Savannah is a hybrid American cat of exotic cheetah color, leading the list of the most expensive pets.
- Brief information
- Breed characteristics
- History of the Savannah breed
- Who are ushers
- Savannah's Appearance
- Character of the Savannah cat/Asher
- Education and training
- Care and maintenance
- Health and diseases of savannah/Asher
- How to choose a kitten
- How much does savannah cost
- Breed Name: Savannah (Asher)
- Country of Origin: USA
- The time of the birth of the breed: 1980s
- Weight: up to 15 kg
- Height (height at the withers): up to 60 cm
- Savannas belong to the category of hybrid animals obtained by crossing a male African serval with a Bengal cat.
- The main character trait of savannahs is exceptional devotion to the owner, which they very much resemble dogs.
- Cats of this species are distinguished by a phenomenal memory, a lively mind and a passion for an active lifestyle.
- Savannas are able to peacefully coexist on the same territory with other animals, but they prefer to build friendly relations with dogs.
- Savannas suffer from loneliness and will not take root in apartments with a shortage of free space.
- Easily get used to the harness, which makes it possible to walk the cat on a leash.
- In 2007, a new breed of Asher was introduced, which actually turned out to be a representative of the Savannah breed. This caused a little confusion, because of which many consider the asheru a separate breed.
Savannah , she 's asher , is a scaled–down copy of a cheetah, possessing remarkable intelligence, with a price tag equivalent to the cost of a studio apartment in the province. In the early 2000s, these representatives of the feline elite found themselves in the epicenter of a grandiose scandal, which did not affect their cost at all. A pet of the Savannah breed still remains a kind of indicator of prestige and a measure of the success of its owner, so it is not often possible to meet a spotted cat proudly walking on a leash on Russian streets.
History of the Savannah breed
The first experiment on crossing an African serval with a Siamese cat took place in 1986, on the farm of Pennsylvania breeder Judy Frank. The woman has been breeding bush cats for a long time, so in order to "refresh the blood" of the pets a little, she borrowed a male serval from her friend Susie Woods. The animal successfully coped with the task, but the unexpected happened: together with the females of its kind, the serval managed to cover the breeder's domestic cat.
The owner of the only female kitten born as a result of this unusual "love affair" was Susie Woods. It was she who gave the animal the nickname Savannah, which later became the name of the breed of new hybrid cats. By the way, Susie herself was not a professional breeder, which did not prevent her from further conducting an experiment on mating her pet with a domestic cat and publishing a couple of articles on this topic.
The main contribution to the development of the Savannah breed was made by Patrick Kelly, who bought a kitten from Susie Woods and attracted an experienced breeder and breeder to breed new cats bengals - Joyce Srouf. Already in 1996, Kelly and Srouf introduced TICA (International Cat Association) new unusual animals of cheetah color. They also developed the first standard of appearance of savannah.
In 2001, the breed was officially registered and finally received recognition from the largest feline associations, and breeder Joyce Srouf gained worldwide fame as the founder of the elite feline "clan".
Who are ushers
Cats of the Asher breed are exclusively an advertising product, which has not yet been recognized by any felinological association. In 2007, the American company "Lifestyle Pets" presented to the world giant leopard cats that were born allegedly as a result of the most complex genetic experiments. According to the owner of the company, Simon Brody, a domestic cat, an African serval and an Asian leopard cat gave their genes to the new breed. Well, the main selling legend of Asher was their complete hypoallergenic.
In order to give customers confidence in the exclusivity of their product, Brody even paid for a scientific study that was supposed to confirm the hypothesis that asher wool contains a minimum amount of allergens. By the way, the results of the experiment were never published by any self-respecting publication, and in general turned out to be fictitious, but at the very beginning of the popularization of the breed, these pseudoscientific studies made cats a good advertisement. A queue of wealthy breeders and exotic lovers immediately lined up behind the ushers, who carried their money to Lifestyle Pets in the hope of becoming the owner of an amazing animal.
The general euphoria did not last long. The myth of unique image cats bred in secret laboratories of "Lifestyle Pets" was dispelled by Pennsylvania breeder Chris Shirk. The breeder made a statement that the company's employees purchased several savannah cats from him, after which they presented them as a completely new species. The hype around Asher broke out with renewed vigor, as a result, independent geneticists of the Netherlands took up the furry creatures.
The result of the research turned out to be stunning: all the animals purchased from Lifestyle Pets agents really belonged to the Savannah breed. Moreover, the VIP cats turned out to be carriers of the same number of allergens as their mongrel relatives. Irrefutable evidence of deception on the part of "Lifestyle Pets" and Simon Brody became the beginning of the end for the non-existent breed, but did not affect the popularity of the savannahs themselves.
The name "Asher" is borrowed from Western Semitic mythology and is consonant with the name of the goddess personifying the natural principle.
Video: Savannah (Asher)
Savannas are large–sized creatures: the length of the animal's body can reach up to 1 m, and the weight can reach 14 kg. For Asher, the standard of appearance has not been formed, since modern felinological associations refuse to recognize them as an independent breed. Accordingly, in order to establish the animal's belonging to the Asher clan, today's breeders have to use the standard approved at the time for savannas.
Small, wedge-shaped, noticeably elongated forward. Cheeks and cheekbones do not stand out. The transition from the muzzle to the forehead is almost straight.
The bridge of the nose is wide, the nose and lobe are large, convex. In animals of black color, the color of the nose lobe coincides with the shade of wool. In individuals of tabby color, the lobe can be red, brown and black shades with a pinkish-red line in the central part.
Savannah's eyes are large, set obliquely and moderately deep, with almond-shaped lower eyelids. There are tear-shaped marks in the corners of the eyes. The shades of the iris do not depend on the color of the animal and can vary from golden to rich green.
Large, with a deep funnel, set high. The distance between the ears is minimal, the tip of the auricle is rounded. The inner part of the funnel is pubescent, but the hair in this area is short and does not protrude beyond the boundaries of the ear. It is desirable to have light markings on the outside of the ear funnel.
Graceful, moderately wide and long.
Savannah's body is athletic, graceful, with an excellently developed muscular corset. The chest is wide. The pelvic area is much narrower than the shoulder area.
Muscular and very long. The hips and shoulders are elongated with developed muscles. The paws are oval, the front ones are noticeably shorter than the hind ones. The fingers are massive, the claws are large, hard.
The savanna tail is of medium thickness and length, slightly tapering from the base to the end and reaching the hock joint. Ideally, it should have a bright color.
Short or medium length. The undercoat is soft but dense. The outer hair is hard, coarse, and has a softer structure at the locations of the spotted "print".
There are four main colors of the savannah: brown tabby spotted, smoky black, black and silver spotted. The reference shade of the spots is from dark brown to black. The shape of the spots is oval, slightly elongated, the contour is clear, graphic. The spots in the chest, legs and head area are smaller than in the back area. It is mandatory to have parallel contrasting stripes in the direction from the occipital part to the shoulder blades.
Since savannas are a hybrid breed, the external data of individuals directly depend on which generation the animal belongs to. For example, F1 hybrids are larger and very similar to servals. Representatives of the second generation are noticeably smaller, since they got only 29% of the blood of the wild ancestor.
Hybrid levels of savannah/asher offspring
- F1 – individuals born as a result of crossing an African serval and a domestic cat, combining an equal ratio of "wild" and "domestic" genes.
- F2 – offspring obtained from F1 cat and domestic cat.
- F3 – kittens born from a female F2 and a male domestic cat. The percentage of serval genes in representatives of this generation is about 13%.
- F4, F5 – individuals born as a result of mating a hybrid of F3 and an ordinary cat. Kittens of this generation are not much different from ordinary domestic cats. The wild essence in them is given out only by the leopard color, and some "oddities" of character typical of savannahs.
The main disqualifying vices of the breed
Savannah is more often disqualified for improper behavior than for congenital defects. Individuals with color defects, in particular with rosette spots, "medallions" in the chest area and small ears, are subject to mandatory fines. Polydacts (cats with extra fingers on their paws), animals trying to bite a person approaching them, or, conversely, too cowardly and not going to contact savannah, are completely disqualified.
Character of the Savannah cat/asher
If you believe the PR people from Lifestyle Pets, the genes of an aggressive African serval in usher never wake up. However, such statements are more of a beautiful advertisement than reality. Of course, representatives of this breed are quite friendly pets, but they will never become "sofa pillows". In addition, they are extremely intelligent and active, so they are unlikely to suit people who consider an animal as a living interior decoration.
The passion for dominance inherited by the savanna ushers from a wild ancestor is successfully extinguished by castration or sterilization of the pet, after which the character of the animal undergoes significant changes. The cat becomes calmer and more tolerant of external stimuli, although it does not leave its leadership habits until the end. Individuals of the first and second generations are especially guilty of this, so it is better to take F3-F4 hybrids into families with children.
Representatives of the savannah clan categorically do not tolerate loneliness, so do not leave the animal alone with itself for a long time in an empty house. Unless, of course, you are afraid of the prospect of returning to a trashed dwelling with scratched furniture. Vindictiveness is present in most individuals, so it is worth treating savannas with respect.
F1 individuals rather negatively perceive strangers who set foot on their territory, which they warn about with loud aggressive hissing and grumbling. With each subsequent generation of cats, alertness becomes less pronounced, although in general strangers of the savannah are not favored. In the relationship with the owner, the genes of the African serval are not so pronounced, but otherwise the same principle works here as in the case of strangers: to be able to pet a pet, you should choose at least a hybrid F4. Savannahs/ushers are cats of the same owner. Do not count on the fact that your "pet cheetah" will equally love and obey every member of the family. However, he will not fight with them either, rather, he will demonstrate complete indifference.
Education and training
Since savannahs are supposed to be walked in order to maintain health and muscle tone, it is worth teaching the animal to walk on a leash in advance. F1 hybrids are the most difficult to educate, since they are still half servals. It is better to keep such animals in a country house, in a special aviary. As for training, cats of this breed are smart enough to master techniques designed for dogs. In particular, the savannahs love the "Aport!" team the most.
Savannahs are natural hunters, so they can sometimes hone their tactical skills on the owner. It is better to wean a kitten from this harmful, and even dangerous habit for a person, by regular outdoor games and buying toys in the form of mice and other small animals for a pet.
Care and maintenance
To walk a lot and often, pay maximum attention, put up with the inevitable destruction of housing and the independence of the pet's character – here is a short list of rules that the owner of the savannah will have to obey. Since representatives of this breed have an extraordinary jumping ability, it is worth thoroughly thinking about the interior solution of the house, otherwise all the vases and figurines will be swept off the shelves every day. In addition, like Maine coons, savannahs love to arrange viewing platforms on cabinets and other furniture modules. Such dependence is treated by buying and spreading an electric rug on surfaces from which the pet is planned to be weaned.
It is also impossible to do without scratching posts in the upbringing of savannah, but when buying them, the dimensions of the animal should be taken into account. Small and flimsy products designed for ordinary cats will not last long. Before you get a cheetah kitten, take care of the right garbage cans. They should have tightly closed lids, because savannah ushers are very curious and love to check garbage containers for the presence of feline treasures in them.
The care of the savannah fur is minimal. Usually the animal is combed once a week, although it is recommended to do this procedure daily during the molting period. However, some breeders advise replacing the classic combing by wiping the pet's fur with an ordinary wet cloth. The services of a groomer savannahs, as a rule, are not required. Cat's claws need to be cut regularly. Excessively wayward individuals undergo laser onychectomy (removal of claws on the front paws). Bathe the animal as needed. By the way, Asher-savannah water procedures are respected and swim in baths and pools with pleasure as soon as a suitable opportunity presents itself.
Representatives of this breed have no difficulties with the toilet. For hybrids F4 and F5, characterized by relatively small sizes, a classic tray is suitable, although most individuals easily get used to the outdoor toilet. In addition, savannahs are able to master the subtleties of using the toilet. Accordingly, if you want to save yourself the hassle of cleaning the tray, try to teach your pet this wisdom.
The savannah menu should to some extent copy the serval's daily "table". The most win–win option is to feed your pet with high-quality meat (you can eat it raw). Especially low-fat meat is recommended for savannas, in particular, rabbit, veal and chicken. Fish, if it is not tuna or salmon, it is better to avoid it altogether, as well as milk. Experienced breeders claim that on one "straight woman" the animal will have a hard time, so it's worth picking up a vitamin complex from a veterinarian in advance, which includes taurine, which helps normalize the heart activity of the cat. Feeding by "drying" also takes place, but it should be taken into account that these should be premium varieties of feed containing a minimum percentage of cereals.
All male savannahs, starting from generation F1 and ending with F4, are sterile. However, such individuals are subject to castration.
F5 males are capable of reproducing offspring, so they can be knitted with other domestic cats. In particular, breeders allow the possibility of mating fifth-generation savannah with such breeds as Bengal cat, ociket, Egyptian mau, as well as ordinary mongrel cats.
Sexually mature and capable of producing healthy offspring are considered individuals who have reached the age of 1.5-2 years.
Health and diseases of savannah/asher
Despite their "artificiality", representatives of the savannah/Usher family have excellent health and are able to live up to 20 years. The few congenital defects observed in kittens of this breed include: polydactyly, hydrocephalus, dwarfism and cleft palate. In some cases, animals may be susceptible to bacterial, viral or fungal infections. It is possible to understand that the cat is ill by deviations in behavior. Lethargy, copious molting, decreased appetite, vomiting and too frequent urination signal that the pet's body has failed.
How to choose a kitten
As is the case with other purebred kittens, before buying savannah/asher, it is worth thoroughly studying the kennels selling "pet cheetahs". Information about vaccinations received by the kitten, living conditions, pedigree – all these items are included in the mandatory inspection program of the institution.
The behavior of the animal should be friendly and adequate, therefore, it is better to abandon hissing and scratching kittens right away, unless your plans include the purchase of F1 individuals for whom such a manifestation of emotions is the norm. Most nurseries start selling 3-4-month-old kittens who already know how to use the tray and have received the necessary "package" of vaccinations. It is mandatory to test the animal for hidden infections.
Photos of savannah kittens
How much does savannah cost
In the first months after the announcement of the breed, the dealers from "Lifestyle Pets" managed to sell usher for $22,000 - $26,000 per individual, which at that time was an exorbitant amount. Moreover, in order to get a VIP pet, it was literally necessary to take a queue. After Simon Brody's scam was revealed and the ushers "transformed" into savannah, their price dropped slightly, but not so much that cats began to buy everything in a row. To date, you can buy a savannah/ asher kitten for $5000 - $10000. The most expensive are F1 hybrids, characterized by impressive dimensions and having a bright "wild" appearance. In the fifth generation of animals, the highest price tag is set for males, which is due to their ability to reproduce offspring.