Is a Maine Coon, Savannah mix possible? Yes and no.

Is a Maine Coon, Savannah cat mix possible? That’s the question and there are two ways to answer it. The answer depends on whether you comply with the cat associations breed standards or not.

Maine Coon breed standard disallows outcrossing

The reason for that is simple. The Maine Coon breed standard states unequivocally that breeders cannot outcross the Maine Coon cat to another breed. This means that they have to mate Maine Coon with Maine Coon in order to fix the appearance of this wonderful cat.

Maine Coon Savannah cat mix is possible physically and biologically but it's not allowed per cat association rules
Maine Coon Savannah cat mix is possible physically and biologically but it’s not allowed per cat association rules. Image: MikeB
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Fixing the appearance of both breeds

If they didn’t stick to the breed standard the appearance of the Maine Coon would gradually disappear. Although the Maine Coon would become healthier because there would be less inherited diseases due to greater genetic diversity. But that’s another matter. There would be ‘hybrid vigour’ as it is called in the cat fancy.

Maine Coon outcross disallowed by CFA under their breed standard
Maine Coon outcross disallowed by CFA under their breed standard

Savannah cat breed standard disallows outcrossing

The Savannah cat is registered with The International Cat Association (TICA). The breed attained TICA championship status in 2012 and since that time this cat association no longer permits outcrossing the Savannah cat with other cat breeds. In other words, the same rules apply regarding mating the Savannah cat with a different breed as applies to the Maine Coon cat.

And therefore, under the rules of the cat fancy a Maine Coon x Savannah cat mix is not possible.

Informal breeding

That said, if a Savannah cat breeder and a Maine Coon cat breeder wanted to get together and mate a female Savannah cat with a male Maine Coon cat (or vice versa) to create a Maine Coon Savannah cat mix that would be perfectly okay between themselves. They couldn’t do anything with the cat but admire it. They probably couldn’t take the animal to a cat show and show it off because I guess they would be frowned upon.

It would undermine their status within the cat fancy to break the rules like that.

Losing the physical characteristics

The appearance of such a cat would take on the characteristics of both breeds. It’s likely that the Maine Coon cat would lose its wonderfully square, large muzzle and I would expect the tall, lynx-tipped ears to lose some of their characteristic appearance. The same applies to other aspects of the breed. They would all be compromised.

You would end up with a more genetically diverse cat than the purebred Maine Coon but one that did not look like a true specimen and that’s the problem. The same would apply to the Savannah cat. Technically speaking it would be a moggy, a random-bred or mixed breed cat.

Biologically possible

As you can see there are two ways to answer the question. It just depends how concerned you are about sticking to the cat fancy rules. On a purely biological level obviously it is possible because they’re both domestic cats. Note: Female Savannah cats are fertile from F1 downwards while F1-F4 are sterile.

Practical issues

Sometimes there is a practical problem with crossing two different breeds or species. For example, when a breeder creates a first filial (F1) Savannah cat they mate a male serval whose been thoroughly socialised with a female tabby cat usually a Savannah cat.

Servals do not take to all females; especially domestic cats. They are very unlikely to choose a small cat as a partner; they do not always mate even with another serval.

F1 Savannahs

The serval is a much larger cat than the Savannah cat and therefore there is a practical problem in the mating process. The same would apply if a male Savannah cat tried to mate with a female serval. Does it ever happen. The process of mating a medium-sized wild cat (the serval) with a domestic is fraught.

Biologically and genetically it’s workable because we know that the serval can mate with a domestic cat to produce offspring.

F2s

The resultant cat is a first filial Savannah cat which is sterile. Breeders wishing to create an F2 Savannah cat mate an F5 male with an F1 female.

RELATED: Lykoi Maine Coon mix called a Lycoon

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