Savannah Cat Photograph

Female Savannah cat. Possibly F2 (second filial)

This is another excellent cat photograph by Helmi Flick. This is a Savannah cat. Judging by her appearance she looks to be a first or second filial cat meaning two generations from the wild but I’m not sure. She certainly looks near the serval in appearance.

This beautiful female Savannah cat was brought to Helmi Flick to be photographed at the TICA annual show held at Santa Clara, California on September 2010. You can tell that this is a large cat. They have long limbs, following in the footsteps of their wild parent the serval who has the longest limbs relative to body size of any wild cat species on the planet. You will see that the spots are dark and inky as opposed to the rosettes, donuts and arrowheads of the Bengal cat.

In the appearance of her ears you can see the serval wild parent. Servals have the largest ears of all the wild cat species because they do a lot of their hunting through detecting the sound of small prey in deep grass.

This cat was on the cover of Cats USA, an annual publication. Helmi says she was a good model to photograph. Some cats are better than others in the photographic studio. They all have a time limit which is about 10 min or so before they start to do as they please which invariably means getting off the studio stand. To get a good photograph of a show cat in a studio the photographer has to work fast and take her chances when they arrive. There is at least one other person involved who positions the cat and there might be a second person (the owner) to assist as well. It is a team effort.

In my experience, the cats don’t mind being photographed. I have never seen a cat looking stressed in the photographic studio but they should be given due respect and they are. When they have had enough they are done and it is time to move onto the next cat.

The cat in the video is a female serval in an enclosure at A1 Savannahs. She was relinquished by her owner, declawed and nervous of my presence.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • I have to stop fooling around. I got a less than a day to finish my final exam website, but I needed a break. What a beautiful beast. That picture demands to be made into a poster! Wow, just so amazingly animated.

  • Michael, it's a treat to see an F1, or F2, from A1, after not hearing anything for so long. That plane flying overhead...are they in a direct military flight zone over the breeding ground for A1 Savannahs just outside of Ponca City? She is a beauty!
    I am certain that Kathrin and Martin said that declawing was not allowed.
    what is going on here? THanks in advance for any info...

    • Regarding that serval cat whose name I recall is, Serena, I actually met the former owner of her who I think was working at A1 Savannah at the time but didn't discuss with her the reasons why she had declawed her serval. I raised the issue very briefly with Kathrin Stucki and she expressed surprise that the cat was declawed but to be honest I think she knew already but had agreed to look after this cat in one of her enclosures. The enclosures are about 40' x 20'. Kathrin, I believe was always concerned about the lack of space but there were larger than the enclosures and cages use by the founder of the breed.

  • Beautiful and well depicted by one of the World's best "Cat Photographers" as well as well explained by Mr Michael.Broad, the human encyclopedia on cats.

    • Thanks Rudolph. A beautiful cat but.....the human companion will need special facilities I believe to ensure her needs are met.

    • I hope she had a home that cared for her and understood her. I don't know where she lives. Probably a nice home with an experienced cat caretaker. Sometimes these cats end up overseas in the Middle East etc. where there is sufficient wealth to provide good facilities and where they are status symbols.

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