Owning a Savannah Cat


I hope you enjoy this list as much as I have compiling it! The Savannah Cat community on Facebook "Savannah Cat Enthusiasts" is a wonderful resource for the new Savannah owner! Please feel free to add any new advice, tips or suggestions to the comments below and I will add them to this list! This is the advice that I received based on the following post and in no particular order.We welcomed our first Savannah (F3 Female, Luna) on March 24th. If you can lend one (or more) piece of advice for a new owner to have based on your experience, what would it be? Any advice from food, treats, litter, cat-proofing, harness use, toilet training, night-time/sleeping behaviors, training, mischief to expect, home alone expectations and management, calming any separation anxiety, how long is "too long" to be left home alone?, do you use a crate vs. run of the house or a specific room? Car travel, hotel stays, backpacking/camping with the cat, how to handle when strangers want to pet your cat or allowing other cats and dogs to interact with her when out walking etc.--these are some of my burning questions. Here is what I have compiled so far!

  1. They can and will open every cabinet door in the house (I cat-proofed the master bathroom, secured all RX & OTC meds, hair and skin products...everything from q-tips to tooth flossers, paste and toothbrushes.

  2. They love to shred toilet paper and paper towels. I was told to put the TP in a drawer (which they can open, so WTF?)

  3. Install child locks on all cabinets that contain breakables, small parts or toxic chemicals (but they will eventually figure out how to work them, so...)

  4. They sometimes will pee on your clothing and personal items to mark you as "their territory". But we are not going anywhere?!?!?

  5. They will "walk you" when on the harness, you won't "walk them". They can wiggle out of and escape just about every type of harness, like a Houdini.

  6. They prefer a raw diet of meat and vegetables...not that dry crap and they cannot have ANY grain. Fix them chicken breasts, eggs, asparagus, and steak whenever you make it for yourself! Yeah, ok, that's not expensive or anything!

  7. They can figure out how to pull a gun trigger! So put that "bedside protection" in a holster and secure it well. In other words, go ahead and rob us because our cat made us lock up our weapons! No one will ever believe "the cat did it"! Talk about no finger prints!

  8. They can fit nicely down your AC/Heat register vents, to hide and play...so, secure those bad boys down with velcro, screws or heavy double-stick tape to make them plenty difficult to remove when the urge hits you to clean them.

  9. They can and will climb and destroy the any art, mirrors, and pictures on your walls. Secure them tightly.

  10. Most house plants and fresh cut flowers are poisonous to Savannahs, so prepare accordingly (I've asked my husband to build me an indoor greenhouse)!

  11. They WILL sleep with you and you have zero control over that if you ever wish to sleep again. They may also require a heated pad to be placed IN your bed :).

  12. They will want to play fetch nonstop, all day long and won't take "no" for an answer. You will have at least one strong ?? pitching arm.

  13. They will decide what type of litter box and litter THEY want, not YOU. If they don't like what you have provided, they will let you know by relieving themselves BESIDE the litter box. You may need something as simple as a big Rubbermaid tote (due to their larger size) or a $450 Litter Robot that is self-cleaning. Pine pellets work best and are so cheap, they are almost FREE, but some cats will refuse to use it. AND you might also need more than one litter box! Toilet training is a great possibility, but that frees them up to play in the water, therefore, your convenience could become your curse.

  14. They will destroy your mini blinds and curtains, even if you open them all the way up so they can see outside. They are like a jungle gym and their ladder to the top.

  15. All electrical cords must be secured inside of this special plastic tubing stuff that is ugly as sin or sprayed with sour apple spray, which may not even work.

  16. They will play in the toilet, so toilet lid locks are a must. They can also turn on the faucets! Unlike domestic cats, the are obsessed with water. There goes the water bill! Just please don't overflow the bathtub in our absence.

  17. To trim nails, have a second person cradle the cat on his/her back, while you trim them...start this early and mess with their feet often.

  18. They love to chew on silicone/ rubber bands and eat cardboard boxes and then puke it up. But, but...Amazon comes here everyday to deliver that raw food, bulk litter and all the safety cat-proofing items!

  19. They might favor one parent over the other...love on one constantly and tell the other where to go...just like kids. Even if you are the one doing everything for them.

  20. Go ahead and get 10 trash cans with lids if you insist. They WILL figure out how to open those too.

  21. Put scratching apparatus' near every spot that you do not want them to scratch. So basically, we need like 30 of these carpeted, rope-wrapped, cardboard eyesores in our finally-tidy-that-the-kids-are-gone-we-have-an-"adult" house!

  22. But, they are worth every split second and give back more love than they get :).

  23. Keep a sense of humor.