The Havana Brown is an "engineered" breed, in that the breed was developed by breeding black domestic cats carrying a brown recessive gene with a seal or chocolate point Siamese. In the very early part of the 20th century, the "self brown" Siamese came under disfavour.
half a century later, the designed breeding was successful in developing a brown
cat which was the forerunner of our present breed. The very first Havana Brown
was registered in England in 1954. The breed as it appears today does not differ
much from the early imports. The only big difference is that the breed has
become a bit more refined. However, the original Havana look is still there.
Pictured is Harvey who owns Michelle, a beautiful example of the Havana Brown.
There is recorded history of solid brown cats in "The Cat Book Poems" dating
back to between 1300 and 1767 from early Siam (Now Thailand). These ancient
manuscripts were written in the city of Ayudha, between the time the city was
founded and before the city was burned by invaders. Seventeen "good luck" cats
are described including solid brown cats, which the Thai's considered very
beautiful and had the ability to protect them from evil.
The Havana Brown is unique to gaze upon, and even more delightful to enjoy as a
companion. Blessed with a pixyish soft voice, the traditional Havana Brown
usually exhibits the peculiar trait of using his paws to feel, touch, and
investigate items as opposed to other breeds who characteristically use their
sense of smell to investigate curious items. One of their endearing qualities is
their typical greeting of elevating and stretching out one paw to touch their
human friend, or offer a paw in friendship. These charming cats quietly require
human companionship. Affectionately sociable, sweet, and considerate by nature,
they are quite even-tempered, gentle, and intelligent.
Havana Browns tend to use body language to get their point across, and this
breed is known to take well to a harness and lead.
Human companionship is a necessity for this breed. Most Havanas do not use their
soft voices often, but they can cry loudly when they have lost track of their
human companions. They are very playful, stealing pencils, pens, ear rings or
whatever they can get into their mouths, much to the amusement and frustration
of their owners. Most love to play with wads of paper and some have learned to
retrieve. Havanas seem to be natural shoulder sitters; fortunately, claws are
rarely used. Generally, they are very neat and tidy in their personal habits.
They are very oral cats, usually bathing themselves and each other thoroughly
several times a day.
Changes to their environment are agreeably adapted to with remarkable confidence
and poise. They have learned the art of give-and-take. This unflappable breed
instinctively molds itself to your habits and is more dog-like in temperament
because it seems willing to please. Diversified lifestyles, with children,
elderly or all those in between are taken on with style and ease. Traditional
Havana Browns crave and thrive on human attention, so be ready to share your
household activities with this non-intrusive personality.
With eyes that twinkle with curiosity, glow with mischief or narrow to pure
contentment, they can captivate you with their permeating, discerning gaze.
Expressive ears are almost always in constant motion, taking in their
surroundings with great interest.
Coming with a short coat, the Traditional Havana Brown is an easy care cat. A
once a week brushing to remove any loose hair is all that is needed.
Two features separate the Havana Brown from any other breed. The first, and most
obvious is a glistening mahogany-brown coat. Medium short and close lying, it
glows with reddish highlights and should be sound to the roots. The second
feature is a distinctive "corn cob" muzzle that appears as if it has been added
to the skull rather than flowing from it. Unlike any other breed of cat, the
whiskers are the same brown as the coat.
Kittens are born a lighter shade of brown. Tabby markings are common in young
kittens, but generally fade as the coat darkens and evens out at around ten
months of age. Havana breeders prefer to keep their kittens until they are four
months old. By this time, the potential of the kitten is apparent, soundness of
coat colour can be determined, eye colour is coming in and individual
personalities are surfacing. Also by this age, the kittens have had their
permanent shots and have been FeLV tested.
Because of the occasional Traditional Russian Blue used in their ancestry, once
in a while lavender kittens can be produced. This frost grey with a pinkish tone
is accepted in TICA and CFF. Since TCA, Inc. represents only the Old Style of
each breed, they only accept the original traditional Havana Brown.