Socializing, behavior and other pets

All kittens from Bespotted have been raised in the home from birth. Beginning at around 4-5 weeks our grand children begin to interact with them. By the time they are weaned from Mom, the kittens are confident and playful with both adults and children. By the time they are ready for their new home they have been around our Papillons, the other cats, children, and are completely socialized.

Kittens require boundaries from an early age and it is important that the new owner continues to make it clear that the human is the boss. A good way to do train your cat is to use a water spray bottle. For instance, if you do not want your Savannah to consider your kitchen counter tops as a new hangout, a squirt of water combined with a firm "no" will get your message across. Just be sure you are providing a stream of water and not a gentle cool misting. Consistency is the key to training your Savannah.

Another kitten behavior is the tendency to consider all humans as a new form of cat tree. Climbing up your leg towards your head may be cute when your kitten weighs 4 pounds. It will no longer be enjoyable when he weighs 18. Scruffing your kitten and saying "no" while you deposit him gently back on the floor will make it clear that you are not available for a quick climb.

Just as with small children, establishing boundaries from the onset will insure that your new addition will grow up well behaved and enjoyable to be around.

Savannahs are very different from the typical domestic cat. Unlike any breeds, who prefer to curl up on a chair for the day irregardless of where you are, Savannahs have a burning need to be near you. Rather like a small dog, they will follow you from room to room. Eventually you will get used to this a cease to trip over him/her every time you try to go somewhere. Many Savannahs do not enjoy to be picked up or curling up on your lap for hours. Many of ours enjoy feet and shoulders far more. Turn on the faucet and your Savannah will be busy for hours.

While many Savannahs enjoy playing with water, other prefer to play in it. We rarely have the pleasure of showering alone and this is something you need to be prepared for. As discussed previously, Savannahs enjoy being up high. Eventually you will stop leaping in fright as your cat appears out of nowhere, leaps southward and lands on your feet. Most Savannahs enjoy a rousing game of fetch and will play endlessly with you if you are willing. Many will adopt a small blanket or toy and carry it with them from room to room. One of our F2 males became very attached to a thick plastic cone and would drag it around with him.

At some point in their adolescent years you may run into behaviors that are new and irksome. This is more likely to occur if you have other pets. For example, your Savannah may decide he needs to establish himself as the alpha cat in a household where all was once calm or the introduction of a new pet sends your Savannah into a tail spin. A great product in times like this is Feliway Many breeders and pet owners alike have found Feliway to be a great help and we highly recommend it.

Savannahs do well with other Savannahs, Bengals or another high energy breed such as the Chausie. However, they will enjoy the company of most cats and dogs. Keep in mind, however, that your ageing animals may not appreciate the activity level so try to insure that your Savannah has a companion who is age appropriate. A bored Savannah can be a destructive one so please consider making sure he has a friend to keep him busy.

Bespotted requires a minimum of 4 weeks quarantine for your Savannah. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the stress of a new home and the travel to arrive there can be hard on a kitten. In turn this can be hard on the immune system. Making sure that your kitten has no contact with your other pets protects your kitten and other pets form illness. Of course, no kitten leaves us without a clean bill of health but we cannot protect the kitten from germs while traveling and being cautious is never a bad thing. Secondly, Savannahs bond strongly to their primary caretaker. If your Savannah is not afforded the opportunity to bond with you initially, he or she may make your other pet his main squeeze. For both your sakes and that of your other pets, keep your Savannah quarantined for 4 weeks.

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