What is a Savannah Cat?
The Savannah cat is one of world’s rarest hybrid cat. Its a cross between an African Serval and a domesticated house cat. Savannahs are recognized for their tall legs, long slender bodies, large ears, long necks, short tails and of course their exotic spots. The first Savannah produced was by a Bengal breeder, Judee Frank. She crossbred a male serval, belonging to Suzi Woods, with a Siamese (domestic cat) 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. Today many own Savannahs and they come in all different sizes and colors. Ranging from 10lbs-30lbs. The coat colors vary as well. The traditional BST (brown spotted tabby)comes in two shades warm golden and cool toned with black spots. There are silvers SST (silver spotted tabby) which are almost white/light grey with black spots. There is the melanistic (Black with black spots) they look like a panther. Then there is the classic (marble) they are ones with swirl pattern. I usually only produce the BST but on occasion will have some melanistics show up. I have never had any silver or classic.
Different Generations of “F” ?
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 (~50-75% Serval)
- F2 (~25-35% Serval)
- F3 (~16-20% Serval) and so forth.
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.