Savannah vs Bengal – What’s The Best Cat Breed For You?

A Picture of a Bengal cat with bright green eyes facing the camera.

The Savannah and Bengal cats are not the same. The Savannah is a hybrid of the wild serval and a domestic cat. On the other hand, the Bengal cat is a hybrid of a spotted Egyptian Mau with an Asian leopard cat (Prionailurus bangalensis).

The crossing between different breeds of cats is not new. Humans start crossbreeding cats from early domestication. Similarly to a cross between a wild feral cat and a domestic cat, the result is a Bengal cat. The Bengals rank as a separate breed by the International Cat Association (TICA).

People, especially pet parents, have long been amused by wild feral cats. So it is not astonishing that there are many attempts to breed domestic cats (feline cats) from feral cats. In addition to the Bengals, humans have tried to cross the species: Fishing cats, Caracals, Servals, and Ocelots. The primary theme of any crossbreeding is to persist a wild cat’s aesthetic environment in the resultant domestic Cat. Mostly this crossbreeding gives good results.

Comparison: Bengal Vs Savannah

1.     What is Bengal? Vs, what is Savannah?

What Is A Bengal Cat?:

The Bengal cat is a breed of cat that is born from a hybrid of domestic cats. The breed name comes from the leopard cat.

Bengal cats look wild. Their golden lustre is from their leopard cat ancestry, and their coat can show spots, rosettes, arrowhead markings, or marbling. They are a passionate breed that needs more exercise and plays to remain fit and active.

Bengals are very agile and fast. They are athletes: lively and robust, graceful with muscular bodies, for a cat that feels like it belongs to the jungle.

Despite their rugged appearance, Bengal cats immensely love their human families. That said, the Bengal cat also has high energy and a fun-loving, playful side. They want to be active and need a home that meets their energy needs. If you are looking for a gentle and sweet lap cat or a live sculpture that requires very little interaction, don’t take Bengal.

Intelligent, curious and sharp are Bengal cats characteristics. These cats are permanently on the move and like to climb high, enjoys playing fetch and walking on the tracks, and has access to the outer wall where she watches birds the whole day, and it is one of her favourite hobbies.

Some Bengals love to play in the water, and if you are not careful, you may find your Cat catching fish from the aquarium. These cats are amusing breeds that need a lot of attention. She works best with someone who spends a lot of time at home and enjoys playing and talking with her. Their short coat is easy to groom with a weekly brushing. Timing is a must to avoid scratching.

If you can meet the Bengal exercise requirement, you will have an intelligent, loving cat that can keep you on your toes.

What Is A Savannah Cat?:

While the savannah cats have been domesticated for many years, while they have serval blood in them, domestication makes them very different animals. Savannah is a pure hybrid cat. It is a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval cat.

They are multiple breeds of Savannah Cat nowadays, all are almost similar, but the first generation or F1 cross has retained the large size of the serval. The first-generation or F1 Savannahs are much more expensive than F2 or F3 generations. Savannah is known t be a beautiful and slender cat with a charming neck and long legs, making her appear large, even though they are the same size as most house cats.

2.     Bengal History Vs Savvanah History:

The History Of The Bengal Cat

With its typical spotted coat and large size, Bengal looks like a wild cat on the prowl, but although one of its ancestors is a small, i.e., wild Asian leopard cat, she is an excellent domestic cat.

Bengals derive its name from the scientific name of the Asian leopard cat, Felis Bengalensis. They were created by crossing between the Asian leopard cat – which could be purchased at pet stores and domestic shorthairs until the 1950s and 1960s. Jane Mill, a breeder in Southern California, was the first to make such a crossbreed cat. She had obtained a leopard cat and allowed it to live with the black Tomcat so that she would not be alone. Surprisingly, since she didn’t think the two breeds would get along, the kittens would be born, and Mill kept a spotted female. Raising her back to her father gave rise to spotted and solid kittens.

Simultaneously, Dr Willard Centerwall was crossing Asian leopards cat with domestic cats at the Loyalty University. Leopard cats were resistant to the feline leukaemia virus, so researchers are interested in whether the trait can be passed on to hybrid offspring or not.

Different breeders became interested in breeding cats. Mill was one of them. Her life changes had caused her to give up cats breeding, but she was ready to start again. She obtained some of Dr Centerwall’s hybrids and found suitable males for breeding. One was an orange domestic shorthair found in India, of all places, and the other was a brown spot tabby obtained from a shelter. Bengals are considered another equivalent to domestic cats today. Any Bengal purchased should be removed from the wild bloodlines of any ancestor for at least four generations.

The first cat association to recognize Bengal was the International Cat Association, which gave the breed an experimental status in 1983, after which it was fully realized in 1991. Bengal is also recognized by the Canadian Cat Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association, and the United Feline Organization.

Bengal cats were so in demand that a British woman paid more than $50,000 for her Bengal cat in 1990, calling it the “Rolls-Royce” of feline companions.

The History Of The Savannah Cat:

The first hybrid of Savannah cat was bred in the early1980s. The first cross was named Savannah, which gave the breed its unique identity. The savanna cat possesses the title to be one of the giant cat breeds. The Savannah Cat is a cross between a serval and a domestic cat, a medium-sized, beautiful erected large-eared African wild cat. On the other hand, it was not until 2001 that the breed was adopted by The International Cat Association (TICA).

What Are The Physical Differences Between The Bengal & Savannah Cats

A split image of a bengal cat on the left and a savannah cat on the right hand side
[Bengal (left) Vs Savannah (right)

The Bengal Physical Appearance:

It is robust and graceful with a muscular body, making her a cat who feels like she belongs in the jungle. Its broad head is a modified wedge shape, longer than the width, round in shape. At the top are medium-sized to small ears that are relatively short, facing the head. Large oval eyes are almost round. The head is a long, muscular neck. The legs that support the body are of medium length, slightly longer than the front, with large, round legs. Finally, a thick, medium-length tail is described in tapers and black. When you walk around Bengal, you can see that another feature is a spotted belly.

Improving the wild look of Bengal is a small thing that feels comfortable, soft and silky. It comes in various colours and patterns, including Brown Tabby, Seal Mink Tabby, Black Silver Tabby, and Seal Silver Lynx Point. The coat can be seen in random or horizontal ways or marble by arranging horizontal stripes with a light background. Some Bengals have skin called “glittered”. The fur shines in the light as if it is filled with gold dust.

The Savannah Physical Appearance:

Savannah’s slim and long body makes this Cat more significant than its actual weight. Their size depends on their sex and generation number, i.e., F1, F2, F3 etc.

An exotic appearance of the savannah is due to the presence of many different serval features. The most prominent features are:

  • Markings of the body parts with different colours.
  • Long, deep, wide, cupped, round and erect ears
  • Long legs
  • Fat and swollen nose
  • Hooded eyes
  • Long and tall body.
  • Prominent shoulders.
  • The head is higher and less expansive
  • Long and thin neck

4.    What Is The Size Differences Between The Bengal Vs Savannah

Bengals are medium to large-sized Cat. Bengals weigh eight to sixteen pounds or more. The Bengals are long and slender. Bengals are larger than the average Cat in the house because of their muscular body.

While Savannah cat males range from 17 to 20 pounds and females, weigh 12 to 13 pounds. Both male and female have a lean, tall frame. 

6.     Bengal Diet Vs Savannah Diet

All felines/cats are obligate carnivores, and Bengal or Savannah are no different.

Both Bengal and Savannah Cats have a very high energy level, which means a high-protein diet is recommended. You must provide an adequate level of exercise to both cats. Both cats must be fed high-quality cat food in wet and dry form. The diet must be a combination of soaking, dry and raw meat.

All kittens and cats must be provided with a good quality diet, whether it is kibble, wet food or a home-cooked meal. Adults get dry grain food throughout the day, several wet meals, and raw meat once a day.

7.     Bengal Breeding Vs Savannah Breeding

Both Bengal and savannah results from a cross between a wild and domestic cat, and there are many sub-species of these species nowadays, and each breed is marked with a filial generation number.

For example, cats produced directly from an Eygptian Mau and Asian leopard cats made from serval and domestic cat cross are called F1. They are 50% Eygptian Mau or serval and 50 % Asian leopard cat or another domestic breed. Similarly, F2 has a 75:25 ration and so on.

What Are The Differences Between Raising A Bengal Vs Raising A Savannah?

Raising wild Bengal cats with domestic cats is not an easy task. It is a massive challenge because Bengal cats have differed from requirements, needs, and activities. Although more advanced cat breeders have developed exemplary methods for Bengals, the initial cross is rare.

While raising savannah is very easy because domestic cats and their requirements, needs, and activity level are equal to other domestic cats.

What Are The Grooming Requirements For A Bengal Vs Savannah?

What Are The The Grooming Requirements For A Bengal Cat?

Bengals groom themselves in the hot season, and grooming is a natural process to provide a cooling effect to the body. It also removes the debris and dead hair from the body coat. The short, thick coat of Bengal is taken care of with weekly combing for easy removal of dead hair and distribution of skin oil. Bathing is rarely necessary.

Brush teeth to avoid periodontal disease. Daily dental cleaning is a good option, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim nails every two weeks. Clean the eye corners with a soft, damp cloth to remove any substance. Use a different cloth material/part for each eye to avoid spreading any infection. Check the Cat ars weekly. If they look filthy, clean them with a soft, damp cloth or a cotton ball soaked in 50-50 mixer of lukewarm water and cider vinegar. Avoid using a cotton swab, which can damage the inside of the ear.

Keep the litter box clean and spotless. Felines have a great deal to say about bathroom hygiene, and a dirty box can start causing them to use place elsewhere in the house.

Bengals are exposed to other cat-borne diseases, dog or coyote attacks, and other cats’ hazards, such as avoiding a car collision. It’s a good idea to keep it as an indoor cat. Keeping it indoors also protects native birds and wildlife from predators. If possible, make your Bengal a big outdoor wall where it can jump and climb safely. Outdoor Bengals are also at risk of being stolen by someone who wants to have such a stunning cat without paying the price.

What Are The Grooming Requirements For A Savannah Cat?

While Savannah is a low shedding breed, it requires less grooming than other cats; their coat should be kept healthy and brushed regularly to keep away all the dead hair and debris. Cat owners should trim their nails as required. Weekly trimming is generally preferred. Start clipping your Cat’s when she is a kitten without a problem. You should check your cat ears weekly for infections that present with unusual bad smell, redness, and occasional discharge. To prevent disease, wipe the ears with a fresh cotton swab recommended by your vet doctor.

What Are The Personality Differences With The Bengal Vs Savannah?

Bengal is very active and very intelligent. It is fun to live with it, but it can be challenging at times. Overall, Bengal is a confident, talkative, friendly cat that is always vigilant. Nothing escapes its notice. She loves to play games, including retrieval, and she’s fantastic at learning tricks. Her nimble paws are as good as his hands, and it’s a good thing she doesn’t have contradictory thumbs, or she’ll probably rule the world. Bored Bengals can also lead to unconventional (and somewhat destructive) habits, including turning light switches on and off, fishing seals from drains, and enthusiastically collecting CDs from a DVD player.

The hobby of playing in the water, Bengal, is no more than jumping in the tub with you or taking a walk in the shower. She also likes to climb and can often be found on the highest points that she can reach in the house.

On those rare occasions when she is not swinging with lanterns or swimming in your pool, the loving Bengal will be happy to sit on your lap. Without saying that, she will share your bed.

While savannah cats resemble dogs in their temperament and personality, they love to play fetch and retrieving games with their cat owners.

What Are The Health Issue Differences Between The Bengal Vs Savannah Cat?

Both mixed-breed cats and purebred cats have a variety of health problems that can be genetic. Bengals and Savannah cats are generally healthy, but the following diseases have been observed in the breed:

  • Distal neuropathy, a disease of the nervous system that causes weakness. It can occur in Bengal at the age of 1 year. Fortunately, many cats go away on their own, although some relapse.
  • Flat-chested Kitten Syndrome, a defect that can range from mild to severe, occurs in Bengal and Savannah cats. Kittens who survive into adolescence usually show no signs of maturity once they reach it.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a lethal heart disease that is inherited in some generations (Affect both Bengal and Savannah)
  • Patellar luxation, an inherited dislocation of the knee that can range from mild to severe. Serious issues can be removed with surgery (Affect both Bengal and Savannah)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy, a tribal eye disease (Affect both Bengal and Savannah).

Is The Bengal Or The Savannah The Best Cat For Me?

The active and social Bengal is an excellent choice for children and families with cat-friendly dogs. She will play any retriever and fetch game, learn tricks quickly, and loves the attention she gets from children who treat her with kindness and respect. She is smart enough to get out of the way of young children, but she loves teenage children because it matches her energy level and curiosity. Nothing frightens her; of course, dogs don’t, and if they don’t hurt her, she will gladly befriend them.

A split screen image of a Bengal Cat on the left and an Savannah cat on the right.. Both cats are standing up
Bengal (left) Vs Savannah (Right)

Like many active cats, the Bengals are very prey-driven and should not be relied upon for small prey such as hamsters, small rabbits etc.

While Savannah is a beautiful, powerful, intelligent, and mischievous cat and may not be the best choice for her first owner, this Cat requires a lot of attention and can be challenging at times.

How Easy Is It To Litter Train Bengals Vs Savannahs

With a lot of work and training, a Bengal will use the litter box in a short time. They become good cats with lovely behaviours with time and practice.

Savannah use litter box regularly and are very easy to train

What Are The Price Differences Between Bengals Vs Savannah Cats?

As discussed above, Bengal cats are not daily pets and are limited. Bengal has a considerable price ranging from 1000 USD to 10000 USD.

Savannah cat price depends upon its generation number. Usually, F1 generation cost 15000-16000 USD, F2 cost 6500-10000 USD, and F3 cost 2500-3000 USD, respectively

Exciting information about Bengal Cats

  • The beautiful coat of Bengal comes in many fabulous colours, ranging from gold, rust, brown and orange to sand, leather and ivory. Bengal spots also vary in colour, from chocolate brown to rust or cocoa and charcoal to black.
  • Some coats in Bengal have rosettes or spots of more than one colour, usually a secondary colour that is black in place. Bengal coats also come in the style of marble: one or more colours change the background colour. Although commonly seen in brown spotted tabby patterns, they can also be found in marble patterns (Classic Tabby).
  • The Bengal coat may have hair with a brilliant sheen, making it look like it has been sprinkled with glitter.

FAQ About Bengal Cats

Are Bengal Cats active?

They sure are. If you want an independent cat that is happy and agile, then a Bengal cat is for you.

Do Bengal Cats Need A Lot Of Care And Attention?

Yes, Bengal Cats need loads of attention. If you do not give them the proper time, they become bored and stressed.

FAQ About Savannah Cats

What kind of care is needed for a Savannah cat?

A Savannah can be treated like any domestic cat. No special attention or care is required. A regular vet is qualified to treat a savannah. Savannahs are vaccinated just like domestic cats.

Should the Savannahs be kept indoors?

No, they do not need to be kept indoors. However, exotic breeders strongly encourage new owners to keep their Savannahs on a leash with a harness or walking jacket when outdoors. There are often stray animals that carry various diseases. Do not wear a collar on the leash.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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