Why Are F1 Savannah Cats so Expensive?
Savannah cats are becoming one of the most popular domesticated cat breeds these days. Despite its rising popularity, the average person when asked about this breed would say that they never heard about Savannah. But why is that most people don’t know about this breed? You might find it interesting to know that there are not many breeders producing these beautiful beasts, and most of them produce a few litters each year. In addition, the first in the filial order, F1 Savannah cat is too expensive.
Who Are Savannah Cats?
Before we find the answers to the questions, let’s know who Savannah cats are. It is a domesticated cat breed cross between an African wild Serval and a domestic cat. All Savannah cats are assigned a Filial designation, from F1 to F5 ( F1 being 75% Serval) to identify how close they are to their exotic Serval ancestors.
Serval cat is a medium-sized wild African cat with long legs and spotted coat. They have long ears and a circular patch on the back of their ears. Savannah cats due to their wild cat ancestors can be prohibited to keep as pets in many regions.They are banned in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Georgia. While New York state only permits the Savannahs greater than five generations removed from Serval till F5. However, New York City prohibits all the Savannah cat breeds regardless of their closeness to Servals.
What Is the Cost of a Savannah?
A new breeder has to spend whopping $9000 just to start breeding Savannahs. I’ve calculated the cost of an F1, so read on and know what’s the total cost to breed the cat.
To begin with, a breeder has to purchase at least two cats. Let say, this breeder wants to start breeding from the F1 generation. For that, he would require a Serval male costing around $5000. The Serval counterpart F3 or F4 will cost between $3000 to $5000. So, if you take an average amount for the counterpart the total amount invested is $9000 just to start the breeding. However, in real, breeders start with two or three females generally and cost will go beyond $10k.
Now, the housing cost is the next consideration for the overall cost of an F1 Savannah cat breeding. An un-neutered male will begin to spray and mark territories inside the caged space. Breeders generally have to build up a cage similar to his wild habitat or remodel a garage in a similar way. While some of them would opt for an outbuilding. All in all, this will cost from $2000 to $10000. Let’s take $6000 for our calculation.
The total cost so far is $15,000. Next on our list is the feeding cost. A growing Serval eats about two pounds of raw meat each day. His food mostly includes chicken thighs and breast. The chicken prices are not fixed so we would take $2 per pound. That will cost a breeder $4 a day. Nevertheless, this cost doesn’t cover the supplements and additives to add in the chicken for Serval’s health and well-being.
We are going to take the feeding cost until the cat births a kitten. A serval will start to breed until 2-3 years old. That would be $4380 before a breeder succeeds to see a kitten. But the cat can be an adult so we would consider half of the feeding amount, i.e. $2190. Adding the cost of food to the previous costs will make it $17190.
Let’s now take a look at the feeding cost of the female for a year. Savannah breeders feed good quality, vet recommended cat food. Let say this female eats a cup of kibble and a can of wet food each day, the daily cost of premium cat food for Savannah will be $4.58, that is $1671.70 for a year. Add this cost for a year to the previous running total of $17190 and the final total will be $18861.70. However, the cost for the cat food we have considered doesn’t include tax and purchased at a discounted rate online, not the premium brick and mortar store that doesn’t have any offer.
Is F1 Savannah Breeding Not so Costly Yet?
If $17190 isn’t expensive enough, just wait and see because there is still more to consider. We haven’t included the cost of vet visits, vaccination, tests like PK deficiency, PCR testing for parents and kittens. Moreover, there are FedEx fees for time-sensitive testing. In addition, litter, litter boxes, scoopers, beds, water bowls, cat trees, scratch posts, leashes, and harnesses will add to the cost. In a nutshell, the cost for Serval and Savannah cats to keep them busy with activities, toys, and the pet supplies count.
How do they sell the Savannah litters? The business has to have an online presence and the cost to keep the website running are so high. The International Cat Association would charge for cattery registration. And apart from this, each cat and their litter needs to be registered with additional registration fees.
The list is not exhausted yet. When breeder finally has a kitten to sell, how little he earns per hour. For instance, if the breeder works for an hour per day and pays himself $5 for the hour, that totals $1825. And very few people would like to work for this much low pay.
The wages, vet costs, and other things will make the cost about $22,000. And there is one more risk we never discussed. A male Serval might never consider a Savannah for mating. And that makes all the expense till now for nothing. As a responsible breeder, he will bear the cost of Serval for his lifetime.
Some of the breeders might not consider buying Serval and prefers to breed two F1 Savannah cats. But the cost is similar for procuring two of those cats. So all in all, F1 Savannahs are so costly compared to any other cats. And most importantly, F1s are expensive because they meet Savannah cat standards better than their other filial order cats.