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bengal kittens, bengal kitten, bengal kittens, bengal kitten, bengal
breeder, bengal breeders,
So you Want an Early Generation Cat? (F1,F2,F3,F4)
We often get questions asking us for F1 kittens.
Yes, the idea of having a 50% wild cat is exciting. They are also the
most beautiful and wild looking of the Savannahs and Bengals. They are also the
most expensive. The reason for this is that to create an F1, you must own a Serval
or Asian Leopard Cat. Serval or ALC ownership is outlawed in most states (just as private
ownership of a Tiger or Lion is). In those states that allow
ownership by private individuals, they are regulated by the USDA. You
must be USDA licensed and have 2 years zoo keeping experience to qualify.
You also must have USDA inspected facilities that meet certain
sizing and enrichment requirements to house them.
Breeding a domestic cat to a Serval or Asian Leopard
Cat is not easy
either!. Sometimes the Serval or ALC will become agitated or overly rough.
This includes females with which he has been raised. This results in female cat
death. When you are lucky enough to have a breeding, the pregnancy is
not without problems. You have two different species bred together.
The gestation periods are different for wild cats and domestic cats. This can create issues for the mother in labor and delivery. Early
delivery is common and kitten death is also. It is VERY common that
when a live birth does occur to have
one kitten in these litters.
So, let's assume that a breeder has overcome all of
these hurdles and produced an F1 or even F2 kitten. People
think that with enough love and caring and patience they will teach these
"wild" creatures that they truly love and care for them. They
believe that these cats will come to trust them and be comfortable with
them. Let's face it. The idea of having a wild lion or tiger
with a totally domestic personality has been my dream since I was a little
girl! A dream shared with millions of other people. It is this
dream that drew me to the Savannah.
I wanted an F1 but could not afford one (10k), so
settled for an F2 ($5k). She was beautiful, golden and had very black spots.
Wild looking face, I was SO excited! She came to me as a very shy girl
along with her even shyer brother. I worked with them each and every
day. I spent long hours holding them, and teaching them that I meant
only good things and that I could always be trusted. This was a dream
come true until the male and female reached breeding age.
At that time, they both just 'changed". Most
of the time, they would solicit attention in the way that they always had.
We spent our daily "talks" together and had our brushing sessions, enjoying
each others company (or so I thought). The female began to attack me
with no notice during times when I would be cleaning litter boxes or petting
them or ??? I would behave just as I always had since they were very
young. Nothing had changed. I couldn't figure out where the
aggression was coming from. I was very heartbroken and began to contact other breeders
about what I could possibly be doing wrong to provoke this behavior.
As I learned (thanks to many people who have shared their experiences with
me) I was not alone.
These animals ARE part wild creatures.
Wild creatures have a VERY heightened sense of reaction to stimuli.
Stimuli can be a simple touch or spoken word. That is what preserves them in the wild.
Those animals who do not react quickly and decisively in the wild, do not
survive! Therefore, what is normal and
wonderful behavior to people can be upsetting to them. Sometimes, they
will react to boredom, or noise, or who knows what! This MUST be
planned for when considering an F1 or F2.
Other Breeders began to share stories of their
interactions with their cats. I began to realize that VERY careful and
planned interactions are needed. A zoo keeper never forgets they are
dealing with a wild animal and we can't either. They keep all
interactions with their animals in a very controlled environment.
Noise levels, lighting, movements, voices, weather, ANYTHING that may cause
upset are all taken into consideration.
I know that just my comments are not
going to persuade you, (that wouldn't have persuaded me) so I am going to
include the comments of VERY reputable Savannah breeders across the country.
Hopefully this will help you to decide if an early generation Savannah is
really for you. By the way, it appears that by the F3-4 generation,
the Savannah's wild genes have subsided to the point that they are more
What follows are emails from MANY
Savannah breeders across the country on a recent email thread on owning
early generation cats. I have stripped out the names to protect
people's privacy. But I wanted to include the content to demonstrated
early generation behavior across the board.
What experienced breeders
have to say about the early generation cats.....
What experienced breeders have to say about the
early generation cats..... (F1,F2,F3)
comments were taken from an online conversation with well known breeders
across the US. They are actual comments and not fictionalized. I
did remove any identifying portions of the comments. I also
experienced this biting behavior with my early generation Savannahs and will
not remove the comments to satisfy some. Anyone considering an early
generation cat needs to be prepared for what they may experience. This
is especially true of those desiring to breed. I do realize that some
breeders have not experienced this nipping behavior. You may not
experience it either, but you should be prepared that you might.
"Hell, I have an F1 that was
from my ___ here, she was as sweet as could be as a baby, but when
she got to be about 10 months old, she is an embarrassment to me, as
I know she was very well socialized by myself, and to see her today,
you would think she was caged all her life, she is very hard to
handle, won't bite me or anything, but acts as if she will. I can
scruff her, but she always seems like she's afraid of me, and god
knows why, because I spoiled the hell out of her. The only time she
acts tame is if I am eating something, and she wants some of it, and
she'll come right up to me, with a whole different attitude.
Then I have another F1 that is totally opposite, sweet as can be,
and another one that I would put in the in between category. So go
figure. LOL They all have their individual personalities, at least
that is what I have found out. It doesn't always have to do with
how well they were socialized as I can attest to that, as mine have
always been more than spoiled, but sometimes take on a different
personality as they get older."
These are Servals, not Savannahs
..."One of my cats does that
right as they are going into heat. (attacks)....
She is acting like she really
wants affection and reacts when she gets it..
I believe it is the same as she
would to a male, when she is not ready to be bred
but going into estrous. ..........In a nut shell
..... Mine is in full blown PMS.
As a Woman..... gotta respect
"Yes well I remember once, when I first got _____ he
was in a “mood” and as we were settling in to bed,
he was taking a un-proportionate amount of room on
the bed. He was lying across the foot of the bed
which means almost taking it all down there. It was
pretty warm and I had one leg on top of the covers.
I gave him a nudge to scoot him over and wham he
just reaches over and takes a big deep chomp on my
leg. This was over a year ago and I still have the
scar. Later on afterwards I got him is own bed. Its
like an extension of our bed. He likes sleeping on
it. We get along pretty well now and don’t think he
would do it again, but that was just one of those
some savannahs there is NO amount of training that will help. I'm
sure your little training session will help a little but most people
are going to do what they want when they get the animals home. I
think some listen but most don't. I still will not place an F1 or F2
( and some F3's depending on temperament ) into a home with small
there is _______. If he doesn't want me to leave his
enclosure, he lets me know and boy can he be quick.
I have many little wounds from his claws and teeth.
Loving and then turns and attacks.
learned to be very careful with breeders, male or
female. They can get an attitude for what we think
is for no reason.
happening with F1 females that are spayed or only
the F1 breeders??
I can only
imagine how quick a Savannah F1 could be",
..."We've had a couple early generation Savannahs
that would rub up and act very friendly, then take a
bite out of your calf -- and draw a little blood.
It may be hormonally driven behavior -- but one
needs to be wary and aware this does happen.
Savannahs seem to be very "mouthy" cats --
meaning more than a few use their mouths a lot for
chewing and nipping.
We had an
F2 male kitten that was soooo sweet -- loved to
purr, be held, and was really in your face -- but he
was a major nipper -- would cause bruising and draw
"I have an F3 girl that is a biter. When she was spayed, the
behavior diminished. She has gotten much more mellow now."
..."We had an F1 that was soooo affectionate and
friendly as a kitten -- when she hit maturity she
remained friendly, greeted folks at the door, and
was always in the middle of everything.
However, she became sort of "quirky" -- she did NOT
want anyone to pet her when she was on the kitchen
counter. If our dog walked by, she would hiss and
swat at him. She did this to people, too. You
definitely could NOT touch her or approach her when
she was "on the counter."
Not sure why -- she was never fed there, no negative
experiences. It was the busiest part of the house
were there were often people or dogs walking by --
and she loved to threaten and boss!..."
.."One of our F3's is
NOT a social cat. She was very wild acting
from the time she was a kitten. She was
raised in the house and allowed free roaming in the
majority of the house. She never became a lap cat -
however she would lay on the couch with us sitting
on the opposite end. At times, she would walk
across me - but social? No. Her idea of
interaction would be to sit on the couch next to my
chair and solicit attention. We devised a game
- when I moved a finger, or straw, she would slap
it. She and I got to the point where she would
slap my hand and I would slap hers back. It
was her way to interact with me. There were no
claws and the pats were friendly on both our parts -
but that was as far as she was willing to go.
She didn't flea if I moved too quickly nor did she
pay much attention to me after she learned to trust
me. She would lay on the back of the couch if
I was taking a nap on the couch - that was as good
as it got or will ever get with this girl.
One thing that makes
wild animals behave different than domestic is
endocrine levels. Their reactivity is more acute.
They are more reactive with higher levels of
intensity of action. This is mother natures way to
ensure their survival.
Too - many species of
domestics have been neonatonized - their behavioral
development is arrested in the juvenile stage -
whereas wild animals have not been dumbed down. If
you will notice - juveniles are still willing to
please and seek approval from adult members (usually
us or their mother.) Whereas the adults are free
thinking and don't worry about approval even though
they seek our attention when "THEY" are in the
I think with the
maturity factor and endocrine levels, it is not
uncommon to see the changes in behavior once they
reach sexual maturity...."
....."Thanks :-))) But what
went through my mind was the hormones and ________.
I haven't quite figured out what he really wants
from me (other than a girl to breed). I am very
cautious when I handle him. There is no warning when
he goes to turn. He seems to have his good day and
his bad ones. I hope he changes once he is neutered
so I can place him as pet. My Ragdoll boy changed
100% after he was neutered.
It would be interesting to find
out if any of these F1 girls changed after being
spayed, and no longer had the "pms". ..."
These comments are NOT
meant to suggest that ALL early generation (F1,F2,F3) kittens and or
cats are vicious. But to remind you that they are partially
wild, to what degree, we don't know for sure. As such, you
need to go into ownership with your eyes open and a breeder you can
go to with questions and problems. You also must prepare to
house your early generation in compatibility with their natural
instincts. To assume that they will act totally tame always
because you bring them up that way is to be naive. My F2
regularly shreds anything she can get her hands on if she gets
bored. It is my job to constantly keep her entertained or keep
her confined....period. Consider this before purchasing an
early generation cat.
pictures do NOT go with the comments !
Again, credit to various breeders
across the United States and thanks for allowing us to have them
Early Generation Bengals (F1,F2,F3)
"A great deal of time and energy must be applied to
the socialization of foundations.. .In the wild, an F1 will toilet
in water and leaves. This means any sink or tub, the water
bowl, fish tank, etc. are normal targets. Beds are also
inviting as comparatively smelly, soft targets.
Veterinary procedures are so stressful to both cat
and owner that strict quarantine procedures must be enforced to
avoid exposure to disease. Visitors can sometimes unknowingly
encourage the wild side eliciting hissing, growling and biting.
Diet can be difficult to manage for some cats.
All early generation cats possess some wild genes and some domestic
genes. The amount of either is never totally known.
F1's bond totally and completely to one person.
This makes rehoming almost impossible. This is further reason
for careful thought and consideration before adoption. With
domestic cats, if you must go away on vacation or for a family
emergency, you can hire an experienced reputable cat sitter without
problem. Or you can get the neighbor to look in on your furry
family members. This is almost impossible with an early generation
Roxanne's Rules for living with an F1 Bengal .... Must
Roxanne is an F1
Bengal Queen. She owns a human named Julie who needed some
training because Julie didn't know.... "The rules".
Roxanne's list of "But Mom, It looked like a potty
1. Bath Mat (use the towel variety and hang it
up when you are done.
2. Clean laundry (don't leave it out)
3. Laundry baskets (turn them upside down)
4. Closets (keep them shut)
5. Linen cabinets (keep them shut)
6. Pantry (latch it)
7. Cabinet under bathroom sink (latch
8. Suitcase (zip it shut and put
9. Gym bag (zip it up and put away)
10. Clothes on floor (use hamper with a
lid on it).
11. Plastic on the floor (pick up after
12. Paper on the floor - homework, newspaper,
etc.. (pick up after yourself)
13. Anything flat left on the floor that
doesn't belong there (pick up after yourself)
14. Corners of carpet rooms (cover them with
scat mats, litter boxes or furniture).
15. Throw blankets not folded after use and
put away (put them away).
16. Throw pillows not set upright after use
(set them upright).
17. Unmade beds (make the bed as soon as you
18. Pillows left above the bedspread (put
pillows under the bedspread)
19. Comforters (use a bedspread)
20. Under the bed (put a skirt of pine
planks like they do in hotels)
21. anything left out of place (pick up
22.. Pet beds (use the kind that go in the
washing machine and wash often in Petzyme)
thanks Julie Gracie Moseley for use of Roxanne's
rules. Hopefully we can follow them and all live happier lives
with our feline companions.