More Meows is an Amazon Associate. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
If you own a highly active and energetic cat breed like the Savannah cat, you might wonder if they are easy to train so you can incorporate mentally stimulating play in their care. Intelligence and motivation are two crucial factors in training cats, but these traits can vary with a cat’s breed and personality. So, are Savannah cats easy to train?
No, Savannah cats are not easy to train, but they are quite trainable due to being incredibly clever, motivated, focused, and persistent. These traits make it simpler to train this breed of cat compared to other cat breeds. With time and perseverance, you can definitely train your Savannah cat.
Keep reading to find out how the Savannah cat’s intelligence plays a significant role in their training. You can also learn some signs that your Savannah cat is sharp enough for simple training and the best method for teaching them. Furthermore, a list of three simple tricks to teach your Savannah cat is provided.
Can you Train a Savannah Cat?
Savannah cats show similarities between dogs because of their profound intelligence, high energy levels, and displays of loyalty to their humans. They are very observant of their owners, so they might attempt to replicate actions they often see you doing, like turning on faucets or opening cabinets. These behaviors can come in handy when training them.
Savannah Cat Intelligence
Savannah cats are brilliant. Intelligence is relative to how easy it is to train an animal because it shows how quickly and efficiently they might pick up the concept you’re trying to teach them.
Unlike dogs, cats weren’t taught to obey humans’ orders during domestication, so training them might take a bit of time and work. However, with a bright and motivated Savannah cat, it will be easier.
One way to check your Savannah cat’s wits is to hide their favorite toy behind something in front of them and watch their reaction. This exercise can give you insight into how easy it might be to train them by measuring their IQ. Most animals might become confused and believe the toy has disappeared, but an intelligent Savannah cat will look behind where you hid it to find it.
How to Train a Savannah Cat
Because Savannah cats are so apt and active, they need plenty of exercise from daily play, as well as mental stimulation so that they won’t become bored. If your Savannah cat is bored, they might develop destructive behaviors like scratching furniture or knocking fragile items off tables. The best mentally stimulating way to train your Savannah cat is clicker training.
I mentioned cats scratching furniture, but if you would like to learn more about if cats should be allowed on furniture, check out my article: Click Here.
Does Clicker Training Work for Savannah Cats?
Yes, clicker training is an excellent method of training your Savannah cat because it provides mental stimulation for their busy minds, as well as positive reinforcement, so they can stay motivated throughout the training process. All you need to get started on clicker training your cat is a clicker device with a target stick attached and a bag of their favorite cat treats.
How to clicker train a Savannah cat:
- Work in a focused environment: Ensure the space where you’re training your Savannah cat is distraction-free to ensure the best results possible.
- Establish a connection: When you have the undivided attention of your Savannah cat, sound the clicker device and promptly give them a cat treat. It may take a few tries for some cats to establish the connection, so repeat this step to assure they’ve got it down.
- Follow the target stick: Once your Savannah cat has established a connection with the clicker and a reward, hold the target stick next to their face and wait for them to sniff it. As soon as they sniff it, click the clicker and give them a cat treat. Repeat this while pulling the target stick farther and farther away until they follow you.
- Introduce verbal cues: Now that your Savannah cat knows how to follow you, you can establish a connection with the trick and your voice. Say, “Follow,” and repeat the previous step until they can complete the trick without needing to hear the sound of the clicker device.
- Work in short sessions: When training your Savannah cat, you should only work in short sessions that last a maximum of five minutes to prevent them from becoming uninterested. Training is supposed to be fun for your cat, not laborious.
- Master the clicker: As soon as your Savannah cat has mastered the clicker training method, you can use the clicker device to teach them simple tricks.
Savannah Cat Tricks
While Savannah cats are super intelligent and therefore easy to train, you should still start off with small, simple tricks to let them get the hang of things. Three things to teach your Savannah cat that are fun and simple include leash training, how to come when you call their name, and how to jump through a hoop.
Leash Training a Savannah Cat
Leash training is beneficial for your Savannah cat because they require a lot of active play in their daily routine due to their abundance of energy. Getting your Savannah cat used to a harness and leash can open opportunities to take them on walks and hikes so they can stay healthy and keep occupied. Like their Serval relatives, Savannah cats love being out in nature.
To learn if cat harnesses are cruel, check out my article to learn everything you need to know on the subject: Click Here.
How to leash train your Savannah cat:
- Introduce the harness: Put your Savannah cat in a well-fitting harness and give them a cat treat. Gradually increase the time spent wearing it until they are used to it.
- Introduce the leash: After they are used to the harness, attach a leash and loosely hold it as they’re walking. Gradually increase the tension until they become comfortable, but do not let go.
- Allow tension on the leash: Once they are used to the leash’s tension, let go of it and allow them to walk with it dragging behind them. Repeat until they are used to the leash.
- Walk them indoors: Now that they are used to both the harness and leash, you can walk them inside. Try leading them in different directions until they are used to being walked.
- Walk them outside: Your Savannah cat should now be able to be walked outdoors.
Calling a Savannah Cat
Now that you’ve introduced your Savannah cat to the fun side of the outdoors, you should have a fallback for its dangers. When going on walks around your neighborhood or hiking trails with your cat, there is always a possibility that something could spook them. If you lose grip of their leash and your cat runs away, you need them to know how to come when called.
How to teach your Savannah cat to come when called:
- Determine how you will call them: Decide the verbal cue you will use to call your Savannah cat. This cue can be their name, a nickname, or the words “Come” or “Here.”
- Reward them when you call them: Use the verbal cue and give them a cat treat or sound your clicker device if you’ve clicker trained them. Repeat this a few times so they can get the hang of it.
- Call them from a distance: Stand a few feet away from them and call them. Reward them when they come to you.
- Gradually increase the distance: Slowly move farther and farther away from them when calling them. Reward them when they come to you and repeat this until they complete the trick 100% of the time.
- Call them in action: Once your Savannah cat has got the trick down, try this entire process again but outside while they’re wearing their harness and leash.
Jump Through A Hoop
A Savannah cat’s long, slender legs and intriguing ability to jump were passed down by their African Serval relatives. In fact, according to Purina, a Savannah cat’s back legs are actually longer than their front legs, making them excellent jumpers. These cats can jump up to eight feet into the air horizontally, so teaching them how to jump through a hoop should be simple.
How to teach your Savannah cat to jump through a hoop:
- Introduce the hoop: Lay a child-sized hula hoop on the ground and place a cat treat into the center to get your Savannah cat used to it.
- Lure them through the hoop: Pick up the hoop and hold a cat treat in your hand to lure them through it. Do this a few times so they can get the hang of it.
- Gradually raise the hoop: Slowly increase the distance between the hoop and the ground until they jump through it. Repeat this a few times.
- Introduce verbal cues: Say, “Jump,” just before they jump through the hoop to associate the verbal command with the trick.
- Reward them after completing the trick: Each time your Savannah cat successfully jumps through the hoop, give them a cat treat.
Since Savannah cats are very clever and have a lot of similar qualities to a dog as well as their wildcat relatives, it is pretty simple to train them. You might notice that your Savannah cat already shows behavior a typical house cat wouldn’t like copying your everyday actions. You can use this advantage to teach them to do fun tricks.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out a few more: