I Think I Have a Savannah Cat

by Abby

Savannah cat?

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Savannah cat?

I think I have a Savannah cat… He is only 5 months old but has exhibited odd behaviors and is large for his age. He is very wild like, loves water, and has hissed before. His meow is also odd. He looks just like one but I guess I just can’t believe that I got him from a pet store in Georgia for free!

Hi Abby: Thanks for sharing. He could well be a Savannah or a mixed Savannah/moggie. He’s almost certainly a tabby random bred cat (a moggy).

However, sometimes people give up the wildcat hybrids because of perceived behavioral problems. Another lady picked up a stray cat that has all the appearance of being a Sokoke a rare purebred cat. Or the cat she found and now cares for might be a Bengal or Savannah mix (this is her submission). It is not, it seems that rare for this too happen. There is also such a thing as purebred rescue as I am sure you know….Michael (P.S. I changed the title so Google might find this page better. Hope you don’t mind).

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I Think I Have a Savannah Cat

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Dec 27, 2010 i cant tell if my cat is a savannah cat or bengal
by: Anonymous

hello i just got this cat for free he thinks a bengal but im not sure so here is some pictures and she does kind have that wild side you can tell she is not your typically cat but she is very loving and jumps into your knees and a very loud meow and hisses alot for no reason… i hope you can tell me what i have

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168 thoughts on “I Think I Have a Savannah Cat”

    1. Hi Savi. She is a “ticked tabby” like the Abyssinian cat. This is when the dark markings are much reduced and the coat has a salt and pepper appearance from the tabby hair strands.

  1. What kind of kitten is this? I know her mother is tabby but mixed with something else. Help plz. She is entergetic. She is tan on stomach with spots. Tip tail and bottom feet black

    1. Elizabeth, I would love to see your tabby cat but it seems that your photograph failed to upload. Could you please try again? If not you can contact me by email by clicking on the link in the right-hand column of the website about halfway down. You can then attach a picture to your email. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. Hi!

    We recently were given an 8 week old kitten – the woman giving him to us claimed that he was a Savannah cat bred in Texas and that she had him shipped to Washington. She decided that she couldn’t take care of him so we adopted him. When we met him, we did not think he looked like a Savannah cat (he has more tabby markings – some spots but mostly stripes). I wanted to check and see what you think! He is very active and playful and doesn’t mind getting wet.

  3. I have the same type of cat I am really sorry that you cat is not savanna but he is a pi i on cat a mix between a bob cat and house cat

  4. Hi! 🙂

    I´m sorry I´ll just jump on the train here and ask about my cats, I think there could be some Savannah in them.
    They´re both 7 months old, siblings and we got them from a shelter.
    The people there told us the cats are “european short hairs” but they aren´t sure about them either because of their size.
    Luna and Thorin are really energetic (could also be due their age :D), bigger than a normal cat in their age, can jump rather high, really like to destroy stuff and love it to use their voice 😉
    They also have these kind of ears: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savannah_cat#/media/File:Savannah_Cat_closeup.jpg

    I´d love to hear your thoughts on them:)

    Here are some pics ^^

    1. Hi Sesil, Thank you for showing us your cats! They are beautiful of course. The top picture shows a beautiful spotted tabby cat. The background is grey/brown. He is slender. He’s like my cat actually.

      In my opinion, their size does not have any relevance on assessing whether they are purebred or purebred mix. Some random bred cats are very large. In fact I think we see more large random bred cats than we do purebred cats. Yes, the Savannah cat is very large provided they are first or second filial cats. But these are very rare cats.

      The other two cats are also domestic short hair random bred cats. In my opinion, they are neither European nor American. There are simply what is called domestic shorthaired cats. They are not a member of a cat breed as far as I can tell.

      That does not mean they are any less valuable from an emotional standpoint than any other cat including purebred cats. I hope this helps. And thanks once again for commenting.

  5. Interesting thread. I see I’m not the only one to wonder if a bit of Savannah is in my kitty’s background. I adopted Abby from a rescue society – all I know is she was found outside, so no papers. Like others, I note a high level of energy, an amazing ability to jump, etc. I have looked at photos of Savannahs, Egyptian Maus and ocicats and can “see” her in all of them, aside from her lack of spots (although she has some broken spotting on her tummy). I think it is likely that somewhere in her background, several generations back, one of these breeds is a factor. Of course, it doesn’t matter if she has any of them, I still love her (and she still drives me crazy).

    1. Hi, it is certainly possible, as you say, that there is some Savannah cat blood in your Abby. Thanks for commenting and uploading your photograph. Abby is a gorgeous looking cat.

      1. Yes, she is a lovely girl, fearless, friendly and very good natured. She is also super energetic and a little destructive as a result (that’s the driving me crazy part). I was demonstrating her jumping ability to someone yesterday and was told it reminded her of video from the San Diego Wild Animal Park of a serval jumping. I’ve looked at the video and she’s right. The sort of half back flip that the cat in the video does is exactly how Abby goes after her bird wand toy. That’s what made me do a little internet searching, which is how I found this site.

  6. My cat was dropped off at my vets office with the only information as Savannah, which the vets said was her name she has really unique coloring and everyone tells me they think she’s got something exotic in her. I know you can’t tell by just a picture but I was wondering about your opinions on what breed she is? I think she might be a Savannah mix

    1. Hi Tori, I have lightened your photo. Thanks for visiting and asking.

      She is a very nice looking classic tabby cat with swirls. Some people call them marbled tabby cats or a blotched tabby.

      Other types of tabby coat are mackerel (stripes) and spotted tabby.

      Thanks again. Take care.

  7. Hi,

    Any thoughts on my cat? His ears are quite large 🙂
    He’s also a chirper…when he does decide to speak…and a fan of playing in the shower, going on walks, & destroying everything if he doesn’t have enough playtime.
    He’s 4.5mo old and almost 8lbs.

    1. Hi Tayler. His character as you suggest is Savannah and his appearance is spotted tabby and white Oriental SH almost. He has that Oriental SH look but the Savannah is quite rangy too. The only sure way you’ll now what he is, is to know his pedigree. He is probably a random bred cat with an interesting appearance which resembles the Savannah or tabby Oriental SH – or he is a purebred mix. You can’t tell just from photos. Thanks for visiting and showing us. He is an impressive cat.

  8. Here is one more pic. It’s very hard for me to capture her true coat colour because the lighting is terrible in my apartment but she has a real cream colour in her coat 🙂

  9. Is there really such thing as Savannah mixes? We rescued a cat recently from a shelter and she is like no cat I’ve ever had. Her markings and face shape are beautiful. She acts like a wild cat. We thought she may be a Bengal mix but she really resembles a Savannah. I have also had someone say she looks like a pixie bob mix which I have never heard of. I would love to know your thoughts

    1. Hi Liz. Excellent photos by the way. There is such a thing as Savannah mixes but we don’t know how many or where they are. The trouble with cat breed mixes is the outcome is uncertain so the cat will retain some physical characteristics of the breed but we don’t the outcome. Your cat could be a Savannah mix perhaps even a Bengal mix but no one will know unless a person witnessed the mating and history.

      Sometimes random bred cats are born with what I call special physical characteristics just like people. Some people are very attractive but that does make them a certain sort of person. They are just better looking. Your cat is like that. She has a superb tabby coat – spotted/stripped. I’d call it a mackerel tabby but no doubt someone will say otherwise.

      She is just a superb example of the mackerel tabby cat coat. That is my bet: a random bred mackerel tabby but a very special one nonetheless. Thanks for visiting and showing us your cat.

  10. She has a personality comparable to a dog , loves water , jumping , playing and wrestling with dogs .. She has so much life to her , have never had a cat like this ! She is such a joy …

    1. The reason why these photos have not been uploaded is because they are too large. You can reduce the size and try again if you wish. The instructions are below the comment box (see the link).

  11. Hello, I am curious on opinions of my kittens breed ? So you think there is savannah in her genes ? A breeder of Savannah’s said she is for sure a f1 or f2.

    1. Hi Jessica. She has the appearance of a Savannah cat certainly. The long serval-like face is typical Savannah. The ideal Savannah though has a spotted coat and a shortish tail. She seems to have a mackerel tabby coat.

      F1 and F2 Savannahs are rare cats and they can be big at over 20 lbs. How big is your ca? Also behavior is important. F1s are half wild cat (serval) so they behave differently (more active and demanding etc. and they have different vocalizations).

      If she is a Savannah I would have thought F4-5 if she is a standard sized cat (10+ pounds). I think you’d know for sure if she was an F1-2 Savannah because the coat should be more spotted and anyway there are very few around.

      I hope this helps a bit. It is not really possible to say anything with certainty based in appearance alone unless the appearance is outstandingly different. You can see a female F1 – F2 Savannah cat on this page:


      And you can see the difference. The F1s are more like servals – dark inky spots and a more serval-like background usually.

  12. We found this cat out in the wild she is beautiful and we’ve never seen anything like her. we rescued her, so she is very loving and appreciative. She has the long pointy hair from her ears like a lynx she is grey in color with black stripes she has a thin tail short to medium hair very exotic looking help identify her please

    1. Hi Jody. You may well have a wild cat hybrid. Perhaps an escaped cat. They are often very domesticated. The fact that you describe her as “exotic” points to that. The short tail indicates a Savannah cat as they are serval hybrids and the serval has a short tail. Savannahs though should have spots not stripes as the serval has inky spots.

      Can you upload a photo using the button below this comment? I’d love to see a photo. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Angela__Just.get the cat dna tested then. It seems that no matter what people are saying to you you refuse to listen. I also have a tabby,YES TABBY , who has a long tail, jumps over 5 feet, and weighed in at 6 lbs at 7wks old. He makes chirping noises all.day, loves water, and has the same color and spots. At this point Angela, your cat is whatever you want it to be. Why does it matter? Just love him/or her and move on!!!

  14. I understand you must call her a tabby due to the lack of papers, however, she is NO tabby cat. She is simply too big now. Even the local vet noted her size as being unusual. And her ears are simply not right with the Main coon. We thought she might have been one of them at first too, but it was ruled out quickly. When laying down, her tail can completely wrap around her WITHOUT her curling her body. I would say that it is nearly longer than her body, at least a little over half her body length. WAY too long for a Main Coon. When I looked up the Ebony silver Ocicat, I was shocked to find NO difference in them and the way she looks now that she’s a bit older. I know that Ocicats may be rare, but you must first understand where I live. I live thirty minutes away from town and have a secretive neighbor that has a wide variety of pets(Even I don’t know what all pets she has). She is eccentric, so I wouldn’t put it past her to have one. I understand that there is no way to receive papers and whatnot, but constantly telling me what she is clearly not doesn’t help either. I KNOW that she must be called that simply due to the lack of papers, but it is for that reason alone. I have owned Tabby cats before, and so have my parents. These are NOT tabby kittens. Maybe for the name sake alone, but that is not what they really are. I know what they are clearly NOT: Tabby, Main Coon, Savannah Cat, etc.

  15. With that face and those paws, and a long tail, she may well have a dash of Maine Coon somewhere in her family tree 🙂 That doesn’t make her a “Maine Coon” breed cat but she could grow up into a “Maine Coon lookalike”. In any case, Maine Coons were developed from rugged non-pedigree longhair cats.

  16. I found this little guy abandoned in a trailer my father bought off the neighbor. We originally thought that they may be a Savannah cat due to the similarities of behavior and largeness for their size. I thought she was a little boy until the recent trip to the vet. I have done excessive research of various cat breeds to find out what she might be. I recently remembered a breed of cat that I had yet to do research on: the Ocicat. I became introduced to the breed when I noticed that both of the kittens I found had freakishly long tails. Their tails are over half their body length, dragging the ground when they walk. Could they very well be an Ocicat? The above picture was taken when she was a month old.

    1. Angela, Ocicats are extremely rare. Nearly all domestic cats in the USA are freeborn or random bred cats (“mixed breed” if you like).

      She is a pretty grey tabby cat, with medium long hair. To be a cat that is part of a cat breed the cat has to have a pedigree – a documented family history of four generations to prove the cat is “purebred” and registered with a cat association.

      That is the situation in the West (N. America and Europe).

      She is a beautiful tabby cat. Thanks for visiting and showing her to us.

    1. His sister seems to be tricolor (calico) – see the orange fur behind the ear. Add white and grey. His sister has random bred cat written all over her. My personal bet is that he is a nice example of a spotted tabby moggie.

      1. I would agree, however, they are simply much too large. Everyone I’ve talked to that raises cats and has kittens the same age as them have noted three things off about them: 1. They are much, much larger than kittens of their age, 2. Their ears are far larger than kittens of their age, and 3. Their jumping ability is MILES ahead of kittens their age. I just don’t know. I only know that they are simply not normal kittens. I can’t keep them off my high counters anymore(A good 4-5ft high). They jump up in one bound and I end up having to chase them off, only for them to come right back again. They have exhibited extreme intelligence as well.

  17. I think I may have a Savannah cat kitten. We found him in a trailer my dad bought off the neighbor, but she claimed not to own any cats, so I adopted the little guy. He was jumping a height of 3ft when he was just 6 weeks old. Now he is three months old, and he can jump even higher than that. He makes very odd chirping sounds, and has a very deep loud purr. I would appreciate any input. I would just really like to know if he really is what I think he is.

    1. Hi Angela, you are not going to know for sure the “pedigree” of your cat. I am referring to the family tree. It is most likely that he is a spotted tabby random breed cat (moggie) but like I say, who knows for sure. A certificate saying that your cat is purebred would confirm what he is or registration at TICA.

      Without this evidence you have to say he is spotted tabby domestic shorthaired cat. He is a handsome cat. The sounds that cats make vary a lot amongst random bred cats and is not evidence alone that a cat is a purebred pedigree cat.

      That said, it is possible there may be some Savannah cat genes in him.

      Thanks for visiting and showing us your cat and well done in rescuing him.

      1. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. I am just deeply curious, because of his odd behaviors and sounds(Not to mention his size for his age). Like my parents said when he jumped up on the high counters yesterday(four feet high), that’s just not normal. I have noticed, as he gets olde, he seems to be getting more and more spots.

        1. that’s just not normal

          That bit of what you state indicates some wild blood in him. Good cat owners know what in normal domestic cat behavior. If something stands out it is noticeable.

          He could well have some wild cat in him for any number of reasons. He could be fourth generation Savannah on an informal basis (no record).

          His spots are very clean, which is unusual for a spotted tabby moggie.

          1. I really appreciate all the information you’ve given me. I am just at my wits end with him really. He is VERY energetic(Climbing on top of counters, getting in the sink and bathtub to play in the water, and he has virtually destroyed every plant inside my home by leaping into them). That said, I do love him dearly. He is very affectionate, and chirps and purrs a lot. I have noticed that he seems to be getting more vocal as well as he gets older. I’m really thinking about maybe having a DNA test done on him. He is only three months old and already feels like he weighs(at least) 6 or 8 pounds. Is this even normal? I had a tomcat that was a good 3 years old and he was only about 9 pounds or so. I have researched several breeds that he may possibly be, and the only two breeds that I came up with are the Savannah and the Maine Coon. However, his mannerisms do not fit the Maine Coon personality. Unfortunately, there would be no way for me to get any documentation on him, due to the way in which I found him. I’m beginning to wonder if I may have a Savannah cat moggie breeder nearby.

              1. Hahaha! That’s kinda what I thought when my father brought him to me. I had to bottle feed him. The vet determined that he was only 2 weeks old when I got him.

            1. There’s no way a vet looked at those cats and decided they were maine coons. Your cats are just regular ass American domestic short hairs. If you want advice, then don’t try to argue with everybody who doesn’t tell you what you’re hoping to hear. Sorry to say, but you have normal house cats, not special or rare or even especially sought after ones. They’re not all the same, mind you, so good job finding a big one I guess. I hate to be so harsh but damn, don’t ask others for help if you’re just gonna shoot down everything they have to say because you didn’t get the attention you wanted.

    2. The spots and conformation are not right for any current generation of Savannah (legs too short, head and ears wrong shape, conformation generally too thickset). It is also too fluffy to be a Savannah. However, the alighnment and style of spots are consistent with later generations of Bengal or . The fluffiness suggests possibly a Bengal outcross or a longhaired Bengal (these are bred as the Cashmere). It might have come from a legit breeding program, but sadly there are BYBs crossing Bengals to domestics so they can sell Bengal knock-offs.

      There are not many abandoned Savannahs at present as the breed is relatively uncommon, but there are plenty of Bengals and Bengal crosses ending up abandoned because these were a victim of their own huge popularity in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

      1. I thought that he might be a Bengal when I first got him, but now I know that he is no Bengal. He is much too large, for one. The angle of the camera really doesn’t do his size justice. Both he and his sister have very long legs(especially their front legs). His personality, according to all the Bengal profiles I have read, does not match at all. He is not tame enough to be a later generation Bengal. I am, however, wondering if it is possible that he is a Bengal/Savannah cross. This is another picture I got of him. The lighting isn’t the best, but it does provide a good view of his facial structure. I have actually found pictures of several later generations of savannah that look just like him(Specifically the F3).

        1. Tameness is related to socialisation, not just to hybrid origin. I’ve come across pedigreed Persians that were effectively feral due to poor socialisation when young.

          His conformation, facial shape and set of ears still aren’t consistent with Savannah. To have that fluffy hair, both parents would need to carry longhair as a recessive gene, which counts against a Savannah as a parent. Also the white spotting of his sister could not come from either a Bengal or a Savannah. I think plenty of people would like their cats to be something exotic.

          Both pretty cats, but definitely not Savannahs or Savannah mixes.

          1. Well, I appreciate the information, but with all due respect, you do not live with them. There is NO way they are simply normal tabby cats(If that’s what you’re trying to tell me). Their mannerisms and abilities are far beyond any domestic cat I’ve ever seen, or even heard, of. Not only that, but he actually caught a mouse(and killed it) when he was only five weeks old(Which everyone told me was impossible). There is a lot about cats that I don’t know, however, no one can convince me that these two demons with fur are simply normal, run of the mill, tabby cats. I know I owned a tabby cat, and he was absolutely nothing compared to them. There is absolutely SOMETHING wild in them. As a matter of fact, when we first got them, their feet were so abnormally large that we wondered if they were actually part bobcat. Naturally that was ruled out due to their tails.

            1. You are right. You can watch their character etc so can make a better assessment. I just do it from the picture really. They could easily be wild cat hybrids of some sort. I totally get that point. It can be noticeable in the cat’s character moreso than in the appearance if the cat is not to “type” (meaning inline with the breed standard).

              One point I was not clear on is that any cat that is not registered as a purebred pedigree cat has to be called a “moggie” or random bred cat. That applies to cats in the West. That is one reason why I refer to random bred cat.

              The thing is that if we don’t know the fallback position has to be random bred cat because 99% of cats (or thereabouts) are random bred.

            2. No-one is disputing that there may be something wild in them, but from the looks and the colour/fur length genetics, the wild genes are likely to be from a Bengal rather than a Savannah.

              They couldn’t be part bobcat anyway because bobcats and domestic cats do not hybridize successfully. DNA analysis of alleged hybrids with bobcats have found no bobcat markers. Thus far, although people have gotten bobcats and domestics to mate with each other, no-one has been able to produce an authenticated bobcat hybrid.

              1. Hi Sarah, I’d still like to “interview you” in the way you suggested – by email in asking some questions, which you answer and I’ll make it into an article. What do you say? 🙂 Noting heavy just fun stuff.

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