Cat Breeds 101: Havana Brown

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Cat Breeds 101: Havana BrownPhoto – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0

If there ever was a cat for chocolate lovers, it would be the Havana Brown. Practically every strand of hair on this cat, even its whiskers, is a rich chocolatey shade. (In fact, it is the only cat breed whose whiskers are required to be a certain color.) With its rich mahogany-colored fur and its emerald-green eyes, the Havana Brown looks both luscious and striking.



But don’t be misled by its name. The Havana Brown does not hail from Havana, Cuba. Instead, it is one of the cat breeds that have their roots in Thailand, formerly known as Siam.

The Siamese believed that brown cats conferred protection from evil. And so they held brown cats in high esteem. Some of these honored cats were brought to England in the 1800s and were well received as “chocolate-colored Siamese.” But in 1930, the Siamese Cat Club declared that it no longer accepted Siamese cats with non-blue eyes, and so the emerald-eyed brown cat from Siam fell from grace and almost disappeared.

Fortunately, in the 1950s, a group of cat breeders in England decided to create their own chocolate cat. It was a combination of the Siamese, the Russian Blue, and domestic shorthair cats. The final result was Elmtower Bronze Idol, a kitten born in 1952, the first of the new breed. [1]

So having gone through the history of the Havana Brown, we still have no hint of why it’s got “Havana” in its name in the first place. The cat’s etymology is actually not found in its history but in its coat. Some say the Havana Brown cat was named after the brown Havana rabbit – but the other theory we are more inclined to believe is that it was named after the similarly colored Havana cigars. [2]

Although Surgeon General may not approve of the Havana Brown’s etymology, it won’t find much fault with the cat itself. This is a generally healthy cat, although it has two main health risks: urinary tract stones and obesity. These can both be avoided by keeping a close watch on your cat’s diet. Aside from these, the Havana Brown needs no special care, just the standard weekly hair and tooth brushing, and regular nail trimming and ear cleaning.

The Havana Brown is an intelligent and extroverted cat that will definitely demand your attention. Don’t think you can get away with ignoring it; introverts, be warned. [3] The Havana Brown is also generally agreeable; still, it will make tooth brushing and nail trimming easier if you get your cat used to these procedures from an early age.

References:

[1] Havana Brown Cat. Petfinder. https://www.petfinder.com/cat-breeds/Havana-Brown

[2] Havana Brown. Vetstreet. http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/havana-brown

[3] Havana. The International Cat Association. http://www.tica.org/introduction/item/212



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