Savannah cat, A, B, C, SBT?
The letters are part of The International Cat Association registration (TICA) code, the organization in which Savannah Cat is registered. They explain how many generations of Savannah cat matings are in the background of the particular kitten or cat.
What Do the Savannah Cat Letters Stand For?
TICA has three Registries, each of which reflects a different stage in the development of a breed. The Experimental Registry is for unaccepted breeds or for those with an unknown background. The Foundation Registry is where most Savannah cats are registered at this time. And the Stud Book Registry, where some Savannah cats are registered, designates a purebred cat. Cats in this registry carry the letters “SBT,” the “T” meaning stud book traditional. In the case of a Savannah cat, it indicates studs and queens for the last three generations have been Savannahs in an SBT Savannah kitten’s pedigree.
The “A” designation simply means one parent is not a Savannah cat. The Savannah cat breed was created by breeding the Serval to a domestic cat. The kittens from this mating carry an “A” designation, which means they are the progeny of two cats of different breeds. So all F1 (first generation) Savannah cats are registered “A.” And since male Savannah cats are not fertile until the fourth (F4) and fifth (F5) generations, all males bred to Savannah females must be “outcrosses” or non-Savannahs until a fertile male Savannah is born. While the males may be purebred from other breeds, a combination of breeds or a “domestic shorthair,” the kittens resulting from an outcross is an “A.” This means you can also have an F2 A, F3 A, etc. Any mating in which one of the parents is not a Savannah result in an “A” designation.
If two “A” registered Savannahs are crossed, “B” registered kittens result. “B” means both parents are Savannahs, but the cat has at least one grandparent of a different breed.
Cross two “B” registered Savannahs and you have a “C” registered kitten. “C,” tells both parents and grandparents are Savannahs, but at least one great-grandparent is of a different breed.
When you cross two “C” registered Savannahs, an SBT Savannah kitten results. A kitten with “SBT” in its registration number has three generations of Savannah to Savannah matings in its pedigree – parents, grandparents, great grandparents. It is impossible to have SBT Savannah kittens before the fourth generation. The SBT designation is what is needed to show in Championship Class.
The system can be a bit more complicated, however, since the filial (F) generation i.e., the generation removed from the serval, works independently from the A, B, C, and SBT designations. For example, if you breed an F3 A to an F5 C, you will get an F4 B. And if an outcross was used to breed to any generation, those kittens would be “A.” That is, if an F3 C were bred to an outcross, kittens would be F4 A kittens.
Letters progress forward from the “lowest” parent’s letter. Numbers do also.
Savannah Cat examples
- F1 A x F5 A = F2 B Kittens
- F2 B x F5 B = F3 C Kittens
- F2 A x F5 C = F3 B Kittens
- F2 B x F5 SBT = F3 C Kittens
- F3 C x F5 C = F4 SBT Kittens
- F4 SBT x F5 SBT = F5 SBT Kittens
- F1 A x Outcross Male = F2 A Kittens
- F2 B x F5 A = F3 B Kittens
- F3 B x F5 SBT = F4 C Kittens
- F4 B x F5 C = F5 C Kittens
- F5 C x F5 SBT = F6 SBT Kittens
- F5 B x F5 C = F6 C Kittens