The appearance of a Savannah cat is very similar to that of a Serval. Savannah cats can grow quite big and may weigh anything between 15 to 20 pounds. They have a slender, long legged body built, a long neck, with a shorter tail. Its body height descends from its rear to its head. At birth, Savannah kittens have blue eyes, which turn green as they grow older. Depending on the percentage of Serval blood in them, the cats may have a more wild or domesticated appearance. Their appearance also depend on the breed of domestic cat used, Bengal cats and other exotic looking cats are the most popular. F1 level Savannah cats (the direct offspring of a Serval and a domestic) have striking spotted coats with black rings around the tail ending in a solid black tip. The face of a Savannah cat is longish, with big ears streaked with black around the edges. It also has black tear markings on the sides of its nose.
The first Savannah kitten was bred by Judee Frank and named Savannah. At first she had some difficulty persuading other Serval breeders to breed Savannahs, but eventually a Serval breeder named Joyce Sroufe began to share her enthusiasm for this unique breed. In year 2000 the Savannah cat was accepted as an official cat breed by TICA. Savannah male cats are often infertile and that makes Savannah breeding very difficult. Joyce Sroufe is one of the few breeders who has managed to breed later levels of fertile male Savannahs.
The Savannah cat’s personality also depends a lot on its level of wildness. F1 and other high level Savannahs can show a lot of wild traits. They may sometimes not mew at all, but rather produce a “chirping” sound. They can also hiss loudly at any perceived danger. Savannah cats are highly intelligent creatures and can be taught a variety of tricks (and may even learn some tricks by themselves, such as opening cupboards). They do not possess the usual cat’s fear of water and they are also known to like to play with dogs.
A lot of controversy exists about the care and diet of a Savannah cat and owners are advised to consult a veterinarian.