Commonly asked questions

What Do the Letters Stand For?

TICA has three Registries, each of which reflects a different stage in the development of a breed. The Experimental Registry is for unaccepted breeds or for those with unknown background. The Foundation Registry is where most Savannahs are registered at this time. And the Stud Book Registry, where some Savannahs are registered, designates a pure bred cat. Cats in this registry carry the letters “SBT,” the “T” meaning stud book traditional. In the case of a Savannah, it indicates  studs and queens for the last three generations have been Savannahs in an SBT Savannah’s pedigree.The “A”designation simply means one parent is not a Savannah. The Savannah breed was created by breeding the Serval to a domestic cat. The kittens from this mating carry an “A” designation, which means they are the progeny of two cats of different breeds. So all F1 (first generation) Savannahs are registered “A.” And since Savannah males are not fertile until the fourth (F4) and fifth (F5) generations, all males bred to Savannah females must be “outcrosses” or non-Savannahs until a fertile male Savannah is born. While the males may be purebred from other breeds, a combination of breeds or a “domestic shorthair,” the kittens resulting from an outcross is an “A.” This means you can also have an F2 A, F3 A, etc. Any mating in which one of the parents is not a Savannah results in an “A” designation.

If two “A” registered Savannahs are crossed, “B” registered kittens result. “B” means both parents are Savannahs, but the cat has at least one grandparent of a different breed. Cross two “B” registered Savannahs and you have a “C” registered kitten. “C” tells both parents and grandparents are Savannahs, but at least one great grandparent is of a different breed. When you cross two “C” registered Savannahs, an “SBT” results. A kitten with “SBT” in it’s registration number has three generations of Savannah to Savannah matings in it’s pedigree – parents, grandparents, great grandparents.  It is impossible to have SBT kittens before the fourth generation. The SBT designation is what is needed to show in Championship Class. The system can be a bit more complicated, however since the filial (F) generation i.e., the generation removed from the serval, works independently from the  A, B, C, and SBT designations. For example, if you breed an F3 A to an F5 C, you will get a F4 B. And if an outcross was used to breed to any generation, those kittens would be “A.” That is, if an F3 C were bred to an outcross, kittens would be F4 A kittens. Letters progress forward from the “lowest” parent’s letter. Numbers do also.

What makes a Savannah the most desired feline?

Long admired for their magnificent beauty, Servals possess a dramatic, golden coat marked with strikingly clear black spots. They are regal, elegant, highly intelligent, and display charming personalities. However, many states don’t allow private ownership of exotic cats such as the Serval, but they will allow Savannah hybrids. The largest hybrid feline available, Savannahs encompass all the wonderful Serval traits while being considered a domestic cat. More manageable than a Serval, Savannahs are smaller, weighing approximately 25 pounds. They don’t require special diets or facilities; Servals almost always require a costly raw meat diet, whereas Savannahs eat a high quality dry domestic cat diet. Savannahs are extremely intelligent and often “talk.” They’re excellent with other pets and children and create very strong bonds with their owners.

Do Savannahs use a litter box?

Yes. Select Exotics Savannahs are completely litter trained prior to leaving. Kittens will use a litter box as faithfully as any domestic. However, if given too large of an area while settling into their new home, kittens may lose the litter box and have an accident. It is important a kitten is given run of the house slowly so as not to become disoriented. Male pet kittens, even early generation sterile male kittens, should be neutered to prevent spraying.

Why do Savannahs cost more than Servals?

Servals breed quite readily, easily creating more Servals. But crossing species between the Serval and a domestic is extremely difficult. Many individuals attempt this cross. However, only a few breeders world-wide have had success. Years of time and money have often been invested in what seems to be the impossible. While few first generation Savannahs exist world-wide, the demand for these exotic beauties is tremendous.

Do Savannahs get along with children and other pets?

Introducing a Savannah to the household is like introducing any domestic cat. The breed itself is extremely energetic, active and playful. While they get along well with children and other pets, most won’t allow children to hold them or pack them around for any length of time.