Havana Brown cat
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Havana Brown Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 9 min.

There is no other cat quite like the Havana Brown. They have a very distinctive look that sets them apart from other cat breeds. Havana Browns are people pleasers and crave human interaction. They will bond with you, and you’ll never want to adopt another breed again.

With their fun-loving and outgoing personalities, Havana Brown cats are endlessly entertaining. They are meant to be the center of attention and do best in a home where they can receive the spotlight all the time.

To learn more about these chocolate-colored cuties, keep reading.

Havana Brown cat ...at a glance
Personality Playful, outgoing, intelligent
Life expectancy 10-15 years
Weight 6-10 lbs
Coat & colors Medium-short, solid; chocolate brown
Energy level Medium
Affection level High
Friendliness High
Shedding level Low
Required grooming Low

Overview of the Havana Brown cat

Havana Brown cat outside

The Havana Brown is considered to be a small- to medium-sized cat that is well-proportioned. They are strong with agile, muscular bodies. They have unique features that distinguish them from other breeds, like large ears, piercing green eyes, and a narrow muzzle. 

They have gorgeous coats that will be prevalent across the breed. If you think you have met a Havana Brown, but they don’t display the particular features, you’ve likely come across a different breed of cat. Havana Browns have features that are required to be apparent in order to confirm their breed status. 


Havana Browns are small to medium in size, but most of their weight is lean muscle. They are strong, agile, and active. These three traits mean that Havana Browns are good at keeping themselves at a healthy weight proportionate to their size.

In general, the Havana Brown will weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, with males typically being larger than females. How your cat is fed and how much exercise might contribute to weight fluctuations, but keeping an eye on them and encouraging healthy eating and activity can ensure they maintain their weight. 


Havana Browns can reach up to 18 inches in length. Both their tail and their body are medium in length and proportionate to each other. They have a very distinct muzzle that squares off at the end, giving them extra length. Overall, they are an average-sized cat.


The Havana Brown’s coat is a chocolate brown color and medium-short in length. Even a Havana Brown’s nose and whiskers will appear brown. When you pet a Havana Brown, the coat will feel very smooth and lustrous.

Havana Browns are known for their gorgeous coats, and they sure do stand out. Rather than having a black tint, as many brown-colored cats do, they tend to lean more towards a mahogany color. This adds a layer of magic to these cats: They have a warm red halo around them when you catch them in the right light. 

Life expectancy

With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, your Havana Brown can live 10 to 15 years. To ensure that your cat lives the best life possible, you will want to make sure they are getting nutritious meals daily and enough exercise, and that you are taking them to yearly veterinarian appointments. 

History of the Havana Brown 

Havana Brown cat

At one point in time, solid brown cats that closely resembled Siamese cats but without the latter’s blue eyes were famous at cat shows in Britain. 

These brown cats were being shown under the name “Swiss Mountain Cat” and sported gorgeous green eyes. They were referred to as “self-brown cats” at the time. 

In 1920, when it was ruled that Siamese cats may only have blue eyes, the solid brown cats with green eyes began to fade out. They were fairly rare to begin with, and weren’t actively sought out. This led to them slowly disappearing over the next few decades, as there was no one who was interested in preserving the breed.

Then, in the 1950s, cat breeders in England became interested in finding a way to bring back self-brown cats with those gorgeous green eyes. These breeders began to experiment with different breeds and research color genetics to see what they could do. 

What happened next?

When a solid black shorthair cat and a chocolate-point Siamese were bred together, a self-brown male kitten named Praha Gypka was created. At the same time in history, an accidental breeding of a solid black shorthair cat and a seal-point Siamese resulted in another self-brown male kitten named Elmtower Bronze Idol. Elmtower is considered the Havana Brown that started it all

From there, this breed was referred to as “Chestnut Browns” and “Chestnut Brown Orientals,” especially because the body type was so similar to that of an Oriental cat. 

At the same time that the Chestnut Browns were being bred in England, the cat experts in the United States were doing their own experiments. The United States created a cat that was medium in size with a moderate body type. The head was long with a very prominent muzzle and wide-set, large green eyes. 

Characteristics of the Havana Brown cat

Havana Brown cat whiskers

Havana Browns are small to medium in size but extremely graceful. They are agile cats that are able to move with ease because of their muscular, lean body. In general, the features that Havana Browns possess are quite unique. 

Whether you are looking at their lovely mahogany brown coat; their muzzle, which juts out and has a distinct stop at the eyes; their prominent chin; their large, bright eyes; or their long and slender legs, this cat stands out. You might even notice that their chin has a few extra strands of hair, akin to a mini beard. 

Not only are these cats beautiful to look at, but they will also absolutely wow you with their ability to charm their way into your heart.

Personality and behavior

The Havana Brown is sociable, playful, and intelligent, sometimes acting more like a dog than a cat. They are notably people-oriented and can become lonely fast. They prefer to have some sort of companion in the house, whether it is another cat, a dog, or someone in the family. They get along with children as long as they have been taught to respectfully interact with a cat. 

Havana Browns are highly adaptable and can make themselves at home almost anywhere, especially if their favorite human is with them. You might experience your Havana begging for attention in the form of an outstretched paw, a nudge, deep purring, or jumping up onto your lap whenever they see the opportunity. 

Playful and outgoing

While Havana Browns quickly get bored, they are also very likely to go seek out ways to entertain themselves. It’s best to provide interactive toys around the house so that if they can’t bother their humans, they have a way to occupy themselves. 

They want their humans to interact with them and will find ways to involve you in their activities. Pulling a loose string from the carpet might be enough to keep your Havana entertained and satisfied, but don’t be surprised when they start asking you for more. 

Caring for a Havana Brown cat

Havana Brown cat

While Havana Browns love to snuggle, they also need ways to expel their excess energy. If you aren’t prepared to offer them exercise and activities that tire them out, the Havana Brown might not be the optimal fit. It’s important to know what you want out of your relationship with your cat so that you can find the right breed.

Proper care to meet nutritional and activity needs is a must. Additionally, you’ll want to keep your cat’s litter box area nice and clean. The issue of a mess can be eliminated by using a self-cleaning litter box for all of your litter box needs. Your Havana Brown will appreciate not having to step around dirty remnants from the last time they went to the bathroom. Plus, with a self-cleaning litter box, you’ll have more time to play with your feline friend. 


The good news is, Havana Brown cats don’t shed a lot. Brushing your Havana Brown once a week will keep their coats looking sleek and shiny. They aren’t too challenging to care for when it comes to grooming and do a suitable job of upkeep on their own. 

Ensure that their nails are trimmed at least monthly and keep up with their dental cleanings so that you can lower their risk of periodontal disease

Health-related issues

Generally, Havana Browns aren’t prone to breed-specific health issues. They may be more likely to develop calcium oxalate stones in the urinary tract. Keeping your cat up-to-date on vet appointments and paying attention to their litter box habits can help them stay healthy. 

Loving a Havana Brown at home

When you bring home a Havana Brown, prepare to have a new sidekick. If they aren’t following you around, they might be getting into something—or curled up in your spot on the couch waiting for you to come join them. You never know what you’ll get with a Havana Brown until you live with one. 

Prepare for a Havana Brown with scratching posts, plenty of toys, and as much love as possible!


Photo credits: © Dave Scelfo / CC-BY-SA-2.0