Normally I don’t watch Animal Planet. Normally it tries to toe the line between “common sense” and “PETA” and produces some really mired stuff. On the other hand, they had a program called CATS 101 on yesterday, and while it showed off some really interesting breeds, they had one which really caught my eye.
The cats have become parodies of themselves since cats were always treated as work animals in America for the first 200 years or so. The Pilgrims kept cats on the ships to keep bugs and rats out of the rations, and then introduced them to America for the same purpose. Basically the American take on the cat was for pest control for the longest time. The Savannah isn’t the only wild mix of a domestic (for our purposes we’ll use American Short Hair as “domestic”) and wild cats, SavannahCat.com has a list of other cats including the Bengal. Now, for all intents and purposes these are simply cats with a specific gene type for their coat and they’re no different than Happy Cat (Russian Blue) or Sad Cat (Scottish Fold). The Savannah, you will note, isn’t on the list.
The reason for that is because Savannahs are the size of medium dogs, and that as a breed they don’t have an affectionate personality. In order for a cat to have a breed standard, it has to not want to EATED UR JUGULAR. Unfortunately since the breed has such a small gene pool, the individuals are assigned a number on a scale. F1s and F2s aren’t recommended for indoor cats, but F3s forward are. The F1s are 50% wild (one wild and one domestic parent), the F2s are 25% wild, and the F3s are 12.5% wild with the wild cat being the great grandparent. The F3s are where the breed seems to resume being “housecat-like”. Since we all know what happened to whats-his-name with the white tiger, I think we know what kind of cat we want.
Anyway, it’s a neat breed, but there’s still a ton of cats in the local animal shelter, many of which are perfectly suitable to being housecats. Tricks comes from the local shelter, and while he’s skittish around new people, he’s plenty affectionate otherwise. Since the American Shorthair (Tricks and Libby) are both 20 year cats, that will give the Savannahs plenty of time to work out the quirks.