Savannah cats have steadily grown in popularity over the last few decades, and many are interested in them purely due to their hybrid nature. However, this does mean that they can have other traits that might be more similar to their serval ancestors, and many people wonder if they are dangerous.
Savannah cats are notdangerous to people and are very friendly, playful, and adventurous animals. However, they are hunters, just as their serval ancestors were. Therefore, Savannah cats can sometimes be dangerous to small animals, such as hamsters and birds, but not to humans.
Every cat is different from the next one. With Savannahs, you can see both their serval and domesticated cat side. So, it’s important that you understand the many different traits of a Savannah cat if you’re thinking of adopting one.
What Exactly Is A Savannah Cat?
A Savannah cat is a hybrid of a serval and a domesticated cat. A serval is a wild cat from Africa that can be found throughout many sub-Saharan countries. Because they are a hybrid of a domesticated and a wild cat, Savannahs can have quite a few distinct traits that differ from your average house cat. Savannahs can mostly be treated the same as other cats, with a few exceptions (detailed below).
First, let’s discuss their size, because they can seem hugecompared to other cats. However, they actually aren’t that much bigger in weight compared to others! It’s their tall height that really makes them look bigger, as well as their slender necks, large ears, and long legs. For the most part, it’s said that Savannah cats have the size of a serval, but the tameness of a domesticated cat.
You can also see their serval ancestors shine through in their coat, as Savannahs have beautiful spotted fur. Colors vary from cat to cat, though common Savannahs are black, silver, or brown with dark brown or black spots. However, some cats can have even lighter coats. They’re very exotic looking, thanks to the bit of wild cat they have in them!
Savannahs are pretty low maintenance when it comes to their fur, too. They are considered a lower shedding breed, which means they don’t have to be brushed out or groomed as often as cats with long hair do. And, as with most cats, they do a good job of grooming and cleaning themselves when needed.
Health And Wellbeing
Savannah cats also happen to be pretty healthy hybrids, even later on in life. They can live anywhere from 12 to 20 years, and there are no known genetic disorders that affect them more so than any other cat. If you’re thinking of adopting a Savannah, the only thing you may have to look out for is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the thickening of their heart muscle.
A lot of people assume that Savannah cats need to eat raw or cooked meat because of their serval side. This isn’t the case. Regular old cat food will do the trick! However, because Savannahs are pretty active cats, it is recommended that they have a high-protein diet. You can find high-protein cat food in many different stores, though, so this isn’t necessarily a huge diet restriction.
The Savannah Cat’s Behaviour
A Friendly Cat
A Savannah’s behavior varies from cat to cat, as each develops its own unique personality over time. Savannah cats tend to be friendly, adventurous, loyal animals who can be very playful with people and other animals. They get along great with other cats and even dogs, as long as they have the proper socialization with these types of animals when they are kittens.
They Love Water
Savannah cats also love water — which is definitely a little weird compared to other cats! As they’re pretty adventurous pets, you might find them getting into a mess time and time again. However, because they love water, they’ll also love a bath! They won’t mind jumping or playing in puddles, which could lead to them needing baths quite often.
Loyal And Obedient
Savannahs can also be trained to walk on a leash, as they love going out and exploring the world. They can even be taught to play fetch, just like a dog would. Many say that Savannahs have dog like qualities, and they’re not wrong! They’re loyal and like to stick by their owner’s side, just as dogs do. However, Savannahs are still cats, and they still love to hunt.
Not Dangerous Animals
Which brings us to the question of whether or not Savannah cats are truly dangerous animals. For the most part, they aren’t. They love people, get along great with kids, and can be great companions to other dogs and cats, as explained above. The only time Savannahs can be potentially dangerous is when they’re around smaller animals, such as birds, hamsters, or fish.
Savannah cats loveto hunt, possibly even more so than your average cat. So, households with small pets such as hamsters and birds may not be the best place for a Savannah cat, as they may end up hunting these other animals. Other than these cases, Savannahs are loyal, friendly cats that aren’t dangerous at all.
Tips For Living With A Savannah Cat
They Like To Wander
If you’re thinking about adopting a Savannah cat, there a few things you need to know. Because these cats are adventurous hunters, it’s recommended that you don’t let them run loose outside often. Their wild side kicks in, and while other cats come home after a few hours of wandering, that may not be the case with your Savannah. They can wander for a long time before ever considering coming home.
But that doesn’t mean these cats do well in small places — they don’t. You need to ensure that you have the proper amount of room for your cat to truly enjoy themselves. Therefore, small apartments unfortunately will not do. Savannah cats can get very anxious in small areas, so ensure that they have enough room in your house. It also helps to take them out on leashed walks, something they love!
And remember, Savannahs are hybrid cats, and they’re half serval. So you can expect them to jump pretty high and climb relatively easily. In fact, Savannah cats can jump up to eight feet horizontally. Many cats love to jump around and climb things, but you should be aware that a Savannah can do all this and more!
Savannahs are also pretty active cats. They’re very playful, they love to hunt, and they’re always looking for a new adventure. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that they have a high-protein diet. However, they don’t need anything too fancy, as you can find this cat food at your local grocery or pet store. And, if needed, you can always work with your veterinarian to find the best food.
Every Savannah cat is unique and different from the next one. While they do have a powerful hunting instinct, they aren’t dangerous pets to keep. Savannahs love people, children, other cats, and even dogs. However, because of their serval ancestors and hunting nature, they aren’t the best animals to have around small animals such as hamsters.