There are many cat breeds that have been the results of the crossing between the Siamese breed and other cat breeds for the purpose of introducing new traits of colors, patterns and hair lengths. The Havana Brown is an example of one such man-made cat breed.
This cat was first known as Swiss Mountain Cats in England during the 19th century. Breeding of this cat type was discouraged in the 1920s when it was decided by the Siamese Cat Club of Britain that brown cats with blue eyes were no longer popular. It was not until the 1950s that a group of Britain breeders crossed chocolate, seal-point Siamese with black domestic Shorthairs and Russian Blues to produce striking chocolate brown cats with emerald eyes. This beautiful breed then became known as the Havana Brown cat, which has also been termed as Chestnut Foreign Shorthair.
The Havana Brown’s first voyage into North America started in the mid 1950s. Years later in 1959, the breed was successfully registered under Cat Fanciers Association and claimed the championship status in 1964.In order to establish a wider gene pool, it has continued to be outcross to chocolate-point or seal point Siamese, as well as unregistered black or blue domestic shorthairs and Oriental Shorthairs. The kittens that resulted from these crossing can be bred back to Havana Brown. If any of these kittens inherited the brown coat of the Havana Brown, they can then be registered as one.
Physical appearance and attributes
The Havana Brown is a medium sized cat that weighs surprisingly heavier than it appears. The male can weigh an average of 8 – 10 pound, while the female and average of 6 – 8 pound. It has a firm, muscular body that strikes a stature of grace; a body type that is midway between cobby and svelte. This breed has a distinctive head that is longer than it is wide and that narrows to a slightly tapered, rounded muzzle. Viewed in profile, the muzzle appears to be more like a protrusion than a natural extension of the head. The rectangular form has been described as either a corn cob or the base of a light bulb. This optical illusion is further pronounced by its well-developed chin.
Another distinctive feature of the Havana Brown is its brown whiskers. In fact, this is the only cat whose breed standards require a specific whisker color. It would be a disqualifier if the Havana Brown does not have brown whiskers.
Havana Brown has wide-set ears that are large but do not flare outwards. They tapered into a rounder tip and are cupped at the base. They can also be adorned with furs on both the inside and out. The slight forward tilt of the ears gives the Havana Brown its alert stance. Its beautiful, brilliant oval eyes are set wide apart. They can come in vivid shades of green that enhance the expressive appearance of this breed.
The Havana Brown stands tall on relatively long, straight legs. While the female breed usually has slimmer and daintier legs, those of the male are powerfully muscled. Medium in length, the tail is well-proportioned to its body; neither slender nor whip-like. The whole disposition of the body prizes overall balance, proportion over size.
The hair of Havana Brown is short to medium in length and it wears it as a handsome, posh, glossy coat over its well-developed body. The coat can come in two different colors, brown and lilac. Brown color coat should be rich and evenly shaded, bending towards the red-brown or burnished mahogany hue. The lilac coat would appear in pinkish grey with complementing lilac whiskers.
Personality and temperament
The true charm of the Havana Brown lies in its personality. It is not just well-balanced in its appearance, but it is temperaments as well. This breed is neither hyperactive nor hopelessly passive. In fact, it is a very smart, confident cat that is at the same time gentle and affectionate in its disposition. Remarkably adaptable, it takes every situation in its stride with ease and finds its confidence and poise in different circumstances it sets about to rule.
Extremely child-friendly, the Havana breed has fallen under one of the top few cats that can blend and play exceptionally well with children. Such a temperament and its sociability have made it a good family pet that get along well with almost anyone around in the home, as well as other cat-friendly dogs.
Naturally inquisitive, this breed has a unique feature of reaching out its paws to feel, investigate and explore its environment. It uses this nature to communicate its sensitivity to its loved ones around as well; frequently extending its paw to gently touch its human companion and to display its affections.
Playful like most other breeds, it loves sprinting around the house and playing tag, if there are other cats around. Interactive toys are a great enjoyment for this breed too. Otherwise, it will also derive pleasure from staying close by to its owner and seeking to engage in any ongoing household activities.
Care and health issues
Havana Brown requires minimal grooming; a weekly brushing would suffice to keep the coat healthy and gleaming. It would be ideal to establish a more regular grooming and bathing routine at an early age. Loving attention, the Havana Brown would be happy to adapt to such routine, and this would also provide much ease for the owner in the future as the cat would become more receptive for a wash even when it gets older. Other basic grooming practices to keep include the weekly clipping of its front and back claws, and the regular cleaning of the insides of the ears. The teeth should be brushed frequently with vet-approved toothpaste.
A healthy Havana Brown can have an average life expectancy of between 15 – 20 years. The few health concerns that might be of a concern include its proneness to upper respiratory infection, which usually happen when it is younger. It might also develop calcium oxylate stones in its urinary tract. The importance of getting the breed from a qualified breeder is hardly an overstatement, as this would ensure that the cat has gone through the necessary tests for a written health guarantee.
The ideal home
A breed with a balanced temperament, a hearty, affectionate nature, and a high adaptability, Havana Brown is an excellent pet for any homes. This is, provided that it is showered with adequate care and love, as well as a generous amount of attention. Being smart and playful, it would require a well-constructed adventure zone where it can spend a fair amount of time on puzzle games, tricks and fetch, which is one of its favorites. A safe, enclosed outdoor garden would be ideal to satisfy this innately curious and explorative breed. The Havana Brown is highly people-oriented cat and is one of the more sensitive breeds towards human. It will readily extend its comfort and warmth to loved ones and is never sparing in its affection and love.