Savannah cats are just the best.

Savannah cats are just the best.

Savannah cats may look exotic, but after almost 2 decades since the first Savannah was bred from a domestic cat and an African Serval, the cat has become a favorite domestic because of its unusual look and affectionate, outgoing personality.

Mary Goehring, of Connecticut, said her Savannah cat, Serengeti, is just the best.

Savannah cats continue to be controversial because they were originally a cross-breed with a wild cat. Some still consider the Savannah and the Bengal to be classified as wild cats.

Goehring says this is no wild cat. He snuggles underneath the blankets, every night. That’s not wild. He’s a snugly

Mary Goehring, of Connecticut, and her Savannah Serengeti

Mary Goehring, of Connecticut, and her Savannah Serengetti

domestic cat, just like any other cat.

She says that with a bit of passion, especially since last year, the police came into the Providence, RI cat show and wanted to ‘raid the wild cats’. They were packed with guns. They meant businesses.

She escaped safely with her Savannah, but the wounds are only days old. ‘It was horrible, something I’ll never forget’. I’ll

Savannah Cat participates in the NauTICAts show in Augusta, ME in March.

Judging

never go to a show in Rhode Island ever again.’

There was some conversation they would euthanize the cats. But they were definitely going to confiscate them. And then what, she asked.

Savannah Cat participates in TICA cat show

Savannah Cat participates in TICA cat show

Indeed, the Savannah cat does have an exotic look with their tall lean graceful bodies, striking dark spots and other dark markings. Their large, tall ears are set right on top of the head, and their hooded eyes are flat across the top, giving them an exotic look, unlike any other breed of cat. The Savannah has a long neck and short thick tail. The body and legs are very long, creating the image of being very large. But in reality Savannahs are about the size of a large domestic cat and weigh less than another cat of a similar size.

Paws had heard lots, but ever seen a Savannah cat before, and was surprised at its size. The cat was the size of any domestic cat. Paws expected it to be at least half the size of a German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever. Despite its relatively small size, the cat was incredibly striking. No wonder people want these cats!

Savannah cats aren’t for everyone. They are very curious and assertive, seeking out adventure at every opportunity. It is known as a very active cat, that needs a great deal of interaction on a daily basis. Goehring showed a video of Serengeti jumping almost 4 feet off the ground.

The breed is known to be a very loyal cat who will bond strongly with its humans or a companion cat. But it’s not a lap cat or a docile pet that wants to lounge around for hours on end.

They, like many other cats, will greet family members at their door, and follow them around the house giving them frequent head buts. They love to play in water, a bit unusual for a cat. And they can easily be trained to walk on a leash with a harness. Like a dog, they love to play games like fetch.

The first known Savannah was born on April 7, 1986 after a female domestic cat gave birth to a kitten sired by an African Serval. The F1 First generation hybrid cross was the first on record. This unusual female kitten had both domestic and Serval like traits. Both the kitten and the new breed were named Savannah. Patrick Kelly heard about Savannah and decided he wanted to try to develop a new breed. He persuaded breeder, Joyce Sroufe to join in on his efforts. Together they wrote the original TICA (The International Cat Association) standard, and TICA accepted the Savannah for registration in 2001, and accepted for Championship status in 2012, only 2 years ago.

That’s a lot of years of developing the breed. There’s no doubt the first Savannah might have been more wild than not, but some 28 years later, the domestic traits have most likely taken over.

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Have you ever owned a Savannah cat? Have you ever thought about adopting one? What do you think about the controversy over Savannah cats being wild, exotic cats? Please weigh in with your thoughts.

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About the Author

BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

15 Responses to Savannah cats look exotic but they’re not wild cats

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  5. Bonita says:

    Cats are fine. An owner is nuts when she places a cat before children! Yup Mary, you are quite the gem!

  6. Bonita says:

    Wild cats can’t be controlled or owned. It will come around and then you’ll know!

  7. Sue Skipton says:

    I have a Savannah here, Good Luck Charm is his name and five generations back on his mothers side is Keystone. Charm is a rescue here and has become one of my personal cats as they do take a little while to adopt into a new situation. He is a totally awesome cat and quite a bit different than regular domestic but a charm in my life none the less. Awesome personality and very good with other cats.

    • BJ says:

      I’m glad to hear they get along well with other cats. When I adopt my next kitty, which won’t be for a while, I might consider a Savannah. They are handsome cats.

      • Sue Skipton says:

        Oh yes, and he is particularly fond of kittens, grooms them and teaches them. It did take him a long time to warm up to me as he was an adult when I rescued him. Now he truly is like a loyal dog. Charm is interesting as he can meow, wild cry and purrr. Usually , I understand they cannot do all three. You know, if we had far less people in the world to do damage to animals it would be a much better place.

  8. Kat Gagliano says:

    I love my Savannah cat, he is a big sweetheart. He really loves my husband. He truly has bonded and is a wonderful member of our family along with our 2 Bengal cats. Savannahs remain illegal in several places in the United States, there is a hybrid law website where you can check to see if you can have on in your area. Our boy is almost 8 and he requires to be played with every day, he really needs to let out all that energy that he has. Nice article about the beautiful Savannah cat.

  9. Sparkle says:

    How awful that the show got raided like that – frightening!

    • BJ says:

      Can you imagine? I think she’s still horrified that this happened, and don’t think she’ll ever get over it. I know I wouldn’t.

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Catpersonable BJ Bangs



At Paws for Reflection, we're serious about cats, writing about cat health, cat rescue and cat news. We delve into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. BJ is an award-winning blogger/journalist, communications professional and photographer.

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