Appearance and features:

Savannah’s are short haired,  with a slender and lean appearance. Wedge shaped head with large to medium large pointy ears. Almond shaped eyes in either gold, green, hazel or copper color.


Due to out-crossing, the Savannah can greatly vary in size, even with in the same litter.  This is a medium to large-size cat weighing anywhere from 8 to 28 pounds.


Domestic out-crosses from the early days in the 1990s have greatly impacted the breed’s development in both desired and non-desired traits. As of 2012 most breeders perform Savannah to Savannah pairings; using out-crosses is considered less than desired. There are no longer any permitted domestic out-crosses for the Savannah breed now that TICA championship status has been achieved. Previously domestic out-crosses for the Savannah breed that were permissible in TICA were the Egyptian Mau, the Ocicat, the Oriental Shorthair, and the Domestic Shorthair.


Savannah should have a spotted pattern by show standards, with colors including,  brown-spotted tabby, silver-spotted tabby, black , and black smoke. Non-standard patterns & colors include: Rosetted, marble, snow color point, blue color, cinnamon color, chocolate color, lilac (lavender) and other diluted colors.


Judee Frank crossbred a male serval, belonging to Suzi Woods, with a Siamese  to produce the first Savannah cat (named Savannah) on April 7, 1986. In 1996, Patrick Kelley and Joyce Sroufe wrote the original version of the Savannah breed standard and presented it to the board of The International Cat Association. In 2001, the board accepted the breed for registration.


Savannahs are known for their loyalty, and they will follow their owners around the house.  Because of their wild cat genetics, exposure to other people and pets is important for sociability as kittens to ensure they are most friendly around new people, and other animals. They will fluff out the base of their tails in a greeting gesture, often confused with the cat being in fear.

Savannah are known to jump on top of doors, refrigerators and high cabinets. Leaping as high as 8 feet (2.5 m) from a standing position. Savannahs are very inquisitive and need special precautions by their owner to prevent the cat from getting into trouble.

Savannahs’ do not fear water, and will play in their water bowls or even immerse themselves in water.  They can be trained to walk on a leash and taught to fetch.

They may either chirp like their serval fathers, meow like their domestic mothers, both chirp and meow, or sometimes produce sounds which are a mixture of the two.  They have a serval-like hiss, quite different from a domestic cat’s hiss – sounding more like a very loud snake. It can be alarming to humans not acquainted to such a sound coming from a cat.

Health concerns:

Hybrid cats are an unnatural breeding. Some of the more
common illnesses among hybrid cats include digestive issues such as IBD (irritable bowel disease), Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), and possibly a higher incidence of FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis).


As a hybrid breed, Savannahs are illegal to own in some states or municipalities in the United States.

Breed Characteristics

Here is a helpful guide for the different characteristics of the breed.  On a Scale of 1-5.  1 being very low level to 5 being high level.

Energy Level
Extra Grooming
Affection Level
Social Needs
Kid Friendly
Friendly to Strangers
Health Concerns
Dog Friendly

Hypoallergenic: No

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