20 facts about the Havana Brown

Here are 20 succinct facts about the Havana Brown aka the ‘Havana’. The sources are excellent and reliable. The facts are in bullet formatting for quick reading.

Havana. Image: MikeB from an image in the public domain.
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  1. The Havana Brown is referred to as the “Havana” in a well-known book on the cat breeds. The cat has two names although the Havana is always a chocolate or lilac-coloured shorthaired cat with intense green eyes.
  2. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) refer to the breed as the ‘Havana Brown’ while The International Cat Association (TICA) refer to the cat as the ‘Havana’. Read a concise discussion about the CFA breed standard.
  3. TICA describe the Havana as ‘a medium-sized semi-foreign short hair cat’. ‘Semi-foreign’ means slightly slender.
  4. The Havana is similar to the Oriental Shorthair (a slender cat) but different because of the “puffy muzzle” and “the deep stop in the profile”. This is the area between the eyebrow and the beginning of the nose.
  5. It is believed that brown cats (with this slender appearance) were imported into Britain along with the Siamese in the 19th century from what was then Siam, and which is now Thailand.
  6. Cats were entered into a London cat show which had the Siamese body conformation, green eyes and a solid chestnut colour. The cats were called “Swiss Mountain Cats”. This “new” breed was abandoned by the Siamese Cat Club in Britain.
  7. In the 1920s the Siamese Cat Club in Britain made a policy statement and declaration as follows: “The club much regrets it is unable to encourage the breeding of any but blue-eyed Siamese”.
  8. This apparently led to breeders in Britain trying to produce more of these chocolate-coloured cats by breeding a chocolate point Siamese with a black cat carrying chocolate in their genes. Further experiments were carried out with Russian blue cats which brought in the dilution gene (the Russian blue is a diluted black). This led to a new breed called the Havana.
  9. The breed was named, it is believed, after the Havana cigars of a similar colour.
  10. The defining features of this breed are the beautiful colour and the slightly oriental appearance with a strong face. This is a reddish-brown colour which is referred to by breeders as ‘mahogany’.
  11. The eyes are large, oval and green.
  12. The profile should show a “ski slope” which describes “a pronounced stop between the eyebrow and the beginning of the nose” according to Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat.
  13. The muzzle has puffy whisker pads.
  14. The forehead is high and the eyes are set low. The ears are round-tipped and alert, tilted slightly forward.
  15. The Havana is recognised in the solid chocolate and lilac colours in the traditional category. Lilac is a pale tan with a touch of pink.
  16. Ghost tabby markings are allowed in kittens. The tabby markings normally vanish when the cat is an adult.
  17. In a complication, in countries other than the US, “Havana” is considered to be a colour not a breed.
  18. It appears that in the early days the Havana Brown had a reputation for a poor temperament, but it appears that this emanated from the fact that they were caged or ignored.
  19. The Havana Brown has a warm and normal temperament as seen in any other cat breed or non-purebred cat.
  20. They are said to crave attention and therefore must not be ignored by their human caregiver. They are not a demanding cat but they will tell you when they want something. The CFA describes the temperament as ‘busy, affectionate’.
Havana Brown
Havana. Image: MikeB from an image in the public domain.

Below are some more pages on this cat breed.

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