Basic Care

“Expect Only What You Put Into Your Cat”

When it comes to raising Savannah Kittens into adulthood the philosophy is to “Expect only what you put into your Savannah Cat”. If you provide proper daily care of exercise, mental stimulation and positive reinforcement training while young, it will result into healthy well-adjusted adults.

If you’re considering adopting a Savannah Kitten you will need to preform kitten-proofing, obtain necessary care items and pick a quarantine room. As a cat owner you also need crucial details on how to provide proper exercise that is both physically adequate and mentally enriching.

Before bringing home you kitten you will need to kitten-proof your home. This ensure your kitten’s safety as well as your own. Kittens are lively and curious, which can lead them into serious trouble unless you take preventative measures. A kitten has a lower vantage point than yours, like a crawling baby, and may be attracted to things you do not see when you are standing.

After bringing home your new kitten you must quarantine. Quarantine is a time frame of 2-3 weeks of personal one-on-one time with new owner(s). Rushing the introduction process can result in a scared, skittish and unsure feline that can result in unruly behavior at your fault not the cat.

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Registering a Cat in TICA Feline Management System

HEALTH

Vaccinations
Currently we are using Dr. W. Jean Dodd’s vaccination protocol. This protocol is now being adopted by ALL 27 North American veterinary schools. Important to note that mom’s antibodies are not completely gone till 16 weeks thus shots given earlier may have no effect. Shots are given 3-4 weeks apart, never give a booster shot when a cat shows signs of being sick.

3-Way Vaccine (Purevax®)
First Shot
Second Booster Shot
Third Booster Shot
Bodettela Nasal Vaccine (Nobivac®)
Rabies Shot

FIV/FELV Blood Test

Test all your current felines prior to getting your new kitten. Upon receiving your kitten, you will need to test with the FIV/FELV Blood Test or if it is one of my kitten the parents are already tested negative, so negative by parents.

Parasite Prevention

Parasites are a common occurrence in cats as they are easily contracted through drinking water or simple touch of infected surfaces, some parasites can live weeks without a host with prevalence rates as high as 45 percent. The parasites can be worm-like (e.g., stomach worms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms) or one-celled (e.g., Isospora, Giardia, Toxoplasma) organisms. We recommend giving “revolution” which is a topical application given once a month to prevent, control, and treat parasite infections. The active ingredient is selamectin, which interferes with the parasite’s nervous system. It is an effective heartworm preventive, killing the immature form of the heartworm. It kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching for one month. It is also used for the treatment and control of ear mites and sarcoptic mange. Revolution also treats and controls roundworm and hookworm infections.

Vet Visits

Do not assume the exam or waiting room is clean.
Disinfect the cat’s carrier and your shoes after visiting the vet.
Use a towel to cover the exam table, bleach towel afterwards.
Do not allow routine procedures to be done out of sight.
If a shot spills onto the cat have it wiped off with alcohol.
Savannah Cats should be treated like any other cat breed (No special shots).
Remember vets only take one small course in school about feline nutrition.

We microchip all our Savannah Kittens with BuddyID™ Pro Chips. New owners will receive a BuddyID™ pamphlet with instructions on how to register these microchips. Should you lose your instructions you can follow the link below. All microchips are always attached to our main breeder account in case a microchip is not registered into the new owner’s name.  

BuddyID™ is an innovative leader in the world of animal identification and recovery with over 25 years’ experience. Veterinarian owned and operated. Highly trained staff. Located in the United States not overseas. Run by real people who talk to pet owners and shelters all day long. Official member of the “Pet Microchip Lookup System”.

Parent company Microchip ID Systems, Inc. has been in business since 1989. BuddyID™ takes the extra step of posting a free SearchALERT™ in the national network for any registered pet at any time.

NOT OVERSEAS – LOCATED IN THE USA
NO HIDDEN FEES
NO RENEWAL FEES.

EXERCISE

Exercise is where a cat can expend its pent-up energy. There have been more and more tests showing that cats kept inside can become bored and develop cat serious psychological problems. These issues can present themselves in many ways such as destroying furniture or not using litter boxes. We suggest a combination of real interaction (playing sessions with a cat wand, clicker training, harness training) and interactive toys (cat wheels, wall of shelves, cat trees).
Play sessions with a cat wand are the best enriching activity with your cat. Get your cat out of breath with a vigorous session typically 10 – 30 minutes long. Try adding a session before bedtime to get optimal nighttime sleep results.
Cat shelves and trees can be used both in real interaction and by the cat alone. Savannah Cats typically require larger more robust options due to their weight.
Cat wheels are the must-have enriching experience every cat needs to get that extra energy spent. Proven to not only enhance the physical well-being of our cats but altered their disposition to be more relaxed and calm. Please note that cats still need one-on-one exercise with cat wands and other enriching activities. Cat wheels should be used as a tool to spend energy in between true exercise/play sessions.

TRAINING

Harness Training

Harness training a Savannah Cat is like training a puppy. Patience and perseverance are key, this will not happen overnight. Walking on a leash requires extensive time, patience and positive reinforcement to achieve. Never allow a cat to walk out of a door even on a harness, you do not want to teach a cat that walking out of a door will result in outside access. As soon as you get your kitten and they have settled in you should start with the following steps;

Step 1

Start placing a fitted harness on you Savannah Kitten and allow the kitten to wear it for extended periods inside the home without associate with the leash. The cat may protest by laying down but eventually will learn to wear the harnesses without struggle. Try associating the harness with play time for positive enforcement.

Step 2

Start attaching a leash inside the home. Take a cat wand to entice the cat to walk. Give extra small treats sparingly for positive reinforcement. If the cat becomes scared, calmly pet the cat and redirect its attention back to the cat wand. Do not be forceful, don’t give up quickly. Patience and repetition is the key.

Step 3
Pick an outside area that is without fast moving objects or loud noises, preferably an enclosed smaller space such as a backyard. Play with a cat wand. Do not attempt to “walk”. Your goal is to give positive enforcement to going outside only. From here you will extend your outside adventures.

Clicker Training

Best Friend Animal Society’s Dr. Frank has a fantastic video on YouTube detailing clicker training methods. After 9,000 years of living with humans, scientists state that all cat breeds remain only semi-domesticated. If you want your cat to obey your needs, you need to make training worthwhile.

Travel Training

AdventureCats.org is the first and only resource for information on safely exploring the great outdoors with your feline friend. The site is run by a passionate group of outdoorsy cat lovers who want to challenge negative stereotypes about cats and their owners.  Not all cats are content to simply watch the world through the window. Meet the fearless felines who accompany their humans on outdoor excursions and learn safe and fun ways your cat can become an adventure cat.

Litter-box

We use clumping cat litter (red color tidy cat) in a storage tote, preferably the large or extra-large size. The longer width, the better. Younger kittens get a low sided storage tote. We suggest you start with a low sided tote at first until the cat is established. We do not suggest lightweight tidy cat only because it gets everywhere and painfully clumps in-between toes.

Litter-box Problems

Problems using litterboxes are often a sign something is wrong. Stemming from either inappropriate box size, box location, cleanliness of the box, litter type/feel on the foot, stress level, insecurity, dirty houses or even illness. Regardless of the cause you need to address the issue immediately to prevent on going issues and also the cat’s well-being.

INSECURITY

Problem: Insecure animal trying to establish that they are wanted or dominating another animal (Including vermin). Remember vermin or other animals can get under your house and in your backyard.

Solution: Put the box in socially important areas so your cat(s) can establish their scent. Provide high vertical space (shelving and cat trees) so the cat can get up above the action (kids/dogs/strangers) in your home. When giving this vertical space you also need to give an escape route if you have other cats they may pin a cat up high with no option to get away.

HIDING BOXES

Problem: Hiding the litter box due to smell or ascetics.

Solution: Prevent confining smelly boxes by doing open top tubs. Put the box in socially important areas. This means if the cat pees in X area then put a litter box in that area not the other side of the house.

DIRTY HABITS

Problem: Dirty box. Imagine going to a public bathroom where some one pooped and didn’t flush it…

Solution: Cleaning the sides of boxes. Clean often. Give multiple boxes.

SMALL BOXES

Problem: Small boxes. Most pet stores offer 90% of boxes that are too small for any adult domestic cat.

Solution: Bigger boxes, wider boxes. Have multiple boxes that are in different locations. The box should be wide enough to turn around and long enough to poop twice without stepping in the poop. Get a large storage tub or plastic cement mixing pan as its cheaper and larger.

Suggestion

Evaluate problem areas to determine root cause. Use sticky notes or stickers to mark any area a cat acts scared, has a fight and pees inappropriate. Do this every time something happens. You WILL find a pattern.

Tell your breeder when a problem starts, if they cant help but they probably know who can.

CLEANING

Black Light
Check your home for unseen stains that can result in marking.
Shedding Brush
Brush out your cat 2-3 times a year, must have coming out of winter.
Cats develop guard hairs that will muddy the coat color, by brushing them out the coat will remain clearer.
Cleaning Solutions
Natures Miracle to disinfect in/around litter-boxes weekly
Peroxide Water for other jobs

TOYS

Savannah Cats require proper mental stimulation and exercise to live a balanced life. When picking enrichment toys, they must be durable and anti-swallow. Avoid weak or thin plastic, loose fabric, loose feathers and very small toys. Cat wheels are one of the best ways to expect substantial amounts of energy. But remember toys are not a substitute for real mental stimulation.