Back in the 1990s, enthusiasts began getting excited about a new breed of cat. This cat was named the Savannah and it's actually a cross between the serval and a domestic cat. It's what's considered a "hybrid." The resulting cross breed is the largest of all owned "domestic" cats, while the originating serval is a medium wild cat from Africa. In the early 2000s, this mix was recognized by cat associations and shortly thereafter it was accepted in competition. Some say these cats look like little leopards, which is probably accurate due to their spots. They can also weigh up to 30 pounds and stand as tall as medium sized dogs.
There is some controversy surrounding this type of cat. It's illegal to own one in New York City, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Hawaii. These state and city governments claim that the wild side of these particular cats may emerge more than is anticipated and if too many of these cats escape confinement, they'll reproduce and alter the ecosystem negatively. Also, since these cats are so rare, it's not uncommon for them to cost upwards of $20,000 each. The pool of breeding cats is so small that it makes reproduction time consuming and difficult.
Savannahs are popular for their loyalty to their owners and sometimes act like dogs and a few other types of cats, as they oftentimes follow their owners around the house. It's been said that these cats are trainable as well. Folks teach them how to fetch and walk on a leash.
As far as behavior goes with these cats, it really depends on how they're socialized when young. If socialized well, the Savannah can be very friendly and companionable with children, adults, and other pets around the house. If they're not socialized well though, it's been reported that Savannahs will hide, hiss, and growl when confronting someone they're not familiar with. Exposure during kittenhood is key here. Overall, Savannahs are curious creatures. If you don't want something accessed, you better lock it up because this breed has a knack for finding ways to open doors of rooms and cabinets.
If there's one thing this cat can do, it's jump. It's been said that the Savannah can jump as high as eight feet from a standing position. This means that it can jump all the way up to the top of a door, refrigerator, cupboard, or cabinet. If you don't want your pet to hang out in any of these areas, you've got your work cut out for you.
Beyond all that was already described above about this cat, there are a few other quirks it's got. For one, it's fond of water and will be drawn towards it as opposed to away. One of these cats may even want to shower with you. If given water in a bowl, it's likely that it will splash much of it out of the bowl with its paws. Also, as a greeting gesture, the Savannah may fluff the fur that's located on the base of its tail. And finally, if this cat is revved up, meaning excited, there's a good chance it'll flick its tail to let you know.
If you're planning on buying or adopting this breed of cat, there are two sounds you should be aware of. First is the chirp. This sound is almost like the one certain parrots make. Second, this cat offers a very distinct hiss that may surprise you if you've never heard it before. It can sound like a loud snake, so be ready for that if this cat becomes scared or angry.