Kittens grow quickly. Savannah kittons grow very, very quickly, especially early generation ones. We joke that you can actually watch them grow. Malik is no exception. He has put on over 2lbs in the 5 weeks we have had him. (He is 5.36lbs at 14 weeks old.)
Savannahs, like some other large breeds such as Maine Coons, can also often grow for three years. Just when you think they are done, they might have another growth spurt. I actually think that Siada, at almost 15 months, is probably pretty close to being done though. Her weight has stalled out at just under 9lbs. She will likely continue to fill out a bit, but I think she will continue to be the very leggy, yet petite princess that we have today. Layla is still growing a bit and at 8lbs is almost Siada's weight. She is so muscular though, and doesn't have the lean Savannah build that Siada shows off so well, but she is a powerhouse when it comes to leaping.
Malik, well, I am pretty sure Malik will surpass Nimar's size. At 18 weeks when we got Nimar, he weighted 4.5lbs. In less than two weeks, he was 5.5lbs and continued to grow for three years hitting his peak at 21lbs (he was up to 23lbs at one point, but was a bit, um, fluffy at that weight). People actually thought he weighted a lot more than he actually did, because he was so tall (something not uncommon with perception of size in Savannahs). Malik though, he is getting big. In about two more days he will outweigh Reeses...
I sometimes wonder if Nimar did not have the best diet as a baby. He, in theory, should have weighed more when we got him, though he did not seem too thin nor malnourished. Malik was raised on raw food with a good supplement, and he continues that as well as quality cat food (I will talk at length about diet in another post). He can shovel in the food like crazy and it is hard to keep up with him! You can see below that he is almost the size of Layla (who is well over 8lbs), even though he does not yet have her muscle mass. He is very nearly her height as well.
Someone unfamiliar with Savannahs recently asked me if I was sure Malik was really a first generation (because I keep posting pics of him cuddling with me). One look at him and you can see the serval traits like crazy. Those ears, the coat, the size! Yup, my little mostly-serval is absolutely what he is (and that is mostly a huge pain in my rump, lol).
I have a chart at home with weights for the cats over the last few months, mostly because I am tracking the weight of our older girls as they start to have old-cat problems. I might need to make a graph of Malik's growth just for fun ;-)
Of course this whole post reminds me of the meme that people love to share to my wall (and that is ok, as I laugh every time I see it).
It is really amazing how relatively easy it is to travel with these Savannahs. They absolutely love the new crates ( https://themerryrosette.weebly.com/blog/camping-crates ), and often settle right in for the ride with little fuss. I am able to take each of them out to clip their claws, give them some cuddle time, or toss one at the litter box if they start doing the potty dance in the crate, but for the most part, they travel fantastically.
That is a good thing, as they have many adventures ahead of them! This weekend, we took a very long detour home from the Cabin so that friends' could meet them all (and get some serious kitton-fever as a result). Malik especially loved running through a new-to-him house, playing with all the cat toys that belong to the older resident Bengals. He was a terrible guest though, as he did manage to gobble up all of their food!
Layla took a few more minutes to adjust but also came out of her crate to play, explore, dash upstairs and turn off one of the kid's consoles in mid-battle in a video game (we heard the shouts and wails from one kid and giggles from the other and found out that Layla was just being Layla).
Siada waited till the other two opted to nap before strolling our and really looking around. It was hard to explain to her that, no, other people's kitchen counters are NOT the place for her princessness, so I had to keep her leashed. But she walked around, met people and gave her Siada kisses to those she found worthy.
We plan well for long trips in the car, after our experiences with Nimar. Cats do not want to mess their environment, so we have a litter box handy in the car if both of us are there to manage getting an impatient cat to it. We keep Siada and Layla on leashes inside the crates that way I can just open the door and let them stroll out to the potty as needed. For travel, I prefer to use Feline pine that is just in a short, but heavy metal lasagna pan, that has a liner in it, and is seated in a cardboard box. I keep a bag of supplies handy to quickly deal with messes. The bag contains a clean-up kit with things like paper towels, trash bags, 2 gallon ziploc bags, additional litter liners, a ziploc of extra litter, and some baby friendly handy wipes. I am a pro at removing old litter and immediately replacing it in the event someone has a back-end explosion on the road (which Layla did given the length of this trip). Unfortunately, as I was dealing with her mess, I missed the signs of Malik pacing and the poor little guy did his business on the cushion in his crate. No big deal, as I have extra bags and was able to seal off that toxic waste before he could step in it (and the cushions are totally washable).
This weekend had much excitement as we took all three Savannah's camping with us. It was just a one-night trip to see if we actually could survive being locked up with them all in the RV. We did survive, though Siada and Malik were literally climbing the walls in there. It was Layla's first trip out camping, and she is our cautious kitty, so it took her a little longer to get settled, but then she seemed to be quite happy doing her thing in the camper.
There were certainly times when we were tripping over kittons, but the RV we have currently does have space for a couple of litter boxes and with the top bunk they can go vertical if they want. There is a hallway for playing fetch and they all absolutely love to look out the many windows. They also loved that so many people came in to meet them. I really am just overjoyed at how social this whole crew is. None of them are people-shy at all.
And that is actually one of the things that has me so overjoyed right now. When we got Nimar, he spent quite some time hiding. We would have to lure him out with toys and food. He eventually became our constant companion, always following us through the house and monitoring our activities. I believe I have mentioned before though that he was never one to cuddle. Malik, on the other hand, never hid from us, and will purr and give headbutts, and this weekend I got the best late-birthday-present of all. He cuddled me. He actually chose to curl up on me and nap. Not once, but twice!!! He even calmed down enough in the RV for Layla to cuddle him! (The girls love to play chase and other games with him, but he keeps trying to jump on them and ride them around like horses, and they don't much love that so there have not been many opportunities for him to get loving from these very affectional gals.)
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.