Yahoo article: http://shine.yahoo.com/author-blog-posts/house-cats-bred-wild-animals-sell-35-000-142500274.html
I often laugh at the less than newsworthy articles that come out on Yahoo.com, however, this one is about me and mine. I snickered at first when I began reading it but then as I continued to read the outright lack of fact being written about my breed I thought about how many people were reading this article that honestly didn’t know the truth who were going to believe what this article had to say. And then I got sad at media. I mean, we’re lied to every day and we know this, but this one hit close to home for me. So, here I go, line by line, explaining the truth about Savannah cats.
The article was right about one thing, Savannah cats are a hybrid of a domestic cat (a tabby cat to be exact) and an African Serval. And yes, they are very popular. That is because they have a gorgeous “wild” look to them yet they are indeed domestic. It’s like having a wild cat in your house, except it isn’t wild, AT ALL. I feel like the author is confusing “wild looking” with “feral.” A “wild looking” cat has fur coat with a golden back ground and black spots whereas a “feral” cat is a cat who lives on it’s own and doesn’t come in contact with humans thus is mean. Savannah cats don’t run around and attack everything, well, except my son’s Webkinz stuffed animal cat, lol. But mostly she just ran around with it in her mouth like it was her baby.
Moving on, the author said “ African wildcat that weighs up to 50 pounds and eats everything from birds and hares to deer and gazelles.”
LOL, what? Valley Stable Exotics writes on his website that an adult Serval weighs between 18lbs. and 44lbs. on average, with the female being slightly smaller in overall size. An adult Serval stands approx. 24″ at the shoulders and is close to three feet long. Even Wikipedia states that female Servals range from 15 to 26lbs and male Servals range from 20 to 40lbs. Where does the author get 50 lbs from? And they eat deer and gazelles? I guess it is possible, but if they’re going to quote Wikipedia on this one they maybe shouldn’t have left out the beginning and ending of that sentence which states that they have been seen taking down a deer or gazelle but over 90% of the Serval’s prey weighs less than 7 oz, yes 7 oz. They really like birds, fish, frogs, you know, little things. I laughed when I read that. You know what mine eats? Kibble. Yes, Blue Buffalo Wilderness to be exact.
“F1 Savannahs are at least 53% Serval.”
I don’t know why the author writes 53%. An “F1” is a Savannah cat with a Serval parent. That would make the Savannah cat at minimum 50% Serval. That is just simple Mendelian genetics.
“In New York, among other places, it’s not even legal to own a Savannah, unless it’s at least five generations removed from a wild cat.”
This statement makes it sound like Savannah cats are highly illegal when in fact they are legal in most states. In fact they are legal in every state except: Alaska, illegal since 1-23-2002 (Grandfathered with permit before then; Colorado, illegal if you have fourth generation or lower; Connecticut, illegal since 10-1-1996 from outside of the state; Georgia, illegal; Indiana, legal if you have a third generation of lower; Massachusetts, legal if you have a fourth generation or lower; New York, legal if you have fifth generation of lower. Illegal inside of New York City itself. So, 7 states are illegal or have some sort of regulation but the rest are completely 100% legal to own a Savannah cat.
The author goes on to quote “Big Cat Rescue” in their article. “We have had a bunch of them that were former pets. We have had to turn away many, many more because most of them cannot run free outside and have to have the same cages as bobcats and cougars.” It goes on to note that they all spray urine incessantly, they bite, and they “want to eat your other pets and they don’t care if it’s a German shepherd – they are going to be constantly looking for a way to take the dog down.”
I’m still shaking my head at this. Spray incessantly? They bite? I don’t even know where to start, no and no. They don’t spray or bite more than any other cat. Also, biting with any cat depends on how they were raised. They do LOVE to chew though. I get them chew toys just like I get my dogs. Speaking of dogs, I happen to have two German Shepherds. Juno my F2 Savannah cat, her best friend in the whole entire world in my German Shepherd, Rikku. They sleep together, groom each other, play chase, you name it. And if you look through my FB posts you will see Juno dressed up as Little Red Riding hood sitting next to my black German Shepherd, Fang. They went as Little Red Riding hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Fang could crush Juno with ease but she doesn’t because she is part of our pack. To think that Juno would “take down” Fang, well, not only is that physically impossible and out of Juno’s character, but it’s so utterly funny I literally did fall on the floor and laugh at that idea. I’m still laughing, seriously. Additionally, when my Serval is around my German Shepherds, he just runs. He will put up with them being in the room, he will walk over them when they are sleeping. He doesn’t really care that they exist, but when they want to play, he runs. And how are they putting a Savannah cat in a cage with a bobcat or cougar? The poor Savannah cat would be lunch.
I clicked on the link to “Big Cat Rescue,” it looks like that is where this author got most of their material for the article, that and Wikipedia. The very first sentence of the “Big Cat Rescue” article was the very last sentence of the author’s article which was “Allowing the private possession of wild cat/ domestic cat hybrids is like strapping a nuclear war head to the feral cat problem.” I thought it was a gimmick the author used to get more readers at first, but no, they actually wrote it. Why would anyone write such nonsense? Why is breeding Savannah cats in any way a nuclear effect of the feral cat problem? Wouldn’t all cat breeds share in this problem? The feral cat problem is a whole other discussion. I will say this though we don’t have a feral cat problem because of reputable breeders. Reputable breeders take responsibility for each and every cat that comes through. We spay and neuter the cats that are not meant for breeding programs before they even leave our catteries (unless the owner specifically asks for that not to be done). If you want to address the feral cat situation look at the crazy cat ladies breeding in their homes, look at the people who let their cats outside without spaying or neutering, look at the lack of regulation in order to breed a cat at all. There are many reasons but to blame a good breeder or a specific breed is just not right. There are certain breeds of cats for good reason. Every breed of cat is different and they all have their purpose. Savannah cats are not for everyone. If you like high energy dogs you will probably like Savannah cats because they act exactly the same way. My working line German Shepherd and my Savannah cat have almost identical personalities.
But wait, it gets better. There is a video at the bottom of the article on the “Big Cat Rescue” page. The representative in the video goes on to say how only 50% of house cats even like people. Yes, he said only 50% of the regular house cats even like their own owners. I’m beginning to wonder if this guy is a cat hater. Why would you say that? And where are these statistics coming from? Then he goes on to say that Savannah cats won’t eat cat food. Um, my Savannah cat eats cat food, so does my Serval. You know who told me to feed my Serval kibble? My Veterinarian who previously worked with the Servals at the zoo. What a generalization to say that Savannah cats won’t eat cat food. They eat what they are raised eating. Most of the Savannah cat community prefers not to feed their cats kibble, so the cats don’t eat kibble. That doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t. And if the cat bites take into consideration how the cat was raised, don’t generalize that just because it’s a Savannah cat that means that it bites and won’t eat cat food. I’m laughing that I even have to address this issue with grown adults. Notice how the cat that appeared under your porch acts differently than the one you adopted at 8 weeks old, there is a reason for this.
I realize that I’m a Savannah cat breeder so many people may say that I have reason to disagree with the author, however, everything I’ve stated here is fact. Don’t take MY word for it either. Just because I wrote an article on the internet doesn’t mean anything. Review my facts. Look up the information on reputable sites and see for yourself. Look on my FB page and see the picture of my Savannah cat with my German Shepherds. Use your brain as well, could a cat actually take down a German Shepherd? If I have one important thing that I did want to get out to the world about Savannah cats is that they are high energy. And before you adopt any pet ever you always need to research the breed and what you are actually looking for in a pet. If you want a laid back cat then a Savannah cat isn’t for you, maybe a Ragdoll cat instead. Or maybe the Humane Society. I needed a companion cat at one point and that is where I got my black kitty Mosley. Education is always the answer. Do your research before you ever adopt.