The Savannah is a hybrid cat breed that is a cross between a wild cat, known as the African Serval, and a normal domestic cat. Savannah cats are considered an exotic cat breed, and are available in different generations, with the F1 (Filial 1) generation being the closest generation to the Serval and domestic cats.
The F2 generation Savannah cat is a second-generation Savannah that doesn’t have the African Serval as one of their parents, but they are the second closest generation to the F1 Savannah cat.
14 – 17 inches
12 – 25 pounds
12 – 20 years
Black, silver, chocolate, brown, sable, solid, or tabby
Families, those looking for an active
Active, playful, intelligent, affectionate, bold
This means that the F2 Savannah cats’ grandfather was an African Serval, and they closely resemble their wild ancestors in both their appearance and behavior. As a second-generation Savannah cat, the F2 Savannah is slightly cheaper and less rare than the F1 Savannah cat, but they are still quite popular and appealing to people looking for a rare breed.
F2 Savannah Cat Characteristics
The Earliest Records of F2 Savannah Cats in History
The hybrid Savannah cat was first created in 1986 by accident by the crossing of a female Siamese cat owned by Judee Frank and a male African Serval that Judee was looking after. The origins of the Savannah cat breed started in Pennsylvania in the United States.
The two cats crossbred, and the Siamese queen gave birth to one kitten named Savannah (hence this hybrid cat breeds name). Savannah was later given to a breeder by the name of Lori Buchko.
3 years later in 1989, Savannah was bred with a Turkish Angora cat, and she gave birth to three kittens, however, only two kittens made it. These kittens were considered second-generation kittens because Savannah was not bred with another African Serval, but rather another domesticated cat breed.
This means that the kittens had less of the African Serval blood, but they were still closely related, creating the first F2 Savannah cats in history.
How F2 Savannah Cats Gained Popularity
Savannah was the start of the hybrid Savannah cat breed, and it quickly gained popularity as an exotic cat breed. However, the F2 Savannah cat still showed some of the negative characteristics of an African Serval cat, which wasn’t very appealing to own. The close relation to their wild ancestors meant that the F2 Savannah cat had a “wilder” nature and temperament than a fully domesticated cat.
Soon F2 Savannah cats were bred with other domesticated cat breeds, which helped to dilute the bloodline and the later generations started to show more domesticated cat breed traits, while also being more affordable and less rare than the F1 and F2 generation Savannah cats.
This exotic hybrid cat breed took the interest of cat enthusiasts around the world, although some places still don’t accept the Savannah cat to be sold and kept as a pet without a license, while being banned in some states.
Formal Recognition of the F2 Savannah Cat
The formal recognition of the Savannah cat and future generations started in 1996 after pictures of Savannah ended up in a newsletter in 1986, which caught Patrick Kelley’s attention.
Patrick then teamed up with an exotic cat breeder named Joyce Sroufe, and together with another small group of breeders, they sent a letter to The International Cat Association (TICA) to get the Savannah cat breed recognized in 1996.
TICA only accepted the Savannah cat breed standard in 2001 for registration, but soon the Savannah cat breed was recognized by The Canadian Cat Association in 2006 which increased the popularity of the breed.
Later in May of 2012, TICA allowed the Savannah cat breed to compete against other cat breeds and earned a champion status. This makes the Savannah cat breeds quite new, and their exotic appearance and temperament make them appealing to certain cat enthusiasts.
Top 3 Unique Facts About F2 Savannah Cats
1. Savannah Cats Are Banned in Australia
Although the Savannah cat is legal in the United States where it originated from, Australia has banned any ownership and breeding of these cats. This is because if the Savannah cat was to be released in Australia, they are seen as a threat to the native wildlife population.
In places such as Nevada, Indiana, and New Jersey, you need a license to own and breed the Savannah cat, regardless of its generation.
2. They Are One of the World’s Most Expensive Cat Breeds
In comparison to other cat breeds, the Savannah is one of the most expensive breeds. The F1 and F2 generations are the most expensive, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per cat depending on their bloodline. The later generations are generally cheaper since their bloodline is more diluted from their wild ancestor.
3. Savannah Cats Have a Natural Wild Instinct
As a cat breed with a wildcat background, the Savannah cat carries some of the traits of an African Serval. This can be seen in their temperament and behavior, which makes them better hunters and more agile climbers than fully domesticated cat breeds. F1 and F2 Savannah cats have the most wild-like behaviors, while also having the closest resemblance to the African Serval.
Do F2 Savannah Cats Make a Good Pet?
The F2 Savannah cat can make a good pet for the right household, as this hybrid cat breed isn’t suitable for every cat owner. When cared for properly, the F2 Savannah cat can live for up to 20 years.
The F2 Savannah cat is the second generation of the half-wild and half-domesticated cat, so they have more of a wild temperament than other generations. You will find that F2 Savannah cats are active and loyal, and they are especially playful.
Savannah cats enjoy climbing and hunting, and their agile body is made for just that. When your F2 Savannah cat is not playing or hunting, it will enjoy interacting with you
In comparison to other cat breeds, the F2 Savannah cat requires more exercise. Their wild instincts make them enjoy roaming the garden and house and chasing birds and small rodents. When keeping an F2 Savannah cat, you will need to offer them a variety of different toys that they can play with while allowing them access to a secured garden or catio and space to climb in the house.
It is not a good idea to allow your Savannah cat to roam outside of your property, as this puts them at risk of predators, vehicles, and other animals that can harm them.
Grooming an F2 Savannah cat is fairly simple, as they have a short to medium-length coat that is quite manageable with regular brushing. Their coat does not shed much, which is why they are considered a low-shedding cat breed, but they are not hypoallergenic.
The F2 Savannah cat requires a diet rich in animal-based protein, with high levels of fatty acids such as fish oils. Most commercial kibble diets won’t benefit the F2 Savannah cat, so high-quality wet or raw cat food is the best option. The main ingredient in the food should consist of meat, such as salmon, beef, and lamb to fuel their energy.
The F2 Savannah cat can make a great family pet if you can meet their care requirements. This feline will enjoy plenty of exercise, human interaction, and playtime, but first, ensure that your state allows any generation of the Savannah cat to be kept as a pet. Certain states are still not legalizing the F2 Savannah cat to be kept as a pet without a license, since they share more of their DNA with the African Serval.
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Featured Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock