If you like the idea of a distinct and unique cat, you may be considering adopting a Savannah. This stunning breed is new to the cat world; first developed in the 1990s by crossing a wild African Serval with a domestic cat. But what does this mean for shedding; do they shed any more or any less than the typical domestic feline. Here is everything you will want to know.
So, Do Savannah cats shed? Savannah cats do shed, but they are known to be one of the few breeds that shed very little. They mainly shed when they are growing or losing their winter coats. Although they are not completely hypoallergenic, the Savannah is a good choice for people who have slight allergies.
If you suffer from allergies, you really don’t want to get a cat that will exacerbate your symptoms.
While this breed will shed somewhat, the good news is that this can be maintained with regular brushing.
Grooming is of chief importance. But more on that later.
Before then, let us look into the amount this breed sheds in more detail before covering practical and simple ways to minimize it, should you decide on getting one!
How Much Do Savannah Cats Shed?
Savannah cats do shed, just like all cats. Especially in the Spring and Autumn months when they shed their winter coats to grow their thinner summer coats and vice versa. However, compared to most other cat breeds, Savannahs are considered to shed minimally, which is thought to be down to their wild ancestry.
]Servals live in the savannahs and open grasslands of Africa, which has caused them to develop a glossy, short, close-lying coat.
The year-round warm climate of their native country also means these cats do not need to shed much in order to grow thicker coats.
Savannah cats are kept as pets in multiple countries, so they do need to develop winter coats. However, they appear to have still retained the minimal shedding trait of the wild Serval.
Saying that several factors in the home environment may cause your Savannah cat to shed excessively. The main ones are below:
Factors That Can Cause Increased Shedding In Savannahs
This can be a major factor with hybrid breeds, which include the Savannah and the Bengal.
These cats have high energy levels, so they need to be provided with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to remain happy.
If these cats are left to their own devices, they often become destructive and stressed.
When stressed, all cat breeds are known to shed more, which can become pronounced if the stress is prolonged.
It can eventually lead to your cats’ fur falling out in clumps in extreme cases.
Stress shedding is now believed to be caused by the arrector pili muscles that are connected to the hair follicles.
When a cat becomes stressed, these muscles contract which causes the hairs to stand on end; during this process, loose hairs (known as telogen hairs) are pushed out, which is why it appears as though your cat is shedding more.
So, if you notice more lumps of hair on your carpet than usual, it may be worth investigating if there are any potential stress triggers in your home.
This term refers to the amount of light your cat is exposed to.
Cat shedding patterns are known to be triggered by the amount of sunlight which is why their main shedding season begins in the Spring when days become longer.
So, the more time cats spend in sunlight, the more they shed!
Excessive shedding can also be caused by sunburn, which is often more prevalent in short-haired cats such as the Savannah.
For this reason, it is best to watch how much time your cat lazes in the sun!
These cats are known to be sun worshippers, so if you think yours has been sunburnt, it’s best to restrict his outdoor access for a short while.
Interestingly, indoor cats tend to shed less than outdoor cats.
This is believed to be triggered by the constant artificial light in the home.
Some indoor cats may avoid the main shedding seasons altogether and just shed minimally throughout the year.
Underlying Medical Conditions
If you notice bald patches on your Savannah cat, then you should seek the advice of your vet, as he could be suffering from a skin condition.
Causes can vary, from ticks and mites to food or environmental allergies.
Due to their wild ancestry, Savannah cats require a diet high in meat protein to remain healthy.
If they are fed on a low-quality kibble diet, these cats can suffer from numerous health issues, which can appear as hair loss, lethargy, and an unkempt appearance.
Savannah cats are an incredibly healthy breed; however, they are still susceptible to developing most of the health conditions that affect other cat breeds.
Keeping your Savannah cat on a high-quality protein-rich diet is the best way to avoid any potential health conditions from developing later in life.
Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic?
Savannah cats are considered as close to hypoallergenic as possible. However, it is important to note that this term simply means they shed minimally rather than not at all.
Scientists have yet to find a truly hypoallergenic breed.
Therefore, no cat breed is suitable for people who suffer from extreme cat allergies, but Savannah’s are considered to be a good option for people with mild allergies.
You should also bear in mind that allergic reactions can vary between individual cats too.
So, if you are considering adding a Savannah cat to your family, then you should meet with that particular cat beforehand to see if any reactions flare-up.
Allergic reactions are not actually caused by the fur itself.
Instead, they are caused by the Fel D1 protein found in a cat’s saliva.
This is then distributed over the fur during grooming. Interestingly, wild cats such as leopards do not have this protein in their saliva.
So, it is possible that hybrid breeds like the Savannah and Bengal carry less of this protein than other domestic cat breeds.
However, this has not been proven.
Although the grooming needs of savannah cats are low, they are high maintenance in other ways, so you must bear this in mind before adding one to your family.
These cats are tall, strong, intelligent, and athletic. You must ensure you have the room and commitment to care for one properly; otherwise, you may run into issues.
It is also worth noting that Savannah cats are still banned in numerous states, or even countries like Australia, as they are classed as dangerous animals.
In other states, only F4 generation and later are allowed, as these cats are known to act more like domestic cats than wild Servals. Such is the case in California.
So, it is essential to check the rules in your area prior to making the commitment.
How To Reduce Shedding In Savannah Cats
Reducing shedding in a Savannah involves a combination of cat grooming and home maintenance.
Savannah cats only need to be brushed once a week; however, if you suffer from allergies, then it is best to brush them daily to reduce shedding as much as possible.
With Savannah cats, this is often easier said than done as they are not your typical lap cats!
These cats are highly energetic and quite large, so it is best to train your Savannah to accept daily brushing as a kitten.
Saying that you should still expect a little resistance as these cats do not sit still for long!
Use A Pet Shedding Glove
A pet shedding glove is a good option for this breed as these make the process a lot easier and are more likely to be accepted by your Savannah than regular brushes.
This is what they look like on amazon, by the way.
Alternatively, try brushing your Savannah cat at the end of the day when they are more likely to be tired after hours of play!
The effort your put in will be well worth it.
Not only to reduce the risk of allergens building up in your home but also to keep your cat’s coat shiny and in tip-top condition.
Food supplements may also help to prevent excess shedding.
Supplements that contain Omega 3s and Omega 6s work wonders for coat condition.
However, you should still ensure you feed your Savannah a high-quality diet that contains at least 40% protein.
Aside from ensuring your savannah cat is healthy and regularly groomed, you will need to maintain a rigorous cleaning schedule to keep on top of your allergies.
Here are a few tips:
A hoover is your best friend when it comes to dealing with allergies.
Microscopic particles of dander that contain the Fel D1 protein can easily fall onto your carpets or furniture, even if you have a low-shedding cat.
So, try to vacuum daily with a hoover that is specifically designed to pick up pet hair.
Always wash your hands after interacting with your Savannah cat.
You may even need to change your clothes after each interaction to ensure there are no lingering hairs on you that may set off an allergic reaction.
Optimize Your Home Environment
Expect your Savannah cat to be up on the back of your sofa, dashing around on your carpet, and even climbing up on your shelves!
For this reason, it is worth considering the materials that are in your home.
Wood flooring is a great option as it is easy to clean and does not absorb allergens as carpet does.
Similarly, leather sofas are better for allergy sufferers than fabric ones.
Invest In An Air Filter
These devices work to remove allergens and other contaminants from a room.
So, it is well worth purchasing one if you suffer from allergies.
Look for ones that contain a HEPA filter, as these tend to be more efficient than other varieties.
Many people claim that bathing your cat regularly can help to reduce allergens.
It is common knowledge that Savannah cats love to play in the water, but you must be wary about how often you bathe them.
Excessive washing and cleaning can actually dry out your cats’ skin which will make shedding even worse.
Savannah cats are truly stunning animals and are good options for allergy sufferers due to their low-maintenance grooming needs.
However, you must think long and hard about whether you have the time to cater to the specific needs of these lively felines.
If you keep up a structured cleaning routine and offer your Savannah plenty of opportunities to play and exercise, then you will have a fun-loving, affectionate companion for years to come.
Oh, and just ensure you can afford one before you proceed. This breed is costly!
And if you want to learn more about Savannah cats, be sure to check out my other guides:
- Bengal vs Savannah Cats [Key Similarities & Differences]
- Are Savannah Cats Aggressive? [Do They Make Good Pets?]
- How Big Do Savannah Cats Get? [Average By Filial (F) Generation]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.