Every animal lover that lives in a civilized community has, at any point in his or her life, imagined raising wild exotic animals as pets. However, the very curious notion always provokes the moral and ethical standards of supervising feral wildlife.
In 2011, LiveScience presented a quick data that highlights the negative effects of domestically raising wild exotic animals. Between the years 1990 and 2011, there are around 75 reports of people killed by a various range of wild animal species under the custody of private homeowners – with the highest prevalence attributed to the attacks perpetrated by big cats (e.g. tiger).
Speaking of big cats, enthusiastic breeders have come up with ingenious ways of domesticating these wild creatures via natural eugenics. One of the perfect examples of a hereditarily complex feline hybrid is the Savannah cat – a relatively new pet breed just recently recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2012.
Average Cost of Savannah Kitten
The Savannah cat is a cross-breed between the wild African Serval and several various domestic cats (the majority of which are short-hairs). In the 1920’s, a number of American homeowners attempted to raise Serval cats as pets. Unfortunately, the Serval possesses certain instinctual habits (specifically its tendency to ‘let loose’ anywhere) that make house-training impossible and practically unfit for adoption. During the 1980’s, breeders have successfully procreated a new sub-species that retain most of its exterior traits while being born with a natural predisposition for the household environment.
Like most house cats, the Savannah can live an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years. They weigh around 12 to 25 pounds and possess a remarkable bearing of 17×14 inches – around 5 inches taller and longer than the average domestic cat. This cat generally acquires the same spotted fur of its wild forbearers reminiscent of its bobcat, ocelot, and jaguar cousins. Many of them seem to exhibit a degree of enthusiasm and energy that is, ironically, more akin to canine species instead.
In terms of the broad average Savannah cat cost, consumers can expect to pay anywhere between the price range of $1,200 and $22,000 per kitten. Exact prices can be determined by a number of factors that one could explore in the latter part of the article.
What are Included
Considering that one has bought from a dependable breeder, what’s spent is expectedly worth every dollar. Good breeders often possess a deep sense of obligation in terms of championing the welfare of a pet available for adoption.
Granted, the degree in terms of how much the breeders invest for the welfare of the sheltered pets may vary. Apart from the perceived monetized value of the Savannah kitten’s life, here is an example of the detailed cost breakdown by ManjaroCats.
- Spaying and neutering
- Microchip tracker
- Vaccination (with records)
- Health certificate from a vet
- Written health guarantee
- Official registration certificate from the TICA
Any responsible pet owner knows that the overall spending does not stop at the initial quote. In fact, a basic average yearly spending that’s worth $4,600 to $7,000 is needed in order to keep these creatures thriving throughout their natural lifespan. However, it pays to know that there is no stringent one-size-fits-all projection in terms of the additional costs associated with raising a domestic cat. Owners can come up with smart cost-efficient strategies based on other possible alternatives in these essential aspects:
The demands of the Savannah cat’s diet are pretty much similar to other breeds of domestic cats. Adept pet owners advocate a balanced nutrition, although one can acquire this in a single formulated dried food. It is preferable to alternate the feeding routine with occasional raw meat for versatility and conserving the volume of dried food. In choosing a specific dried food, it is important to avoid grain-based ingredients to prevent shortening a cat’s natural lifespan.
Unlike their Serval ancestors, Savannah cats prefer a hygienic approach in their bowel movement. While their aggressive wildcat parent is driven by the instinct to ‘mark their territory’ their domestic side rather makes them more inclined to ‘hide their scent from potential predators.’ Like all house cats, a Savannah kitten can be trained to use the litter.
The Savannah packs a lot of energy that enables them to push entertainment to a whole new level. Hence, there are two types of toys a Savannah cat needs – the interactive (e.g. feather wand and laser pointer) and the solo (doggy chew toys).
As mentioned earlier, Savannah cats are naturally more aggressive than most domestic cats. In fact, with the strength akin to puppies or small dogs, owners are advised to purchase durable materials. When it comes to toys, a substandard quality does not stand a chance.
- Vertical Furniture
Savannah cats love to climb and require a comparatively wider vertical space. Small fixtures like a wall/window perch, hammock, and a hanging condo may cost around $40 to $80 each. A large furniture piece such as a cat tree tower or a multi-tiered condo tower could run around the price range of $100 to $150 per item.
However, it is important to understand that one can repurpose existing materials (e.g. planks, ropes, poles, and fabric) to fashion similar high altitude space for Savannah cats. The DIY (do-it-yourself) alternative may entail a working knowledge of basic carpentry and internal design, but it also enables a relative degree of flexible customization – especially in terms of unique items (e.g. hanging bridges, tunnels, and mazes).
Shopping for Savannah Kittens
For one who considers the Savannah cat’s general health as the primary concern, he or she must first determine the very reputation of the pet seller.
Responsible pet owners must understand that commercial pet shops are usually a bad source. Hence, the legitimate guarantee of acquiring a healthy pet is virtually non-existent for pet shops – otherwise notoriously known as ‘breeding mills’.
Instead of pet shops, one must buy from independent breeders or rescue centers affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and TICA. Not only do these sources guarantee legal and practical security, they also feature relatively cheaper adoption fees ranging from $400 to $800. As far as the online Savannah cat index is concerned, there are only a handful of certified independent breeders in the country.
Factors That Matters
There are only four main factors that determine the exact Savannah cat price. These are age,location, sex, and hybrid generation. As far as age is concerned, the supply and demand always positively lean towards kittens. Simply put it, pet owners prefer a lengthier relationship with them. In terms of location, it is generally cheaper to buy Savannah cats within the country than overseas. After all, shipping fees increase relative to the distance it takes to complete the delivery – especially considering that the package is a living breathing creature.
However, a greater emphasis is focused on sex and hybrid generation in predicting prices. As hybrid creatures, the market is putting a premium on the retention of genetic traits from its exotic ancestor. Relative to sex, first-generation female Savannahs are priced for their reproductive potency considering the fact that prevalence of barrenness among males is significantly higher.
Here is a matrix that demonstrates the comparative price ranges based on hybrid generation and sex categories: