Ashera Savannah Debate

I am going to make a comment on the Ashera Savannah debate , a dangerous thing to do but I can’t resist and it is relevant to this cat breed. There is a Blogger site on the subject that the Ashera is a Savannah. Fine. I am taking a neutral stance. But I can’t see the point of a website built around such a narrow topic. You can say all you want to say on Twitter on the subject or if you want to be verbose, as I am, a page will suffice. Well, not quite.

All of us involved with cats know that the Ashera looks like a Savannah. We should remember that there are two types of Ashera, one is called the Ashera GD and the other Ashera. The former is claimed to be hypoallergenic. You can read about it here: Allerca Cats. “GD” stands for “genetic divergences” in LifeStyle Pets language. LifeStyle Pets say that the Ashera is “blend …of the bloodlines of the African Serval and Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) subsequently bred with a domestic cat”. This might mean a Serval/Bengal cross.

The Savannah is a domestic cat/Serval hybrid so on the written word they might be different on the breeding and the Ashera GD is different again on the fact that it is claimed to be hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic means that people will not be allergic to this cat. Some people are allergic to the allergen (a protein) Fel D 1 in the saliva. LifeStyle Pets claim to have created a cat that I presume does not have this allergen or it is a modified version of the allergen. It is fair to say that some cats are more prone to produce this allergen or a stronger version of it. I have personal experience of that. I am not allergic to cats but I am very allergic to a stray cat I feed.

OK on paper the Ashera is different to the Savannah. Lets look at things differently. The website mentioned above says the Ashera is a Savannah. But as the Ashera (not the GD version) is neither registered with a cat association nor has a pedigree with a cat association is it fair to say that LifeStyle pets can call the cat whatever name they like? (but see below). Is an unregistered Savannah a Savannah? That is the question. I don’t think it is. For a purebred cat to be purebred and receive the name of the breed it is meant to be, there has to be paperwork to evidence that.

Then we have the Ashera GD. I have seen nothing on the internet that says that this cat is not hypoallergenic. And if it is hypoallergenic it is different to the Savannah and can therefore be named differently. So on both counts it could be argued that the naming of the Ashera is not a deception as claimed. But see below.

Now a bit of news. More Ashera Savannah debate. The Ashera cats that were detained at Schipol airport in the Netherlands have apparently been DNA tested and found to be Savannah cats.

I have received official word today that it has been confirmed all three Savannah kittens confiscated in the Netherlands are from my cattery!!! The court is still proceeding and the decision has not yet been made as to where the kittens will go. I have requested their return but it’s up to the judge. However, their forensic labs have all confirmed they are from parent cats owned by me, Christopher Shirk of Cutting Edge Cats. They are Savannahs produced by my cats, not Ashera cats from Simon Brodie’s scamming Life Style Pets business. I guess Simon Brodie, if you’re reading this, you’ll do what you do best….disappear. …But you will face the consequences of what you did to my kittens. CHRIS”

by Chris Shirk of Cutting Edge Savannahs.

Well, if that is correct, it is a scam because proper pedigree Savannah cats are being passed off as Ashera cats. But I would like to see the actual DNA test documents and match them to the cats of Cutting Edge Savannahs to be absolutely sure. And this is not being disrespectful of Mr Shirk. I just need to confirm that this is what happened. Is that the end of the Ashera Savannah debate? I’d like to know what Cutting edge Savannahs did about it. Is there anything in his contract of sale to prevent his cats being passed off as another cat? Bearing in mind the nature of the ongoing Ashera Savannah debate I would have thought that Savannah cat breeders would have a term in the contract that dealt with this possibility.

Conclusion: The Ashera Savannah debate continues……

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Comments for
Ashera Savannah Debate

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May 19, 2011 Micro-chips the answer?
by: Marjorie Wren

Sadly that would not solve the problem, anyone can micro-chip a cat and claim it is anything.

The best thing a buyer can do is research, research the breeder, research TICA.Org the organization that registers Savannahs and other hybrid breeds like the Chausie and Bengal. The breeder should be listed as a member.

Ask the seller if the kitten is or will be TICA registered and if they cannot say yes, run the other way.

Google Savannah Breeders, if the price for a kitten is very high or very low, keep on looking. An F1 Savannah male should not exceed $8 to 9K. Ask for email verifiable references so you can email and question their customers about health, beauty and personality of the kitten they bought.

There are Savannahs of varying generations and finding one to fit any budget is not difficult. Remember the closer to the Serval (or the higher the percentage of Serval blood), the more they will cost.

Beware of wild claims, these cats shed, so if allergic to other cats chances are you will be allergic to Savannahs as well. That was a big Ashera selling point.

Check several random breeders for price, warranties and references, you’ll soon discover who’s real.

May 18, 2011 chip
by: frank

Why not form an asociation of breeders and require a chip be implanted in the savannah cats. This would help protect the breeders livleyhood and the consoumers from fraud.

Aug 20, 2009 Ashera Cat Debate
by: Marjorie

First and foremost let us establish the fact that any cat that has a Serval as a parent is a Savannah. Doesn’t matter what breed the mother cat or queen is. There are breeds considered permissible for use in the TICA standards for the Savannah but using a non-permissible cat does not change the fact that the litter are Savannah kittens.

Simon Brodie is a know conman, a very good one in fact that has moved from state to state when the heat gets too hot to handle in his various business endeavors. Sadly his interest in Savannahs now involves a living breathing animals, not just a business.

He makes wild claims about genetically engineered cats while using many agents and guises to purchase Savannahs from established breeders. He even involves money hungry breeders to buy the cats if they cannot provide what he wants, that’s how the cats ended up in Holland.

Ashera cats are by TICA standards poorly bred Savannahs because of the breeds involved being non-standard. But bottom line, they are purely Savannahs.

Jun 11, 2009 A Savannah is a Savannah IF Serval is in the blood
by: Deborah-Ann Milette

I have spoken with several people and was very much aware of the Holland incident and knew that the cats in question were Savannahs. There are Savannahs out there with Bengal blood in them BUT as long as there is Serval in the genes, they are called “Savannahs.”
We all knew “LifestylePets” were buying F-1 or (bigger) F-2 Savannahs and saying he had something different. Breeders, owners, such as myself, have always stated and said that these are Savannahs.
I personally met Chris in PA at a show with the brother of the Savannahs in Holland and we talked about it and one thing is for sure and a noted fact, that when we raise these cats we know their spots and Chris knew “something was wrong in Denmark,” so to speak! I called on a regular basis because I really wanted to see Lifestyle Pets destroyed once and for all with their lies and Chris did that. His cats were personally escorted to the vet by Federal Game & Wildlife officials and DNA was taken from father (serval and one angry one), mother and brother and the Fed Game and Wildlife delivered to Holland.
What has happened to the cats, I have not checked in a while, but I am sure being caged all that tine for a Savannah has done damage to the socialization of the animal.

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

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