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What is a Savannah?

The Savannah cat is an Hybrid between a domestic cat (felis catus) and a serval (Leptailurus serval). Savannah cats are classified by the quantity or percentage  of  wild blood  they contains. When breeding a domestic household cat with a beautiful exotic animal such as the African serval it takes caution, skills, care and a lot of attention.

Savannahs are recognized for their tall legs, long slender bodies, large ears, long necks, short tails and of course their exotic spots. They range between 10 and 30 lbs.

Savannah’s personality is playful, adventurous and Loyal. Unlike most cats they love water and can even be trained to walk on a leash and play fetch. They are super friendly and loves dogs, cats and kids.

Serval chaton

Here are some of the extraordinary characteristic of savannah cats:

Highly Intelligent

These cats are super smart, they can open doors, cabinets, drawers, unzip , turn on water faucets and can learn the basics dog commands like sit, stay, lay, Jump etc… They are always on the edge and needs to explore and push their limits.

Talkative

They love to talk. Not all of them are vocal but most are. They can express themselves and will let you know if they want something from you.

Water

Savannah cats LOVES water! As soon as you will be near a running water source in your home, they will surrounds you.

Walks

They love to go outside for a walk on a leash or in a catio. They loves being outside, nature, sounds and odors are overstimulating and overwhelming for them. They need those kind of amusement in their daily routines. BUT NEVER LET THEM ROAM FREELY UNATTEMPTED, THEY MAY NOT RETURN IF THEY EXPLORE OUTSIDE YOUR PERIMETER.

How high can they jump and run

Savannahs are very agile. On average, they can jump 8 feet or higher from a seated position…and can run up to 35 mph! So they will scale almost any fence given the chance.

Different Generations

There are many different number and letter variations to classify the different sv cats. The Savannah is referred to by its ‘F’ generation. The ‘F’ stands for ‘filial’ and refers to how many generations removed it is from the wild, the Serval. So an F1 is one generation from the Serval (has a Serval parent), an F2 is two generations removed so has a Serval grandparent, and so on.

*F1 = 57% Serval- one parent will be a serval

*F2 = 35% Serval – one grand parent will be serval

*F3 = 21% Serval –  one great grand parent will be Serval

*F4 = 16% Serval – one great great grand parent will be a Serval

*F5 = 11% Serval – One great great great grand parent will be Serval

What is an SBT

SBT stands for stud book traditional. An SBT is bred down from his origin, the Serval,  until it reached 4 generations apart from it. It is a fully domesticated animal with the wild look of his ancestor without the downside of the wild animal…..

 

Letter coding- What does A,B,C & SBT mean?

This has to do when outcrosses (non-Savannah, domestic cats) have been used in a pedigree. The reason this is important is because when you are crossing two different species there are usually fertility issues. For instance, crossing a horse with a donkey creates a mule, but a mule is sterile so it can never procreate. In the feline world, crossing two different species such as the Serval and a domestic cat renders only the males sterile until about the 5th generation out.

• A means that one parent is a (non-Savannah) domestic outcross

• B means that both parents are Savannahs

• C means that both parents and grandparents are all Savannahs

• SBT means that parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are all Savannahs.

 

An SBT is bred down from the Serval but it is at least 4 Generations removed.  The SBT Savannah is a “pure” Savannah that has guaranteed only Savannahs as parents for at least 3 Generations. The size or appearance of an SBT Savannah can be compared to an F4 or an F5 Savannah. SBT Savannahs are more consistent in their type. Personality and size are better foreseeable and the temperament is predictable. An SBT Savannah is the perfect choice for a family with other pets and small children.

 

Why are Savannahs so expensive?

Establishing in a quality breeding program is a large financial investment required up front. Plus on top of that you have to add the proper care of all the cats on a daily basis. In addition of the upfront investment there is the difficulty associated with breeding Hybrids, the Higher the percentage the more difficult they are to breed. Servals are 100% wild animals with special needs In term of housing, caging requirements, diet and health care. Caring for pure servals and mating them with domestic savannahs is costly, time consuming, tricky  and demanding but also rewarding.

It takes many years , lot of luck and skills to mate a Serval with a domestic cat. Only a few breeders worldwide have had success. If mating occurs there are still lots of risks. Because of the gestation difference between the Serval and domestic (about 10-15 day difference) all F1s are born premature. Some are too weak to survive and need 24 hours care by the breeder to ensure survival. Also their litters are generaly small, averaging from 1-3 per litter.

When it comes to producing  F2, there are similar challenges.  Not all females will accept smaller boys and they have to be because genetically remember that males are sterile from f1 to f4. The challenge is also the size difference, large female to small male makes the act of breeding difficult physically speaking. Sometimes females can be also moody and aggressive toward the male which can stop the male intercourse with the female. When breeding succeed F2 litters are pretty small, average of 1-3 kittens. There are countless hours, we as breeder spend on our cats to insure their health, safety and socialization. Neither do The feeding cost comes cheap at the end of the month. The difficulties in breeding the savannahs and having success is the reason why they are so expensives.

A savannah cat is more than just a pet it’s a family member and here at DragonflySv we are working hard to give you and your family a beautiful, healthy and intelligent companion for the next decades.

Litter Box training

Yes, Savannahs have good hygiene and learn litter box habits from their mother. All kittens are 100% litter box trained prior to leaving the cattery. Keep in mind that kittens are like “toddlers” and if given a big space with lots of freedom they could have accidents. They can get so caught up in playing and forget that they need to go until its too late. So in the beginning frequently take them to their litter box and tell them to go potty. They will learn real quick where the box is.

Start them in a small room or bathroom so they can get used to their new space and then give them more freedom once you feel they are comfortable with their space but keep reminding them few times a day where the litter box is until they are fully settled in their home. If a kitten has litter box issues there is probably a reason, like a bladder infection or something that keeps him from doing his potty safely.

Do they require vaccines like any other cats?

Kittens should receive their first veterinary visit and set of vaccines by 10 weeks of age. It is the responsibility of the owner to get the remaining boosters. We recommend the 3 ways vaccines, live modified or killed. Here at Dragonflycats we prefer the live modified, we had great success with it and not many adverse reactions or side effects.

We don’t vaccinate against feline leukemia or aids since our cattery is tested negative. It has been reported these vaccines have a lot and violent side effects in our breed, so for all these reason we don’t recommend it.

Are there waiting lists?

Savannah kittens are in high demand so it is very likely you may have to wait until new litters are born to get exactly what you want. This seems particularly true for the early generations since not many breeders are devoted to producing these generations. Since they are hard to produce and females gives small litters the quantity of early generations are limited on an annual basis. You may also have to wait if you are only interested in a kitten from a specific pairing.

We require a deposit to add your name on our waiting list and it is not unusual to wait up to 12 months before the kitten of your choice becomes available.  You may decide that you cannot wait and purchase a cat from another breeder. As a matter of courtesy, please notify the breeders who have added you to their wait lists if you change plans, so that the next person on their lists can be given an opportunity to purchase.

Deposits are non-refundable since we use them to maintain our cattery and because without deposit we don’t produce kitten.

When are kittens ready to go home?

Breeders typically release their kittens to new homes anywhere between 10 to 14 weeks of age. We typically release our kittens to their new owners at 10-12 weeks of age depending on the generation and the stage of life of every kitten. Kittens may be held longer if they have had difficulty weaning or are not demonstrating 100% accurate litter box habits.

Are all kitten registered?

Yes. The International Cat Association (TICA) accepts Savannahs for registration and show.  All our cats are TICA registered. We will provide a breeder slip and a CCC registration with the microchip number registered for the ownership. 

How do savannah gets with other animals:(ie,dogs, regular cats, birds,bunnies)?

Most of them get along pretty well but bringing a savannah or any animal into a home where other animals currently reside, can be scary and make them act standoffish.  But the majority get over it and they become buddies in no time.

Savannahs NEED play mates! 

So having a dog or another savannah is the best.  Some cat breed works but usually regular domestic cats can’t keep up with the savannah energy and get annoyed.

How big do they get?

There is no guarantee on size, but there is a general expectation per generation. These are rough averages :

• F1 range 18-30lbs

• F2 range 15-30lbs

• F3 range 12-20lbs

• F4 range 12-18lbs

• F5 range 11-16lbs

• F6 range 10-15lbs

• F7 range 10-15lbs

​ 

Warning!!! Savannahs are highly addictives, you can’t have just one.

 

 Are Savannahs legal where you live?

Please check your local animal control where you live to be sure.

Illegal states in USA :

• Rhode Island

• Hawaii

• Nebraska

• Georgia

​Restricted States :

• Texas –  bans in many counties and completely Illegal in some.

• Colorado –  Illegal in Denver

• Alaska –  F4 and later only

• Iowa –  F4 and later only

• Vermont – F4 and later only

• New Hampshire – F4 and later only

• Massachusetts – F4 and later only

• Delaware – F4 and later only with a permit

• Maryland – Limited to 30 lbs and under

• New York – F5 and later only (Illegal in Queens, Manhattan, Bronx,Brooklyn, Staten Island)

 

• Canada: Alberta F4 and later

 

Vet Care

Please inform your Veterinarian that you are purchasing a Hybrid feline, so they can prepare and educate themselves.

For your new kitten, Savannah Cats can potentially have smaller than average livers due to the Serval ancestry, which can increase the risk of side effects with certain medications.

Your veterinarian must use caution when using certain medications for surgical procedures. An Isoflorane gas or an injectable anesthetic protocol that is specific to exotic or hybrid bred felines should be used.

Your veterinarian is always welcomed to consult with our cattery veterinarian before any procedures.

Please contact us for further information if needed.

All our Savannah cats are tested with Uc davis and Mycatscan .

We tests for the Piruvate Kinase  Deficiency (PK)Def.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency in cats is an inherited hemolytic anemia that is passed down from parents to offspring. An affected feline has an absence of the regulatory enzyme, pyruvate kinase, which is responsible for the metabolism of energy used to create more red blood cells.

We also tests for the Pra-Cep290 and Pra-CRX.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), is a group of degenerative diseases that affect these photoreceptor cells. With this disease, the cells deteriorate over time, eventually leading to blindness in the affected cat.

We also run pro-bnp test with Idexx for  heart problems and our cat are also scanned for HCM.

Our cattery is negative to Tritrichomonas Foetus, Giardia and Coccidia.

All our cats are also negative to feline and leukemia.

Why you should’nt get a discount cat?

A cat is not an accessory. It’s a living and breathing creature with complex needs and emotions. This is one of the main reason why it’s important to get a healthy cat who has been bred in a way that minimize the likelihood of serious health. Behaviour or temperament issues. The money you save on a ‘discount’ cat may not be savings at all. If the pricing is too good to be true it usually is. There are many scammers out there.

Furthermore, with a discounted cat you could end up spending much more money on veterinarian bills and cat training. And don’t forget about the heartache of living with a cat who is in poor health condition and suffering from it or who has a bad disposition. Getting a Savannah cat is not like getting a cat from a shelter or adopting a cat from a friend, This is a new breed , and that means that opportunists may capitalize on would-be owners naivete. The results can be disastrous.

If you understand the value of savannah cats , you need to carefully research your options and choose a breeder who is truly committed to the cats welfare.Dont allow yourself to be taken advantage of.

You need to learn more? You need help choosing the right companion cat? Contact us.

 

 

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