Residents of a neighborhood in Miami got quite the fright in April 2022 when they spotted what looked like a wild cat wandering the streets. However, it wasn’t a wild cat but a pet cat named Stryker. Why did Stryker get mistaken for a wild cat?
Simple—he looks like a wild cat because he is part wild cat. Stryker is what is known as a Savannah cat and was rescued from life in a cage by his owners, Joe and Shlomo. Nowadays, the cat is internet famous, with a TikTok following of 602,400 and an Instagram following of 840,000 (yep, he’s more popular than most of us!). People everywhere adore this feline’s cuteness, fierceness when devouring its favorite snack, and fun antics.
Interested in finding out more about Savannah cats? Here’s everything you should know about the breed and the legalities of owning one yourself!
What Are Savannah Cats?
Savannah Cats are hybrids created by breeding serval and domestic felines. A relatively new breed that only came about in the 1980s, they have four classifications that are based on their genetics—or how much of them comes from the serval and how much comes from the domestic cats. These are:
Because they’re a hybrid breed, these kitties can get quite large, with some being as big as 25 pounds. Personality-wise they can be more similar to dogs than cats, as they’re highly athletic, fiercely loyal, and can be territorial. You’ll definitely be kept busy with this feline!
Savannahs make wonderful pets for most people (as long as the owners can keep up with the cats). However, you will need to keep an eye on these felines if you have birds or smaller pets, such as rodents, in the home. While the Savannah cat generally isn’t aggressive, they do retain the hunting instincts of their wild ancestors. Just be sure you start on socialization as soon as you get your Savannah to ensure good relationships among pets.
Is It Legal to Have a Savannah Cat as a Pet?
Whether a Savannah is legal to own depends on where you live. Some states, like California, allow any classification of Savannah to be kept as a pet, while others only allow certain classifications. Still, other states, like Nebraska, don’t allow these felines as pets.
So, you’ll need to look at the laws in your state (and possibly your city) regarding ownership of this breed. Don’t risk adopting one of these beautiful cats without checking the laws, as the end result could be confiscation of your pet or even euthanasia.
Stryker, the famous cat known from TikTok and Instagram, is an F1 Savannah cat. This breed is a hybrid created by mixing a serval and a domestic cat. They come in four classifications (F1-F4), with each classification having a different amount of serval genes in them. How much of a Savannah is serval will affect how costly the cat is—felines with more serval genes will be much pricier than those with hardly any—but you should expect to shell out a lot of money for one of these cats.
Before you do that, though, ensure ownership of Savannahs is legal in your state, as these cats aren’t allowed as pets everywhere. If you are allowed to be a Savannah cat parent, then you’ll find yourself with an energetic and loyal large cat that will be your best friend!
Featured Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock