What are Havana Brown Cats?

Debra Durkee

Havana Brown cats are a breed of graceful, elegant, short-haired cats. Known for their soft, mahogany brown coloring, these cats have a lithe, muscular build similar to that of their Siamese parent. Also known as the Swiss Mountain Cat, the Havana Brown has a playful, outgoing personality and is a social breed that enjoys the constant company of human companions.

Veterinarian with a puppy
Veterinarian with a puppy

Breed-standard Havana Brown cats have coats that tend toward reddish-brown, with pink-hued brown noses and paw pads. Fur is thick and soft, and their whiskers are the same color as their coats. Their heads have a distinctive shape, longer than they are wide, with a rounded muzzle and large ears that tilt forward. The eyes of Havana Brown cats can be any shade of green, with deeper coloring favored by breeders and show judges. Medium-sized cats, they are well proportioned without being too heavy or too slim, and they have hind legs that are slightly longer than their front legs.

Kittens are born entirely brown, but can have the pale, striped markings of a tabby, although these fade as they age. When breeding to show standards, a kitten that retains the stripes can be disqualified. Other disqualifying traits include eyes that are not green, a kinked tail, or whiskers, a nose, or paw pads that are any color but the traditional brown. When fully grown, males are typically between 8 and 10 pounds (about 3.6 to 4.5 kg) and females are slightly smaller, between 6 and 8 pounds (about 2.7 to 3.6 kg).

Havana Brown cats were created in England by a group of breeders. A black domestic cat was crossed with a seal point or chocolate point Siamese, and the results were the Siamese-shaped Havana Brown cats. Some say that the Russian Blue was also involved in the breeding process, but records are unclear about this. How the cat got its name is also up for debate, as some insist it was named after the similarly colored rabbit, and others believe the name comes from the Havana cigar.

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Its uniquely shaped head, almond-shaped eyes, forward posture, and tilted ears give the cat a permanently alert expression. The trademark Havana Brown personality reinforces this; the cats are known for being intelligent and inquisitive, and like to investigate people and objects with their paws. With their soft voices and social nature, they are a companionable cat and excellent pet.

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