Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is a Savannah?

A Savannah cat is a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat. Often called a Serval hybrid, this breed offers individuals a larger and taller cat that looks like a Serval in body type and coat pattern, but has a domestic temperament.

2. Where did the Savannah come from and how long has it been around?

Bengal breeder Judee Frank crossbred a male Serval, belonging to Suzi Woods, with a Siamese (domestic cat) to produce the first Savannah cat (named Savannah) on April 7, 1986. Very few breeders have successfully crossed the Serval to a domestic cat which makes the Savannah breed so rare.

3. What makes a Savannah the most desired feline?

Treasured by royalty, regal and elegant, the Savannah cat is the largest hybrid feline available. These highly intelligent cats are more manageable than their ancestor, the Serval, and have loving, charming personalities. Savannahs are breathtakingly gorgeous, with beautiful spotted and striped coats and colors ranging from silver to amber. They have distinctive "tear drop" markings around their eyes and large round ears. The Savannah is a very graceful, uniquely built cat, with a lovely long neck, long legs and ears, and a three-quarter length tail.
The Savannah breed, still in the early stages of development, provides a smaller, more manageable version of the beautiful, exotic Serval Cat for people to live with and enjoy appropriately in their own homes. They don’t require special diets or enclosures. They are wonderful with children, other pets and tend to form extremely strong bonds with their owners.

4. When will my Savannah kitten be ready to come home?

Ultimate Xotics kittens typically are shipped between 10-12 weeks of age. All kittens develop at different rates and we will evaluate each one to make sure he or she is ready to go to their new home at the appropriate time.

5. Do Savannahs use a litter box?

Yes, absolutely. All Ultimate Xotics kittens are litter box trained prior to leaving for their new homes. Male, pet kittens, even early generation sterile male kittens, should be neutered to prevent spraying.

6. What kind of personality does a Savannah have?

Many Savannah cat owners have likened their personalities to that of a dog. They are extremely intelligent and highly energetic. They are not like the typical lazy house cat. Savannahs will follow you around the house, play fetch with you, possibly attempt to take a shower with you, and come when they are called. These cats are quite entertaining to watch. Savannahs love to “talk “ to their owners.

7. Why do Savannahs cost more than Servals? Why don’t I just get a Serval?

Servals naturally will breed other Servals very easily, but breeding a domestic to an exotic can be quite a feat. Because of this, they are less expensive than Savannahs. Servals also require specialized facilities, diets and care and in many states are illegal to own.

Crossing species between the African Serval and a domestic cat is extremely difficult. Very few breeders have had success in doing this. Because of the physical differences in each species, attempting this type of breeding can be quite challenging. Many breeders have invested their time, energy and dollars to try to make this happen. Because there are limited amounts of earlier generation Savannahs available worldwide, there is a very high demand for these amazing creatures.

8. Do Savannahs get along with children and other household pets?

Why yes! Savannahs get along wonderfully with children and other household pets such as other cats and dogs. You would simply introduce your new Savannah as you would any other domestic cat. They are affectionate and loving and have tons of energy. Some will love to cuddle in your lap, but most of them are always on the go and are extremely playful. They would prefer to play and climb and roll around as opposed to being held for any length of time. Savannahs are known to be very curious and interested in everything you do. They are famous for their “headbutts” and extreme desire for affection from you and other animals.

9. Is the Savannah breed recognized by any breed registries?

Yes. In 2001, TICA granted evaluation status to this exciting new breed. They are now at Advanced New Breed status and soon will be eligible for Championship status. Ultimate Xotics registers all of its breeding cats with TICA. Each of our customers will receive the proper paperwork so that they may register their new pet.

10. Do Savannahs have to be kept indoors?

Savannnah cats do not have to be kept indoors, although Ultimate Xotics recommends it. New owners should be very careful that their Savannahs do not escape from their homes and attempt to run away. Savannahs are very fast. It is highly recommended that new owners keep their Savannahs on a leash with a walking jacket or harness while outdoors to keep them safe. Do not use a collar with the leash. You don’t want your Savannah to come in contact with other stray animals that could be carrying illnesses or diseases.

11. What kind of care is needed for a Savannah?

A regular veterinarian may be used to treat and care for your Savannah. A Savannah is like any other domestic cat. With some exceptions to certain vaccinations, Savannahs do not require any specialized care.

12. Do Savannahs require a special diet?

While a Savannah cat will enjoy most commercialized cat foods like a domestic cat would, they also are very receptive to a raw diet. Most of the store bought cat foods are deficient in many of the nutrients that a high percentage hybrid cat needs. We recommend that you use a high-quality cat food brand such as ZuPreem Feline Diet. Savannahs need very good nutrition because most of their growth development occurs in the first few years of their life. A combination between high quality wet food and dry food is recommended to give your Savannah variety. If you choose to feed your Savannah a raw diet, please do some research to make sure that you are fulfilling the dietary requirements that are needed to maintain good health.

13. Why are Savannahs so expensive?

Please refer to Question #7.

14. What does BST mean?

BST stands for brown (black) spotted tabby. Most Savannahs are BST. This color ranges from a cool brown to a more golden color.

15. What does F1, F2, F3, etc. stand for?

As Savannahs are produced by crossbreeding Servals and domestic cats, each generation of Savannahs is marked with a filial number. For example, the cats produced directly from a Serval/domestic Cat cross are the F1 generation, and they are 50% serval if a domestic queen is used in the breeding. The filial number (F1, F2, F3, and so on) refers to how many generations the Savannah cat is removed from its ancestor, the African Serval.

16. What kinds of colors do Savannahs come in?

Savannahs come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. TICA currently recognizes the spotted pattern only. Acceptable colors include Brown Spotted Tabby, Silver Spotted Tabby, Black and Black Smoke. Savannahs are also produced in other colors and some feature classic (marbled) patterning instead of spots. These "non-standard" colors and patterns may be registered with TICA but not shown.

17. How energetic are Savannahs?

Savannahs are intelligent and highly energetic. They need to be given a variety of things to play with like cat trees, cat wheels, and hearty cat or dog toys to keep them occupied. Savannahs could become bored if they don’t have an outlet for their energy. They also like to get into high places such as door frames, shelves, top of curtain rods, bookcases, entertainment centers and cabinets. Giving them a high place to sit, such as a cat tree, will help solve this problem. They are also known to steal things such as common household items like pens, pencils, socks, sponges, paper, etc. It’s very similar to having an eternal toddler in your home.

18. How large will my Savannah cat be at maturity?

An F1 Savannah can weigh anywhere between 15 to 30 lbs. Each generation will decrease slightly in size depending on what type of cat is used in the breeding. Savannahs have long legs, and although they appear smaller when lying down, they are very tall while standing up. They are slow to mature and usually take at least 3 full years to reach their full size.

19. Do you need a permit to own a Savannah?

Every state is different. In fact, even in states where no permit is required by State law, some localities require permits, and others outlaw hybrids altogether. Therefore, it is crucial to research the laws in your city, municipality, county, township, AND state BEFORE attempting to acquire a Savannah. Please go to Hybrid Law online to see what the requirements are in your area .

20. Can you ship Savannah cats domestically or internationally?

Yes, we ship both domestically and internationally. The price of shipping is NOT included in the price of a kitten.
If you live outside the United States and wish to purchase a kitten from Ultimate Xotics, you must first check with the authorities in your country to be sure hybrid cats are allowed. If hybrid cats are allowed, check to see if any generation of hybrid cat is not permitted. Some countries place stipulations on the earlier generations. The easiest way to check hybrid cat import status may be by calling your country's Embassy in the United States or by checking with your federal vet.

21. What kind of deposit do you require to reserve a kitten?

This depends on the pricing. But, in general, to reserve an Ultimate Xotics kitten, a $1,000 deposit is required. This deposit is non-refundable, but if you change your mind your deposit can be transferred to another kitten.

22. Does the price of the kitten include spaying or neutering?

All kittens sold as pets at Ultimate Xotics are spayed or neutered before they leave our cattery. The surgery costs are included in the price of a kitten.

23. What is the life span of a Savannah?

Domestic cats average 15 years and Servals have been known to live as long as 20 years. Although the Savannah is a relatively new breed, experts estimate its life span at 17-20 years.

24. How high can Savannahs jump?

Savannahs are very agile. On average, they can jump 7- 8 feet or higher from a sitting position.