Savannah cats first appeared in the early 1980s due to breeding a wild Serval cat with a domestic shorthair cat. Because of how dangerous the breeding process is, Savannah cats are very rare. If you want a Savannah cat, be prepared to pay a large amount of money for a kitten—but how much do they cost?
A Savannah cat will average around $10,000, depending on the purebred classes. They are expensive because it is difficult to breed them, and each kitten must be hand raised to ensure they will love their human companions. Savannah cats also need a different diet than most cats.
Before you decide on spending money on a Savannah cat, keep in mind the cat’s needs and the costs involved in keeping a Savannah cat healthy. Let’s dig in!
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Why Are Savannah Cats Priced Differently?
Savannah cats are priced differently depending on their generation and how far removed from their African Serval ancestor. For example, a first-generation Savannah cat’s parents will be a domestic cat and an African Serval wildcat and usually have up to 75% Serval heritage. This generation is classified as F1 and is priced at $20,000.
From there, the cost of getting a Savannah cat goes down with each generation further from their Serval ancestry. An F2 Savannah cat cost around $10,000, while the F5 Savannah cat will cost around $2,500 to $3,000.
Some states have outlawed F1 and F2 generation Savannahs because they are too close to their wild parents and grandparents and are considered “exotic.” Exotic animals in many US communities are considered a threat to public safety regardless of breed or domesticated animal.
Before choosing your Savannah friend, you might want to check with your state’s ordinances to see if the cat you want will be allowed, as it could be disappointing to find out that you can’t keep it once you have it.
Why Are Savannah Cats So Expensive?
The cost of breeding often makes Savannah cats expensive due to the infertility of F1-F3 male Savannahs. Breeders often need to wait until they can find a suitable F4 male to breed with an F1 to F3 Savannah female.
Female Savannah cats as close to the Serval heritage raise future kittens’ price because of how pure the breed is.
Breeders who want to breed several cats to get the desired result usually end up paying well over $10,000 or more for each breeding couple to acquire each cat. Then there is the cost of veterinarian care, vaccinations, supplements, and food.
Savannahs require larger amounts of food than other cat breeds due to their larger size. The best food for Savannahs is raw meat, supplemented by wet and dry cat food with higher protein content. They can eat up to two pounds (907 g) of meat per day, which can get expensive. Breeders raising Savannah cats often spend at least $2,000 to $3,000 just in food costs.
DNA testing is also included in the cost of the Savannah. To be classified at a certain level of purity, a Savannah needs to be tested to document their heritage and justify the sales price.
Once you buy a Savannah cat, the cost doesn’t end there. Their expensive food requirements don’t end when you buy one from a breeder, as they still need to eat. Then there are the vet bills, the games and toys they need to keep from being bored, and the space they need for exercise.
Since the Savannah cat has wild roots, they need different and additional care than domestic shorthair cats. If you’re thinking of adopting a Savannah cat, let your vet know ahead of time so they can give you resources and care tips.
Do Savannah Classes Increase or Decrease the Price?
Classes of Savannahs are simply the designation of how far from the Serval the Savannah is. F1 is the generation directly from the Serval cat and a domestic shorthair cat. The F1 generation Savannah is the most expensive cat and the most controversial generation due to how many states ban them as pets.
F2 and F3 are less expensive because they are the offspring of two Savannahs and have less Serval DNA. These generations cost anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000. F4 and F5 generations are further from the Serval wild cat and cost between $2,500 and $8,000.
What Are the Origins of the Savannah?
The African Serval cat is found in the sub-Saharan desert. They are solitary hunters that eat frogs, small birds, rats, and other rodents and can jump over six feet (1.8 m) when hunting their prey. In 1986, the first Savannah kittens were born to a Serval male and female domestic cat. The kittens were larger than average, and they grew to up to 25 pounds (11 kg).
Before the Serval cat and domestic cat mated for the first time, Serval cats were actively bred in captivity since the 1920s, but until 1986, they were not mated outside of their breed.
F1 Savannahs resemble their Serval parents the most, including the spotted coat pattern, but their litter size is smaller than domestic cats.
What Are the Characteristics of the Breed?
Savannahs are friendly cats with a very high energy level and are affectionate, intelligent, and curious. They live up to 20 years, which is standard for many purebred cats like the Siamese or Persian.
Unlike most cat breeds, the Savannah behaves much like a dog and will follow you wherever you go. Chances are, if you throw a stick, your Savannah will bring it back to you so you can throw it again and again. They need a lot of attention and will pout or cling to you if they don’t get it.
They are very intelligent cats, and with their curiosity, they will get into trouble or get into things that aren’t good for them. They need human companions that can keep up with them and give them a lot of attention. If you want to take them on walks outside, they can be leash trained with a harness, but it takes some patience and time to get your cat to get used to it.
Some domestic cats can be leash trained, but because cats are naturally curious, they won’t walk where you want them to go, but wherever their noses take them. If you want to have your cat on a leash, you will need to start them as kittens wearing a harness and leash.
Health Issues of Savannah Cats to Be Aware Of
Male infertility is one of the main health issues of the F1-F4 Savannah cats. Since crossbreeding almost always creates infertility, this is a normal issue. Female Savannahs, however, do not suffer from the same issue and are fertile with the first generation.
Savannahs have certain congenital defects due to their lineages, such as cleft palates, dwarfism, and liver shunts. They are also prone to loose stools or diarrhea if their nutritional needs are not met. They need higher quality cat food and some raw meat. Lower quality food could cause brittle bones.
Savannah cats might cost a lot of money for the generations closest to the Serval, but they are the most friendly and affectionate cat breed today.
Male Savannah kittens cost less than females due to their infertility issues. F1 male Savannahs start at $15,000 while F1 female Savannahs start at $18,000, but as the generations get further from their wild ancestor, the cost becomes even.
If you have the resources for a Savannah cat, you’ll find that they are worth it as they are affectionate and loyal companions.
- F1 Hybrids Savannah Cats: Savannah Cats
- Elite Veterinary Care: Why Are F1 Savannah Cats So Expensive?
- F3 Savannah Cat: Home Page
- Purr Craze: 4 Reasons Why Savannah Cats Are So Expensive
- AmanuKats: Why Are Savannah Cats So Expensive Compared to a Serval
- F1 Hybrids Savannah Cats: Savannah Cat Health
- AmanuKats: F Generations Explained
- Wikipedia: Serval
- F1 Hybrids Savannah Cats: SAVANNAH CAT HISTORY
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.