A Savannah's wild look is often due to the presence of many distinguishing serval characteristics. Most prominent of these include the various color markings; tall, deeply cupped, wide, rounded, erect ears; very long legs; fat, puffy noses, and hooded eyes. The bodies of Savannahs are long and leggy; when a Savannah is standing, its hind-end is often higher than its prominent shoulders. The small head is taller than wide, and it has a long, slender neck. The backs of the ears have ocelli, a central light band bordered by black, dark grey or brown, giving an eye-like effect. The short tail has black rings, with a solid black tip. The eyes are blue as a kitten (as in other cats), and may be green, brown, gold or a blended shade as an adult. The eyes have a "boomerang" shape, with a hooded brow to protect them from harsh sunlight. Ideally, black or dark "tear-streak" or "cheetah tear" markings run from the corner of the eyes down the sides of the nose to the whiskers, much like that of a cheetah.
Savannahs are commonly compared to dogs in their loyalty, and they will follow their owners around the house like a canine. They can also be trained to walk on a leash, and even fetch. Some Savannahs are reported to be very social and friendly with new people and other cats and dogs, while others may run and hide or revert to hissing and growling when seeing a stranger. Exposure to other people and pets is most likely the key factor in sociability as Savannah kittens grow up.
A Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic cat and the serval, a medium-sized, large-eared wild African cat. 

In May 2012, The International Cats Association (TICA) accepted Savannah as a championship breed.


​​Savannahs are much more social than typical domestic cats, and they are often compared to dogs in their loyalty. They can be trained to walk on a leash and even taught to play fetch. 


Savannah cats are the largest breed of domesticated cats. The Savannahs' tall and slim build gives them the appearance of greater size than their actual weight. Size is very dependent on generation and sex. F1 and F2 hybrids are usually the largest, due to the stronger genetic influence of the African serval ancestor. Male Savannahs tend to be larger than females. Early-generation Savannahs can weigh 20 lbs or more. Later-generation Savannahs are usually between seven and 30 lbs. Because of the random factors in Savannah hybrid genetics, size can vary significantly, even in one litter.

 The overall look of an individual Savannah depends greatly on generation, with higher-percentage Savannah cats often having a more "wild" look. 
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A Savannah Cat C​attery

An often-noted trait of the Savannah is its jumping ability. They are known to jump on top of doors, refrigerators and high cabinets. Some Savannahs can leap about 8 feet (2.5 m) high from a standing position. Savannahs are very inquisitive, and have been known to get into all sorts of things. They often learn how to open doors and cupboards, and anyone buying a Savannah will likely need to take special precautions to prevent the cat from getting into trouble. Many Savannah cats do not fear water, and will play or even immerse themselves in water. Some owners even shower with their Savannah cats. Presenting a water bowl to a Savannah may also prove a challenge, as some will promptly begin to "bat" all the water out of the bowl until it is empty, using their front paws.