Why Do Savannah Cats Hiss: Reasons for Cat Hissing and What to Do When It Happens

Savannah cats may hiss to express fear, aggression, or discomfort. Like all cats, they hiss in response to various stimuli, such as unfamiliar people or animals, sudden movements, loud noises, or other sources of stress. In some cases, Savannah cats may also hiss to assert dominance or as a warning to other cats or animals. 

Hissing can be a normal behavior for cats, especially in certain situations, and it is often a sign that a cat is feeling threatened or uncomfortable. Therefore, it is essential to understand that hissing is a normal behavior for cats and is not necessarily a sign of a problem. 

However, suppose your Savannah cat is hissing excessively or in response to generally not stressful stimuli. In that case, it is a good idea to speak with your vet to determine if there is an underlying medical or behavioral issue.

In some cases, excessive hissing in Savannah cats may be a sign of a medical condition, such as dental problems, ear infections, or other issues causing pain or discomfort. In these cases, prompt veterinary attention is essential to diagnose and treat the underlying issue.

Reasons Why a Savannah Cat Is Hissing

As a Warning Sign

Savannah cats can hiss as a warning sign when they feel threatened or agitated. A hissing sound accompanied by the raising of their claws and the opening of their sharp teeth is a warning sign that they are uncomfortable. Hissing cats often do so to communicate disapproval of an event occurring at that moment. 

For example, hissing cats may hiss when they sense danger or are irritated by another cat or human in the household. Indoor cats hiss when their space is invaded or disturbed by other pets or children. 

This vocal behavior can be seen as expressing stress or displeasure. This type of communication is common in cat families and helps to establish and maintain hierarchy within the domestic cat community.

To Show Irritation

When a Savannah cat is irritated, it may hiss to signal to others (including humans) that it is not happy and wants to be left alone. This can occur when the cat is touched or handled in a way that it doesn’t like, disturbed while sleeping, or when an unfamiliar person or animal approaches it.

In some cases, Savannah cats may also hiss in response to changes in their environment or routine, such as introducing a new pet or moving to a new home. Hissing can also be a sign of fear or anxiety in some cats, and it may occur when faced with a new or frightening situation.


When a Savannah cat encounters something new and unfamiliar, it may hiss to signal that it is unsure or uncomfortable. This can occur when the cat is introduced to a new person, animal, or environment or encounters a new object or situation.

Due to their wild serval ancestry, Savannah cats may hiss when stressed or in danger. This hissing can help to alert the cat’s owner to a potential threat. In some cases, Savannah cats hiss in response to a potentially threatening situation. For instance, if they are being held by someone they don’t know or if a new cat approaches them.

To Seek Attention

It is common for cats to hiss when feeling distant or wanting affection. This can occur when the cat wants to be petted, played with, or fed or to express discomfort or annoyance. 

In some cases, Savannah cats may also hiss to signal that they feel bored or neglected. For example, if a cat lacks socialization, playtime, or stimulation, it may become restless or irritable and hiss to express frustration or boredom.

Something’s Wrong

Savannah cats hiss when something is wrong, such as when they are unwell, in pain, or anxious about something. Hissing can respond to physical or emotional stimuli, such as a loud noise, a new person or animal, or a sudden environmental change.

Other vocalizations may accompany the hissing and could persist until the cat feels relief. If the hissing is persistent and accompanied by other vocalizations, such as crying, it could be a sign that the cat is in pain or unwell. 

To better understand why the cat is hissing, it is best to get to know the cat better and understand their likes, dislikes, and how they respond to certain situations. By understanding a cat’s behavior and taking steps to address any issues that may arise, you can help improve the health and well-being of your beloved furry friend.

What to Do if Your Savannah Cat Hisses

If your cat hisses at you, it may be trying to communicate that it is afraid or irritated. In most cases, cat hissing is harmless, but it can become a problem if it becomes habitual, making it difficult to understand the cat’s intent or needs. If this happens, you must stop the behavior and address the underlying cause. There are a few things you can do to help it feel more comfortable and secure:

  • Remove the stimulus: If your cat is hissing in response to a specific trigger, such as a new person or animal, try to remove the stimulus and give your cat a chance to retreat and calm down.
  • Give it space: Allow your cat to have its own space and avoid approaching or touching it while it is hissing. Cats need personal space to feel safe and secure and approaching them while hissing may only increase their fear and anxiety.
  • Reassure it with soft talking: Soothingly talking to your cat can help calm it down and let it know it is safe.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment: Make sure your cat has plenty of hiding places and perches, and provide a quiet, low-stress environment that allows it to feel safe and secure.
  • Consult with a veterinarian: If your cat is hissing excessively or responding to stimuli that are generally not stressful, it is a good idea to speak with your vet to determine if there is an underlying medical or behavioral issue.