Header for The Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat Generations From The African Serval To F1 To F7

Anyone looking to buy a Savannah cat needs to know about the generations from the original African Serval to the later purebred generations. Different strokes for different folks is the applicable catch-phrase here.

Breeders now purposely and painstakingly develop the Savannah breed to blend the beauty of its wild ancestors with the pleasant and trustworthy characteristics of a domestic cat.

In addition to African Servals, TICA accepts outcrossing (cross breeding) with the Egyptian Mau, Ocicat, Oriental Shorthair and domestic shorthairs that are not members of a recognized breed.

The variety of breeding stock results in a large mix of hybrid cat traits to match the divergent demands of buyers. This concerns the look mostly; they can't seem to change the exuberant personality!

A professional breeder will be able to tell you exactly which domestic breeds have been used in the crossings. Recognized colors can include brown and black spotted tabby; black silver spotted tabby; black smoke; and black.

Savannah males are usually not fertile until the fourth or fifth generation, so it has taken time and determination to develop the Savannah females and fertile Savannah males that will produce kittens with the large ears, long lean legs and bodies and large dark spots that are so beautiful in the Serval.

Early generations of Savannahs often included the Bengal cat which is a domestic cat derived from the Asian leopard cat.

The Savannah 'F' Designation

Purebred Savannah cat
Purebred Savannah

Savannahs are referred to as F1, F2, F3, F4 and so on depending on how removed they are from their African Serval ancestors.

  • F1 Savannahs have a domestic and an African Serval parent.
  • F2 Savannahs have a domestic parents and an F1 Savannah.
  • F3 Savannahs have a domestic parent and an F2 Savannah parent.
  • F4 Savannahs are the first generation that can be an SBT (Stud Book Tradition) and are considered a "purebred" cat.

Sometimes breeders will post Serval percentage beside the Savannah such as: F1 Savannah 75% Serval.

This mean the father is a Serval and the mother is an F1 Savannah, making the percentage of Serval blood higher in the Savannah. F3 generations and further down can be shown at TICA shows.

Savannah cats are also registered in a specific way:

  • A: one Savannah for a parent.
  • B: a Savannah mother and a Savannah father.
  • C: a registered Savannah that has a Savannah mother, father and grand-parents.

The further removed a cat is from its African Serval roots, the more domestic the cat will look and act. Under most laws, regulations and associations, a Savannah that is F4 or higher is considered to be a domestic cat.

SBT Savannah Advantages

An SBT (Stud Book Tradition) Savannah is at least four Generations removed from the African Serval and is a "pure" Savannah that has only registered Savannahs as parents for at least three generations.

The size or appearance of an SBT Savannah can be compared to an F4 or an F5 Savannah but tends to be more consistent in features, personality and temperament.

Many families with children and other pets prefer this greater certainty.