Savannah cats are well known to be playful, energetic, and friendly cats. However, because of their serval side, it’s common for new owners to wonder how to introduce Savannah cats to other animals.
You should introduce your Savannah cat to other animals in a controlled environment, giving them both plenty of time to get used to each other. While you shouldn’t have any small pets around your Savannah cat, they will usually get on very well with other cats and dogs.
While Savannahs truly do love bonding with other animals, it’s important that you always give all of your animals time to get adjusted to each other. Below, we detail the best ways to introduce your Savannah to dogs, cats, and other small pets in your house.
Introducing Your Savannah Cat To A Dog
Similar To Dogs
Savannah cats are incredibly playful, very energetic, and always looking to have fun, and often cause trouble. But that’s why these animals are such fun additions to any household! Because of their exuberant personalities, many Savannah owners have stated that their cats act more like dogs. And sometimes, Savannahs can definitely act more canine than feline.
Because of their personality, Savannahs tend to get along really well with dogs. As long as your dog is cat friendly, there should be no problem with the two bonding and playing together in the future. Of course, your Savannah and dog should be given an introductory period where the two get to know each other.
Keep Everything Safe
Ensure that they both are safe as they see each other for the first time. They’re going to be curious about each other, and sometimes tensions can arise when a new animal is introduced in a home. You need to give them time to get used to each other. Sometimes, it helps to keep them apart for a few days or weeks in the same house, with periods of time where they can interact with each other.
Chances are, your Savannah may be nervous and stressed as they are taken to their new home and introduced to new animals. All cats dislike change, and a change of environment or a new friend to play with can be too much all at once. So, even if you’re bringing in a new animal to your Savannah’s territory (rather than bringing a new Savannah home), they can still become stressed.
Give Them Space
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you give your Savannah space they can call their own, where they can run off to and destress when needed. It also helps to keep dogs leashed during the first few interactions they have, as well as cradling your Savannah. Always make sure that both animals can quickly be removed from the situation if needed.
Finally, treats can go a really long way. Give both your dog and your Savannah a treat after a successful interaction in the first few days or weeks to let them know they’re doing a good job. If they eat near each other, this could be a good sign that they’ll quickly become friends.
Cats and dogs are a little weird when it comes to eating. A lot of people, when trying to introduce cats to dogs, have the two animals eat on opposite sides of a closed door. So, while the animals can’t see each other, they can smell each other. Once they get used to their smells, they’ll hopefully start to eat their food, signaling that they’re growing used to each other.
Savannahs are very playful and may bond quickly with a dog if they too enjoy playing. Kittens and puppies tend to do best together when introduced, as they don’t have potential bad past experiences that may make things difficult for them. Plus, kittens and puppies tend to be willing to be friendly to anyone who will love or play with them.
Throughout this whole introduction period, which can sometimestake up to a few weeks (depending on the situation), you need to remain patient. Some animals will get along within a few days. Others may take much longer.
It helps to keep the animals separated during eating and sleeping times. If you’re going to try to get them to eat on opposite sides of a closed door, try doing this after a few introductory sessions. This way, they’re aware of their scent and will be more inclined to try eating around them.
Savannahs can be taught to walk on a leash and play fetch, making them perfect companions to a playful dog. Remember, though, that this companionship may take time. Slowly learn what your Savannah and your dog respond to best, and patiently show them that they can trust being around each other.
Introducing Your Savannah To Another Cat
Introducing your Savannah to another cat is sometimes easier than introducing them to dogs. It just depends on each individual animal. Some animals are friendly, some prefer to be alone. All in all, it will always take time to truly help your Savannah bond with another animal of any kind. But you don’t need to take any extra precautions when it comes to other cats.
Supervise Them At All Times
Introduce your Savannah cat as if you’re introducing a regular domesticated cat to another regular domesticated cat. Always ensure that you’re supervising their first few visits as you allow them to get to know each other. Until they’re used to each other, it might also help to keep them in separate areas of the house.
Remember that Savannahs are half serval — and servals can sometimes be loners. Domesticated cats can also want to be alone sometimes. Therefore, ensure that both cats have escape options to leave the area during interaction periods and be by themselves. Give them cat trees and areas to hide, if needed, to help them destress on their own.
It also helps to understand what generation of Savannah you have. F1 Savannahs are first-generation, which means their parents are both a serval and a domesticated cat. F4s, on the other hand, are further removed from servals and are instead the offspring of other Savannahs or domesticated cats.
Therefore, the lower the number, the closer to their wild ancestors the cats are. This can lead to your Savannah possibly being more inclined to be a loner, or even slightly more aggressive to new situations or animals. All cats hate change, and F1 Savannahs could lash out because of it.
You should know your Savannah’s generation so you can keep control of the situation as best as you can. Overall, Savannahs are really friendly with other cats and should have no issues. But all Savannahs — and all regular cats — are different in their own way.
Playtime Is Helpful
Slowly, your cats will learn to coexist with each other and may become friends sooner rather than later! As Savannahs love to play, it could help to have playtime with the other cat (if they too enjoy playing with toys). This is a great way to lighten the mood and have the two cats interact and bond quickly.
Above all else, you must make sure that you have enough litter boxes. If not, this can cause many issues between your cats. All cats — whether hybrid or regular — are territorial, especially when it comes to their litter boxes. You should always have one litter box per cat, plus a spare. This gives all your cats their own litter boxes, as well as another option, if needed.
Treats Can Be Useful
It might also help to reward the cats with treatsafter successful interactions, in the first few days. If your cats are really stressed during the initial introduction period, it could also help to separate them completely during their eating times. At the very least, give them their own food and water bowls (with a lot of space) in the beginning.
Breed Doesn’t Matter
Savannahs, for the most part, do really well with other cats, whether they’re other Savannahs or not. They’ll do well in any household with any type of breed, though many Savannah owners say that other playful and energetic cats tend to do best with their cats.
However, very calm and even lazy cats can also be great companions, as they’ll just watch (unaffected) as your Savannah runs around and causes trouble! At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what type of cat you have. As long as you give the animals enough time to slowly get to know each other, they’ll get along in no time.
Give Everyone Attention
As you continue to slowly have them interact with each other, remember to give all cats equal timewith you. The last thing you’ll want is your cats to grow lonely and even more upset over their changing circumstances. Remember, cats are fickle creatures. They can get upset over small changes, so treat them all kindly and affectionately during this changing period of their life.
But remember, just like with dogs, this process could take up to a few weeks. This happens in more extreme cases, but it could happen. Throughout it all, just try to stay patient and follow the steps above, and your cats should be friends in no time!
Introducing Your Savannah Cat To Other Small Pets
Not A Good Idea
Cats and dogs aren’t the only types of pets of course. Many people own birds, fish, hamsters, and other forms of small pets, and you might be wondering how Savannahs get on with these. Unfortunately, not well. Savannahs’ hybrid makeup means that they have either a wild cat as a parent, or a wild cat as an ancestor. And what do wild cats love to do? Hunt.
And if you have a small pet that they can easily get to, they’ll hunt it as best they can. You don’t have to worry about this hunting instinct coming out with other cats and dogs. As long as you have that necessary introductory period between the animals, Savannahs realize that they are playful companions.
With smaller animals, however, they don’t realize that these are friends of theirs. They only think that they need to hunt them. Regular cats can sometimes have great hunting instincts as well, as even they have been known to hunt birds and fish in the same house. Savannahs take that hunting instinct to the next level.
Unfortunately, even if you keep these other small animals separate and secure in tanks or cages, Savannahs are smart creatures. If they see something that they want to hunt, they’ll continue to do this until they win. Of course, you can always try to train your Savannah to not do this, but odds areyou won’t be able to snuff it from their genes.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you not have any small pets (such as fish, hamsters, or birds) in your house along with a Savannah. It will just end in an unfortunate situation. While Savannahs do so well with other cats and dogs, they simply do not do well with small pets.
Savannah cats have been well known to get along with dogs and even other cats. As long as you allow them time to get used to each other, they will usually respond well to other animals in the house. However, it is strongly recommended that you don’t have any small pets in the house such as birds or hamsters, as Savannah cats have hunting instincts, and this is a recipe for disaster!