Savannah cats are very interesting creatures for a lot of different reasons. After all, they are hybrid cats, having both wild serval and domesticated cat as their parents or ancestors. But a Savannah cat’s personality is what makes these pets so unique.
A Savannah cat’s personality varies from cat to cat, as every Savannah is unique. For the most part, though, Savannahs are incredibly energetic, playful, friendly cats that have almost dog-like personality traits. They can be trained to do many things and get along with both dogs and cats.
Whether you have just adopted a Savannah cat or are looking to adopt one in the future, it’s useful to know what to expect from your pet’s personality. Below, we’ll go into more detail about all aspects of the personality of a Savannah cat.
Savannahs are hybridcats. They have both a wild serval anda domesticated cat as their parents or ancestors. F1 generation Savannahs have a wild serval as one of their parents, which means they have 50% exotic genes. All other generations of Savannahs have a wild serval ancestor, rather than as a parent, so their exotic genes are lessened with each new generation.
Because of their hybrid nature, Savannah cats are different in many ways from your average house cat, most obviously in their appearance and stature. Savannah cats tend to be much bigger in height and weight than a regular domesticated cat. Early generation Savannahs (F1s and F2s) can even be twice as tall and twice as big as your average house cat!
Savannah cats have “exotic” genes thanks to their serval parent or ancestor. These exotic genes play a part in forming their personality and temperament. Above all else, it’s vital to always remember that Savannahs are hybrid cats. They have exotic genes in them. While they may look and act like a regular house cat sometimes, they are not, and should be treated accordingly.
To really understand how a Savannah will look and act, it’s essential to truly understand their generation. As we touched upon above, the earlier a Savannahs’ generation, the more exotic genes they will have. F1 Savannah cats — who have a wild serval as a parent — have 50% exotic genes, as they are the direct offspring of a serval. Of all the generations, F1s will act the “wildest”.
Since all other generation Savannah cats (F2s, F3s, F4s, F5s+) have more domesticated cat genes, they won’t have a large exotic gene percentage. Later generations also only have a wild serval as their grandparent or ancestor. So, the earliest generations are always going to have more wild genes, and therefore be bigger and have more personality traits that are similar to wild servals.
But this doesn’t mean they aren’t domesticated cats. While their wild side may show from time to time, they are still domesticated cats that can act like average house cats would. It’s just important to understand where they are similar to their wild serval ancestor or parent, as this helps owners understand their overall personality and temperament.
Because a Savannah cat has both domesticated cat and wild serval as their parents/ancestors, their personality is a bit of a mix. Savannahs are definitelyunique cats. Right when you think they act just like a normal house cat, they’ll do something so odd that you’re reminded they are indeed a hybrid pet. While all Savannah cats are unique, the breed as a whole tends to act in similar ways.
Above all else, Savannahs are known for being incredibly playful and energetic cats. They aren’t cats that simply enjoyplaying; they crave it. Savannahs need to be stimulated physically and mentally every day. They need a lot of exercise and a lot of playtime. If they don’t get the necessary playtime, they’ll act out and become incredibly destructive.
Savannahs are also known for being incredibly friendly. People may think that hybrid cats with a little serval in them are stand-offish and unfriendly. This isn’t the case with Savannahs. All generations are incredibly friendly and do well with both dogs and cats in the house. Of course, just as with every cat, some Savannahs may need a little bit of time to grow used to strangers in their home!
Often, Savannahs are said to have a dog-like personality. This is actually true, even though it may be hard to believe. Savannahs are similar to dogs in many different ways, but they arestill cats! Their dog-like personality can appear in many different forms, but their loyalty to their owners is an easy indication of their interesting behavior.
Savannahs will follow their owner or favorite person around the house, sticking by their side at all times, just as a loyaldog would. Savannahs are also generally easier to train than regular cats. Just like dogs, Savannah cats can be trained to play fetch, something they love to do.
They can also be trained to go for a walk outside on a leash and harness, another activity that Savannahs absolutely love. Savannahs are hybrids, so they shouldn’t be able to roam around outside without their owner and a leash. You want to keep them safe at all times. So, to allow your Savannah to see outside and get some exercise in, you can take them on a walk, just like you would a dog!
As we mentioned, Savannahs are incredibly friendly cats. They do very well with other cats and dogs in the same house as them, especially if these other cats and dogs like to play. Savannahs enjoy playing all the time, so allowing them to have a friend they can constantly do this with is always a great idea!
Just like with all animals, however, even friendly Savannahs need a proper introduction and some time to get to know their new housemates. Whether you’re introducing a new dog or a new cat to your Savannah, always ensure you’re patiently allowing all the animals to get to know each other. Never force interactions and always keep an eye on them until they get used to each other.
Savannahs do well with other animals and other people. While they may be wary of strangers from time to time, Savannahs are definitely friendlier than other domesticated cat breeds. When Savannahs arewary of strangers, this usually has to do with their territorial instincts. Plus, Savannahs have also been known to be great with kids.
A Savannah cat’s “wild” personality tends to appear in different ways. F1 Savannahs, as they are the earliest generation and therefore the wildest, need a lot of attention because of their temperament. While they are still very friendly, F1s are known to be loners and will need some space from everyone from time to time.
All cats like their alone time, so it’s important to ensure your Savannah has an area they can run off to and be alone. Cat trees are great areas to destress for them. A Savannah’s exotic personality can also show up as a territorial attitude. All cats are territorial, and all cats act differently when things in their house change — or when strangers appear in their home.
F1s are the most territorial and therefore may be a little less friendly to strangers in your house. They’ll just be wary, though, and never aggressive. Allow your F1 Savannah enough time to get to know any strangers, and they’ll be fine. A Savannah’s exotic traits also appear in their insane energy levels, jumping skills, and their excellent hunting instinct.
All cat breeds have the ability to hunt. Some breeds are better or more inclined to do it than others. Sometimes, a cat’s individual personality affects their ability or desire to hunt. When it comes to Savannah cats, there is never any doubt that these hybrids are excellent hunters. They’ll also go out of their way to hunt, and their wild serval side definitely kicks in when they see prey.
Because of their excellent hunting skills, it’s recommended that Savannahs don’t live in homes where small animals (such as fish, birds, and hamsters) reside. Savannahs do well with cats and dogs and will only hunt small animals that appear as prey to them.
Savannahs are incredibly smart pets. When they see something that they can hunt, they will go out of their way to win, regardless of what’s standing in their way (whether it be doors, cages, or other obstacles).
Are Savannahs Lap Cats?
When talking about their personality, many often wonder if Savannah cats are lap cats. After all, energetic cats don’t tend to be lap cats. Savannah cats, as a breed, aren’tconsidered to be lap cats. But this doesn’t mean there are noSavannahs that like to cuddle.
While Savannahs aren’t known to be lap cats, they do still enjoy cuddling with their owners and being petted all the time. They just don’t like being restrained. Instead of forcing your cat to cuddle, ensure that they’re getting enough playtime during the day to exhaust them once nighttime hits. Then, they’ll be more inclined to cuddle up beside you.
Savannah cats do like sleeping in the same area as their owner, and often in the same bed if they can! For many owners, they’ll find their Savannah is only very cuddly when it’s time for bed. Just make sure you help your Savannah have enough playtime during the day, and they’ll be more willing to cuddle with you later!
Savannahs love to play in any way they can. Often, this means giving them a range of toys that they can play with every day. Savannahs are smart and will become bored if they’re forced to play with the same toy over and over again, so give them a good range of toys. Savannahs also love playing with their owners and other animals when they can!
Savannahs can be trained to walk on a leash and harness, and therefore can be taken on walks just as a dog would. Savannahs, like many cats, are very curious and would love to see the outside world when they can. Just imagine how much they’ll love seeing birds in a park! Keep your Savannah safe, but give them some much-needed enjoyment, by taking them on leashed walks.
Savannah cats will play in any amount of water they can get. Often, you might find them playing with their toys in their water bowl, dumping their toy in, and then fishing it out again. Give your Savannah some joy by allowing them to play in a bathtub filled with water. Throw some toys in there with them and watch them have the time of their life!
There are some Savannahs that even enjoy swimming in pools. But if you’re ever allowing your Savannah near a large body of water, always let them decide whether they want to go in and never force them. And alwayskeep an eye on them around large bodies of water, as you want to ensure they are safe at all times.
Savannahs can be trained to play fetch, just like dogs. Savannahs love to play any and all games, and fetch is a great way to allow them to really wear themselves out. Plus, it’s always fun for both owner and Savannah to play!
Savannah cats can jump incredibly high, and they’ll often go out of their way to climb things. Installing a large cat tree and other areas where your Savannah can safely climb and jump around is a great way to keep them happy. You don’t want them climbing up areas where they could potentially hurt themselves, so be sure to have a designated area where they can run wild!
While every cat is different, most Savannahs do very well with other animals in the house, whether it be dogs, cats, or other Savannahs. These other pets allow your Savannah to have a companion to play with when you can’t play with them, and they love bonding with other animals. Just ensure that all pets are properly introduced, and you’ll have no issues!
Savannah cats don’t need other cats or animals to play with them, but they sure do love having friends around. Going on walks with other cats and dogs is a fun bonding experience for all involved, and you might find that having another pet in the house is good for your Savannah.
Because of their hybrid nature, Savannahs sometimes act like a regular domesticated cat, and sometimes a bit more like their wild serval parent or ancestor. Understanding your Savannah’s generation is a great way to truly understand their temperament and personality.
For the most part, Savannahs are very friendly and very playful cats. They love to play, make friends, and can even have a dog-like personality. They can be trained to go on leashed walks and play fetch. They also loveto play in water. Savannahs have such interesting personalities, and this makes them great pets.