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Bengal Vs Savannah – Rivalry Of The Cat Breeds

Bengal Vs Savannah – Rivalry Of The Cat Breeds

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For those who are not that familiar with these two breeds of cats, they may look almost the same. However, these two cat breeds are totally different, and it’s very important to know that if you plan on giving either one of these cats a home.

One thing that Bengal and Savannah cats have in common is that they’re both hybrid breeds of wild cats, and they’re both considered exotic cat breeds!

Therefore, if you plan to get one to be your pet, it’s very important that you know everything about these two cat breeds in order to know what to expect from your future feline friend.

As hybrid cat breeds of wild felines, these two cat breeds share a lot of similarities, but there are also important differences.

So, if you want to learn more about Bengal vs Savannah cats, read on and find out what these two cat breeds have in common and what makes them so different from each other. This information will help you to decide which breed would be the best pet for you!

Bengal Cat

bengal cat

Breed Info

Height17-22 inches
Weight8-17 pounds
Lifespan10-16 years

The Bengal cat is a hybrid breed of wild cat. This breed was developed by breeder Jean Mill who bred a domestic black tomcat with a wild Asian leopard cat.

The Bengal is popular because of its unique appearance, which is somewhat different from other cat breeds.

They’re medium-sized cats with strong, athletic bodies, but what makes them particularly different from other breeds the most is their unusual coat coloring and markings.

Although they’re descendants of wild cats, they’re not considered wild cats anymore as they’re bred with other Bengal cats, giving them certain breed characteristics.

The most important thing is that the Bengal cat was recognized and accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983, which means that this is a newer breed.

Related: Tabby Vs Bengal Cat – How To Tell Them Apart (With Pictures)

Savannah Cat

savannah cat

Breed Info

Height 17-22 inches
Weight 12-25 pounds
Activity high
Lifespan 12-20 years
Grooming minimal

The Savannah cat is also a hybrid breed of wild cats, however, the difference from a Bengal cat is that the Savannah cat is a mix of the African Serval cat and a domestic cat.

This cat breed is famous for its unique looks; it looks much more like a wild cat rather than a normal domestic kitty. Furthermore, they’re a bit larger than other domestic cat breeds. They’re characterized by their large ears and relatively small heads.

However, this is also one of the new breeds, therefore it can be a real challenge to find reputable Savannah cat breeders.

They became popular in the 1990s, and they were finally recognized and accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2001.

Bengal VS Savannah Cat: Similarities

bengal and savannah cat

Being descendants from wild cats isn’t the only thing that these two cat breeds have in common. Although they’re completely two different breeds, they still have a lot of similarities, which is why people may confuse them.

So, if you want to find out what makes Bengal and Savannah cats so similar, read on and find out!


Both of these cat breeds have beautiful, athletic bodies, with long legs. These cats have high energy levels, so it’s important to provide them with a lot of space where they can be active and enjoy their daily activities.

Bear in mind that both these cat breeds need a lot of activity time, and a lot of attention. If you neglect this essential part of their nature, they may become restless and anxious – especially if they don’t have enough space to move, run, climb, and explore their surroundings.

Because of this high activity level and their size, both of these cats require top-quality cat food in order to provide them with all the necessary nutrition.

So, if you’re thinking of getting either a Bengal or a Savannah cat, you should be prepared for their energy levels and make sure that each day you provide them with plenty of playtime.

Both of these breeds like playing with interesting and demanding toys that allow them to demonstrate their ability in both jumping and sprinting.

Grooming Needs

Bengal and Savannah cats have the same grooming needs as average domestic cats. They have shorthair, which means that regular brushing will be enough to keep their coats healthy and soft and to prevent excessive shedding.

Although bathing isn’t that necessary, you still can bathe your Bengal or Savannah cat every once in a while; they may really enjoy this as – unlike other cats – they love water.

Low Shedding

When it comes to shedding, future cat owners of these breeds can relax. Neither Bengal and Savannah cats shed a lot, which is very good news for you and your furniture.

Bengal cats have a single layer of silky fur that sheds occasionally. When it comes to Savannah cats, it’s even better. They shed far less than average cats despite having a more usual double covering of fur.

However, the fact that their shedding level is minimal, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of their coat.

You won’t have a lot of work (as with some long-haired cats such as Maine Coon or Ragdoll cats) but a regular brushing and an occasional bath will certainly keep these cats feeling satisfied and looking great.

Suggested: Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic? Here’s What You Need To Know

Very Talkative Cats

If you’re not a fan of talkative cats, then these cat breeds aren’t for you. On the contrary if you adore to chit chat with your cat, you can be sure that these cats will enjoy talking to you.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry when they need something as they’ll definitely inform you about everything that they want or need, just like Siamese cats.

They Love Water

These cats are truly unique! These two cat breeds adore water and swimming, and they just can’t get enough of it.

This is really unusual because cats are usually not big fans of water. However, if you want to reward your Bengal or Savannah cat, take them for a swim or provide them with different water sources around the house, such as tap water, water fountains, and similar interesting things to keep them amused.

They’re Highly Curious Creatures

Bengal and Savannah cats are highly intelligent cat breeds. They’re also very curious, so when you mix their intelligence and curiosity, it means that you’ll have a hard time hiding from these cats or keeping them in one place. Eventually, they always find a way to get what they want.

They adore being outside and exploring their environment, however, you should never leave these cats outdoors without your supervision.

Moreover, if you plan to keep these cats closed in or bored, maybe it’s better to choose a different breed.

The main reason for that is because these cats need a lot of attention and entertainment, therefore if you neglect them, their intelligence and curiosity may lead to disaster, making a lot of mess everywhere!


Both Bengal and Savannah cats are typically healthy cats, and that can be seen in their lifespan. Bengal cats may live up to 10-16 years, while Savannah cats usually live longer, with a lifespan of 12-20 years.

It’s very important to know the average lifespan of a cat you plan to get in order to know what to expect for your future feline.

However, these cats still have some health issues which are usually due to genetics. Although both cat breeds are very healthy, Bengals are more prone to certain issues, so stick around as I’m about to discuss this topic further.

Read more: What Is A Bengal Cat’s Lifespan? Health Overview

Bengal VS Savannah Cat: Differences

bengal vs savannah cat differences

We have looked at the things that these cats have in common, but now let’s take a look at what makes them so different from one another.


Bengal cats are very active animals; they resemble their wild ancestors a lot in this.They’re highly intelligent, so they like to play games and are fast learners.

If bored, they may become troublesome, especially if they are not trained and socialized properly, so remember that raising a well-behaved cat is highly important.

Bengal cats are very talkative, so they’ll definitely let you know what they want and when they want it. So, if you prefer enjoying the silence with a lap cat, then you should avoid Bengals.

Savannah cats, on the other hand, resemble dogs in many ways. They are very devoted to their owners and will follow them everywhere. Savannah cats are also very intelligent which means that they are fast learners, being able to learn certain tricks.

The general temperament of Savannah cats can differ greatly. Just like with Bengals, these cats also require proper training and socialization if you want a friendly and well-behaved feline friend.

Cat Size

Bengal and Savannah cats are very different when it comes to their size. Bengal cats are not much bigger than an average house cat, because their ancestor the Asian leopard cat is also a somewhat smaller wild feline.

The height of Bengal cats may vary from 17 to 22 inches. What’s interesting is that there are some domestic cat breeds that are bigger than Bengal cats, such as Maine Coon.

On the other hand, Savannah cats are bigger than Bengal cats. They have very long tails which adds to their impressive appearance. Their height may vary from 17 to 22 inches, however, they may reach the weight of 25 pounds.

Of course, cat size may vary on a few factors, for example, male cats are usually somewhat larger than female cats. When it comes to Savannah cats, the size of the cat may also vary according to generation as well as genetics.

First generation Savannah (f1 Savannah cats) are the biggest because they have the strongest wild genes of Serval cats, and also they have more of the characteristics that are particular to serval cats.

Moreover, the generation of the Savannah cat may also influence the price, therefore keep that in mind if you decide to get one.

Coat Coloring And Markings

Usually people get confused when it comes to these two cat breeds because of their coat coloring and markings. However, they are completely different to one another when it comes to their coat.

By being descended from Asian leopard cat, Bengal cats have a lighter coat color than the Savannah cat, with leopard-like markings in a circular formation, also known as rosettes.

On the other hand, Savannah cats have spotted coats in silver tabby, brown tabby, and even black, which is the breed standard according to TICA.

Huge Price Difference

If you want to get a special and unique cat, then be sure to prepare your wallet too. Remember that the expenses don’t stop after buying the cat; on the contrary they continue to grow!

One of the things that these two have in common is that these two cat breeds are very expensive because of their unique origin, appearance, and personality. Moreover, they’re very rare which increases the price.

However, the main difference is in the price of each cat breed. Therefore, you can expect to pay around $1000 to $10000 for a Bengal kitten. Remember that the price gets higher if you want a top-quality cat, or if they’re closer to their wild ancestors.

On the other hand, Savannah cats are a newer cat breed than Bengal cats and in addition, they’re very rare.

Because of that, and other additional factors that affect the price, you can expect to pay around $2000 to $20000 for a Savannah kitten. The price is higher if you want an f1 Savannah.

But, be careful! If you come across Bengal or Savannah kittens for a price under $1000, you should avoid it because usually they’re not purebred or they have certain health issues which may be more expensive than buying a healthy cat would have.

Related: The Breeders List Of Best Savannah Cats For Sale In UK

Health Problems Characteristic For These Cat Breeds

bengal cat at the vet

Because both of these cat breeds have wild ancestors, they may also be prone to some hereditary health problems.

These cat breeds are generally very healthy, especially the Savannah cat which can have a lifespan of 12 to 20 years.

However, the health issues that I’m about to mention don’t necessarily affect both Bengal and Savannah cats equally. Bengal cats are more prone to health issues than Savannah cats.

Here are some of the health issues that may occur in these cat breeds!

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Both Bengal and savannah cats are prone to a serious disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) that causes thickening of the heart muscle.

This disease is genetic and may cause various heart issues, even leading to death. Considering that this is a genetic disease, it’s very important that breeding cats are tested for certain genetic diseases, including this one, if you want to produce healthy kittens.

Progressive Retinal Degeneration

While it thankfully isn’t the case with Savannah cats, Bengal cats are prone to a disease called progressive retinal degeneration.
This is a genetic disease common in purebred cats. It’s not life threatening, however it may lead to blindness.

Therefore, before getting a kitten, make sure that the kitten has been tested negative for all relevant genetic diseases.

Hybrid Male Sterility

Most animal hybrids face sterility. Both Bengal and Savannah male cats born in early generations were sterile, therefore they couldn’t reproduce.

However, this problem is not a big deal if you don’t need a breeding cat, as even if the cat is sterile, it’s a perfectly normal pet cat.

Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK)

This is a genetic disease which refers to hemolytic anemia, and it’s characteristic for Bengal cats.

Luckily, by testing breeding cats negative for this disease, you can be sure that the kittens won’t be affected by this disease.

Bengal VS Savannah Cat: Which Is Wilder?

Most Savannah cats sold as pets have more wild genes, making them more like Servals than housecats in terms of temperament. Since they behave more like dogs than other cats do, it means that they’re very loyal to their owner and will probably follow you everywhere.

Savannah cats are highly devoted and loving cats, although they can be a little bit more aggressive than Bengal cats because they are genetically more “wild.”

Savannah cats have their own ways of expressing affection, yet they are unlikely to cuddle up to you. On the other hand, Bengal cats also have wild genes, but considering their higher percentage of housecat DNA, Bengals lean more toward domesticity.

Don’t let that trick you! Even though Bengals are a bit calmer than Savannah cats, they become very fast when they realize that it’s playtime!

Suggested: How To Discipline A Bengal Cat – 8 Steps

Which Cat Breed Is A Better Pet?

couple sitting on a sofa with a bengal cat

Which cat breed is a better pet depends on the cat owner. It depends on what you want from your future cat friend, and what you can give your cat.

These cats both require a lot of activity time and attention, therefore if you cannot provide them with that, maybe you should look for some other cat breed.

When it comes to these two cat breeds, if you want a larger cat, whose personality is more similar to a dog’s, and if you have a large space for your pet’s activities, then a Savannah cat would be perfect for you.

However, if you’re looking for a cat with an exotic appearance but with a personality more like that of a typical domestic cat, then you will definitely find your best friend in a Bengal cat.


What’s Better – A Savannah Cat Or A Bengal Cat?

It all depends on what you’re looking for in a cat, but it also depends on you. You need to find a cat that will easily adjust to your free time and your routine.

So if you’re looking for a dog-like pet and you’re able to provide it with a lot of space then you should choose the Savannah. However, if you want a unique-looking cat with more domestic cat behavior then the Bengal cat is your perfect match!

What Cat Is Bigger Than A Savannah Cat?

The only domestic cat that is somewhat larger than a Savannah cat is the magnificent Maine Coon.

Do Savannah Cats Get Along With Bengal Cats?

Since they are incredibly active and love to use their energy in play rather than in the destructive behavior that follows boredom, Savannah cats get along well with other domestic cats and even enjoy their presence.

Wrapping It Up!

So, to wrap it up, Bengal vs Savannah cat, who wins?

Well, the winner depends on you. Before getting one of these cat breeds, you need to remember that these cats have wild genes, therefore you need to know the right way to deal with these cats. I certainly wouldn’t recommend these cats as first pets.

Both Bengal and Savannah cats require proper training and socialization if you want them to be good pets. Also, both of them are stunning for their unique appearances.

However, if you want a bigger cat with an exotic look as well as exotic and dog-like personality then your winner is a Savannah cat. It doesn’t end there. If you choose a Savannah to be your cat friend, you should provide the cat with a lot of love, attention, and entertainment as this cat breed requires a lot of active time.

On the other hand, if you want a feline with an exotic appearance who has a calmer personality, more similar to the domestic cat, then your winner is a Bengal cat. Still, remember that Bengals are also highly energetic cats who require a lot of entertainment and attention.

All in all, before the final decision, make sure that you’re certain in your decision and that you’ll be able to provide them with everything that’s necessary. In addition, you can always consult with animal behaviorists if you have any concerns.

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