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F4 Savannah Cat: Rarity, Temperament, Info & More (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

F4 Savannah


When it comes to the most recent and most unique breeds of cats, Savannah cats are at the top of the list. Their unique physical beauty and charming, energetic personalities have made them a popular pet. Savannahs are also very new to the purebred cat world, which gives them a certain mystique (and quite a hefty price tag).

Read on to learn more about the F4 Savannah Cat.

The Earliest Records of the F4 Savannah Cat in History

Savannah cats are a cross between domesticated cats and servals, which are a breed of wild cat that lives in sub-Saharan Africa. The name Savannah actually comes from the type of natural environment servals live in. Servals look similar to ocelots and lynxes with their golden or gray hued fur, mix of dark spots and stripes, and large ears. Their aesthetic appeal led to many attempts to domesticate them over the centuries—as far back as ancient Egypt—with little success.

a savannah cat wearing a red harness
Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

How Savannah Cats Gained Popularity

Cat breeder Judee Frank helped bring the first Savannah cat into existence in 1986 by breeding a domestic cat with a serval. The kittens absolutely entranced cat lovers, and more expansive breeding programs soon followed.

Formal Recognition of Savannah Cats

At the end of the 1990s, the cat/serval hybrid became popular among breeders and was recognized as a new registered breed by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 2001. It was recognized by TICA as a championship breed in May 2012. Its scientific name is “Felis catus × Leptailurus serval.”

Silver Savannah Cat
Image Credit: Yana Vydrenkova, Shutterstock

Top 3 Unique Facts About the F4 Savannah Cat

1. Savannah cats actually enjoy being walked on leashes

For people drawn to their almost dog-like character, this fact adds even more to their charm and appeal.

2. Savannah cats are distinguished by special generation numbers that indicate how much DNA of their wild ancestors they have

F1 means that the cat has a domestic cat parent and a serval cat parent. F2 means they have a serval grandparent. F3 means they have a serval great-grandparent. F4, the most commonly available type of Savannah cat, has only Savannah cats in its family tree and minimal serval DNA.

a savannah cat standing outside on a backyard deck
Image Credit: Patrick Hatt, Shutterstock

3. Savannah cats are legally prohibited in certain states

All Savannah cats are illegal in Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Rhode Island. New York state only allows Savannah cats that are F4 or F5 generations.

Does the F4 Savannah Cat Make a Good Pet?

Savannah cats are known for their active, curious, and social temperament. They are often described as being more dog-like than cat-like, and they are often more playful and interactive than other domestic cat breeds. Savannah cats are intelligent, energetic, and love to play with their owners. They are also known for their love of climbing and jumping, and they may be more likely than other cats to follow their owners around or even play fetch.

They are generally friendly and social animals that enjoy the company of both humans and other pets, including dogs. However, as with any breed or individual animal, temperament can vary and it is important to consider the unique personality of each Savannah cat.

Savannah cats have the same nutritional needs as their domestic cat relatives. They need a high-quality dry or wet food, and some experts recommend the addition of raw or cooked meat. Others include taurine supplements in their Savannah’s diet or ensure that they only eat grain-free food, as servals do not consume any grain products in the wild. Check with your vet about their recommendations for this unique feline. As with any breed, be sure to provide fresh, clean water for your cat at all times.

close up of a savannah cat sitting
Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock


If you’re the type of person who is drawn to unique and unusual pets, the Savannah cat is certainly a breed to learn more about. They are beautiful physical specimens with long legs, large ears, and coats adorned with patterns of stripes and spots. With a personality more like a dog than that of a typical cat, a Savannah cat is going to shower you with affection and charm you with their curious and energetic antics. When you’re ready to add a cat to your life, definitely take the time to learn more about these domesticated beauties with just a touch of wild DNA.

Featured Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

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