Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Havana Brown

Synonym(s): Chestnut Brown Foreign; Havana

Contributor(s): Karen Lawrence, Vetstream Ltd



General information

  • Self Brown cats existed in England in the late 1800s but the Havana Brown breed was developed in the UK in the 1950s by crossing a seal point Siamese with a black domestic cat.
  • In 1958, the GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) accepted the breed for championship competition under the name Chestnut Brown Foreign. In 1970, the name changed to Havana.
  • The cat was also known at one time as the Swiss Mountain Cat.
  • A female reached the USA in the mid-1950s and all North American Havana Browns can trace their ancestry back to this cat.
  • In 1964, the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) granted Havana Brown championship status.
  • In North America, the breed has maintained the name and the original look of the early imports. In 1998, in an effort to increase the gene pool, breeders received approval from the CFA to open the breed to outcross breeding to unregistered black or blue domestic shorthairs or certain colors of Oriental Shorthairs. In 1999, approval was also received for the breeding of chocolate point or seal point Siamese with full Havana Browns.
  • The only cat whose breed standard requires a specific whisker color.
  • Nicely balanced temperament, very intelligent, affectionate, gently and adaptable. Make good family pets.
  • People-oriented - love human companionship. 
  • Requires little grooming and don't shed as much as most other breeds.

Biological data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information