Are Savannah cats legal? A state-by-state guide.

The African Savannah cat, with its striking spotted coat and long legs, is a captivating hybrid turning heads and stealing hearts. But before you get swept away by the dream of an f1 savannah cat (first generation cross), understanding the legal restrictions and their suitability as pets is crucial. We’ve researched the latest data and compiled this comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

In Which States Are Savannah Cats Legal?

Owning a Savannah cat isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Legalities vary greatly across the US, so we consulted a variety of reliable sources including state government websites, animal control agencies, and breed associations to bring you the most up-to-date information. Here’s a breakdown:

States where all generations are legal:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

States where only later generations (F4+) are legal:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado (except Denver)
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont

States with permit requirements:

  • Delaware
  • Indiana (some counties)
  • New Mexico (some cities)

States where Savannah cats are banned:

  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas (most counties)
  • Washington

Remember, local regulations within your city or county can be more stringent than state laws. Always double-check with your local animal control or government agency before welcoming a Savannah cat home.

Are Savannah Cats Good Pets?

While captivating creatures, Savannahs aren’t for everyone. We delved into expert opinions and owner experiences to understand their specific needs. They retain wildcat instincts, requiring experienced owners who can provide:

  • Spacious living: These active cats need room to roam and climb.
  • Enrichment: Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and leash walks are essential.
  • Experienced handling: Early socialization and training are crucial.
  • Commitment: Their lifespan is 12-20 years, and their needs are unique.

If you can’t offer these, consider breeds like Bengals (later generations) or Oriental Shorthairs for a similar appearance without the demanding needs.

Is It Federally Legal To Own a Savannah Cat?

We explored federal regulations governing exotic pet ownership. The US Department of Agriculture regulates interstate transport of certain wild animals, and Savannahs fall under these regulations in some cases. Always check federal guidelines before transporting your cat across state lines to avoid any legal complications.

Beyond Legality: Other Considerations

F1 Savannah cats (highest wildcat percentage) are often expensive (starting at $10,000) and require extensive care. Later generations (f2 savannah cat, f4 savannah cat) are more affordable and manageable but still demand experienced owners. We compared pricing across reputable breeders to get an accurate picture of the cost commitment involved.

Black Savannah cats are rare and even more expensive. Remember, full-grown savannah cats still exhibit wildcat behaviors, so thorough research and responsible ownership are paramount.

Savannah Cat Legal States. All 50 states

StateAllowed GenerationsRestrictionsAlternatives
AlabamaAllNoneOriental Shorthair, Abyssinian
AlaskaF4 and laterNoneBengal, Maine Coon
ArizonaAllNoneOcicat, Singapura
ArkansasAllNoneEgyptian Mau, Siamese
CaliforniaAllNoneCornish Rex, Sphynx
ColoradoF4 and laterIllegal in DenverExotic Shorthair, Somali
ConnecticutAllNoneAmerican Curl, Burmilla
DCAllNonePeterbald, Devon Rex
DelawarePermit required$500 fine for ownershipTurkish Angora, Japanese Bobtail
FloridaAllNoneBombay, LaPerm
IdahoAllNoneChausie, Pixie-bob
IllinoisAllNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
IndianaAllSome counties require permitsAbyssinian, Singapura
IowaF4 and laterNoneOcicat, Burmilla
KansasAllNoneOriental Shorthair, American Bobtail
KentuckyAllNoneSiamese, Bombay
LouisianaAllNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
MaineAllNoneSomali, Devon Rex
MarylandAllMust be under 30 poundsCornish Rex, Sphynx
MassachusettsF4 and laterNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
MichiganAllNoneEgyptian Mau, Japanese Bobtail
MinnesotaAllNonePeterbald, LaPerm
MississippiAllNoneBombay, Chausie
MissouriAllNoneAbyssinian, Singapura
MontanaAllNoneOcicat, Burmilla
NevadaAllNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
New HampshireF4 and laterNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
New JerseyAllNoneOriental Shorthair, American Bobtail
New MexicoAllSome cities require permitsSiamese, Bombay
New YorkF5 and laterIllegal in New York CitySavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
North CarolinaAllNoneSomali, Devon Rex
North DakotaAllNonePeterbald, LaPerm
OhioAllNoneBombay, Chausie
OklahomaAllNoneAbyssinian, Singapura
OregonAllSome cities/counties may have restrictionsSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
PennsylvaniaAllNoneOriental Shorthair, American Bobtail
Rhode IslandBannedNoneN/A
South CarolinaAllNoneSiamese, Bombay
South DakotaAllNoneSomali, Devon Rex
TennesseeAllNonePeterbald, LaPerm
TexasIllegal in most countiesRequires special permit in some countiesN/A
UtahAllNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
VermontF4 and laterNoneSavannahs (F5+), Bengal (later generations)
VirginiaAllNoneOriental Shorthair, American Bobtail
West VirginiaAllNoneSiamese, Bombay
WisconsinAllNoneSomali, Devon Rex
WyomingAllNonePeterbald, LaPerm

Savannah Cats FAQ


Where are Savannah cats legal in the US?

Owning a Savannah cat isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Laws vary across the US, so check your local regulations. Generally, later generations (F4+) are legal in most states, while F1s (closer to wild servals) might require permits or be banned altogether. It’s crucial to research your specific location before bringing one home.

Why are F1 Savannah cats so expensive?

Rarity, exclusivity, and their closeness to wild ancestry contribute to their high price tag. Breeding and raising F1s requires specialized care and expertise, adding to the cost.

Are Savannah cats expensive?

Even later generations can be pricey. Starting price for an F4 kitten is around $5,000, with F1s exceeding $10,000. Factor in ongoing costs like premium food, vet care, and specialized toys and enclosures.

What is an F1 cat?

An F1 cat is the first generation offspring of a domestic cat and a wild serval. They have the highest wildcat content (50%) and require experienced owners due to their strong wild instincts. Think of them as closer to wildcats than domesticated felines.

What’s the most expensive cat?

The Ashera, a hybrid breed containing Savannah cat genetics, can reach a staggering $125,000! Its exclusivity and limited availability contribute to its astronomical price tag.

Are Savannah cats loyal?

Savannah cats can develop strong bonds with their families, but their loyalty might not resemble a dog’s unwavering devotion. Early socialization and consistent training are key to building trust and affection. Remember, their wild side will always be present to some degree.

Are Savannah cats safe?

With proper socialization, training, and experienced ownership, Savannah cats can be safe pets. However, their wild instincts require responsible caretakers who understand their needs and provide secure enclosures and controlled outings like leash walks. Remember, they’re not suitable for everyone and require a dedicated owner who can meet their unique demands.

Scroll to Top