Savannah cats are tall, elegant, and intelligent with gorgeous spotted coats of tan, brown or black. These felines were the result of breeding a domestic cat with a wild serval cat native to Africa. Meanwhile, Maine Coons are large cats that hail from Maine, USA. They are affectionate, not needy, and are renowned mousers. In this article, we get to know the differences between these two large cat breeds, as well as some similarities.
Savannah cat vs Maine Coon: What are the differences?
They differ in size.
Savannah cats weigh around seven to 15 pounds, like most domestic cats. They tend to appear large and tall because of their long legs and body. Maine Coons are larger than Savannah cats, with males weighing around 13 to 18 pounds and females weighing from eight to 12 pounds. This breed also has a fluffy coat which makes it look larger than most breeds.
Their grooming needs are different.
Savannah cats have short, coarse coats, so they are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. You only have to brush their coat occasionally to aid in shedding and remove dust or debris. Inversely, Maine Coons have long, fluffy coats that require regular grooming. Brush their coats at least twice a week to remove tangles, keep the fur shiny and reduce shedding.
They differ in temperament and personality.
Savannah cats are playful, athletic, adventurous and loyal, but also tend to show the wild side of their lineage. They are excellent jumpers and their energy could be too much for some owners. Maine Coons, on the other hand, are affectionate, relaxed and docile, and do not demand attention from their owners.
They have different health concerns.
Savannah cats are generally healthy, although they may also be prone to health problems. These include bacterial and viral infections like calicivirus and rabies, which can be prevented by vaccination. Miscarriage and stillbirth are also common among Savannah cats, and there could also be developmental issues among newborn kittens.
Hybrid male sterility was observed among third-generation male Savannahs, although this had no impact on their overall health. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, is also noticeable in this breed; symptoms include an enlarged heart and possible heart failure.
Meanwhile, Maine Coons have more health issues owing to the breed’s lack of genetic diversity. HCM is common in this breed, as is hip dysplasia, in which the hip joints are improperly formed during gestation. These cats are also prone to spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, the degeneration of neurons in the spinal cord. This can lead to immobility of the rear half of the body. Maine Coons are also prone to kidney cysts.
Savannah cats and Maine Coons: Similarities
1. Both these breeds have strong hunting skills.
Savannah cats are endowed with an athletic physique which makes them good hunters. They have long back legs, allowing them to jump as high as 11 feet. This ability helps them to hunt large and small prey. Meanwhile, Maine Coons are also popular for their hunting ability, aided by their large size. They can also withstand harsh climates and were used to hunt mice in days gone by.
2. They are both low shedders.
Savannah cats do not shed a lot, so they require less grooming. However, you may have to bathe them if they get dirty, since they are very active and playful. Similarly, Maine Coons do not shed much. This is surprising since these cats have long, fluffy coats.
3. They both love water.
Savannah cats adore the water and you won’t have a hard time bathing them. They may also swim or splash around in water, which is surprising considering most cats avoid water. Maine Coons also love the water and are strong swimmers. They have water-resistant fur, allowing them to enjoy the water without really getting drenched.
4. They are good companions for dogs and children.
Savannah cats are good companions for children and cat-friendly dogs. They also have dog-like traits, in that they are sociable. Maine Coons are also great with children and dogs because they are playful and known as gentle giants.
Comparing different breeds can help cat lovers choose the ideal breed for them to own. Savannah cats are generally healthier than Maine Coons, which are prone to issues like hip dysplasia and kidney cysts. Savannah cats are also smaller than Maine Coons, the latter weighing up to 18 pounds or more. However, the two breeds also share similarities, such as a love for the water, being low shedders, and being great companions for children and cat-friendly dogs.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nils Jacobi