A quick grasp of Savannah terminology and abbreviations –
What’s the “F” with all those numbers and letters???
The F stands for Filial Generation, and in the case of Savannahs, refers to the Serval ancestor. An F1 Savannah has a Serval father, who provides 50% Serval genes. An F2 has a Serval grandfather. An F3 has a Serval great grandfather, and so on…
Then there is the A, B, C and SBT terminology:
An “A” means the cat is the result of breeding to an outcross (to a cat who is not a Savannah). All F1 Savannahs are “A”, because they are the result of breeding a domestic cat to a Serval.
If you breed an F1 Savannah to another Savannah, the resulting kittens will be F2B Savannahs. If you breed the F1 to any other domestic cat (not a Savannah), the kittens will be F2A Savannahs. (If you breed the F1 to a Serval, the kittens will be higher % F1s, but still F1A, because the Serval is an outcross.)
If you breed two “B” Savannahs together, the offspring will be “C” Savannahs.
If you breed two “C” Savannahs together, the offspring will be SBT Savannahs. SBT stands for “Stud Book Traditional”, and it is starting at this generation that they are eligible to compete for Championship status in TICA cat shows.
Another explanation of A, B, C, SBT:
If a Savannah is bred to an outcross, such as a Serval, an Egyptian Mau, an Ocicat, anything that is not another Savannah, the resulting kittens are “A” Savannahs.
If two “A” Savannahs are bred together, the kittens will be “B” Savannahs.
If two “B” Savannahs are bred together, the kittens will be “C” Savannahs.
Two “Cs” bred together will result in “SBT Savannahs”. SBT (stands for Stud Book Traditional) means there have been at least three generations of Savannah to Savannah breeding.
SBT is the level at which TICA considers them pure bred. Only SBT Savannahs are eligible to compete for Championship in TICA cat shows.
There are additional abbreviations re: color and pattern:
BST stands for brown (black) spotted tabby. It is the term for a cat who has a ground coat of any shade of tan, yellow, gold, orange, brown, or beige, with spots that are black or darker brown than the ground coat. A BST must also have black paw pads, black eyeliner, and a black tipped tail. The color of the African Serval is BST. Most Savannahs are BSTs.
SST stands for silver (black) spotted tabby. It is the term for a cat who has a ground coat of any shade of silver, white or grey, with spots that are black, charcoal or darker grey than the ground coat. A SST must also have black paw pads, black eyeliner, and a black tipped tail. In Savannah breeding, SST is intended to emulate white servals (which are usually spotted, not pure white).
(There are other genetic variations and diluted color versions of SST in domestic cats, but when referring to Savannahs, SST is generally used to describe the colors I have defined.)
There are many other cat coat colors and patterns, with their own letter codes. But these are the ones you are likely to see when you are looking at Savannah cats.