17 May Havana Brown Cat
- Size: Small-Medium, 7 to 11 lbs
- Energy Level: 3/5
- Talkative: 2/5
- Coat: Short, thick and in warm and rich reddish-brown
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Seeking: Someone to shower me with attention and affection
- Child Friendly: Yes
- Personality Snapshot: Smart, playful, wants to have a say on everything, easily adjusts to new people and environments yet constantly craves attention
Don’t let my lithe, lean looks fool you – I’m no delicate little flower. You’ll understand once you try to pick me up. I may have a slender frame, but I’m heavier than I look. And yes, it is all muscle.
It’s just hard to see since most of me is concealed under my thick lustrous coat.
And while we’re on the topic, I should mention that this coat is one of my very best features. It’s an invitingly rich, warm shade of brown, which has earned me the nickname “Chocolate Delights” by adorers around the country.
And it’s not just pretty to look at – it’s smooth and has a thickness that’s plush and soothing to the touch. Most humans can’t take their hands – or eyes – off me.
Speaking of eyes, mine are gorgeous: almond-shaped, highly expressive, and a beautiful shade of jade green. The rest of me ain’t bad to look at, either.
My head is a bit longer than it is wide and the curves on my head are smoother and flatter compared to other breeds, lending me a happy, friendly demeanor.
As for my ears, they are tilted forward and have rounded tips, akin to Oriental Shorthairs and Persians – but cuter, in my humble opinion.
They swivel in different directions when I get excited, emphasizing my alert, inquisitive personality. More on that now…
If I could describe myself in three words, they’d be sociable, playful and (extremely) intelligent.
But a feline like me simply can’t be expected to fit inside three words. Especially since I’m brimming with positive qualities. Take, for example, my very affectionate nature. I’m the sort of cat who not only responds to tokens of affection, but will physically reach out toward my humans to be petted or cuddled whenever they pass by.
So be sure to pat my head or stroke my belly constantly. Especially if I go so far as to extend my paws out to you.
Yet another word to describe me is friendly and that applies to other pets as well as children – as long as these younger humans understand I am not one to be handled roughly. I might be friendly, but I’m not a pushover and I won’t take it so well if I’m treated like a ragdoll.
I should admit at this point that not all the words used to describe me are always positive. The other day, for example, someone called me a busybody.
I confess I’ve also been called a snoop. More than once. And yes, I’ll admit there’s a certain degree of truth to that.
I love to follow my humans around to see what they are up to. Vacuuming something? You bet I want to see what! Cooking something? Count on me to watch you do it! And of course, I’ll coo and trill the whole time to let you know I’m fascinated.
But since when is that considered snooping? I’m just inquisitive. And at least I only meddle in things happening near the ground – you don’t have to worry about me taking my curiosity for a walk through your cabinets and other high places. The couch or windowsill is about as high as I go.
What with my adventurous, exploratory nature, you might be thinking that my life might be too exciting for me to spend time with you but fear not, dear human, fear not.
You see, the thing that makes me happiest is simply being around my humans. Underneath my mysterious looks and sociable charm is a feline with a deep need to be loved and noticed by my
food givers guardians.
That’s why I follow y’all around, you know. And all the interaction I demand by initiating games, teasing you with flicks of my tail, and bumping you with my head is just so I can bond with you.
Of course, all the activity I engage in to get your attention does have a way of tiring me out. That’s why you’ll see me taking lots of naps throughout the day – when I’m not meddling in your business, that is.
My favorite spots? Windowsills, rugs, and in bed with my loved ones.
My Ideal Human
While I am not that tough to take care of, my constant need for attention and affection might be a bit challenging for first time cat owners and parents with younger kids. I need human companions who can give me lots of love and playtime each and every day.
Another notable trait I possess is I don’t have a one-dimensional perspective when it comes to playtime. Now while I like to run, climb and frolic around the house, I also enjoy playing games like chasing balls of yarn or jumping after a feather tied at the end of a stick.
My breed was not the result of a happy accident. We Havana Browns are a man-made breed that originated from England in the 1950 as the result of a carefully-planned breeding program designed to bring back the characteristics of the mahogany-colored Swiss Mountain cat, a pedigree that has been nearly lost when World War II ravaged the whole of England and its hinterlands.
When the war finally ended, prominent European cat fanciers, namely Mrs. Judd of Crossways Cattery, Mrs. Elsie Fisher of Praha Cattery, the Baroness Von Ullmann of Roofspringer Cattery, Mrs. Munroe-Smith of Elmtower Cattery as well as Mrs. Armitage Hargreaves of Laurentide Cattery, met and discussed how they could produce a self-brown cat that had the color and physical characteristics of the Swiss Mountain cat using felines that they believed shared the same genetic attributes with the former.
After almost two years of thorough breeding, they achieved their goal when they successfully bred a female kitten that had a dark chestnut coat by crossing a chocolate point Siamese with a black Domestic Shorthair. She was lovingly named “Havana” by the breeders. The name stuck and the kitten eventually became the foundation of the breed.
The first of these original Havanas began arriving in North America in the mid-1950’s. During this time, their name was changed to “Havana Brown” because their coats resembled the shade of the expensive cigars imported from Cuba.
It didn’t take long before we became a hit among feline enthusiasts in the United States, who started breeding us extensively in the next few months. Oh, just so you know, the Havana Browns that were bred in the U.S. had higher Siamese cat strains than those produced in England.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy welcomed our breed in 1958 and we gained the acceptance of the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) a year later. Our CFA championship status followed in 1964. Now the Havana Brown is also recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) and the American Cat Fancier’s Association (AFCA).
How to Keep Me Healthy and Happy
As far as maintenance goes, I’m pretty low-key. All I ask is that you regularly clip my claws, clean my eyes and ears, and occasionally give me a full-body rubdown with a soft cloth or rubber brush to keep my hair lovely and lustrous.
Not too bad in terms of physical care, huh
I am admittedly a little more high maintenance when it comes to attention, though. To keep me happy in this regard, I simply demand constant playtime and all sorts of affection from my humans.
- Most of us are born with the rich chocolate color we’re so well-known for, but there are some of us who display very faint tabby markings when born. These markings usually fade into oblivion as we grow older.
- There’s actually also a slight variation of my breed you might want to know about. You see the Independent Cat Association (TICA) also accepts felines that descended from the Havana Brown breed, but did not inherit our rich reddish brown coat. These cats are usually frosty pink gray or solid lilac in color. As a variation of my breed’s original name, these felines are called “Havanas.”
- Some people believe that my name was inspired by a breed of rabbit that displays the same rich mahogany coat. As if. who ever heard of a cat being named after a rabbit It was probably the other way around, if you ask me.
- I don’t mean to brag, but Havana Brown owners closely compare the lushness of our coat to a luxurious mink stole. Now that’s more like it.