Frequently Asked Questions
To learn more about Savannahs from those living with them as a part
of the family go to the Testimonials and Watch Me Grow pages.
1. What is a Savannah? top
A Savannah is a new cat breed produced by breeding a Serval to a domestic cat. Sometimes called a Serval hybrid, the breed offers individuals a large cat that looks like a Serval in body type and coat pattern, but has a domestic temperament.
2. How long has the breed been around? top
The first successful mating of a Serval with a domestic cat was accomplished in the mid 1990's. Few breeders have successfully crossed the Serval to a domestic cat. For this reason, only a limited number of early generation Savannahs will ever exist.
3. What makes a Savannah the most desired feline? top
Long admired for their magnificent beauty, Servals possess a dramatic, golden coat marked with strikingly clear black spots. They are regal, elegant, highly intelligent, and display charming personalities. However, many states don't allow private ownership of exotic cats such as the Serval, but they will allow Savannah hybrids. The largest hybrid feline available, Savannahs encompass all the wonderful Serval traits while being considered a domestic cat. More manageable than a Serval, Savannahs are smaller, weighing approximately 25 pounds. They don't require special diets or facilities; Servals almost always require a costly raw meat diet, whereas Savannahs eat a high quality dry domestic cat diet. Savannahs are extremely intelligent and often "talk." They're excellent with other pets and children and create very strong bonds with their owners.
5. Do Savannahs use a litter box? top
Yes. Select Exotics Savannahs are completely litter trained prior to leaving. Kittens will use a litter box as faithfully as any domestic. However, if given too large of an area while settling into their new home, kittens may lose the litter box and have an accident. It is important a kitten is given run of the house slowly so as not to become disoriented. Male pet kittens, even early generation sterile male kittens, should be neutered to prevent spraying.
6. Do Savannahs really have a domestic personality? top
Select Exotics Savannahs have a domestic "dog-like" personality. Owners are amazed at how their Savannah follows them around the house and comes when he or she is called. As social as a domestic cat, Savannahs possess much more intelligence and have very high energy.
7. Why do Savannahs cost more than Servals? top
Servals breed quite readily, easily creating more Servals. But crossing species between the Serval and a domestic is extremely difficult. Many individuals attempt this cross. However, only a few breeders world-wide have had success. Years of time and money have often been invested in what seems to be the impossible. While few first generation Savannahs exist world-wide, the demand for these exotic beauties is tremendous.
8. Do Savannahs get along with children and other pets? top
Introducing a Savannah to the household is like introducing any domestic cat. The breed itself is extremely energetic, active and playful. While they get along well with children and other pets, most won't allow children to hold them or pack them around for any length of time.
9. Is the Savannah breed recognized by any breed registries? top
Yes. TICA first accepted Savannahs as an experimental breed. They are now at Advanced New Breed status and soon will be eligible for Championship status. Select Exotics has registered all of our breeding animals with TICA and provides the proper paperwork to our customers so they can register their new pet.
10. Do Savannahs have to be kept indoors? top
No, they don't have to be kept indoors. However, Select Exotics strongly urges new owners to keep their Savannahs on a leash with a harness or walking jacket when outdoors as there are often stray animals carrying various diseases. Do not use a collar with the leash.
1. Is a Bengal cat a tiger? top
No, a Bengal cat is not a tiger. A Bengal is a domestic breed resulting from the cross breeding of an Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cat (typically an Ocicat or Egyptian Mau). The name Bengal was derived from the Asian Leopard Cat's scientific name, Prionailurus Bengalensis.
2. How did the breed come about? top
The first mating between the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic occurred in the late 1960's. However, mid-1980's saw a concentrated effort to produce a domestic hybrid that mimicked the appearance of the Asian Leopard Cat, yet with a gentle domestic temperament. The Asian Leopard Cat and their hybrid offspring were bred to selected domestic cats to merge the wild coat color, pattern, and confirmation with the domestic personality.
4. Are Bengals wild or bad tempered? top
No. Bengals are active, intelligent and definitely curious. However, because SBT Bengals are bred at least four generations from the Asian Leopard Cat, they are sweet and affectionate. Select Exotic Bengals are socialized from birth. This helps to create the most loving, playful pet you've ever owned.
6. Do Bengals require a special diet or care? top
No. The care given Bengal kittens/cats is the same as any kitten. Select Exotics kittens are started on wet kitten food and gradually converted to dry food. Given high quality cat food, no dietary supplements need to be added.
- Pet kittens of either sex are good natured, well-bred, and have the same good health as our top quality kittens. Cost is determined by the clarity of their markings and their pedigree. The top end of the pet priced kittens are show quality, sold with alter agreements. Prices for pet quality kittens is $500 to $1,500.
- Breeder quality kittens have rich, soft, well-marked coats and possess an outstanding pedigree. Kittens sold for breeding will range from $1,250 to $2,000.
8. What color patterns are accepted and available within the Bengal breed? top
Leopard spotted Bengals have brown/black spots or rosettes with background colors ranging from orange to buff to white. Marble kittens have a brown/black background with orange/gold/white swirls and rosettes. All Bengals must have spotted tummies and a black tail tip. Kittens are born brightly marked, fade into the "fuzzies" at 8 to 12 weeks, returning to their splendid coloring from 6 to 12 months of age.
10. What size are Bengals at maturity? top
On average, Bengals take 1.5 to 2 years to reach their adult size. Females are typically smaller than the males, weighing 8 to 12 pounds. Male adult weight is 10 to 15 pounds.
11. How much Asian Leopard Cat blood is in a Bengal? top
All Bengal kittens carry the wild blood of the Asian Leopard Cat in varying degrees. The first generation from the Asian Leopard Cat carries 50% wild blood and is called an F1. Since males are sterile for three generations, F1 females are bred to other domestics or SBT Bengal males to produce the second, or F2, generation. The F2 female is bred to another Bengal male, creating the third, or F3, generation. It is at the fourth "SBT" generation in which males become fertile and kittens are accepted in the show ring. Most breeders produce SBT kittens with 6% to 9% wild blood. The SBT’s have proven to have a sweet, affectionate personality suited for family life.
12. Is the Bengal breed recognized? top
The Bengal breed is recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association). Select Exotics is a TICA registered cattery and all kittens bred and raised by Select Exotics are registered with TICA.
13. Must Bengals be kept indoors? top
Bengals, like any breed, adapt to the environment in which they are raised. If they are taken outdoors as a kitten they will enjoy that environment. However, when outdoors, it's a good idea to have your Bengal leash trained. You must also be cautious to keep your kitten up-to-date on all necessary vaccines and be wary of stray animals as you would with any breed.
14. Are Bengals intelligent...do they like games, water or walking on a leash? top
Bengals are extremely intelligent, curious, and perhaps even a little mischievous. Bengal kittens enjoy as much attention as possible. They love to be challenged with toys and games. And... don't be surprised if one joins you in the shower. A trait inherited from the Asian Leopard Cat, Bengals love to play in water. Walk on a leash? Ride in a car? Absolutely! Simply introduce your Bengal kitten to these activities and he or she with enjoy both!
1. What is a Safari? top
A Safari is a hybrid created by breeding a wild, native to South America Geoffroy's cat to a domestic cat. The first cross is referred to as an F1 (50% Geoffroy, 50% domestic).
3. How big do F1 (50%) Safaris get? top
The largest F1 Safaris were males produced in the 70’s. Documented weights reached 36 pounds. The largest male in existence today is 25 pounds. Male Safaris are expected to be larger than females.
4. Why are F1 Safaris so much larger than either parent? top
The F1 offspring of the male Geoffroy mating with a female domestic display incredible size relative to their parents. This could be explained by chromosomal differences. The domestic feline has 38 chromosomes, the Geoffroy only 36. The F1 offspring possess the odd number of 37 chromosomes.
5. What do Safaris eat? top
Safari kittens are fed the Innova Evo wet with the Royal Canin Kitten formula dry. They have access to the Innova Evo dry as well, but most prefer the Royal Canin. You may supplement with raw or cooked meat.
7. What are the typical Safari color patterns? top
When a melanistic or spotted Geoffroy male is bred to a domestic Bengal female you can expect both melanistic as well as spotted kittens. The traditional spotted kittens have a cream to gold basecoat with a dark spotting pattern. Occasionally you will find a silver based Safari. The melanistic Safaris will often show a darker black spot on a black basecoat.
9. What is the temperament of the Safari? top
The most affectionate cat we have at Select Exotics is an F1 Safari girl. Extreme in everything they do, from demanding your undivided attention to running and jumping around the house, high energy is an understatement of a Safari's dynamism.
10. How intelligent are Safaris? top
Many hybrids appear to set new levels for intelligence. The Safari certainly does. Safaris will use their front paws like little hands, opening and picking up almost anything.
1. What is a Habari? top
The Habari breed was created here at Select Exotics utilizing what we consider to be the best genetics available. Selection pressure has been placed on size, temperament, and a wild "look." The Habari coat is strongly contrasted between the basecoat and spots or rosette markings. Our goal with the Habari is to ensure all future Habari owners have the most elite genetics and perfect "family member" available. Simply put, the Habari breed speaks for itself. Please check the Habari page
frequently for Testimonials from Habari owners.
2. Are Habaris registered? top
Yes. Habari registration is based on DNA profiling. Each Habari kitten will trace back to the breed's original foundation cats. Still, the genetics alone is not enough for a kitten to become a registered Habari. Physical attributes are also taken into account. Only the best kittens will be registered as Habaris. Strict selection within each litter is addressed.
3. Will I be able to show my Habari in cat shows? top
No. The Habari is derived from the wide gene pool with which we have worked for nearly twenty years. The goal for the Habari is not breeding to restricted purebred genetics or with the show ring in mind. Rather, our goal is to provide an elite feline for those desiring the best as a pet.
5. Why was the Habari breed created? top
6. Why are Habaris more expensive than most other breeds? top
The pet world has increasingly demanded a clear coated, large cat with a wild look, strong color contrast, and social temperament. The best of other breeds are generally reserved for people who are experienced breeders or plan to show their cats. Not breeding for specific the show ring type, but rather focusing on what is in demand by the pet owner, has proven advantageous in the progression of the breed.
Rather than registering any and all kittens with a similar genetic base, the Habaris have to meet additional physical selection criteria once they are born. This limits the number that will ever represent the Habari breed. We are confident that you will get what you pay for with a Habari kitten.