A Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic cat and the serval, a medium-sized, large-eared wild African cat. The unusual cross became popular among breeders at the end of the 1990s, and in 2001 the International Cat Association accepted it as a new registered breed. In May 2012, TICA accepted it as a championship breed. Savannahs are much more social than typical domestic cats, and they are often compared to dogs in their loyalty. They can be trained to walk on a leash and to play fetch.
Bengal breeder Judee Frank crossbred a male serval, belonging to Suzi Woods, with a Siamese (domestic cat) to produce the first Savannah cat (named Savannah) on April 7, 1986. Frank’s Savannah attracted the interest of Patrick Kelley, who purchased one of Savannah’s kittens in 1989. Kelley was one of the first enthusiasts who worked towards establishing a new domestic breed based on a serval/domestic cat cross. He approached many serval breeders to help in the development of this new breed, and finally garnered the help of breeder Joyce Sroufe to work with him in taking the steps needed to have the new breed recognized