Savannah cats are undeniably stunning. It’s no real surprise you may be looking at this specific cat breed. But due to their wild ancestry and difficult breeding process, Savannah cats have remained rare and so continue to be much more expensive than other cat breeds. Even so, how much should you be expected to pay for a purebred Savannah cat? And how much can you expect to pay over the course of their life? This finance guide discloses all.
So, how much do Savannah cats cost? Savannah cats can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $25,000 depending on gender, age, size, and purebred class, but they average around $10,000. Other upfront costs can range from $250-$1500 depending on if transportation is required and where you get their start-up items. $1000-$2000 can be expected for each year of their life thereafter.
Not cheap at all.
So, before deciding to spend your hard-earned cash on a Savannah cat, you will need to ensure you have the finances to care for one properly over its lifetime.
And that can be up to 20 years, on average.
Then you have to consider that Savannah cats have very specific needs compared to other cats and can suffer from numerous health issues – which can incur huge medical bills and fees.
So you must do your research first before committing to buying one.
Nevertheless, if you have your heart set on a Savannah cat, then there is no reason why the cost should put you off.
You just need to be aware and mindful.
So let us break this down much further for you and how you may be able to get one for a little cheaper.
- 1 How Much Do Savannah Kittens Cost?
- 2 Factors That Influence Savannah Cat Cost
- 3 What Is The Cheapest Savannah Cat?
- 4 Other Upfront Costs When Buying A Savannah Cat
- 5 Ongoing Costs When Owning A Savannah Cat
- 6 Finally
How Much Do Savannah Kittens Cost?
Purchasing a Savannah kitten can be expensive, with prices ranging from £1,000 to over $20,000. The vast variation in price is based on a number of factors, including how closely the kittens are related to wild Servals. Males tend to be cheaper than females as all males in the first four generations are born sterile.
Breeder prices will also vary, but here is a rough guide below to the generations and their respective average prices:
Average Price By Savanah Generation
One of the standout things to consider when buying a Savannah kitten is its ‘filial’ (F) rating.
This is essentially a scale that is used to reference how many generations the cat is from the original, wild African Serval cat.
As you can imagine – F1 is the most expensive, scaling down to F5.
Let us now look at the expected price in each category:
Kittens from the F1 generation will have the highest genetic resemblance to the wild Serval (up to 75%), so they will generally be the most expensive.
Males from this generation will cost you around $12,000-$16,000, with females reaching prices of $25,000.
F2 kittens will typically have a 30% genetic resemblance to Servals; however, they will still have many of the physical behavioral traits of their wild ancestors.
Males can cost you anywhere between $4,000 and $9,000, with females costing approximately $10,000.
Resemblance to Servals in this generation will be no more than 20%.
Males will cost you around $2,000-$4,000, and females will cost $5,000-$6,000.
These kittens are usually around 15% Serval, with males costing around $2,000 and females costing $2,000.
From this generation, males are not sterile, but they do only have 10% serval genes in them, so they look more like domestic cats.
Both males and females will cost between $1,000 and $2,000 on average.
Be aware that F1 and F2 cats are banned in certain states as they are classed as exotic pets and considered to be a potential danger to public safety.
So ensure you do your research to check if these cats are allowed in your area.
Now you know more about the generation differences, it’s time to delve into the Savannah breed itself.
The African Serval cat from which Savannah’s are bred is native to the sub-Saharan desert.
They are expert solitary hunters with the capability of jumping over six feet in one leap to catch rodents, birds, and frogs.
The Savannah breed is also incredibly agile, so they need regular exercise to remain healthy and happy.
Many people describe Savannah cats as being very ‘dog-like compared to other breeds, as they love to play fetch and other energetic games with their owners.
They are also incredibly intelligent and affectionate towards their owners and have been known to follow their humans through the entire house looking for attention!
Factors That Influence Savannah Cat Cost
Aside from generation and gender, there are a number of other factors that can affect the price of a Savannah cat which relate to the difficulty in breeding them and their specific needs.
Let’s run through the main ones now:
Breeder Cat Prices
To breed Savannah kittens, beginning with the F1 generation, breeders have to purchase a Serval cat which can cost around $5000.
This high start-up price will directly influence the price of the resulting kittens.
Different breeders may also vary their prices depending on location (inner city breeders tend to be more expensive).
Purebred Servals require specialist care to be healthy enough to generate offspring.
This species can reach up to 50mph in the wild, so it will need plenty of space and enrichment, which can get expensive.
Many breeders choose to convert outbuildings or garages into Serval enclosures which can cost up to $10,000.
Once the kittens are born, the breeder also has the responsibility of caring for the Serval for the rest of its life.
Servals are wild felines, so they require meat to survive and can go through 2lbs of meat per day!
The resulting kittens will also need to be fed on a high protein diet due to their unique biology.
This need for high-quality cat food will need to be factored into your cost analysis if you are considering buying a Savannah kitten.
Savannah kittens need regular handling and constant human interaction to ensure they become trusting of humans.
This process means that breeders have to spend hours per day with the kittens to make sure they are sufficiently socialized to be an integral part of a new family.
What Is The Cheapest Savannah Cat?
The cheapest Savannah cat will be one that is an F7 generation or later as this will produce kittens with the lowest genetic resemblance to their wild Serval ancestors.
However, you need to be aware of backyard breeders as these are more focused on making money than ensuring the welfare of the animals in their care!
If you find a male F2 Savannah cat for lower than $2,000, then this should raise warning signs that the cat is not being sold by a reputable breeder.
Animals sold by backyard breeders are usually kept in unsuitable and unsanitary conditions to save money.
So, it is important that you get as much information as you possibly can from the breeder to help you feel confident that you are buying a healthy animal.
You should also try to visit the breeder’s facility if possible so you can see for yourself the conditions the cats are kept in.
Your breeder should be able to provide you with documents to confirm the generation of your kitten and that genetic testing has been performed to ensure there are no hereditary diseases present.
Other Upfront Costs When Buying A Savannah Cat
Other upfront costs can range from $100 all the way up to $1500 and sometimes over. It depends mostly on your circumstances, where you are buying your Savannah, where you shop, and whether you and if you have ever owned cats before.
Let’s break some of these down for reference.
For instance, depending on where you buy your Savannah cat from, you may need to pay for shipping which can cost up to $500.
However, be very wary of breeders that offer to ship your kitten and ask questions to ensure you know the condition of the cat and the traveling process.
Kittens kept in unsuitable conditions for transit can suffer from disease, and it can even be fatal in extreme circumstances.
Some breeders may provide some additional items with the cat, such as food bags or a harness and lead.
Otherwise, you will need to buy them.
Usually, doing so yourself is a little cheaper.
Still, you can expect these to set you back between $25-$100.
Your kitten should have received at least his first vaccination prior to you taking him home.
But this means you would need to pay for the second round of vaccinations and ensure you get your cat booked in for his first health check appointment at a local vet clinic as soon as possible.
Contrary to some resources that may suggest otherwise, Savannah cats do not need ‘special vaccinations,’ but the standard set will cost around $100.
Toys and Furniture
Given their high energy levels, it is also important that you invest in one or two cat trees and ensure your cat has plenty of places to climb and explore safely.
Decent cat trees cost around $25-$50 per piece, on average.
Mentally stimulating toys and puzzle feeders are a good idea for this breed due to their high intelligence. These can cost anywhere from $10-$30 per piece.
A bored cat is usually a destructive cat, especially when it comes to hybrid breeds, so don’t skimp on these!
You may also want to invest in a grooming kit for your new cat.
Although they boast a short-haired coat, Savannahs do have a dense undercoat which benefits from regular grooming sessions.
A grooming kit is around $50, on average.
Ongoing Costs When Owning A Savannah Cat
Aside from the initial costs of purchasing a Savannah cat, you will also need to consider ongoing costs, which can get expensive, especially considering that a Savannah can live for up to 20 years! You can expect to pay around $1000 per year, on average, so $20,000 over the course of their lifetime.
Of course, this is an average.
Some years you may pay more, others less.
Nevertheless, there are certain costs you will never be able to get away from. Let us look at these below.
Perhaps the most important consideration is the type of food you buy.
Savannah cats have different nutritional needs to other cat breeds and require a diet that is very high in protein.
For this reason, dry food or kibble is not advised for this breed.
Instead, you should consider putting your cat on a raw meat diet or a diet that consists of lightly cooked meat.
Bear in mind that if meat is cooked for too long, then it may lose many of the nutrients that are essential for your Savannah cats’ health.
Wild cats are obligate carnivores, so this should be considered throughout your pets’ life.
This diet is more expensive than your standard dry cat food, so you should expect to pay $30-$50 per month to feed your savannah cat.
That’s $360-$600, by the way.
You will also need to consider ongoing vet care for your feline companion, such as flea/worm treatments and annual vaccinations, as well as regular check-ups.
Many vet clinics now offer payment plans that are designed to spread the cost of these, so it is well worth speaking to your local vet to see what they offer.
Pet insurance is also essential for this breed as, although they are generally considered to be a healthy breed, they can suffer from numerous health issues throughout their lives.
Let’s quickly run through the main ones now, just so you are aware of why insurance is generally recommended.
- Congenital defects: Be aware that due to the difficult breeding process, some kittens may be born with defects such as cleft palates or dwarfism, so you must ensure you receive the appropriate documents from your breeder, which will log any birth or genetic issues.
- Resistance to anesthesia: It has been noted that certain Savannah’s do not cope well with anesthesia. Savannah cats also tend to have quite small livers, so you must be careful when administering any type of medication. You can ask your vet for advice if you are unsure.
- Obesity and digestive issues: These cats have specific dietary requirements which closely resemble the diet of the Wild African Serval, so they can be prone to obesity if fed an inappropriate diet. Savannah cats may also suffer from diarrhea if their nutritional needs are not met. Low-quality food can cause brittle bones in this breed which can lead to mobility issues and arthritis.
Savannah cats cost a lot.
That is just the truth of the matter.
And while you may be able to save a little money here and there, the reality is you need to invest quite a bit if you want to own this breed.
So, it goes without saying you must study the market and breeders extensively.
Do your research and due diligence and ensure you find a reputable breeder.
Don’t rush your decision.
And remember, Savannahs are large cats with very specific needs.
So if the price is not an issue, their care may very well be.
Just bear this in mind.
To own one of these magnificent cats, you truly need to ensure you have the time, money, and space to offer the best possible care.