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Will a Savannah Cat Get Along With My Dog? Temperament & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Dog and Savannah cat with together in bed

We have all heard the old saying, “they fight like cats and dogs!” But for many of us who have had dogs and cats in our homes at the same time, that wisdom couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some cats and dogs can develop lifetime bonds and show true affection for one another, while others maintain a cordial respect (or disinterest in each other).

Savannah cats are a unique breed that is genetically closer to its wild ancestors (a wild cat known as a serval). The compatibility between a Savannah cat and a dog depends on a variety of factors and cannot be predicted definitively.  We can, however, take what we know about Savannah cats in general to help determine whether a specific one will be able to share a home and life with you and your dog.

If you are considering adopting a Savannah cat and you also have a dog, please read on to find out more about how the two will potentially get along.

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Savannah cats are well-known for being playful, social, and curious. Experts describe them as being more dog-like than cat-like, as they are affectionate and intuitive about their humans. A Savannah cat may bond well with dogs if both are friendly and tolerant, but if the Savannah cat is shy or aggressive, it may not get along well with a dog.

F1 Savannah Cat
Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

Prior Experiences:

Just like us, past experiences can affect a cat or dog’s behavior and how they interact with the world. If a dog has a history of aggression towards cats, it is unlikely that the Savannah cat will feel comfortable around it. On the other hand, if a dog has lived with cats before and gotten along well with them, it may be more accepting of the Savannah cat. The same goes for Savannah cats; you might want to consult a variety of breeders to find a kitten/cat who has been around dogs successfully before.


Age and Size:

How old and how large/small your dog is can also impact their relationship with a Savannah cat. Young animals are typically more boisterous and playful; they are much more likely to engage in rough play than older ones. A dog with some years under its belt may be more relaxed and less likely to engage in rough play.

Additionally, if a dog is significantly larger than a cat, the cat may feel intimidated. On the other hand, if a cat is larger or more assertive, the dog may be intimidated. Bear in mind, that an intimidated pet is definitely not a happy or healthy one.

Dachshund and Savannah Cat
Image Credit: Patrick Hatt, Shutterstock

Building a Relationship Between a Savannah Cat and Your Dog

If you decide to introduce a Savannah cat to your dog, make sure you do so with an attitude of patience and respect for both animals. Introducing the two should be done gradually and under close supervision.

For the Savannah cat in particular, make sure there are “safe spaces” (like a cat tree) for them to retreat to if they feel scared. Allow the two animals  to sniff each other from a distance, or under a door from separate rooms, and gradually increase their interaction with each. Be mindful to observe their physical and auditory cues around each other to prevent any negative reactions before they start. This process could take days or weeks and should always be done under your watchful eye.

You might want to try basic obedience training for your dog before you get the Savannah cat, so that it is already accustomed to following directions and commands. Obedience training can also help dogs feel calm and relaxed, making them more amenable to a positive relationship with their new roommate. It is important to keep in mind that, even with all the right factors, some cats and dogs simply may not get along. In such cases, it may be best to keep them separate to avoid stress or conflict.

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The relationship between a Savannah cat and a dog can be a very positive one if nurtured from the beginning. Because Savannah cats have some of the same characteristics as dogs, there is a strong likelihood of them learning to get along well with each other.

Fostering a positive canine-feline relationship requires patience, supervision, and a willingness to work with both animals to ensure their comfort and well-being. If you have any concerns or questions, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for personalized advice about your unique cat and dog.

Featured Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

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