Helmi Flick for A1Savannahs
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    The first known Savannah cat was born April 7, 1986 when a female domestic cat gave birth to a kitten sired by an African Serval, according to the International Cat Association (TICA). It is described as a tall, lean, graceful cat with "striking dark spots and other bold markings."
    Helmi Flick for A1Savannahs
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Breeders describe the Savannah cat as a domestic breed which closely resembles its ancestral source, the African Serval, but is smaller in stature. It's described as affectionate and outgoing, with a long neck, legs, and tall ears, and a medium length tail.
    Dianna Starr
  • The Misunderstood Serval or Savannah Cat

    TICA accepted the Savannah as a registered breed in 2001. The Savannah was accepted for Championship status by TICA in 2012. According to Brigitte Cowell, breed chair for the Savannah breed and member of the International Cat Association, a common myth is that Savannahs are huge cats.
    Donna Lawver
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Savannah cat, Karamu, is shown with pet beagle, Coop. Both belong to Brigitte Cowell. Most Savannahs are proportionally taller than the average domestic cat but usually weigh about the same, Cowell said.
    Brigitte Cowell
  • The Misunderstood Serval or Savannah Cat

    Cowell says she got Coop the beagle as a puppy at the same time as the family's first Savannah kitten. "I believe he sees the cats as his "pack"... and Karamu has always adored him," she said.
    Brigitte Cowell
  • Misunderstood Cats

    Pictured are: Kirembo Babbage (F5 SBT Savannah, spotted), Plaidplus George Gordon of Kirembo ( British Shorthair), Kirembo Barack (black F5C Savannah), and Kirembo Akoko Yewande (spotted F4B Savannah).
    Tetsu Yamazaki
  • The Misunderstood Serval or Savannah Cat

    Breeders object to the notion that Savannahs or Servals are aggressive, wild cat breeds. Collette said servals often weigh 25 to 40 lbs. and prey on rodents, frogs and large insects. "It eats mice like any domestic cat would if surviving outdoors," Brigitte Cowell said.
    Brigitte Cowell
  • The Misunderstood Serval or Savannah Cat

    Kirembo Akoko Yewande, known as Coco, is shown with Plaidplus George Gordon of Kirembo, known as Georgie, a British shorthair cat. Cowell said Georgie is one of the heaviest cats in her house, even if the Savannahs are often taller than him. Cowell said all her Savannahs adore "Uncle Georgie". "They are very different cat breeds but are very compatible," she said.
    Brigitte Cowell
  • The Misunderstood Serval or Savannah Cat

    Cowell's Savannah cat, Kirembo Zarina Isoke, or Zari, is shown napping with British shorthair Georgie. "Zari is just a year old now and she's always adored Georgie. She's never happier than when snuggling with him," Cowell said.
    Brigitte Cowell
  • The Misunderstood Serval or Savannah Cat

    Cowell's husband, Jean-Noel Moyne, holds Kiki the Savannah, "a very normal-sized F3B female Savannah," according to Cowell, who says males can get a lot larger than their female littermates. Kiki is shown around 2 years old, weighing about 9 to 10 lbs.
    Brigitte Cowell
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    "The breed name, Chausie (pronounced chow-see), is actually derived from the Latin name for the Jungle Cat, felis chaus," according to the International Cat Association's description of the breed. "The Jungle Cat is a distinct species of cat that dwells from the Nile Valley to the Caspian Sea. The Jungle Cat also is normally found in South Asia as far Vietnam."
    Lonnie Creighten
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Pictured is Gaara, a neutered Chausie. The Chausie is described as a long legged, tall, statuesque cat that it is built for running and jumping," according to TICA. "Like the Jungle Cat, the Chausie has a body type like that of an Olympic athlete."
    Lonnie Creighten
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Sekhmet, pictured, lives in Germany and is a spayed fourth-generation Chausie. The breed has "a deep chest which enables them to breathe deeply so they seem to have a limitless source of energy. Like the Jungle Cat, Chausies have large, upright, preferably tufted ears" according to TICA.
    Michaela Forester
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    This six-week old Bengal kitten weighs 1.5 lbs. and is 10 generations from the non-domestic source cat. "Originally developed from crosses between the domestic cats and the Asian Leopard Cat, the Bengal is the only domestic cat that can have rosettes like the markings on Leopards, Jaguars and Ocelots," the International Cat Association says.
    Libbie Kerr
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Domestic Bengal cats today come "only from breeding Bengals to other Bengals and requires no specialized care," TICA states. "Since their beginnings in 1986, the Bengal's regal beauty and alluring charm have quickly made it one of the most popular breeds."
    Libbie Kerr
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Pictured is female first generation (F1) Savannah, Magic.
    Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Leonie Stucki, Martin and Kathrin Stucki's daughter of A1 Savannahs, is shown with Magic the Savannah.
    Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    Magic the Savannah's long body is shown in front of a refrigerator.
    Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    A closeup of F1 female Savannah, Magic.
    Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs
  • The Misunderstood Cat

    A client's daughter is shown with an 11-month F1 Savannah male.
    Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs
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