Q & A - From a Savannah Cat Breeder
Frequently Asked Questions
How often will new pictures of my kitten be taken?
We know that it is important for each of our clients to receive pictures of their kitten as he or she is growing up. We as Simply Spots will take pictures of your little kitten every 3 weeks as he or she grows, and have a picture posted on our website. Additionally we will have many pictures of your kitten posted on our Facebook page for our current or previous clients to admire.
How do I savannah-proof my home?
Baby locks on your cupboards are great for preventing savannahs from nosing around where they shouldn’t be. If you have breakables, you may want to either tape them down with 2 sided tape to ensure they do not get broken. Alternatively, choose picture frames, statues and ornaments that are a heavy weight, that are not easily knocked over. When hanging shelves in your living room or any room your savannah may be in, you may want to hang them higher than your normal shelf to deter your new furry friend from easily jumping and knocking pictures etc. over.
2 Week quarantine, successfully introducing a new kitten into the household:
Each cat/kitten will differ in the time needed to bond with its new family. Please give the cat/kitten ample time to adjust. A period of two to four weeks should be the very least amount of time allowed the cat/kitten for an adjustment period, and longer if this is an adult cat, or there are children in the house. If you are a multi-animal home, please give your new friend and family member a safe and secure place of its own, as well as ample chance (at least two weeks) to bond with you and to adjust to its new surroundings. Even if this is your only pet, your new cat/kitten needs to feel safe and secure for its unique individual personality to surface and for it to bond to you and become secure in its new environment. Mandatory 2 week quarantine: We strongly recommend a small room, such as a bedroom or bathroom, in which the kitten is provided with a separate area for its litter box, sleeping quarters, and feeding area.
This is for the health and safety for your current cat as well as the new kitten. This gives the new kitten a small room to get used to all the new sounds, smells, people and location that he is now living in, and helps him to feel safe and secure. The quarantine room also gives you time to bond with your new savannah kitten.
What dry food do your savannahs eat?
- TLC Pet Food, and poached chicken breast. Chicken breast has little to no fat content, and is very fibrous. This makes it great for a growing kitten, and for introduction into their new home which can be stressful. Poached chicken breast aids in good digestion of your new savannah kitten, and will help to regulate the consistency of their stool.
- Buy TLC Pet Food
What tips can you give me to help my current cat accept a new kitten?
- There are a few different things you could try. When you first bring home a new kitten, he or she will be in quarantine for 2 weeks. Your kitten will have a room set up with all his or her things: low litter pan with clumping clay litter, cat condo or cat tree, food and water dishes, and a bed. During this 2 week period the kitten will be able to hear your cat, and the will get used to each other sounds. During this time, your new kitten will also get used to the new sounds, smells and people he or she is now living with. For the kitten, the move to his or her forever home can be quite stressful; the only thing that will be the same for your kitten during this time will be his or her food.
- At the end of the 2 week quarantine you can introduce the cat to your kitten in supervised visits. Make sure to have a small amount of your cats favorite food out ONLY during this time. He will learn that being with the new kitten is not that bad, he gets to eat his favorite food when he sees the new kitten.
- Also make sure to have a feather teaser or feather wand out to play with both your cat and new kitten so that they can associate each other with play time and fun. Do not scold your kitten or cat during this time of introduction. If the cat reacts badly to your new kitten, separate them for an hour or so, and then start over again with the favorite food, and playtime.
What anesthesia is safe to use on a savannah cat?
- Anesthesia containing ketamine is not recommended for any surgeries done to a Savannah cat. Some savannah cats have had a severe allergic reaction to ketamine, some have even died because of it.
- Isoflurane gas is recommended for any surgery in a savannah cat weather it is a neuter or spay, or other operation.
What should I have ready for my kitten when I bring him home?
- A bed with tall cozy sides helps your kitten feels like he is snuggling with his family, and not all alone.
- Cat toys: A litter pan without a hood covering is what your kitten has been using for the first 3 months of his life, using this during his transition into your home will help with his bathroom habits. We use clumping cat litter – unscented with baking soda. Your kitten will love a cat condo or cat tree to play with and this will train him that he should scratch the cat tree, it is for him, and to stay away from your furniture. You can choose to spray catnip on the cat tree if your kitten looks afraid of it at first. Get a new water dish and food dish.
- Plastic balls with a bell inside are great toys for a kitten, and can be left alone in the room with him.
- Feather teasers are a great to have around and only use this toy when you are in the room with him as unsupervised, he may eat the feathers and get sick. This toy will help you to bond with you new furry family member.
- TLC Pet food, and poached chicken breast. Chicken breast has little to no fat content, and is very fibrous. This makes it great for a growing kitten, and for introduction into their new home which can be stressful. Poached chicken breast aids in good digestion of your new savannah kitten, and will help to regulate the consistency of their stool.
Do savannah cats shed?
No, Savannah cats do not shed very much at all. If you purchase a savannah cat, and it is shedding after its 2 week quarantine period, you may need to supplement his diet with vitamins and minerals. There is most likely something missing from his diet that he needs. Another cause of shedding can be stress. If you move to another home, or get another pet you will have a period of adjustment that your savannah may shed during.
What does F1, F2, F5, F6 ect. mean?
The first offspring produced by breeding a Serval to a domestic cat is known as the "F1" generation. F1 in genetics terms means "first filial". Many of these attempted crosses do not produce live young. When the kittens do survive, the F1 males are sterile. The F1 hybrid females, on the other hand, can be fertile and can be bred to other domestic cats. This is how the Savannah breed was started. Due to the difference in the gestation periods of a domestic cat and a Serval cat, the first generation kittens are sometimes born premature and require an incredible amount of care to survive. These are some reasons why savannahs are so expensive.
When an F1 female hybrid is crossed, the next generation is called the F2. Once again, the F2 Savannah males are not fertile. The females are once again usually bred to fertile Savannah males now that we have reached fertility in the higher generations. Some breeders choose not to use a male savannah stud, which still produces offspring which TICA classes as savannahs, but they are not purebred and do not continue the long lanky look of the savannah, or other characteristics like their closely placed ears. This weakens the breed and brings a bad name to savannah breeders. Beware of these breeders, they are often called "backyard breeders:".
The same is true of the F3 foundation generation. A small percentage of the F4 males may occasionally produce some offspring. Normally an F5 is the first generation that will produce offspring. The first savannah male to be proven fertile was an F5 savannah male named “Wonderlust”. You will see his name in hundreds of pedigrees across North America. We have 3 fertile F5 male savannahs in our breeding program, 2 of them are SST silver spotted tabby with black spots, and 1 is BST brown spotted tabby with black spots. We also have the rare privilege of having a “snow “stud in our breeding program.
What do I bring when I pick-up my savannah kitten?
Bring a cat carrier, kennel or crate. Bring a cozy blanket for your kitten inside the kennel. Bring a cat toy with a bell on it, this may calm him down if he does not like car rides. It would give him a distraction. We do not accept personal cheques for the final payment. You can choose to bring a money order, bank draft, cash, or send an interact e-transfer for final payment.
What care does my new savannah need when I first get him home?
Each cat/kitten will differ in the time needed to bond with its new family. Please give the cat/kitten ample time to adjust. A period of two to four weeks should be the very least amount of time allowed the cat/kitten for an adjustment period, and longer if this is an adult cat, or there are children in the house. 2 week quarantine period: If you are a multi-animal home, please give your new friend and family member a safe and secure place of its own, as well as ample chance (at least two weeks) to bond with you and to adjust to its new surroundings. Even if this is your only pet, your new cat/kitten needs to feel safe and secure for its unique individual personality to surface and for it to bond to you and become secure in its new environment. We strongly recommend a small room, such as a bedroom or bathroom, in which the kitten is provided with a separate area for its litter box, sleeping quarters, and feeding area.
What does an adult savannahs coat look like? And what are "fuzzies"?
At 2 - 3 weeks old, the kitten will have very clear black or dark brown spots on a silver or gold background. When the kitten is full grown at 2 - 3 years of age his spots will look like his 2 - 3 week old pictures. Kittens get "fuzzies" at about 5 weeks old which are long hairs. These hairs are longer than their spots and cover their spots slightly. A kittens fuzzies drop off at 6 - 8 months old, and they are left with short sleek silky fur and great contrast between the black spots and light gold or silver background.
How big will my kittens ears be when he is full grown?
The length of time it takes for your kittens ears to lift up to the top of his head is a good gauge of how large his ears will be when he is full grown. The longer it takes for your kittens ears to lift up to the top of his head, the larger his ears will be.
How big do our savannahs grow to be?
- Our male savannahs generally grow to be between 15-19 lbs of lean muscle, long legs back and neck. Our savannahs have huge ears, making them look very different from a regular domestic house cat. Females grow to be slightly smaller than males, ranging between 12-15 lbs of lean muscle.
- Savannahs continue to grow until they reach 2 - 3 years of age. Both males and females will appear much larger than a regular domestic house cat because of their long lean legs body and neck.The huge ears and body type of our savannahs along with their triangular shaped face make them look very exotic and wild. If a savannah was compared to a dog, you could use a greyhound as a comparison. Long legs, and lean body built for speed and grace. The only savannahs that exceed 20 lbs are F1 and sometimes F2 savannahs. This is because one of their parents is a serval - the wild African cat. The savannah breed is a hybrid breed between a 25lb wild cat and a 9 lb domestic cat. Breeding purebred savannah to savannah with good genetics ensures the size, personality traits and features stay the same for many generations after the 4th.
Why is my cat peeing everywhere?
- This could be because of being in new surroundings. You may choose to keep him in a room for several days with all his things: water and food dish, cat tree, litter box, and cat bed. You can use the setup and length of the 2 week quarantine, this has proved successful in many homes. This will help him to get used to his new home with you, and keep up his good habits of peeing in the litter box.
- The other option may be that he has a bladder infection. When your cat has a bladder infection, he will associate the litter box with pain, since that is where he is used to peeing, and with his infection, it is very painful to pee. You may notice your cat holding his pee for very long periods of time and then just peeing on random things in your home. He may pee a small amount, or he may be a build up a large amount of pee from holding it for so long. If you think your cat has a bladder infection, take him to the vet to ensure that he gets the proper medical care and medication.
Why does my kitten not have an appetite?
It is normal for your kitten to not have much of an appetite the first day he is with you in his new surroundings. Everything is new to him, the only thing the same is his food. He has to get used to his new surroundings, his new bed, new litter box, new family. It is allot of new things for a tiny cat. It is okay for him to not eat for a day.
If your kitten is abnormally sleepy and not acting his energetic self for longer than a day or 2 you may want to consult your veterinarian to make sure your kitten is okay. Cats drink an abnormal amount, and laze around when they are sick. Make sure you get the best care for your kitten if you suspect he is not well.
My cat has diarrhea - what should I do?
If your cat has mild diarrhea, take away all food for 24 hours to reset his digestive system. Make sure he has access to as much water as he will drink. Give your kitten a diet of only poached chicken for the second day. Poached chicken is high in fiber, low in fat, and is great for aiding in the recovery of a kitten with diarrhea. A good probiotic will help your cat to rebuild the good bacteria in his digestive tract. This can be administered in a honey suspension. If extreme diarrhea persists for more than a day, take him to the vet to ensure that he gets the proper medical care and medication.
What does the cost of my kitten include?
Does not include a cat carrier/kennel, please bring a cat carrier when picking up your kitten. Your kitten comes with: vaccination records, deworming, official registration certificate from TICA (the international cat association) certifying that your kitten is a purebred savannah and a health guarantee. A routine health checkup which is not included in the price of your kitten, is done at our registered veterinarian here in Olds, AB prior to the kittens departure from Simply Spots.
What food should I be feeding my savannah?
After you have taken the time to let your new kitten adjust to your home in his quarantine room, and his quarantine period is over, you may choose to gradually change the dry food he is eating. We recommend staying with the TLC Pet food, as it has proven to be an overall healthy food for our savannahs. We have all our savannahs - queens, kings and kittens - on www.tlcpetfood.com. This cat food is highly palatable. On this food our savannahs have healthy shiny coats and nice healthy firm stool. When choosing to feed your kitten wet/canned food, do not overfeed, diarrhea usually results from overfeeding wet canned food. Cooked or poached skinless boneless unseasoned chicken breast is great as a daily part of their diet.
What is a good bed for a kitten?
A bed with tall cozy sides helps your kitten feels like he is snuggling with his family, and not all alone.What toys do savannahs like?
Cat toys: plastic balls with a bell inside are great toys for a kitten, and can be left alone in the room with him. Feather teasers are a great to have around and only use this toy to play when you are in the room with him as unsupervised, he may eat the feathers and get sick.
The wand toy/feather teaser will help you to bond with you new furry family member.
How do I prevent my cat from scratching furniture?
Many large cat trees or condos give the cats a place to sharpen their claws. You can choose to spray with catnip for the more problematic cat. Regular nail clipping is a must when it comes to cat training. Without the long sharp claws, it is not fun to scratch furniture.
At what age does a savannah decide he or she no longer wants to play?
A savannah will have the desire to play for most of his or her life. They are a very high energy cat with a kitten like playful personality. This is a very high energy breed.
Things to be careful of
- Do not leave your savannah kitten unattended with a feather teaser or real fur mouse toy. They may think it is real and eat the feathers or fur and get sick.
- Do not feed too much wet canned food to your kitten. One table spoon in the morning and 1 tablespoon of wet canned food in the evening is plenty for your kitten. Over feeding of wet canned food can result in diarrhea, and in some cases if diarrhea is severe enough it can lead to death. Please contact your vet ASAP in the event your kitten gets severe diarrhea.
Things not to do
- If your kitten pees somewhere other than the litter box, do not scold him. Rather, take him to the litter box and praise him while he is peeing or pooping in the litter box. This will show him that he is a good boy for peeing in the litter box, and will want to do it again in the litter box so that he will be told he is a good boy again. Praise him and tell him he is a good boy when he is peeing or pooping in his litter box as often as you can.
Freshwater for the hybrid cat
- Some savannahs do not like drinking stale water. There is a great solution to that. A fresh flow water fountain found at any pet store or Walmart. Your savannah will have clean pure water all the time. Your savannah will have great fun watching the water pour, and even have fun pawing at it. Best of all you will be guaranteed that your savannah will drink, and get the water he needs.