HomeCat BreedsBengal catWhat is the difference between the Bengal cat and the Savannah cat?


What is the difference between the Bengal cat and the Savannah cat? — 29 Comments

  1. I purchased my cat from a breeder and was told he is a pixie bob with out the bob tail. I saw both mum and dad when I picked him up. When I took him to he vets they feel he looks like a Bengal. He has very long legs and large paws which are black on the bottom. His ears are also very large and pointy with lots of hair inside and tufts of hair to the top.

    • Hi Kayleigh. Thanks for posting. A pixie-bob without a bobbed tail is not really a pixie bob so it is a strange thing for a breeder to say. Your cat is a gorgeous spotted/mackerel tabby cat. Both the pixie bob and Bengal are tabby cats. Whether he is purebred is another matter. You’ll need a documented pedigree to prove that. In the meantime he is a random bred tabby cat. He does have a nice wild appearance and is very handsome. I hope you stay happy together for the rest of his life.

    • Yes, his face is more Savannah than Bengal but the coat looks Bengal to me. The picture with your Sphynx shows me a Bengal cat because of the coat. However, I am not a breeder. You know that 🙂

    • Hi Aynne. Thanks for commenting and showing me your cats. Below I have published a slightly lighter version of your photo. I wanted to take a good look at the spots. These spots are donuts (doughnuts). They are not solid. They are the spots of a Bengal cat. My immediate thought was that Jaxx is a Bengal. But what the breeder should be able to provide to you is a pedigree. Why has she not done that? That would prove her breed. Was she a Savannah cat breeder?

    • Here is the section of the breed standard for Savannahs:

      “The spotted Savannah pattern is made up of bold, solid dark-brown to black spots, which can be round, oval, or elongated…..”

  2. Hi Michael, I was told Buy a breeder that this wonderful kitten is a Savannah F2 and I traded one of my lovely Sphynxes for him. Was I deceived? I’ve never had a Bengal or savanna cat. He’s slim and long, 11 Weeks old. After reading your posts And observations, I would trust your conclusion. Thank you

  3. Hi, I am debating on adopting Savannah or Bengal cat and my main question will be about kids. I have 2 toddlers and would like to know which breed are generally better interacting with small kids?

    • Thank you for commenting. Both of the breeds that you mention are not unsuitable for kids. However, there are cat breeds which in my opinion are more suitable. It could be argued that the wild cat hybrids are less suitable for interacting with children than domestic cats with no wild cat in them. The wild cat hybrids can be more aggressive than non-wildcat hybrids but it depends upon the breeding and socialisation and so on. You just have to make sure that the cat is very well socialised and domesticated.

      Of the two you mention I don’t think there’s much between them because they are both wild cat hybrids with similar levels of intelligence and activity. The Savannah cat is a bit rarer and more expensive but I would select the Savannah cat. This is because the wild cat ancestor of the Savannah cat is the serval.

      The serval is a wildcat which can itself be somewhat domesticated and often is whereas the wild cat ancestor of the Bengal cat is the Asian Leopard Cat. This cat is very independent and fractious and impossible to domesticate. Therefore I would suspect that the Savannah cat is likely to be more inherently pliable and friendly than the Bengal cat.

      The Pixie-bob is the cat breed I selected as the best for kids. This is also a rare cat breed. There is no wild blood in this breed. Click on the link to read about this cat breed:


  4. Thanks for your thoughts. She was found in a box in a dumpster with other kittens that appear to be from a different litter and older. She is taking a bottle well. Cannot wait to see what she looks like as she grows.

    • Hello, thanks for commenting and uploading your photograph. I think it is always extremely difficult and perhaps foolhardy to try and decide what breed a cat is or whether that cat is a breed of cat or a random bred cat, from a photograph. It may be harder still when the photograph is of a kitten.

      However, when I saw the photograph my first thought was that this kitten has some wild blood in him. So my first thought was that this kitten is a wildcat hybrid. And the spots on his belly are absolutely fantastic. Therefore, I lean towards the fact that this cat is a purebred cat. And I also lean towards the fact that this cat is a Savannah type cat. I’m not sure that he is purebred, perhaps a purebred mix. I just don’t know. How can we guess? But the spots in the belly are fantastic and I said. And the face, to me points towards Savannah. What do you think?

  5. My cat is a cross between Bengal and Pixe Bob, she is snow white. Lady has no markings of any kind. She is the first generation of this breed, her papers show this. Do you have any idea as to what her personality might be like. She is 3 years old and I have had her 6 months.

    • Hi Linda. I have always argued that cat personality is more about the individual cat’s personality rather the personality bred into the cat i.e. the personality of the breed. However, Bengals are normally pretty active and have strong personalities or they are curious, alert and confident. Pixie bobs are meant to be quiet, intelligent and dog like. Your cat should be a melange of those traits! Your cat looks quiet and calm to me, more Pixiebob than Bengal.

    • Although they are similar they do look different. For example the Bengal is less slim and they have rosettes. The face of the Bengal is more rounded. The best thing is too look at pictures of F5 Savannahs and F5 Bengals (the standard Bengal) and note the differences.

      There should also be a pedigree. So if you are buying you can see the family history.

    • Bengal cat. For me this cat cannot be a Savannah. Savannahs are more slender and have an overall different appearance although the breeding quality affects the differences.

  6. I have a Bengal mix that I got for free, from a neighbor, he came as a stray to my neighbor ‘s mom. He is agile, weighs 20.5 lbs. He did a jumping jack and caught and released a bird in mid air. He can jump onto a tree standing still and then jump 3-5 feet into the air. He opens refrigerator doors, opens doors, tips wastebaskets and cups over just for fun. He is not a lap cat and hates to be in the house. We let him out all day and he visits the neighborhood. He is also not a lap cat and is not afraid of dogs, dogs are afraid of him. He is very different than a house cat.

    • He sounds very much like a wild cat hybrid. Wow. He may have more wild cat in him than you think. Thanks for telling us about him.

    • My female cat sounds very similar to him and for her size can jump an astonishing distance. I got her for $50 and am actually unsure of her breed but have been trying to do some research. Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

      • Hi Spazz. Thanks for sharing on this site. Don’t take this badly please, but in my opinion your beautiful female cat is a random bred, classic (blotched) brown tabby cat and not a member of a cat breed. Best of luck for 2017 to you both. Her coat is fabulous.

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