What Are The Disadvantages Of A Savannah Cat?

Thinking of adding a Savannah cat to your family? These exotic felines are hard to resist with their striking coat patterns and playful personalities. But, before you take the plunge, it’s essential to weigh up the potential downsides.

Savannah cats are a hybrid breed that has serval cats as one of their ancestors. While they have many desirable traits, they also come with a set of disadvantages that prospective owners should consider.

One significant disadvantage is their size – Savannah cats are considered one of the largest domestic cat breeds and require plenty of space to move around comfortably. They can also be prone to health issues such as heart problems and may exhibit destructive or aggressive behavior if not adequately trained.

Their high energy levels make them unsuitable for all households, particularly those without enough time and resources to provide adequate stimulation and enrichment.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the various drawbacks of owning a Savannah cat, including their high cost, challenging temperament, and legal restrictions in some states. So before you decide on bringing one home, read on to make an informed choice.

High Maintenance

These exotic felines are not for the faint of heart, as they are considered high maintenance pets that require a lot of attention and care. Here’s why:

Physical activity and mental stimulation: Savannah cats are highly active and need daily exercise and playtime to keep them happy and healthy. This means owners must be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time each day to engaging with their pet. These cats are also highly intelligent and require mental challenges to stay sharp, such as interactive toys or puzzles.

Dietary requirements: Savannah cats have specific dietary needs that can be challenging to manage. They require a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which can be expensive and time-consuming to prepare. Owners must invest in high-quality cat food and supplements to ensure their pet receives the necessary nutrients.

Grooming: Savannah cats have a double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. They also need regular nail trimming and ear cleaning to prevent infections. These grooming requirements can take up a significant amount of time and effort.

Cost: Owning a Savannah cat can be expensive due to their rare and exotic breed status. They come with a higher price tag than other domestic cats, and their unique dietary needs and high energy levels may result in higher veterinary bills and food costs.

High Energy Levels

A Savannah cat is not your average feline. These exotic creatures have been bred to embody the athleticism and agility of their wild ancestors, the African serval. As a result, they possess an incredible amount of energy that requires constant attention and stimulation.

But with great energy comes great responsibility. Savannah cats need a lot of space to run around, climb, and jump. If you don’t have enough room in your home, it may not be the best environment for them. These cats are easily bored and without adequate exercise and playtime, they can become restless and destructive. Your furniture may bear the brunt of their boundless energy if you don’t provide them with enough stimulation.

Moreover, Savannah cats may not be suitable for households with young children or other pets. Although they are playful animals, their high energy levels can be overwhelming for small children or other animals. They may accidentally scratch or injure others during playtime due to their wild instincts and exuberance.

In addition to their unique needs, owning a Savannah cat can also be costly. These felines require high-quality food, toys, and plenty of space to play and exercise. Additionally, their hybrid genetics make them predisposed to certain health problems that may require more frequent vet visits than other cats.

Despite these challenges, Savannah cats can make excellent pets for the right owner. They are intelligent, social creatures who thrive on human interaction. But before bringing one into your home, it’s crucial to provide them with adequate physical and mental stimulation while considering their compatibility with other household members.

Difficult to Train

If you’re considering bringing a Savannah cat into your home, it’s important to understand that they can be quite difficult to train. These felines are known for being intelligent and active, but they also have a strong independent streak that can make them stubborn during training sessions. Let’s dive deeper into the reasons why they can be such a challenge to train and what you can do to overcome them.

High Prey Drive

Savannah cats have a natural hunting instinct that can make them easily distracted during training sessions. They are always on the lookout for prey, and may even chase after small animals or birds instead of focusing on their owner’s commands. This makes leash training and recall particularly challenging.

Energy Level

These cats are highly active and require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Without enough exercise and playtime, they may become bored or destructive, making it difficult to get their attention during training sessions.

Sensitivity to Environment

Savannah cats can also be sensitive to changes in their environment. They may become stressed or anxious if their routine is disrupted, which can make it challenging for them to focus on training. As an owner, it’s important to provide a calm and stable environment to facilitate successful training sessions.

Despite these challenges, training a Savannah cat is not impossible. It just takes patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here are some tips to help you successfully train your feline friend:

  • Start training early: Begin training your Savannah cat as soon as possible to establish good habits and behaviors.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward your cat with treats, praise, or toys when they follow commands correctly.
  • Keep training sessions short: Savannah cats have short attention spans, so keep training sessions brief and focused.
  • Be patient: Remember that training your cat will take time and effort, so stay patient and persistent.

Health Issues

Savannah cats are a unique breed, adored by many for their playful personalities and striking appearance. However, with any pet comes the responsibility of being aware of potential health issues. It’s crucial for potential owners to understand the health concerns that Savannah cats may face in order to provide them with the proper care needed for a long and happy life.

One of the most significant health concerns for Savannah cats is their susceptibility to certain diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). FIP is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness in cats. HCM, on the other hand, is a genetic heart condition that affects many different breeds of cats, including Savannah cats. While there is no cure for either of these conditions, early detection and treatment can help manage the symptoms.

In addition to these specific health concerns, Savannah cats are also susceptible to dental problems such as periodontal disease. This condition is caused by a buildup of tartar and bacteria on the teeth and gums, which can lead to inflammation, infection, and tooth loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings by a veterinarian can help prevent periodontal disease in Savannah cats.

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Furthermore, like other breeds of cats, Savannah cats may experience other common health problems such as urinary tract infections, ear infections, and digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential to monitor your Savannah cat’s overall health and catch any potential problems early on.

Expensive to Own

These felines are not only unique and striking, but they also come with a high price tag and expensive upkeep. As an expert on the topic, I’m here to break down the costs associated with owning one of these beautiful creatures.

The initial cost of purchasing a Savannah cat is quite steep. Being a crossbreed between a domestic cat and a serval, they are considered rare and exotic, which attributes to their high cost. However, the expense doesn’t stop there.

Savannah cats are larger than the average domestic cat, requiring more food and a specialized diet. Owners must factor in the cost of high-quality cat food and supplements to ensure that their cats remain healthy. This can add up quickly and become quite costly over time.

In addition to food costs, veterinary bills for Savannah cats can be quite expensive due to their unique health needs. They are prone to certain health issues such as Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which require extra medical attention. Regular check-ups and vaccinations are also necessary to keep these cats healthy, which adds up in veterinary bills.

Moreover, owning a Savannah cat requires acquiring a license in some areas. They are considered exotic pets and pose a potential threat to the environment if they escape. Obtaining a license can be quite pricey and may require meeting specific requirements such as providing proof of liability insurance.

To summarize, owning a Savannah cat can be an expensive endeavor due to various factors such as food costs, veterinary bills, and licensing fees. Nonetheless, these majestic creatures can make wonderful pets for those who are willing to invest in their upkeep.

If you’re still considering owning a Savannah cat, here’s a quick list of expenses to keep in mind:

  • High purchase price
  • Specialized diet and expensive food
  • Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations
  • Potential health issues requiring extra medical attention
  • Licensing fees and specific requirements in some areas

Socialization Challenges

One of the most significant disadvantages of owning a Savannah cat is that they are not always well-suited for households with young children or other pets. These cats have a strong prey drive, which means that they may see smaller animals or young children as prey and attempt to chase them. This can be quite dangerous and requires a lot of careful attention and socialization.

In addition to their prey drive, Savannah cats can also be quite territorial and may not get along well with other cats or dogs. They may exhibit aggressive behavior towards other pets in the household, which can be difficult to manage. This can lead to conflicts and fights between pets, resulting in injuries or worse.

Another socialization challenge with Savannah cats is that they require a lot of attention and interaction from their owners. These highly intelligent creatures need mental stimulation to keep them happy and engaged. If they do not receive enough attention or playtime from their owners, they may become bored and start exhibiting destructive behaviors such as scratching furniture or chewing on objects.

To ensure that owning a Savannah cat is a rewarding experience, it’s essential to carefully consider whether your household is the right fit for one. Proper socialization and training are necessary for these majestic creatures to make wonderful pets. It is also crucial to seek professional help if you encounter any issues with aggression or territorial behavior.

Potentially Destructive Behavior

The Savannah cats are known for their playful nature and stunning appearance, but it’s important to understand that they can also exhibit potentially destructive behavior if not given the proper attention and care. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Boredom is the enemy. Savannah cats have high energy levels and need plenty of playtime and mental stimulation. Without it, they may resort to scratching furniture, knocking over household items, or even chewing on electrical cords. Keep your Savannah cat entertained with puzzle toys and interactive games, and be sure to spend quality time with them every day.
  • They’re natural hunters. Savannah cats were bred from wild African servals, which means they have a strong hunting instinct. This can lead them to chase and attack smaller pets in the household or wildlife outside. To avoid any issues, it’s important to train and supervise your Savannah cat from a young age.
  • They’re big and strong. Savannah cats are much larger and stronger than your average house cat, which means they may accidentally cause damage or injury during playtime. Always supervise interactions between your Savannah cat and other pets or family members, and make sure everyone knows how to handle them safely.

Veterinary Care Costs

Savannah cats are the epitome of exotic beauty and wild-like behavior, but they also come with a few disadvantages, particularly in terms of veterinary care costs. As an expert on the matter, I can vouch that owning a Savannah cat has its financial challenges due to their hybrid nature.

One of the most significant expenses associated with these felines is regular check-ups and screenings. These cats have a predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a condition that affects the heart muscles and can lead to heart failure. Early detection and monitoring are crucial to help prevent this and similar health issues. Dental cleanings are also necessary, costing hundreds of dollars each time.

Apart from regular care, Savannah cats may require specialized treatments for infections or illnesses that can be quite expensive. Expert veterinarians with experience in treating hybrid cats and access to specialized equipment and treatments are essential.

It’s important for Savannah cat owners to budget for potential veterinary expenses as they can add up quickly over time. A healthy diet, regular check-ups, and vaccinations can help prevent many health issues and contribute to keeping your Savannah cat healthy and happy.


In conclusion, owning a Savannah cat can be an incredibly rewarding experience for the right owner. However, it’s essential to consider the potential disadvantages before bringing one into your home. These exotic felines require a lot of attention and care, making them high maintenance pets that may not be suitable for all households.

Savannah cats are notorious for their boundless energy levels, which can lead to destructive or aggressive behavior if not adequately trained. Additionally, these rare and exotic breeds come with a hefty price tag due to their specialized dietary needs and potential health issues.

Training and socialization are critical components of owning a Savannah cat. These majestic creatures have unique needs that require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement during training sessions. Owners must also provide adequate mental stimulation and interaction to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Despite these challenges, Savannah cats can make excellent pets for those who are willing to invest in their upkeep and provide them with the necessary attention and care they deserve. With regular veterinary check-ups, proper training, socialization, and plenty of love and attention from their owners, these magnificent creatures can live long and happy lives as cherished members of the family.

In summary, while there are some disadvantages to owning a Savannah cat, the rewards of having such an incredible companion far outweigh any potential drawbacks.