WHAT FOOD DO YOU FEED YOUR KITTENS? DO YOU FREE FEED OR FEED ON A SCHEDULE?
We feed a high quality grain free kibble, as well as soft canned food. We do provide a small bag of food when a kitten goes home so that you can mix it with the food your are going to use (making the transition easier).
Kinda a bit of both! We feed our kittens and Servals morning and evening. But we like them to have access to food pretty much all day (they are high energy!). We watch how much food is consumed, and then we feed enough so that the bowl only has a few crumbs in it when it is time for the evening feeding. Cats will start slowing down a bit between 9 months and a year old, so at that time you may need to become stricter on how much you feed to prevent your kitty from becoming over weight.
WHAT LITTER DO YOU USE? WHAT TIME OF LITTER BOX?
Tidy Cat Multi Cat Scoop-able litter (yellow bucket with red lid)! I LOVE it!! It truly does kill odor. If you plan to use a different litter brand (especially a different type of litter....like corn rather then clay), it is best to slowly mix them so that your kitten isn't confused as to where he or she should potty.
I have both flat pan and covered boxes. We use a large rubber feed mixer from our local Tractor Supply for our Servals. They aren't pretty, but the Servals are happy to have a box big enough to move around in.
DO YOU ALLOW VISITORS?
We do not give "tours" of our home and cattery (partly due to insurance rules). We understand that adopting a kitten is scary with so many scams out there. You are welcome to friend request me on my personal Facebook (Brittney Gobble) to see we are real (I warn you though, my Facebook is an overload of cute animals and lots of cats!). We are also happy to do Skype chats to show the babies and answer questions. And you are welcome to stop by our vet office by appointment and meet one or both of us, and sometimes we are even able to bring along a baby or two to play with :).
We occassionally schedule a visiting day, but it is for the families that have already placed a deposit and just want to visit until the kitten they have picked (until it is old enough to go home). We have been treated like a petting zoo so many times, and had so many people visiting almost every day we had off, so we had to change our policy. We have to have time with our family too :). I know it seems harsh, but you have no idea how many people have visited and picked out one (or even two!) babies and then they never respond to my emails after they leave. I have had so many people just visiting because they want their kids to see our cats...I enjoy showing off my kitties, but when I have visiting days I need to spend that time with my kittens' new parents answering questions about their food, grooming, toys, habits, etc. My other reason for this policy is that other then the few hours a week that I run errands, I am a stay at home mommy with three young kids, and I have to be careful about whom I invite to my home. Just like you must be concerned about being scammed, I have to worry about my children, and kitties safety. Having received the contracts and deposit gives me much more assurance that the new families are serious and not simply checking out our home for possible robbery.
Why the difference in price?
We are often asked the difference in prices between the Servals and the F1 Savannahs. Our adoption fees are in the same range as other quality breeders. Some of the reasons for the higher costs are-
-F1s are raised & cared for by the breeder for a longer period of time.
-F1s come already spayed/neutered and with more health care, and a more extensive health guarantee (as they are a domestic hybrid, rather than an exotic).
-It is extremely difficult to breed a Serval to a smaller domestic cat. So the way the Serval is raised requires more work to ensure they are willing to breed..and even then you sometimes have to give up and purchase and raise another Serval in the hopes that one will breed (while still housing and caring for the Serval that refused to breed). This creates more expenses, and takes more time.
-Intact Servals are a HUGE pain. Intact cats already have a bit more attitude than an altered cat, but when you are talking about Servals...you are talking about one big hormone filled kitty. It isn't "fun" dealing with the hormones, nor the pee with which an intact male will often mark his territory...not fun at all.
-In many cases an F1 litter will have fewer kittens, which means all the above costs of care and the additional work, have to be reflected in the adoption fee.
-F1 males are sterile (in many cases Savannah boys are not fertile until about an F5, although early or later in some cases). This means that you can only keep females as breeders...which means moving a program forward is much slower to do. It also means that if you want to produce high content kittens to keep the Serval features, you have to house a big stinky breeding Serval boy...which again, isn't much fun. LOL! And to ensure you do not inbreed, you often need to have a second Serval boy. So you have to make sure you can provide plenty of room, and care for that Serval as well.
So yes, F1 kittens are more expensive...due to the challenges and the additional costs for caring for a hybrid litter and caring for large hormonal kitties. There are more reasons, but hopefully this helps explain things :)
HOW BIG ARE SERVALS? HOW BIG ARE F1 SAVANNAHS?
Servals are approximately 22-24 inches at the shoulder. They weigh 20 to 40 pounds. With around 35lbs being the average. A few weigh more than 40lbs.
F1 Savannahs are the largest generation of Savannah. F1s are 15 to 28 pounds, and they are approximately 17 inches at the shoulder. Males tend to be larger than the females. Keep in mind these are just estimates....a Savannah can be larger or smaller. It depends on the individual cat and the bloodlines.