Header for The Savannah Cat

Some Savannah Cat Basics To Help You Make The Right Decision To Buy

The Savannah cat is a hybrid cat that is bred by crossing an African Serval cat with a domestic cat. They offer the look of a wild cat but are more even-tempered, gentle, affectionate and playful.

What an excellent compromise for those wanting a wild cat but not a huge cat, and for those who live in a city or state/province where bylaws and regulations prevent ownership of a Serval.

Judee Frank bred the first Savannah kitten in 1986 when she allowed a female domestic cat to keep company with her African Serval.

Suzi Wood, the breeder who came to own the offspring, named the female kitten "Savannah" and bred her to produce a number of second generation hybrid crosses.

Serious Savannah Cat Breeding

When neither Judee nor Suzi were interested in developing the breed further, Patrick Kelley purchased the only female kitten Savannah had produced and began to work with Joyce Sroufe to develop the breed.

Joyce, a Serval breeder, began serious production of Savannah kittens and produced her first successful litter in 1994. Continued development produced the beautiful cat with the traits and personality so well known today.

Generally thought of as the founder of the breed, she worked with Patrick Kelly to write the original TICA Breed Standard, which they presented to The International Cat Association (TICA) Board of Directors in 1996.

Patrick continued to promote the breed through the Internet and also through the "Cat Fancy" magazine. Joyce continued to promote her beautiful cats at shows and conferences. She was the first breeder to produce fertile males and the first to exhibit the cat in New York in 1997.

Official Savannah Breed Recognition

Advanced new breed Savannah cat
New Breed

Her breeding females and fertile males became the basis for many other Savannah breeding programs and Joyce has been an active mentor of new breeders.

Lorre Smith, the first TICA Savannah Breed Chairperson, advanced Savannahs through the ranks of TICA until it was accepted within the New Breed program.

She also worked diligently with other breeders to refine the Savannah Breed Standard until TICA accepted the Savannah for registration in 2001.

The breed progressed to Advanced New Breed Status in 2004 and Championship status in 2012. Judges and the public now enthusiastically welcome this exotic and intelligent cat to shows throughout the world.

The official recognition has increased pet-lover wild-side interest in buying Savannah cats. They're a great alternative to exotic breeds that could involve owners in behavioral and legal problems.