ATLANTA - A group of cat lovers gathered at the state capitol Monday, asking lawmakers to make it legal to own Savannah cats.
The hybrid cats are a cross between a domestic cat and a wild serval from Africa. There are about 1,500 of them in the United States. Owners are currently required to have a special permit in Georgia, but a bill on the table would change that.
Channel 2’s Lori Geary spoke to an owner who insisted they’re not as fierce as they look.
“He has a presence about him, but really he's just a gentle giant,” said Deborah-Ann Millette, of the International Cat Association.
Georgia is one of five states that outlaw Savannah cats. Millette lives in Oklahoma with her pet, Matzi.
“These cats all have a flight response rather than a fight response. They will not confront you. They would run, because you're bigger than them,” she said.
Jennifer Hardin, of west Atlanta, said she would love to own one.
“To have the larger animal, to be able to walk on a leash. They have very dog-like personalities,” she said. “I think it would be awesome to own something like this, but I can’t.”
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