Before we got Nimar I joined the old YahooGroups for Savannah cats. I learned so much in my first few years there about diet, genetics, and general feline health, and also had the benefit of getting to know more about the various breeders and the wonderful cats that the other members of the community had welcomed into their homes.
In more recent years, the old style of boards have given way to social platforms like Facebook, which is tremendous given how visual these outlets can be. Now I can see daily pictures of kittens while reading the funny, and occasionally sad, tales from the other participants. I see people there learning how to choose the right kitten and how to care for him or her. I also see people celebrating triumphs as they over come issues with their feline friends or people seeking solace over a loss.
If you are ever considering getting a Savannah Cat, I cannot recommend enough that you join some of these forums now. This will give you an opportunity to get to know the breeders (and see their kittens), become more educated about how to make the best home possible for these cats, and how to avoid scammers.
Online scams are prevalent everywhere, but those looking for "cheap" Savannah cats make particularly easy targets. Trust me when I say that any deal that seems too good to be true absolutely is. If you haunt Craigs List looking for a cat, or bargain shop websites, you are likely opening yourself up to a world of heartbreak.
My recommendation is to first look for breeders that are TICA approved. ( tica.org/en/ ) Look to see if there are reports on sick kittens or unethical practices online (BBB or websites that house information on bad catteries). Join discussion groups and forums and see if the breeders are there. Just because they are not there does not mean they are bad (Select Exotics, who bred Siada and Layla are not active participants of the online groups, but the other breeders there know the cattery and know that it has a reputation of producing healthy, socialized kittens). The reputable breeders are also masters at spotting scammers (who often swipe other photos to populate their own sites and ads with adorable kittens). If in doubt, just ask.
If you know that your timeline for getting a kitten is years away, then by joining the groups you will have a chance to follow the journey of other owners as they raise their kittens and that might help you make up your mind on what breeder you want to talk to when the time comes.
Are you interested in a more old-school platform? SavannahCatChat still has a thriving message board community where you can learn about the breed, share health concerns, ask about breeders (or leave reviews) and get your fill of adorable cat photos!
If you are just hoping to avoid potential scams, you can check out the Savannah Cat Breeders Facebook page which maintains a list of legitimate breeders. If your preferred breeder is not on that list, just ask about them, as there are often new members that need to be added, or someone might just have been overlooked. Remember that these tools are maintained by members of the community in effort to help you find your perfect Savannah companion and to promote the breed in the best ways possible.
Edited to add a Facebook page specifically dedicated to Savannah scams: https://www.facebook.com/groups/svcats/?fref=nf
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.
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