Savannah cat size ranges hugely, depending on the generation of your particularly kitty. As an exotic wildcat mix, they have some pretty sizeable ancestors. How far removed they are from the African Serval will determine how big your pretty kitty will grow. Most pet Savannah cats are at least three generations removed from their original wild ancestors, but remain heavier than your average domestic cat and considerably taller too.
How Big Are Savannah Cats?
Our mental image of a wild cat is normally of a rather huge and bulky creature. However, in reality although Servals are big, it’s in a leggy sort of way. They are long and lean, with their height being more distinct than their poundage.
Savannah cat size depends upon the generation. As a wild cat hybrid, your Savannah cat can be as big as a Serval or as small as a domestic cat. They range from 11 pounds, 11 inches tall to a staggering 30 pounds, 70 inches!
African Servals Have Big Genes
A first-generation Savannah is created by breeding a domestic cat with a wild cat called the Serval, found in Africa. Breeders wanted to put some of those leopard style genes into a more manageable package.
Subsequent generations of Savannahs are created by breeding a Savannah with another domestic cat, or by breeding a Savannah with another Savannah. These generations are described using filial numbers ranging from F1 (first generation) to F7 (seventh generation).
As the number of generations increases, the resulting Savannahs have less Serval influence; each generation has fewer Serval genes than the generation before.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a Serval cat (or a real one, for that matter), then one of the first things that you probably noticed is how long their legs are and how much larger they are than domestic cats.
Servals may weigh anywhere from 28 to 42 pounds (males tend to be larger) and are about 23.5 inches at the shoulder. Domestic cats typically range between 7 and 11 pounds, and stand between 9 and 10 inches tall at the shoulder.
Even large house cats pale in comparison to the standard Serval size.
Generally, F1 Savannahs, which are 50% Serval, and F2 Savannahs, which are 25-30% Serval, are the largest Savannahs. It’s a toss-up with F3 Savannahs, as they still have 12/15% or more Serval in their blood.
They may still be a bit larger. As a result of their being further from their Serval heritage, F4-F7 Savannah generations tend to stay smaller, although they commonly still appear lankier than a “normal” house cat.
Many Savannah cat breeders do not guarantee a size for their Savannah kittens, since genetic diversity makes the final outcome hard to predict, regardless of the cat’s generation.
Because of the lack of certainty in Savannah cat size, and to help confirm any trends in size by generation, the Savannah Cat Association asked a variety of Savannah cat owners to submit their cats’ generation, sex, height, and weight.
I’ve used that study as a reference for the following Savannah cat sizes by generation. As the study was relatively small and there is a lot of room for size fluctuation, as we’ve already discussed, please read the sizes as approximations. They are not meant to be read as hard guidelines.
It’s generally accepted that the F1 Savannah is the largest of all Savannah generations, which makes sense, given its close genetic relationship to the Serval.
Male F1 Savannahs may reach 25-30 pounds, with females weighing in about 10 pounds less. Their average height is between 16 and 17 inches tall at the shoulder, although it’s certainly possible that an F1 could be closer to their Serval parent’s height of 23.5 inches.
Since F2 Savannahs are one quarter Serval, they also tend toward the Serval’s end of the size spectrum. Male F2 Savannahs may reach 14-20 pounds, with females trending just a few pounds less.
Their average height is about 14 inches tall at the shoulder. Again, an F2 Savannah could be larger (or smaller) than these measurements.
With just one eighth Serval in their blood, F3 Savannahs may be the first generation to start the decrease-in-size trend, but there’s still a 50-50 chance that they’ll retain the larger size. Male F3 Savannahs may reach between 15 and 20 pounds, with females a few pounds less. Their average height is between 13 and 14 inches tall at the shoulder.
Definitely allow for some size variation, as even one eighth of Serval genes has the potential to create an “oddball” which doesn’t conform to these size ranges.
F4 Savannahs are considered to be the first generation of “purebred” Savannahs. Male F4 Savannahs mature to between 15 and 17 pounds, with mature females staying around 12-15 pounds.
Their average height is likely to be about 11 inches, give or take an inch.
Due to the variance in genetics in the F4 generation, it’s possible that you’ll get a Savannah that is smaller than the above measurements. Chances of an F4 being larger than the above measurements start to decrease here.
For F5, F6, and F7 Savannah cats, you can generally expect them to stay in the size range of 11-13 pound and 11 inches tall or less. In other words, later generations are more likely to grow to roughly the size of a large domestic house cat.
Though later Savannah generation sizes are easier to predict than early generations, we cannot stress enough that even F5, F6, or F7 Savannahs can be taller or heavier than their expected size range.
How big are Savannah cats?
Based on their generation and genetic relationship to their Serval ancestor, a Savannah kitten may grow to be tall and heavy like a Serval. Or they may be a bit smaller, but with the Serval’s same lanky appearance.
However, even careful breeding can result in the occasional large Savannah when a smaller Savannah was expected, and vice versa. Therefore, the question “How big are Savannah cats?” is truly a loaded one!