Savannahs aren’t your average housecats. The breed has only been around since the 1980s when an African Serval cat was bred with a domestic Siamese cat. Savannahs have a lot in common with their wild cousins. They are high-energy cats with lean, muscular bodies and specific nutritional needs.
Savannahs are at risk for taurine deficiency1; taurine is an amino acid found naturally in meat and fish. Most Savannah cats benefit from a high-protein, low-carb diet. We’ve analyzed several cat food brands on the market and provided reviews of the ones that we think are the best for Savannahs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Smalls Cat Food Subscription||
||Click to Save 40%|
|Best Value||Purina Beyond White Meat Chicken & Egg Cat Food||
|Vital Essentials Duck Dinner Patties Cat Food||
|ACANA First Feast High-Protein Kitten Food||
|ACANA Bountiful Catch High-Protein Adult Cat Food||
The 11 Best Cat Foods for Savannah Cats
1. Smalls Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, Chicken liver, Green beans, Peas, Water, Chicken hearts, Kale (Fresh Bird Recipe Shown)|
|Protein content:||15.5% minimum|
|Fat content:||8.5% minimum|
|Calories:||200 kcal/5 oz|
Your Savannah cat needs a diet replicating one that it would eat in the wild, meaning it needs to eat high-quality food chock full of protein. For that reason, we believe Smalls Cat Food Subscription is the best cat food for Savannah cats overall.
Smalls Cat Food is a delivery service that is ultra-high in protein and void of useless and potentially harmful fillers that could be biologically inappropriate for your Savannah. Smalls offers fresh food called “Human Grade Fresh.” Though the term “human-grade” has no definition in any animal feed regulations, we still think this offering from Smalls is the most appropriate for your Savannah.
Their fresh food comes in four protein-rich recipes; fish, bird, cow, and “other bird” flavors. Each flavor comes in one of two textures—smooth (like pate) or ground (minced)—so it’s easy to find a texture that your cat prefers. In addition, the recipes feature real animal protein as the first ingredient, something you should always look for when searching for high-quality cat food.
In addition, Smalls includes taurine in each of their recipes. Since Savannahs are sometimes prone to taurine deficiency, the food you feed your cat must include it.
Your Smalls deliveries arrive at your doors at regular intervals, perfect for busy cat owners. That said, Smalls food is slightly higher priced because of that convenience and its higher quality formulation.
2. Purina Beyond Chicken & Egg Cat Food – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, pea starch, cassava root flour|
|Protein content:||35% minimum|
|Fat content:||14% minimum|
If you’re on a budget, we found that Purina Beyond White Meat Chicken & Egg recipe is the best Savannah cat food for the money. It’s a reasonably priced grain-free food, and most cats love the chicken flavor. We like the added taurine and probiotics, which are ingredients you don’t always see in value-priced cat food. This formula has no artificial ingredients, and we like that this food is available in multiple bag sizes.
Purina produces this formula in its own U.S. facilities. As for cons, we’d like to see more transparency about the “natural flavor.” Not knowing exactly what this ingredient makes this recipe unsuitable for Savannah cats with allergies or intolerances. A few customers reported that their cat’s appetite significantly increased after switching to this formula.
3. Vital Essentials Duck Dinner Patties Grain-Free Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Duck, duck gizzard, duck heart, duck liver, herring oil|
|Protein content:||47% minimum|
|Fat content:||21% minimum|
Vital Essentials Duck Dinner Patties are unlike other cat foods on our list. This is a raw, freeze-dried food you can feed right out of the bag or rehydrate with warm water. The patties are a convenient choice if you want to provide your Savannah with a raw diet but want shelf-stable food. Vital Essentials Duck Dinner Patties have overwhelmingly positive reviews. The few critical reviews were from cat owners who claimed they found bone pieces in the patties.
This food will be cost-prohibitive for most owners to serve daily, but it makes for a nice treat. Vital Essentials has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so hang onto your store receipt and product bag. The company harvests all of its meat in the U.S. and owns its manufacturing facilities in Green Bay, WI. It’s wise to consult your vet before switching to this or any raw cat food. When serving these duck dinner patties, remember it’s raw food. You’ll want to wash your hands after handling and routinely wash out your cat’s food bowl.
4. ACANA First Feast Kitten Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, herring meal, oatmeal, whole peas|
|Protein content:||36% minimum|
|Fat content:||18% minimum|
Savannah kittens have different nutritional needs than their adult counterparts. Our choice for younger Savannah cats is Acana’s First Feast High-Protein Kitten formula. Over 70% of the ingredients are animal proteins like chicken fat, turkey meal, cage-free eggs, deboned quail, and chicken liver.
Consider this kitten food if your vet recommends a grain-inclusive diet for your Savannah. The added taurine, probiotics, and salmon oil provide essential nutrients for growing Savannah kittens. Acana produces its cat food in the U.S. with globally sourced ingredients. Talk with your vet about when to stop feeding your Savannah kitten food since this breed keeps growing through its third birthday.
5. ACANA Bountiful Catch Adult Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Salmon, salmon meal, catfish meal, oatmeal, whole peas|
|Protein content:||33% minimum|
|Fat content:||16% minimum|
Our fifth choice for Savannah cats is Acana’s Bountiful Catch High-Protein Adult formula. It lives up to its name by including salmon, catfish, herring, and rainbow trout. Tasty salmon and sunflower oils help your savannah maintain a healthy coat and skin. This chicken-free recipe is suitable for cats with a chicken allergy or intolerance.
Acana’s recipes are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Its Bountiful Catch has thousands of positive reviews, but the most common complaint from unhappy customers was that their cats didn’t care for the flavor. Other buyers felt they could not justify the higher price tag.
6. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, turkey, whole mackerel, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), flounder|
|Protein content:||40% minimum|
|Fat content:||20% minimum|
Orijen’s Original Grain-Free dry cat food is another good food for savannah cats. The first five ingredients are an array of animal proteins that will appeal to most cats. In fact, 90% of the ingredients are animal-based. The freeze-dried liver coating on the kibble provides an additional flavor boost.
Orijen’s “Wholeprey” formulas include not just meat but bone, cartilage, and organs—as close to raw meat as you can get in a commercial kibble. This recipe has overwhelmingly positive reviews, but a few customers thought this recipe had a strong fish odor. This scent wasn’t a deterrent to the cats, however. Orijen is a premium pet food brand and is priced accordingly.
7. Solid Quail & Pumpkin Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Quail, turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, potatoes|
|Protein content:||30% minimum|
|Fat content:||13% minimum|
Consider Solid Gold if you value sourcing transparency. The company provides detailed information about where it obtains its globally sourced ingredients. While most of the ingredients in Solid Gold’s Winged Tiger with Quail & Pumpkin come from North America, the company also sources extensively from western Europe. Solid Gold does not source any ingredients from China.
The Quail & Pumpkin recipe is formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs. Most critical reviews were from owners whose cats continued to have upset stomachs after switching to this food. Keep in mind that switching to a “sensitive stomach” formula is not a substitute for seeing a vet if your Savannah vomits or has diarrhea. We like the added probiotics and taurine but would like more information about the “natural flavor.”
8. Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Chicken & Egg Grain-Free Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, dehydrated chicken, dried egg product, tapioca|
|Protein content:||43% minimum|
|Fat content:||19% minimum|
Tiki Cat’s Born Carnivore Chicken & Egg Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is 100% GMO-free. The small 2.8-pound bag makes it easy to sample without blowing your budget. Once you know your savannah cat likes this formula, you can save money per ounce by buying a larger bag. The fact that Tiki’s food is calorie-dense can be both a pro and a can.
The biggest advantage is that a bag lasts longer than other brands. The downside is that some owners report that their cats aren’t satisfied with small servings and beg for more food. We couldn’t find information on Tiki’s ingredient sourcing for this formula or where the food is produced. Many other pet food brands in this price bracket are forthcoming about their ingredient sourcing and production facilities. We did find that Whitebridge Pet Brands owns Tiki Cat.
9. Natural Balance L.I.D. Chicken Formula Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, chicken fat|
|Protein content:||37% minimum|
|Fat content:||18% minimum|
Natural Balance’s High Protein Chicken is made in the U.S. with globally sourced ingredients. This formula is labeled “limited ingredients” but does not specify the source of the “natural flavor.”
Natural Balance states that chicken is the sole source of protein, and this food is suitable for Savannahs with other protein allergies. A few customers mentioned a kibble size and color change in 2022 that caused their cats to stop eating this recipe. The new appearance may not be an issue if your Savannah cat is new to this formula.
10. Purina ONE Grain-Free with Ocean Whitefish Dry Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Ocean whitefish, chicken meal, pea starch, cassava root flour, soy protein isolate|
|Protein content:||35% minimum|
|Fat content:||14% minimum|
Purina ONE’s True Instinct Natural Grain-Free with Ocean Whitefish is a happy medium between a higher-protein food and an affordable price. This formula is free of artificial ingredients like colors or flavors found in many other cat foods in this price bracket.
The added taurine boosts the nutritional content for Savannah cats. A few owners thought the mix of multi-shaped kibble pieces (triangle, circle, and soft morsels) was a turn-off for their cats. We like that this cat food is available in multiple sizes. The 3.2-pound bag won’t break the bank if you’re not sure your cat will enjoy this food.
11. Tiki Cat Succulent Chicken in Consomme Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken broth, sunflower seed oil, calcium lactate, dicalcium phosphate|
|Protein content:||16% minimum|
|Fat content:||2.6% minimum|
|Calories:||225 kcal/10-oz can|
Commercially canned cat food can’t match the protein content of dry kibble. But wet food is a nice treat and can help your Savannah get the water they need. Tiki Cat’s Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme is one of the higher-protein wet foods on the market today. Most canned foods have 10% or less protein, while this formula has 16%.
Sunflower seed oil is high in omegas and promotes a healthy coat and skin. The added taurine and limited ingredients make this a suitable recipe for Savannahs. The higher price tag makes it cost-prohibitive for most owners to feed their cat daily, but you can jazz up dry kibble with a spoonful or two. While this is a popular premium cat food, some cats don’t care for the shredded meat texture. Less than enthused kitties may lick the broth but leave the meat behind.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Cat Foods for Savannah Cats
Reading through our list of the 10 best cat foods for Savannah cats is just the beginning. Learn more about Savannahs’ nutritional needs and how to choose the right food for your cat.
Why Is Protein So Important for Savannah Cats?
Savannahs and other domestic cats are obligate carnivores. They need nutrients found in animal tissue, like arginine, taurine, and fatty acids. Additionally, cats’ bodies are designed to process a high-protein diet.
They lack some of the digestive enzymes needed to break down carbohydrates. And because cats’ taste buds can’t detect “sweet” flavors, they naturally gravitate towards savory foods like meat and animal fat.
Do Savannah Cats Need a Grain-Free Diet?
You’ll notice that most cat foods on our list are grain-free. That’s not because all grains are universally bad for Savannah cats. Instead, it’s a reflection of current pet food trends. Manufacturers are meeting pet owners’ desire for grain-free foods.
Most Savannahs do best on a high-protein/low-carb diet, but that doesn’t mean they need completely grain-free cat food. Think of it this way—grains are optional for cats unless your vet advises otherwise. You can feed your Savannah a higher-protein, grain-inclusive food if that’s what they like and it fits your budget.
The same may not be true for dogs, however. Research has shown a possible link between grain-free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy. The condition causes dogs’ hearts to enlarge and cardiac muscles to thin. While a grain-free diet may be okay for your Savannah cat, you should check with your vet before switching your cat or dog to grain-free food.
Cat Food Buying Tips
There are countless cat food brands on the market today in the U.S., and we considered several factors when we chose the 10 best formulas for Savannah cats. First, we narrowed our choices down to brands that were available at a national level.
Then we read through reviews to find foods that cats and their owners universally love. The products on our list had to be nutritionally sound and tasty. We also acknowledged that no pet food brand is perfect. Every pet food has its critics, and we’ve done our best to present the “cons” to you.
We’ve provided you with in-depth reviews of the best cat foods for Savannah cats, and our best overall pick is Smalls Cat Food Subscription. Their human-grade ingredients are as close as a feline can get to a natural diet. Our choice for best value went to Purina Beyond White Meat Chicken & Egg Recipe Grain-Free Natural Dry Cat Food. It’s available in three bag sizes, and most cats, even finicky ones, seem to love the chicken flavor.
Featured Image Credit: Jarry, Shutterstock