As a newer crossbreed between the African Serval and the domestic Siamese, the Savannah Cat is the closest way for feline enthusiasts to own a wild cat that the law will allow. In fact, ownership is still not permitted in all places. For example, the state of Georgia, as well as New York City ban Savannah Cats entirely, while other places such as Vermont restrict ownership to F4 generations and later. Every subsequent generation loses some of the untamed qualities of the original mix, but the Savannah Cat is still noticeably different from domestic cats due to their physique and athletic abilities. The Savannah Cat can jump over 8 feet high, which is an average 3 feet taller than your average house cat. Let’s see how this interesting breed compares to similar animals to really gauge the awesomeness of this trait.
How High Can the Savannah Cat Jump Compared to Other Animals?
While the tabby on your porch might clear 8 feet if they’re in extremely good shape, the Savannah Cat regularly clears 8 feet and can possibly jump even higher. Their ancestor, the African Serval, can actually achieve a 9-foot jump. The average domestic cat can jump up to six times their height, which is still an impressive feat compared to other species. However, their wild ancestors have them beat by a long shot.
|Vertical Jump Height
|8 feet or more
|Domestic Tabby Cat
|5 feet or more
While the cat may boast one of the tallest bounds on land, the dolphin is the reigning champion of the sea. They can soar up to 30 feet in the air above the water, which is why they’re so easily spotted during seaside vacations.
Of course, not every dolphin can jump 30 feet in the air, just as every human can’t leap up to 3 feet. The overall condition of the individual creature determines their jump more than their species. For example, the highest vertical jump a human accomplished was 8 feet. However, a modest 1–3 feet is average. Thus, some Savannah Cats may jump to a height closer to the Siamese than the Serval, or vice versa.
How to Keep Your Savannah Cat Contained
Now that you know your Savannah Cat can breezily leap over your fence, let’s talk about how to keep them safely in your yard so they don’t become lost or hurt.
1. Keep Them Inside Unless You’re Watching Them
Distracted by a fluttering bird or a scurrying squirrel, the Savannah Cat can get away in a flash before you can register what happened. You shouldn’t leave your Savannah outside unattended since they can run away so quickly. If your yard isn’t enclosed, you should only let them out on a leash. Remember, even if there is a fence, your Savannah cat can easily jump or climb over it unless it’s at least 8 feet high. You might try installing rolling bars or fence extensions to keep them inside the boundary.
2. Take Them on Walks with a Leash and Harness
Requiring at least 2 hours of daily exercise, the Savannah Cat needs more physical activity than your average cat. They can become restless if they’re stuck inside for too long, which will make them more determined to escape, so you should make sure they meet their exercise quota with a walk. You can train them to walk using a harness designed for cats, never a collar. Cats’ necks are too sensitive for collars and since they don’t have collarbones, they can easily slip away.
3. Motivate Them Indoors
In addition to their daily walk, your kitty should have plenty of indoor activities to keep them occupied. Catnip pouches, cat trees, and other feline-friendly toys are great ways to engage them in independent playtime.
Savannah Cats retain some of the wild traits of the African Serval. Although they can’t quite reach the 9-foot jump that’s possible from the Serval, they can still clear at least 8 feet, which is much higher than domestic cats and most land-dwelling mammals at large. If you’re lucky enough to care for a Savannah Cat, you should make sure your yard is secured so they can’t escape and take them on daily walks to release their enormous bounds of energy.
Featured Image Credit: Katerina Mirus, Shutterstock