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Are Savannah Cats Legal in Georgia? Facts, Breed Traits & FAQ

Written by: Gregory Iacono

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

F1 savannah cat sitting on couch

Are Savannah Cats Legal in Georgia? Facts, Breed Traits & FAQ

If you love cats, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Savannah cat; it’s a cross between a Siamese cat and a wild serval cat. Serval cats are medium-sized cats native to Africa, and their scientific name is Laeptailurus serval. The combination of the two cat breeds results in the Savannah cat, an extra-large feline that can weigh 25 pounds.

If you live in Georgia and are interested in adopting a Savannah cat, you might wonder if they’re legal in the state. Unfortunately, like all exotic cats, Savannahs are not legal in Georgia. That includes any generation of Savannah cats from F1 through F5. Anyone caught with a Savannah cat in their home could be subject to fines and possible imprisonment in Georgia.

Read on if you’re curious to learn where they’re legal and illegal and which hybrid and wild cats you can own in Georgia. We have the information you seek below, as well as tips and advice about Savannah cats and some interesting facts about this fascinating cat breed.

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Are F4 Savannah Cats Legal in Georgia?

Unfortunately, no, F4 Savannah cats are not legal in Georgia. F4 is the designation for a 4th generation Savannah cat, which, in many other American states, is legal to own. As we mentioned in the introduction, no generation of Savannah cats is legal in Georgia, including F1 through F5 Savannah cats.

Savannah Cat
Image Credit: Lindasj22, Shutterstock

Where Are Savannah Cats Legal to Own and Illegal to Own?

Below we’ve put together a quick chart to let you know where it’s legal to own a Savannah cat and where it’s illegal. One suggestion is to check with your local government, as rules and laws can change. It’s better to stay on the right side of the law.

State Legal? Which Generation?
Alabama Yes. All generations
Alaska F4 and later
Arizona Yes. All generations
Arkansas Yes. All generations
California Yes. All generations
Colorado F4 and later. Illegal in Denver city limits
Connecticut Yes. All generations
Delaware Permit needed
District of Columbia (DC) Yes. All generations
Florida Yes. All generations
Georgia Illegal
Hawaii Illegal
Idaho Yes. All generations
Illinois Yes. All generations
Indiana Yes. All generations
Iowa F4 and later
Kansas Yes. All generations
Kentucky Yes. All generations
Louisiana Yes. All generations
Maine Yes. All generations
Maryland Yes. All generations
Massachusetts F4 and later
Michigan Yes. All generations
Minnesota Yes. All generations
Mississippi Yes. All generations
Missouri Yes. All generations
Montana Yes. All generations
Nebraska Illegal
Nevada Yes. All generations
New Hampshire F4 and later
New Jersey Yes. All generations
New Mexico Yes. All generations
New York F5 and later. Illegal in New York City limits
North Carolina Yes. All generations
North Dakota Yes. All generations
Ohio Yes. All generations
Oklahoma Yes. All generations
Oregon Yes. All generations
Pennsylvania Yes. All generations
Rhode Island Illegal
South Carolina Yes. All generations
South Dakota Yes. All generations
Tennessee Yes. All generations
Texas Varies from county to county
Utah Yes. All generations
Vermont F4 and later
Virginia Yes. All generations
Washington Yes. All generations
West Virginia Yes. All generations
Wisconsin Yes. All generations
Wyoming Yes. All generations

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The 8 Unique Traits of Savannah Cats

Even though you can’t legally own a Savannah cat in Georgia, below we’ve got details on the breed to quench your curiosity.

1. Savannah Cats Are Extra Large

Savannah cats are significantly larger than regular house cats. This hybrid cat can be up to 19 inches tall and weigh as much as 30 pounds. The Guinness Book of World Records lists a Savannah cat as the world’s tallest domestic cat.

2. They Come in Several Different Colors

Like house cats, Savannah cats come in various colors and coat patterns. Those include smoke, silver, snow, and black-colored Savannah cats. Their beautiful coloring is one of the reasons the Savannah is so well-liked.

F1 savannah cat playing a toy
Image Credit: Katerina Mirus, Shutterstock

3. Savannah Cats Have a Lot of Energy

Savannah cats have a surprisingly high energy level and will shame your typical house cats when playing. While they get along well with other cats and dogs, the Savannah cat will outlast all of them energy-wise when playing together.

4. They Love Dogs

Since Savannah cats are so large, many people question whether or not they get along well with dogs. The answer is yes; Savannah cats get along exceptionally well with dogs and gravitate towards them more than house cats because of their size difference.

Dog and cat with together in bed
Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

5. Savannah Cats Are Very Intelligent

Most cat owners will tell you that their favorite tabby is very intelligent. Savannah cats, however, are on another level, intelligence-wise, and are very in tune with whatever surroundings they’re put into. If you change your living space or move from one home to another, your Savannah cat will often be upset with you for a while—they like consistency.

6. They Love to Swim and Are Amazing Jumpers

One trait about Savannah cats that always surprises people who haven’t seen one before is that many love swimming! That’s not surprising when you consider that the African serval calls the African savanna home, which includes thousands and thousands of acres of wetlands where they swim regularly. Another trait of a Savannah cat that’s not surprising is that it can jump incredibly high, which the African serval cat does very well. If you adopt a Savannah cat, don’t be surprised to find it in locations around your home that you think wouldn’t be possible.

7. F1 Savannah Cats Are Typically the Biggest

When speaking about hybrid cats, most experts will mention the F grading system. F1 is the designation for a first-generation Savannah cat with a direct lineage to a serval and a domestic cat. Because of this direct line to a larger African serval, F1 Savannah cats are usually the largest generation. As the breed goes further down the line (F2, F3, F4, and F5), the kittens get smaller and smaller with each generation.

savannah cat on rope in green grass
Image Credit: Jarry, Shutterstock

8. F1 Through F4 Male Savannah Kittens Are Born Sterile

While we won’t bore you with the genetics, the fact is that F1 through F4 male Savannah kittens are usually born sterile. Some F1 females are also born sterile but typically, from F1 forward, they are fertile.

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When Did the Savannah Cat First Make an Appearance?

It was back in April of 1986 when the first Savannah cat kitten was born. The first Savannah kittens were a cross between a male serval cat from Africa and a female domestic Siamese cat. The breeder was named Judee Frank.

The first Savannah cat kitten was the size of a serval cat as an adult but, as the breeder had hoped, had the tameness of a domestic cat. The first kitten was named Savannah, which is where the breed got its name.

savannah cat
Image Credit: K.Oyama, Flickr

How Much Does a Savannah Cat Cost?

Savannah cats are easily one of the most expensive cat breeds to purchase, especially an F1 Savannah cat. Once you get to an F5 Savannah cat, the price drops significantly but compared to your typical purebred cat, it’s still relatively high. Below is a price comparison table that will help you determine how much it will cost to adopt one of these beautiful cats.

Generation Male Savannah Female Savannah Serval Cat Percentage
F1 $12,000 to $16,000 $15,000 to $20,000 50%
F2 $4,000 to $8,000 $4,000 to $9,000 30%
F3 $1,500 to $4,000 $1,000 to $4,000 20%
F4 $1,000 to $2,500 $1,000 to $2,500 15%
F5 $800 to $2,500 $1,000 to $2,000 11%

Do Savannah Cats Use a Litter Box?

You’ll be glad to know that Savannahs use a litter box and can be litter box trained as quickly as domestic cats.

One thing to keep in mind if you adopt a Savannah cat is to give them only a little room to move around your home in the first few days and weeks. If a Savannah kitten is given too much space to roam in your home, it can sometimes forget where its litter box has been placed and have an accident.

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Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, Savannah cats are illegal in Georgia, but from our research, they make wonderful pets and get along well with humans and dogs. Not only will you get a fine if you get caught, but the authorities will take your Savannah cat away and bring it to an animal sanctuary. There’s also the chance you’ll be arrested, but this is a case-by-case situation.

Did you enjoy the information we provided today about Savannah cats? Hopefully, you did and now know more about this intelligent, beautiful, and extra-large cat breed than you did before. If you live outside Georgia and have just adopted a Savannah cat, congratulations! We wish both of you a long and happy life together!

Related reads:

Featured Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

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