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Is a Savannah Cat Too Dangerous to Keep as a Pet? Facts & FAQ

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

savannah cat sitting on couch

Savannah cats are not considered dangerous to people. F1 Savannahs typically fall in the “domesticated” category. These felines are half serval and half domestic. However, because they are raised around people, they do act like domesticated cats for the most part. There are not any reports of a Savannah killing or significantly injuring a human, for instance, Savannah cats are not dangerous at all.

Read on below to find out more about these incredible cats.

Are Savannah Cats Dangerous?

For the most part, no. For one, these cats don’t weigh that much. Secondly, these cats are bred with their temperament in mind. Most breeders will not breed particularly aggressive servals, for instance. These cats are also very socialized when they are kittens, which helps them get along with people.

However, these felines do retain strong hunting instincts so they cannot be kept around small animals. Still, this applies to most felines. Because these cats are bigger, they can do a bit more damage, though. For this reason, we highly recommend keeping them away from any small animals. This suggestion includes puppies and even small cats.

Furthermore, these cats may be dangerous to small kids and elders who are unable to defend themselves. You should not leave these cats alone with children unsupervised. You should use the same common sense that most people apply to larger dogs. Because these cats are big, there is a possibility that they could seriously injure a child (just like any large dog).

However, there isn’t any evidence that these cats are any more dangerous than the average German Shepherd or other larger companion animal. In fact, they may be much safer than some of these animals, since a Savannah has never been reported to seriously injure a child.

Can a Savannah Cat Be a House Cat?

Most Savannah cats are house cats. In fact, because they have such distinctive hunting instincts, it is implored that all Savannahs be kept contained. However, Savannah cats do need their environment set up a bit differently from your average housecat.

These cats are extremely active, agile, and smart. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to completely cat-proof your house. Therefore, most owners have a “Savannah” room for when they are unable to supervise their feline. The cat may spend a decent portion of their time in this room. Usually, this room is only used for the feline, and it is equipped with plenty of climbing structures and toys.

Many owners also build an outdoor enclosure for their cat. This enclosure must have a roof, as these cats are very good climbers. When the weather is nice, the cat can be allowed in this enclosure for exercise. However, it is vital that this enclosure be locked up and cat-proof.

Still, these cats function best in homes where owners are often home. If everyone in your household works outside of the home for much of the day, a Savannah cat would likely become bored. They need more stimulation than most domestic cats, which means that someone needs to be there to provide them with this stimulation.

savannah cat on a scratching post
Image by: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

How Destructive Are Savannah Cats?

Savannah cats can be extremely destructive. You should not allow them to access anything that can be destroyed, because they will absolutely destroy it. Cat-proofing your house when you have a Savannah is very difficult, as they are strong, agile, and curious.

Constant supervision is required to prevent your Savannah cat from accidentally consuming something they shouldn’t. It isn’t odd for Savannah cats to break things and then consume them. They can also become stuck in places they shouldn’t be or access dangerous areas, like your air vents.

Most owners have an absolute cat-proof room where their Savannah stays when they cannot supervise them. You cannot simply leave this feline to roam your house when you aren’t there.

Their destructiveness is one reason why they do not make the perfect pet for everyone. They do best for those that want a very involved pet. Furthermore, owners that are gone much of the day likely won’t be a good fit for a Savannah cat.

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Are Savannah Cats Hard to Take Care Of?

Savannah cats are a bit harder to take care of than your average cat. They simply require more—more exercise, more stimulation, more playtime, more attention, and more room. These cats aren’t a breed that you can leave alone for long periods. They require exercise similar to a dog, which is why more owners teach them to walk on a leash.

These cats are larger and more active and they need more room to roam. However, because they are so agile and destructive, you cannot simply let them out into a fenced-in yard like a dog. Therefore, exercising them is a bit more complicated.

Savannah cats are surprisingly social, too. They get a lot of mental stimulation from interacting with others. While this means that they will pay you some attention, it also means that they get bored (and destructive) when left alone for long periods. Therefore, they work best for owners who are home for much of the day.

savannah kitten
Image by: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

Are Savannah Cats Dangerous to Children?

Theoretically, Savannah cats could be dangerous to children. They are large and could potentially injure a child if they wanted to. However, there aren’t any reports of a Savannah cat injuring a child or anyone else. They don’t see children as prey sources and aren’t aggressive when socialized.

In this way, they are a lot like large dogs. While every large dog does have the capacity to harm a child, the large majority of them do not. Therefore, the same rules and common sense should apply. You should socialize your Savannah cat around children so that they become used to them. You should also supervise your cat and children whenever they are together.

Learn to read your cat’s body language. This will help you intervene if the cat feels uncomfortable before things start going south.


Savannah cats are quite large for a cat, and they are half serval. Therefore, many people mistakenly believe that these cats are dangerous. However, that isn’t entirely true. These cats aren’t particularly dangerous, as they are only slightly heavier than a regular domestic cat. They are tall and lanky, but they weigh much less than many often think.

Furthermore, these cats are usually well-socialized as kittens and raised around people. Therefore, they are domesticated in almost every sense of the word.

With all that said, the potential for destructiveness is still there. You should never leave these cats alone with children or without supervision. They are a bit different from a regular domestic cat, which means that they require special care. However, they aren’t particularly dangerous.

Featured Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

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