Colors and pattern of the Savannah

As known, the following colors are recognized according to the breed standard:

Black / brown spotted tabby, silver spotted tabby and black-smoke.

The spot should be dark brown to black and round stretched spots or rosettes are not desirable. The Classic or marbled pattern is also undesirable. The Black smoke must have a clear pattern and the black Savannah should be completely black, with black spots on a black background being desired.

Black tabby spotted

The Black tabby spotted savannah is the most popular and the most common bred color. This has to do with the fact that the black tabby spotted color genes are dominant over the other colors. This probably has to do with the fact that the black tabby spotted colors are closest to the colors of the serval. In general, the black tabby has a spotted color or a warm or cool undertone that come in different varieties. All these varieties are recognized by the TICA.The brown savannah has:

  • Dark brown to black spots
  • Black lips
  • Dark tear streaks
  • Pink to red nose surrounded by a black line, all black nose or black nose with a pink line in the middle.
  • Deep black to very dark brown soles
Savannah colors


The color silver in the savannah is the result of the inhibitory gene that stops the production of melanin. So it is not actually color but rather the lack of color. In order to breed a silver savannah, either parent must be silver. Features of the silver savannah:

  • A white background color.
  • A silver to dark silver foreground color.
  • As little brown as possible in the coat.
  • Dark brown to black markings.
  • Black lips.
  • Dark tear streaks.
  • A pink to dark pink nose surrounded by a black line or a black nose sometimes with a pink stripe in the middle
  • Black to dark brown foot pads
savannah colors


The melanistic Savannah appears to be one color and the reason for this is that the black color gene is solid. The solid gene produces a hair that is all one color because the protein responsible for the bands in the hair or the ticking on the hair shaft is defective. However, in melanistic Savannahs, the underlying spotted pattern is still present. This is sometimes called ghost spots or gohstmarks. The black gene is recessive, so to produce a melanistic Savannah, the color must be carried by both parents. The melanistic Savannah has:

  •  Dark brown to jet black markings.
  • Black lips.
  •  Dark and prominent tear streaks
  •  Sturdy black nose leather.
  •  Black or brown-black soles.
Savannah colors

Black smoke

The black smoke Savannah is the rarest of all recognized colors, perhaps because it is more difficult to produce and less known. The Silver Spotted Savannah is silver with the tabby gene, where the black smoke Savannah is silver with the solid gene. As with the melanistic Savannah, the underlying spotted pattern may be visible and preferred. The black smoke Savannah has:

  •  hair that is white at the base and dark at the tip.
  •  Dark brown to jet black markings.
  •  Black lips.
  •  Dark and prominent tear duct lines.
  •  Nose leather: pink to brick red outlined, solid black or black with a pink to brick red center stripe.
  •  Black or brown-black soles.
Savannah colors

Of course there are also non-recognized colors, the non standard.

The most common is the snow color, but also blue and cinamon are more common. In these colors one sometimes also comes across a solid Savannah. This is uniform in color and also not desirable.
The origin of these colors comes from the earlier use of other varieties. Many cite the Bengal as a cause, but also for the Bengal other varieties were used in the early stages, such as the Siamese and the Burmese, so it is more likely that these colors come from these varieties and the ocicat.
Below you can see the unrecognized colors

Savannah colors

How is that exactly with these colors?

The Tica does not recognize this color and these cats cannot participate for championship at a show. When they are SBT they are allowed to participate in show and are also judged but in a different category. The Tica therefore clearly distinguishes the rights of a standard or non-standard color. Breeders should pass this information on to any kitten buyers.

Just like the standard colors, these cats are therefore entitled to a pedigree or pedigree certificate. The non standard colors are recessive, that is to say they do not have to be visible in the parent animals, but when present somewhere in the line there can always be one or more in a litter.

What exactly is a pedigree?

A pedigree simply indicates the pedigree and characteristics such as color and coat pattern of a cat.

By being removed from crossbreeds or less than 4 generations from the serval, is it not a purebred cat, so no SBT and will receive a pedigree certificate.

The conclusion is clear, the non-standard kittens have exactly the same pedigree as the BST kittens, their parents are not suddenly different. They are entitled to exactly the same pedigree, their ancestry is exactly the same.