Categories: Savannah Cat

The great dilemma with Savannah cats

The great dilemma, as I have described, with respect to Savannah cats is that the higher filial variants of this breed need to get out of the house and explore the countryside or whatever else is out there. They are intelligent and active. They tend to escape the confines of their home and if they can’t they’ll be unhappy. The most high profile and incredibly sad story of an F1 Savannah cat escape concerns a cat correctly named “Trouble” who was the world’s largest domestic cat.

Savannah cat outside in the countryside. Not something you want to see but the cat wants it until the problems start. Photo (see embedded caption).

The trouble is they have to be confined to a home because they are too glamorous, too big and too noticeable to be wandering around the neighbourhood. So you have this hugely difficult situation which is that you have to keep the cat inside for his or her safety while at the same time there is pressure from the cat to let her outside which is impossible, impractical and should never happen.

How many people have a home which is anywhere near suitable in which to confine an F1 or F2 Savannah cat? Well, a lot of people think they have that home but they don’t. They are attracted to the glamour of this cat but then realise that the practicalities of looking after him is a real issue.

Latest F1 Savannah cat escape

I’m prompted to write this short note because, yet again, a high filial Savannah cat has escaped their home and is wandering around a suburb of Cambridge, UK. The Savannah cat is described as a large wildcat (the usual press hype) who was spotted wandering around Coldham’s Common, Cambridge. The common is quite a large area but there is an airport nearby and some roads. The city centre is not that far away. In short, this beautiful cat is liable to be killed on the roads. That’s my overriding fear. They are legal in the UK provided you have a license from the local authority.

In some parts of the world this sort of cat wandering around outside would be shot because there would be fear that it was a genuine wild cat and therefore dangerous to residents. Anything large and feline spells danger in the eyes of most residents.

The Daily Mail online newspaper starts off their article with the words, “A large wildcat has been caught on camera casually roaming around a park in central Cambridge”. See what I mean? They paint the picture of a dangerous animal on the loose which is not a good start for the cat. It spells danger and the outcome is uncertain.

The cat was spotted at around 4 PM when a guy called Dan saw her/him. He says that she was the size of the medium-sized dog. That tells me that this is an F1 or F2 Savannah cat. There was no collar and the cat did not panic, he said. Why no collar? It would have helped as it would be a clear signal that she was a domestic cat.

Dan researched the mythical “Fen Tiger”. So right away he’s thinking about a wild cat species of some sort; a mysterious animal. We don’t know what will happen next. I hope that the owner will come forward as quickly as possible and reclaim her cat. However, she will have to face the ongoing problem which I have described above in the first paragraph.

Associated: Escaped high filial Savannah cat terrifies London’s leafy Hampstead


I would argue, perhaps controversially, that the F1 and F2 Savannah cats are unsuited as companion animals for practical reasons. The only people able to provide a safe and suitable environment for this cat is someone rich enough to have many acres of land attached to their home surrounded by a high fence. This would allow the cat plenty of space in which to explore safely. There is no other practical solution to providing this cat with a good environment while also giving peace of mind to their owner.


It is ironic that there had been numerous escapes of pet servals from their homes in America. The serval is the father of the F1 Savannah. You can see the connection in behaviour and the desire to get out. In the wild, servals have a home range (the place they call their territory) which is between about twenty square kilometres and thirty square kilometres. They can travel about four kilometres per night. That is what is inside them in terms of their natural drives and character. This is handed down to the F1 Savannah cat. How do you expect to keep them confined to a home?

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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