer them wet food at a different time and give it to them as if it’s a treat.
It’s also okay if you do a mix of raw meat and regular cat food. While some consider raw meat to be the best diet for Savannahs, your cat may not be getting the added nutrition that dry cat food gives them. Therefore, giving a mix of raw meat and dry food is often recommended for Savannah cats!
A Raw Diet
You can put your Savannah cat on a raw diet if you want, and some say that this is the best diet for hybrid Savannahs, especially those that are direct offspring of wild servals (F1 generations). However, it’s important to note that raw diets tend to be quite expensive, so you should always plan accordingly and understand the time and money putting your cat on a raw diet consists of.
There are some cat food brands that actually offer raw meat diet foods. You can also create and supply your own raw food diet for your Savannah. It’s also important to note that you need to ensure that you’re feeding your Savannah enough food — and you may end up having to invest in a lot of meat.
However, if you can do all this, a raw diet could benefit your Savannah! Just make sure they’re getting all the nutrition and vitamins that they need. And, if needed, feed them a mix of dry cat food with raw meat to ensure that they’re getting all the vitamins that they need to be fully healthy.
What Human Foods Can You Feed A Savannah Cat?
Just like regular domesticated cats, there are certain human foods that a Savannah cat can safely eat. However, it’s important to stress that Savannah cats should only be given human food from time to time, as a rare treat. Human food should never take the place of your cat’s diet, and there are many types of food that can actually harm them.
Even human food that they can eat should only be given in small amounts every now and then. While the types of food listed below are safe for your Savannah to eat, eating a lot of them can make them incredibly sick. As with everything, moderation is key!
Even if you haven’t put your Savannah on a raw meat diet — and even if they don’t eat any type of raw meat, ever — you can give them cooked meat. You can even give your Savannah cat that is on a raw meat diet cooked meat, though they might not like it as much as their raw meat option.
Stick with cooked chicken, beef, and turkey only. Other options, such as lamb or pork, has been known to cause allergic reactions in some cats. The meat shouldn’t have any spices or salt on it, as these aren’t good for cats to eat. In fact, some spices can even be toxic to them. You should also remove the skin and any bones before you give them their treat!
Everyone knows that all types of cats love fish. Luckily, you can feed them some as a treat every now and then! Only give your Savannah cooked fish and ensure all the bones are removed before giving it to them. Most fish types are okay for them to eat, which is great!
Savannah cats — and all domesticated cats — can also eat eggs in small portions. The eggs need to be cooked and with absolutely no fat or seasoning added. Scrambled eggs and boiled eggs tend to be the best! It’s a little odd that some cats can eat, and even like, eggs. Just ensure that you’re only giving them a small amount.
Pumpkin is actually safe for both cats and dogs to eat. In fact, you may have heard that pumpkin can help cats and dogs who have abnormal stools. This is true! Cats can safely eat a small amount of pumpkin at a time.
However, because of the texture, there’s no telling whether your cat will actually eat it or not. If you want your cat to get all the benefits that pumpkin provides them — such as a lot of fiber — there are cat supplements that you can check out at your local store instead.
Fruits And Vegetables
While your Savannah cat may not choose to eat any fruits or vegetables, as even domesticated cats tend to shy away from them, they technically can eat them, as they are safe and won’t make them sick. Safe vegetables include steamed broccoli, peas, and carrots. Safe fruits include bananas, peeled apples, seedless watermelon, and cantaloupe.
Most cats, however, don’t like fruit because of the odd texture most fruits have. This is totally normal! But remember, even if your cat does like eating these fruits and vegetables, they are only safe for Savannahs in moderation!
For some reason, some cats really like bread. While bread is technically safe for them to eat, it’s recommended that cats not eat a lot of grain (as we discussed above) as it’s often hard for them to digest. However, if your cat has stolen and eaten a piece of your bread, you don’t have to worry. A small amount won’t harm them, and bread isn’t toxic or poisonous at all to them!
If you feed your Savannah food with grain in it and aren’t necessarily worried about grain in their diet, then some consider bread to be great treats and additional sources of protein and fiber!
What Human Foods Should You Avoid Feeding A Savannah Cat?
Just as there are many human foods that Savannahs can eat, there are also many human foods that Savannahs cannot eat too. Above, we talked about human food that cats can technically eat, though they should only be given these items in small amounts. Moderation is key, and too much of a good thing can be bad.
Here, we’re discussing the human foods that are quite toxic and even poisonous in some regards to Savannah cats. Therefore, even a small amount can be incredibly dangerous to your pet. Keep your pet away from these foods at all times!
Possibly the most well-known food that shouldn’t be given to dogs or cats is chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to cats. Specifically, dark chocolate is the worst chocolate they can eat, though no type of chocolate is good. If your cat eats chocolate, they may exhibit many problems, including restlessness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If they’ve eaten a lot of chocolate, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. Sometimes, if they’ve only eaten a little, your cat may vomit it up immediately and be okay. However, chocolate can be very toxic, so you should always seek professional help if your cat has ingested any!
Cheese And Dairy
Some people may think that cheese is okay to give their cats, but that’s actually not the case. Dairy as a whole is not great for cats to ingest and should be avoided at all costs. While hard cheese, such as Swiss or Gouda, is the least toxic to cats, that should still be avoided.
Milk, cheese, and yogurts shouldn’t be anywhere near your Savannah cat’s diet. Milk is not good for cats, even though so many believe that it is (especially when they’re kittens). The only thing cats need to drink is water! Most cats are actually lactose intolerant, so the ingestion of any dairy will make them experience symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Anything With Caffeine
Caffeine is definitely a big no. No Savannah cat needs to be ingesting caffeine, as this will only immediately make them feel terrible and can even be toxic in large amounts. Therefore, coffee and any other beverage with caffeine in it shouldn’t be given to your cat under any circumstances. If you realize your cat has ingested coffee or caffeine in a large amount, contact your vet.
Anything With Alcohol
Another huge no is anything with alcohol. There’s no reason you should be giving your Savannah anything with alcohol in it anyway. If your cat accidentally ingests alcohol, contact your vet immediately to learn what the next steps should be, as alcohol can be particularly toxic to cats, especially in large quantities.
Grapes And Raisins
Just like with dogs, grapes and raisins can be poisonous if your Savannah cat ingests them, especially in large amounts. Therefore, keep these human foods well away from where your cat can get them. Most cats won’t eat human foods that they’ve never had — especially those that have a weird texture — but keep them in a closed container to be extra safe.
Garlic And Onions
Anything in the allium family is particularly harmful to Savannah cats. This includes garlic, onions, chives, scallions, leeks, and shallots. Therefore, you shouldn’t give your cat any of these or even any food that has been cooked with them. So, if you’ve cooked meat with garlic, you shouldn’t give that meat (even though cats can have meat) to your cat since it has garlic in/on it!
Technically, there is no single special diet that your Savannah should be on. As long as they’re eating enough high-protein food, they should be happy and healthy! So, whether you’re giving your Savannah regular cat food or putting them on a raw meat diet, just ensure that they’re getting enough nutrition.