Bengal and Savannah Cats

11 Interesting Facts About Bengal and Savannah Cats

A brief overview of Bengal and Savannah Cats

Bengal and Savannah Cats look exotic and are domestic cats, renowned for their wild and untamed appearances. Bengal cats are known for their stunning colored or marbled coats that resemble leopards. They’re energetic and fun. Savannah Cats can be described as a hybrid of the domestic cat as well as serval a wild African cat. They’re distinguished by big ears, long legs as well as distinct spots. Savannah cats are more curious and adventurous.  

Both breeds need people who are aware of their distinct features and provide the right conditions to meet their requirements. They’re ideal for homes where they are able to engage in active play and get lots of entertainment.

Definition of Bengal Cat

Bengal cats are an exciting domestic breed created through crossbreeding domestic cats with Asian leopard cats. Creating an unusual domestic variety with either a spotted or marbled coat that shimmers beautifully in sunlight. Bengals are medium to large-sized dogs with muscular bodies and athletic builds; their eyes may have green, gold, or blue hues and possess expressive green or gold, blue pupils.

Bengal Cats
Figure 01: Bengal Cats

As lively and animated creatures they’re also well known for being energetic playthings! Bengals are famously intelligent dogs, known for learning tricks and solving issues on their own. While Bengals form strong bonds with their human family members, they still retain some degree of independence while remaining communicative creatures.

Regular grooming and mental stimulation are crucial for keeping Bengal cats happy and healthy, making them highly-desirable breeds with exotic appearances and engaging personalities that demand care from owners. Their exotic looks combine well with engaging personalities which makes this breed popular; potential owners should ensure they can provide sufficient attention as per each breed’s specific care requirements.

Definition of Savannah Cats

Savannah cats are hybrid domestic breeds created through crossbreeding between domestic cats (usually Bengal or Siamese ) and wild African Servals. Savannah cats have long been prized for their exotic appearance, distinguished by large upright ears, long legs and distinct spots on a golden or silver coat. Savannahs tend to be taller and slimmer than many domestic breeds – often between 12-25 pounds in weight.

Bengal Cats
Figure 02: Bengal Cats

They are widely known for their adventurous spirit, intelligence, and devotion to human family members. This breed stands out for its incredible jump abilities and surprising affinity towards water,  some individuals even enjoy playing in it!

Savannah cats generally get along well with other pets if properly socialized,  legal considerations will depend on your jurisdiction; hybrid breed ownership restrictions exist in some regions of the world. Savannahs provide an exciting pet experience if owners can meet all their individual care requirements for these cats.

Origin and History

Origin and History of Bengal Cats

  • Origin: The Bengal cat breed was created by crossing a domestic cat with the wild Asian leopard cat.
  • History: The development of the Bengal cat started in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the breed was officially recognized. Breeder Jean Mill was instrumental in promoting and establishing the breed. The goal was to have a cat with the wild appearance of a leopard cat but the temperament of a domestic cat.

Origin and History of Savannah Cats

  • Origin: The Savannah cat is a hybrid breed created by crossing a serval, a wild African cat, with a domestic cat (usually a Siamese or Bengal).
  • History: The first Savannah cat was bred in 1986 by breeder Judee Frank. The breed was named after the native habitat of the serval. It took several generations of selective breeding to develop the Savannah cat’s domestic temperament while retaining its wild appearance.

Comparison chart between Bengal and Savannah cats

Here’s a comparison chart between Bengal and Savannah cats:

Aspect Bengal Cats Savannah Cats
Origin Cross with the Asian leopard cat Cross with an African serval
Coat Pattern Spotted or marbled Spotted, often golden or silver
Size and Build Medium to large, muscular Tall, slender, 12 to 25 pounds
Eye Color Green, gold, or blue Green or gold
Personality Energetic, intelligent, affectionate Adventurous, loyal, intelligent
Behavior – Play Interactive toys, fetch High jumpers, climbing
Behavior – Vocal Talkative Varies
Behavior – Curiosity Inquisitive Bold, explorative
Water Affinity Varies Often enjoys water
Socialization Can be social with a proper introduction Generally good with other pets
Legal Considerations Fewer restrictions Some areas have restrictions

Physical Characteristics of Bengal and Savannah Cats

The physical characteristics of Bengal and Savannah cats are unique and distinguishable, reflecting their wild ancestry.

Here’s a breakdown of the physical traits for both breeds:

Bengal Cats

  • Coat Pattern: Bengal cats have a vivid and striking coat pattern that can be marbled or spotted, resembling a wild leopard’s coat.
  • Size and Build: They are medium to large in size with a muscular build. Males typically weigh between 10 to 15 pounds, and females are slightly smaller.
  • Eye Color: Eyes can be green, gold, or blue, with a wild and intense expression.
  • Other Features: They possess strong, athletic legs and a thick tail that often has a black tip.

Savannah Cats

  • Coat Pattern: Savannah cats exhibit spotted coats that are often golden or silver with dark spots, similar to their wild serval ancestors.
  • Size and Build: Savannah cats are known for their long legs, slender bodies, and substantial height. Weight can vary significantly depending on the generation, ranging from 12 to 25 pounds.
  • Eye Color: Their eyes are usually green or gold and are set relatively close together, giving them a wild appearance.
  • Other Features: Savannah cats have large, upright ears that stand tall on their heads, contributing to their unique look. Their long necks and lean build further accentuate their exotic appearance.

Personality and Behavior

The personality and behavior of both Bengal and Savannah cats can be described as follows:

Bengal Cats


  • Energetic: Full of energy and loves to play.
  • Intelligent: Highly intelligent and enjoys mental stimulation through games and puzzles.
  • Affectionate: Forms strong bonds with their owners but can also be independent.
  • Curious: Often inquisitive and explores their surroundings.


  • Playful: Engages in interactive play, loves toys, and even plays fetch.
  • Vocal: Can be talkative, communicating with various sounds.

Savannah Cats


  • Adventurous: Has a bold and adventurous spirit, exploring new places.
  • Loyal: Forms close bonds with their family, showing loyalty and affection.
  • Intelligent: Quick to learn new things and enjoys mental challenges.


  • Social: Generally gets along well with other pets if properly socialized.
  • High Jumpers: Known for jumping impressive heights, likes to climb.
  • Water-Loving: Unusual for cats, some Savannahs enjoy playing in water.

Both breeds possess energetic and intelligent personalities, though their behaviors are distinct. Bengals tend to be more vocal and curious, while Savannahs are more adventurous and physically agile. These specific traits require understanding and attention from owners to ensure a suitable living environment and proper care.

Care and Maintenance

The care and maintenance of Bengal and Savannah cats require specific attention due to their unique needs and characteristics.

Here’s what you need to know about Bengal and Savannah Cat breeds:

Bengal Cats

  • Diet: Provide high-quality cat food rich in protein to satisfy their high energy levels.
  • Exercise: They require regular playtime and mental stimulation through interactive toys and games.
  • Grooming: Regular brushing will keep the coat shiny and healthy, and reduce shedding.
  • Health: Regular vet check-ups are essential. Some Bengals may be prone to specific genetic conditions, so proper screening is necessary.
  • Environment: They enjoy climbing and exploring, so cat trees and scratching posts are beneficial.

Savannah Cats

  • Diet: Similar to Bengals, a protein-rich diet is essential to meet their energy needs.
  • Exercise: Provide plenty of playtime and space for jumping and climbing.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming helps to keep their coat healthy;  they typically shed less than Bengals.
  • Environment: Savannah cats appreciate having access to high perches and enjoy toys that stimulate their wild instincts.
  • Legal Considerations: Check local regulations regarding ownership, as some areas may have restrictions related to hybrid breeds.

Which Breed Is Appropriate for You?

Selecting between a Bengal and Savannah cat depends upon your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet their specific needs. If you love leopard-esque appearance but require something smaller in size like the Bengal, perhaps that cat could be ideal. Mental and physical stimulation, regular grooming and an owner who enjoys their energetic or vocal nature. On the other hand, Savannah cats with their exotic looks and longer legs might make more appealing pets if there’s enough room for leaping and climbing.

Cats belonging to the Savannah breed are adventurous animals with an affinity for water; making them suitable pets for those seeking something truly distinctive. Due to potential legal restrictions with Savannah’s cats, both breeds require dedicated owners willing to put forth time and effort into caring and socialization efforts for optimal care and socialization of both breeds.

Consider your lifestyle, daily schedule, and commitment before adopting either Bengal or Savannah cat breeds as they both require high maintenance levels but can offer rewarding and engaging pet experiences for those capable of meeting them. Both breeds provide enjoyable companions if their characteristics and care routines align with those you can provide; you might just find your perfect companion among either of these noble felines.

Is a Bengal cat the same as a Savannah cat?

Bengal and Savannah’s cats share several similarities, largely due to their wild heritage and the characteristics bred into them for their exotic appearance and behavior.

Here’s an overview of the similarities between these two unique cat breeds:

  • Exotic Appearance: Both breeds are known for their wild, exotic look, with striking spots or marbling on their coats.
  • Hybrid Origin: Both cats have a wild lineage, with Bengals having genetics from the Asian leopard cat, and Savannahs from the African serval.
  • High Energy Levels: Both are energetic and playful breeds that require regular mental and physical stimulation.
  • Intelligence: Both Bengals and Savannahs are intelligent and can learn tricks and commands, making them engaging and interactive pets.
  • Size: They are generally larger and more muscular than typical domestic cat breeds, though the specific size and build can vary.
  • Diet: Both breeds thrive on a high-protein diet that meets their energy needs.
  • Affectionate Nature: While retaining a degree of independence, both breeds can form strong bonds with their human families.
  • Socialization: Properly socialized, both Bengals and Savannahs can adapt well to families and other pets.
  • Grooming Needs: Regular grooming is essential for both breeds to keep their coat healthy, though specific needs might vary.
  • Special Consideration: Both breeds require owners who understand their unique needs and can provide an appropriate environment, including toys, space for exploration, and attention to their specific personality traits.


Bengal and Savannah cats are exotic domestic breeds distinguished by their exotic appearance and high energy levels, hailing from Asian leopard and African serval respectively. They share striking spots or marbling, intelligence, and playful behavior characteristics that set both breeds apart as pets with striking features that offer mental stimulation while remaining independent at times.

Their special needs require high protein diets, grooming at least every other week, and plenty of playtime with human families; yet both breeds offer distinct experiences for potential owners who meet all these special demands! Both provide engaging pet experiences when properly met.

Reference Books List

Bengal Cats:

  1. “Bengal Cats: A Complete Guide”
  2. “Understanding and Training Your Bengal Cat”

Savannah Cats:

  1. “Savannah Cats: The Ultimate Guide”
  2. “Living with Savannah Cats”
  3. “Savannah Cats – A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual”