Weird Behavior

Part of the ‘charm’ and fun of a savannah is the unusual behaviors that they have; however, some of these things are not always desireable.

1. Water.

Savannah’s love to play in water, this is a very typical trait. This consists of things like: splashing all the water out of their bowls until they are completely empty; dunking their toys in water (beware of intensely colored/dyed toys); playing with toys or chasing fish in water in a bathtub, kiddie pool, or small pond; jumping in the bath or shower with family members; batting the ice and dunking their paws in a beverage; knocking over glasses and spilling beverages, then playing and splashing in the spilled liquid; ‘helping’ to wash the dishes. This is usually a cute behavior, but I”m sure you can see when it can be a real annoyance. Do not leave your drinks unguarded and keep the toilet lids down : )2. Weird food.

My savannahs like salad greens, especially fresh spinach or arugula. One of my savannahs likes all types of bread, including pizza (especially with tomato sauce), pasta with basil pesto or tomato sauce, cantaloupe, strawberries, sometimes popcorn or cheese doodles (usually only eats 1-2 pieces though). Again, usually an interesting behavior, but it can be frustrating to find your desert (cake, pie, cookies) or bread has been thoroughly mangled or sampled by an anonymous feline. It does teach humans to put foods back in the cupboards, however.3. Suckling/kneading.

It’s pretty common for savannahs to suckle things like fingers, especially when they are little. My savannahs like to suckle on or bite the fake sheepskin lining their cat beds, all while kneading the bed and purring. This is not limited to kittens, the adults do it too. One of my savannahs gives ‘butt massages’ by standing up on her hind legs and kneading our rear ends.4. Toy or foreign object eating.

Exotic cats, higher generation savannahs, and other hybrid breeds, are notorious for consuming things they should not. They are very rough on toys, and will destroy most cat toys in no time. Then they will often consume pieces of them. Sometimes they also consume paper, plastic (grocery bags or other objects), rubber bands or stoppers, string, thread, tooth floss, clothes pins, wooden objects, or many other miscellanous objects. Some savannahs will chew on electric cords or cables (usually kittens, but they can be taught not to do this). This behavior is a real threat to their health and survival; a cat can easily get an intestinal blockage or perforation, requiring immediate veterinary care and often surgery in order to save their life. In addition, if it doesn’t show up on the x-ray, sometimes a vet cannot make a diagnosis in time to save their life. For this reason it is very important to not leave savannahs with toys unattended and to keep dangerous ingestable objects away from them. We put most toys away when we’re done playing so the cats can’t get them, there’s only one or two we’ve found that are safe to leave out. Try to find sturdy dog toys that they enjoy playing with, and watch them closely with them to make sure they can’t tear them up or eat parts of them.5. Answering the phone.

One of our girls knocks the receiver off the hook when it rings, then bats it around. When she did this the phone would sometimes be off the hook for hours, so we had to buy a cordless handset that doesn’t turn on until you push the button. 

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