The Havana Brown Cat
The Havana Brown is an unusual breed of cat, known for its chocolate-colored coat and steely green eyes. Medium in size, this feline is muscular in build, while retaining a gentle soft voice, harking back to its Siamese ancestry.
Don’t be fooled by its sprightly appearance though; the Havana is indeed a proud lap cat, enjoying constant attention and love from its owner. If you’re fond of companionship and the friendly tones of her meow – the Havana could be your perfect match!
The Havana Brown has been in existence for nearly 70 years now. Back in 1951, breeders in Britain crossed a Sealpoint Siamese with a black shorthaired Siamese mix, to create this exciting breed. Elmtower Bronze Idol, as she was known, became the first Havana Brown to enter the GCCG registry.
The evolution of its name is thought to be linked to ‘Chestnut Brown Foreigns’ – brown cats shown around London at this time – later crossed with Russian Blues.
The Havana was known as a Chesnut Brown when it first entered America in 1956 and remained so until the 1970s when it was given the moniker ‘Havana Brown’, or simply ‘Havana’. It remains the foundation stock for this type of cat, even today.
The ‘Havana’ part of its name remains a mystery; some suggest that it could be inspired from a breed of rabbit with the same color, or perhaps less obviously – a reference to the brown hue from Havana cigars.
Despite it being one of the older cross breeds, it is still a relatively uncommon type, owing to the small gene pool available for breeding. This has been a bone of contention for the cat industry; many professionals have petitioned for limited outcrossing (conscious effort to breed through several generations), which the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) permits.
Nonetheless, the Havana is often used as a foundation for new breeds, such as crossings for Serval (African Wildcat) to produce a hybrid cat known as the Savannah.
Gaining the nickname ‘Chocolate Delights’ its trademark lustrous coat is both rich and glossy, without any stripes or shading. Complete with wide-set green eyes, this bewitching breed often gives the appearance of being alert, and is one of the most beautiful in the feline world.
A firm and medium-size kitty, it is described as an oriental type without being tubular. As such, its head is quite long with a distinct stop, and if you look closely behind the whisker pad you’ll notice an obvious pinch, which gives the muzzle a distinctive hourglass shape.
Another one of its unique features is its sparse chin and lower lip hair.
However, this is a cat with large features: from its big forward-titled ears, to long legs and a long sweeping tail.
Easy-going and chilled out, the Havana is a great addition to any home. They get on well with other animals and children, and enjoy being doted on. Because they rarely uses their claws, this is a great breed for families, especially those with younger members. Gentle in nature, the Havana will reach out with their paws to softly explore the world around them, including you!
They form loyal bonds with their owners and will happily chat away to them like old friends. But take note; they are sticklers for routine and don’t appreciate being left alone!
Moderately active and intelligent, your Havana will benefit from playtime and frequent exercise, much like all other cats. Second only to playtime it’s favorite pastime is of course… napping.
This is a relatively low-maintenance cat — their main need is for company. Because of this, Havanas are best suited to homes with constant company, rather than being left alone all day. They may be suited to those who are retired or are based from home.
Possible Health Concerns
A generally healthy cat, Havana Browns can be susceptible to upper respiratory infections, particularly when young.
They can also be prone to bladder stones and urinary blockages. This can be avoided with a regulated diet to ensure they maintain a healthy weight and doesn’t overindulge.
Regular exercise is key to the health of your cat, and your Havana will enjoy occasional games at playtime. Be sure to encourage them, as they do enjoy snoozing when given half a chance!
Although they are not fussy eaters, since this breed is prone to bladder stones and urinary blockages, you may need to speak to your veterinarian to ensure they are on a correct diet of good quality food. They may prescribe foods that moderate the acidity of their urine to help keep urinary conditions under control.
Be sure to give your cat plenty of fresh water.
As a short hair cat, you can expect minimal shedding with the Havana. They still, however, require regular grooming, benefiting from a soft brush every few days or so. This will help distribute the natural oils throughout their coats and keep their delightful shine. They don’t need to be bathed much at all. A quick buffering with a chamois or silk scarf will show off the radiance of their coats.
Although they don’t tend to use their claws much, these (front and back) do need clipping to keep under control. At the same time, be sure to gently clean the insides of their ears to keep them clean.
The Havana Brown is a rare, delightful and easy-going family cat, with striking looks and an endearing personality. If you can offer plenty of time and affection, and enjoy a cat that requires little grooming, but lots of listening, then this could be the perfect addition to your family.
To learn more about this breed, or for references mentioned in the copy, please visit:
CatBreedsList: Havana Brown
CFA.org Breeds: Havana Brown