The Generations

The Foundation of the Savannah cat is the Serval.

The Serval is the ancestor of the Savannah cat. The Serval is crossed with an ordinary domestic cat and from this the Savannah originated.

The first generation Savannahs are commonly known as the Filial Savannahs. You can see that the terms F1, F2, F3, F4 and F5 etc. are used. The “F” does not stand, as many people think, for Foundation (Foundation) but for Filial (Generation). The “F” stands for generation of . F1 ( Filial 1) means 1 generation of something removed , F2 means 2 generations of something removed , F3 generation means 3 generations of something removed, etc. .

In the case of the Savannah breed, the term is used to show generations of the Savannah cat that it is removed from the Serval (the Foundation cat) . When we talk about F1 we are talking about a Savannah whose father is a Serval. The mother cat (no matter which generation it is) is therefore mated to a Serval. The cat is a 1st generation after the Serval.

When we talk about a F2 Savannah we are talking about a cat of which the grandfather is a Serval. The mother cat is a F1 Savannah herself and has been mated to a Savannah male (generation from F5, but no matter which generation. For the percentage of Serval blood and size we prefer an F5 rather than a lower generation male. But it remains an F2 Savannah even if she is mated to an F7.

When we are talking about an F3 Savannah we are talking about a cat of which the great-grandfather is a Serval. The mother is then always an F2 Savannah etc.. In each branch (generation) there is a certain percentage of Serval blood and a percentage of domesticated cat.

A Serval with an F1 Savannah gives a higher percentage of wild blood than a Serval with another domesticated cat. This is of course quite simple to explain, because in an F1 Savannah at least 50% Serval blood is already present and in the domesticated cat this percentage is o%.

With a cross between a Serval and a higher generation Savannah you can achieve an F1 with 75% Serval blood. These Savannah cats are bigger and closer to the Serval. Also in character and appearance they will look more like their ancestor. For a 75% percentage of Savannah, however, they are also more difficult to keep in the house, because the behavior of the Serval is also 75% bred back into the cat.

The aim of a good Savannah breeder is to obtain the beautiful appearance and the big and a bit of character of the Serval only then in a lower generation. Actually we try to breed a cat that looks like an African Serval only then one that has left all the “negative” traits of the Serval behind. As far as you can speak of “negative” traits of course. We are talking about the natural traits of a Serval that we would rather not see in the house, like marking its territory with urine (spraying) or chewing it off the couch because it looks like soft prey.

Where all generations of female Savannahs generally turn out to be fertile, the males are sterile (infertile) until the fifth generation (F5). All males from F1 to F4 should be castrated and sold as pets. Exceptionally it sometimes happens that an F4 male proves to be fertile.

Savannah cats are therefore mated to F5 (or lower generations, F6, F7, etc.). ) Savannah males, or by another domesticated breed: Eastern Shorthair, Ocicat, Egyptian Mau and the European Shorthair are recognized by TICA as allowed breeds, but beautiful cats were also obtained by crossing with Serengetis, Bengal and even Maine Coons (for size) to name but a few, but these are no longer allowed to be used to breed Savannah cats.

Dedicated breeders are now ensuring that in the near future it will be possible to further improve the breed using only Savannah X Savannah. F1 Savannahs are rare and expensive. The initial crossing between Serval and domesticated cat is difficult because of the large difference in size between the two cats and also because there is a difference in gestation time between Serval and domestic cat (65 days for the latter and 66-77 days for the Serval). As a result, some F1 Kittens may be born prematurely and need care day and night.