Are you trying to choose the right cat breed for you and you have narrowed your choices down to the Savannah cat vs Serval cat. Or perhaps you just want to educate yourself on their connections, similarities, and differences?
Well, this article will answer all your questions.
Crossing a wild animal with a domestic one is nothing new; people have been doing this for centuries.
Crossing a wild cat with a domestic breed has been done before and it is still being done all the time.
Breeders buy different breeds of animals and breed them together, and in many cases people consider the resulting breeds even more valuable than the purebred animals as they combine a number of desirable features.
A leptailurus serval is a wild animal and a savannah cat is a crossbreed, making a hybrid cat that is a mixture of a domestic cat and a serval.
Usually, a male serval is bred with a siamese cat.
Savannah cats, despite their cute looks, are still the descendents of a wild cat, and they are prohibited in some parts of the world, such as Hawaii, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
New York, for example, allows savannah cats provided they are more than 4 or 5 generations away from their wild roots.
Eager to know more about Savannah cats vs Serval cats? Read on and find out.
Savannah Cat Vs Serval: Similarities
People have always been fascinated by wild cats, so it is not surprising that they try to create different hybrids, and often breed different wild cats with domestic cats.
The first crossbreed descendant of the Serval was bred in the 1980s and the kitten was named Savannah, which continued to be the name of the new breed.
Savannah cat owners are very fond of how these exotic cats look, while others are looking for champions in cat competitions. This is why it’s so important for them that Savannah cats are a breed recognized by TICA (the international cat association) and can therefore compete in cat shows.
The Savannah cat is a hybrid of a domestic cat and a serval to form a new cat breed. Breeders usually mix a domestic siamese cat with a wild serval.
The serval is a wild animal, a medium-sized african wild cat, which originates from the wetlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. Both animals are extremely beautiful.
Besides being beautiful, they have other similarities, and also a few important differences.
Looks & Appearance
Both the serval and savannah cat are beautiful animals with an exotic look. They are intelligent, have high energy, similar coat colors, and patterns.
Servals have big yellow eyes like a cheetah, and so do Savannah cats.
They usually have a shorthair, spotted coat, and can have brown, black, white, yellow, or orange colors.
Black smoke savannah cats can look like they are completely black, but if you have a closer look you will notice that they also have spots.
Brown spotted-tabby is a name given to a gold and brown colored savannah cat. This mix of colors makes servals look similar to the asian leopard cat.
Both of them have large ears, which is another trait they are widely recognized for.
Servals are best known for their large, round ears, which is another trait that savannah cats inherited (which makes them look pretty cute).
Many people choose savannah cats because they have a reputation for being exotic pets.
The most similar cats to wild servals is an f1 savannah cat.
This is a first generation savannah kitten, which means that it has a wild serval as one parent. This savannah cat is, by the breed standards, the most similar in looks and energy levels to servals.
An f2 savannah cat is a savannah cat breed whose grandparent is a serval, and so on.
African servals have long legs, and so do Savannah cats, which makes them look taller than other domestic house cats.
Servals can jump pretty far, both in terms of length and height. So can savannah cats.
This is a great family trait that they have inherited from their Serval ancestors. Both breeds can jump about 1m up into the air!
The lifespan of these cats is pretty long in comparison to some other domestic cat breeds.
Both servals and Savannah cats can reach up to 20 years of age.
Savannah Cat Vs Serval: Differences
Savannah cats are related to Servals, but they are different in some ways. Let’s take a look at the differences between the savannah cat and the serval cat?
Origin & Nurture
The basic difference is that savannah cats are domestic cats, and servals are wild cats.
A wild cat can not just become a lap cat that chills in the living room. Domestication has made savannah cats very different from servals.
Savannah cats, however, do have those little touches of wilderness still inside them. If you look closely, you will notice the connection with servals.
Energy & Character
Even though the two have similar personalities, Servals are rather aggressive to other animals or humans. They appreciate their privacy.
Savannah cats, on the other hand, are not aggressive and are actually very fond of their owners. They form strong bonds, and don’t mind living with their humans.
Savannah cats, despite their feline beauty, may attract attention because of their dog-like character.
As kittens, they form a strong bond with their humans. They start acting similar to dogs; greeting you at the door, playing fetch, and even happily walking on a leash!
You can train a Savannah cat in a similar way as you would train a dog. Introduce the leash and go for walks early on, and you won’t have any problems.
Their energy levels are very high, they are very smart, and they learn pretty quickly.
Do not be surprised if you get home one day and your cat opens the door, or turns on the faucet in the bathroom.
Their Size & Meal Size
Another difference between the two breeds is their size. The Savannah cat is smaller than a serval and weighs around half the weight of a Serval.
Both breeds are medium-sized cats, but there is a big difference when a cat is medium-sized in the wilderness, and there is a big difference between the largest and smallest of the domestic cat breeds.
A typical Serval weighs between 20 to 42 pounds, and the size of a savannah cat depends a lot on the sex and the generation. The male’s weight varies from 15 to 20 pounds, while females weigh from 11 to 13 pounds.
A Serval eats around 20 small meals a day, because they hunt their prey. They have to hunt and catch their food. Unlike a Savannah cat, which will happily eat cat food.
An adult savannah cat only needs to eat one 8-ounce cup of food each day. You can feed them in one meal, or split the portion into two separate meals a day.
Differences In Raising Savannah Cat vs Serval Cat:
First of all, in most countries Servals are not allowed to be kept as pets.
Breeders must have special licenses, and they are allowed to keep them since they are experimenting with cat breeds, rather than using them for domestic purposes.
It is quite challenging to raise a Serval cat. A lot of breeders are still trying to develop new methods for raising servals, so there may be new crossbreeds in the future.
If you want to own a Serval cat, you must create an outdoor habitat,like you would see in a zoo. You need to provide shelter, and warm outside spaces throughout the year.
You need the space to be secure if you don’t want them roaming around the local area. You also need to educate yourself on the possible risks of owning a serval.
Servals are predators, they hunt for food. So you would need to make sure they have food that replicates the type of prey they would chase in the wild rather than processed pet food.
You also need to have a vet with experience caring for exotic animals to care for them when needed.
It is difficult to breed and raise purebred servals. Servals can be aggressive to other animals or humans.
Savannah cats on the other hand, are not aggressive and become very fond of their owners.
Savannah cats form strong bonds and don’t mind living with their humans, however they do not typically get on well with other pets, e.g. birds, fish, rabbits etc.because of their strong hunting instincts.
Raising Savannah cats is fairly easy in comparison to raising servals.
Savannah cats adjust to their surroundings easily, and they are affectionate towards their owners. You do, however, need to provide more care than you would for a regular domestic cat breed.
How much does a serval cat cost?
A Serval cat will cost around $5000. A serval male cat costs around $5000, a female serval costs from $3000 to $5000.
If you want to start the breeding process, be prepared for an even bigger cost (more than $10k).
How much does a savannah cat cost?
The cost for a savannah cost ranges from $2500 – $20k. An f1 generation is the most expensive one, of course. A male f1 savannah cat can cost anywhere between $12k to $16k, and a female f1 can cost anywhere between $15k to $20k.
A second generation cat costs a little less; the male price ranges from $4k to $8k, and the female from $4k to $9k.
A third generation savannah costs from 1000$ to 4000$ for both males and females. As you can see – the younger the generation, the lower the price.
Do savannah cats like to cuddle?
Yes! Savannah cats form special bonds with their owners, and are extremely affectionate, but they can be a bit moody with strangers.
Can I let my savannah cat outside?
Yes! Definitely yes; they are supposed to go outside. You should, however, consider taking them on walks too using a leash. Especially if you are unsure whether they are used to you, your house and your yard, etc.
Take them on plenty of long walks as this is healthy for them and for you, too.
Do servals use a litter box?
Yes. Servals will use a litter box indoors, however they do not use the litter box in quite the same way as other domestic cats do.
They will definitely need a bigger litter box than usual, and they might still be inclined to pee around the house. Early training will be needed to stop this from happening.
Is a Bengal cat the same as a Savannah cat?
No. Bengals cats are quite different. A bengal cat is a hybrid of a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat, whereas a savannah cat is a hybrid of a domestic cat and a serval.
The difference in their parentage results in a huge difference in their looks, character, and behavior.
Which savannah cat is the biggest?
The F1 hybrid male cat is the biggest. Their size depends a lot on their sex and generation. Savannahs are tall and slim, so they sometimes appear bigger than they really are.
F1 and F2 generations are usually the biggest in size, due to their closer genetic connection to their wild Serval ancestors.
How much food does a serval eat per day?
A serval eats around 2 to 4 pounds of food a day, or about 1000 calories.
Their diet should include fat, oils, proteins, taurine, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. All of these need to be balanced and the best way to do this is to get specialist food.
What do I feed my Savannah cat?
Savannah cats need a high protein diet. Their primary choice of cat food ingredients should include salmon, beef, chicken, or veal.
Serve them a mixture of dry and wet food designed for their specific nutritional needs. A vet can give you advice on the best type of food for your cat breed.
Which is bigger, Maine Coon or Savannah?
These two breeds are large, but Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cats and so they are even larger than purebred Savannahs.
Do Savannah cats need veterinary care?
Yes! Savannah cats require the same veterinary care as other domestic cats and pets do.
Deworming, vaccination, tests, and other treatments that they might need may cost a lot of money so pet insurance is a very good idea. When you have a cat that has cost you a lot of money, it is always best to have pet insurance to cover their veterinary bills.
Having a cat as a pet is a great idea for many households. It is, however, important to educate yourself before you take on the responsibility that having a cat entails.
When discussing the Savannah cat vs Serval cat, remember that they have some similarities, but they also have important differences.
A savannah cat is an offspring of a Serval cat, but it is a crossbreed of a serval and a domestic cat.
A serval cat is a wild cat which originates from Sub-Saharan Africa. Both animals are beautiful, with similar looks, but they are different in size and temperament.
A savannah cat is a domesticated cat and is not feral, whereas a serval is a wild cat which cannot be easily domesticated, if at all.
This is why breeders cross servals with domestic cats, to get this beautiful breed that is similar to servals but easier for people to safely keep as pets.