Havana Brown


Introduction

The Havana Brown is an attractive cat that's related to the Siamese. They have wonderful chocolate brown coats and amazing green eyes which contrast well with their colouring. They are often called Havanas and since they first appeared on the scene, these charming cats have become a popular choice both as companions and family pets thanks to their kind, loyal and affectionate natures although anyone wishing to share a home with a Havana Brown would need to register their interest with breeders for the pleasure of doing so.


History

The Havana Brown first came about due to the extreme changes in the appearance of the Havana breed when they were bred in the UK. Havanas first appeared on the scene back in the fifties when breeders wanted to create a breed that resembled the Siamese with the difference being in their coat colouring. Havanas were developed to be self-brown cats, but their breeding never advanced further than F3 which saw the gene pool being split. Cats imported over to the United States became known as American Havana Browns, but the cats that remained in the UK did not have a large enough gene pool and as such had to be outcrossed to Siamese as well as other self-cat breeds creating what is now known as the Oriental.

However, from 2007 breeders decided to take the best genes from bloodlines found in the UK so they could create yet another breed which was to become known as the Havana Brown and they used the European Havana Brown together with like-to-like crosses to achieve this goal. A few years later in 2014, the breed finally received GCCF recognition, but it was only in 2016 that the Havana was awarded a Preliminary level. Today, although their numbers remain quite low, the Havana Brown is finding a larger fan base thanks to their good looks and the fact they boast having such kind and affectionate natures.


Appearance

The Havana Brown boasts being a medium sized cat of Foreign type. They are elegant, graceful and nicely proportioned with quite a Siamese look about them except they don't have the points and their coats are a solid colour. Their heads are longer than they are wide being well proportioned. Cats have a nice width between their cheeks and rather narrow muzzles which when seen in profile are gently rounded.

Their heads are rather flat with cats only having a slight moderate stop at the bridge of their noses. Chins are firm and in line with the top of a cat's nose. Havana Browns have nice level bites although older males can have more a jowl than younger cats. Their ears are large being wider at the base without being flared and set quite high having a good width between them. Cats hold their ears pricked with a slight forward tilt and they have rounded tips with the inside of their ears being lightly furnished. They have medium size, almond shaped eyes which are set slightly obliquely on a cat’s face. The Havana boasts having vivid emerald, green eyes which adds to their striking foreign appearance.

They have long, well-balanced and nicely muscled, lithe bodies with males being slightly heavier and larger than their female counterparts. Their legs are long and elegant with cats having dainty, oval shaped feet with chocolate or pinkish brown paw pads. Back legs are longer than their front ones. The Havana Brown has a long tail that adds to their well-balanced appearance and which tapers slightly to the tip.

When it comes to their coat, the Havana boasts having a single, short to medium length, close-lying coat that always has a lovely sheen to it. Their coat colouring is as follows:

  • Rich chocolate - any shade with a warm chestnut brown tone

Temperament

Like a lot of other breeds, the Havana likes a routine and doesn't particularly like it when this changes for any reason. They like to be fed at the same time of the day and don't appreciate it when furniture gets moved around the home which can often stress them out. With this said, they are known to be very dog-like in many of their behaviours forming exceptionally strong bonds with their owners with one of their favourite pass times being to follow them from room to room to see what they are up to.

They are known to be extremely talkative and thrive on being in the company of the people they love so much so, that a Havana will readily and happily go everywhere with them which includes going in the car and wearing a harness so they can go out for a walk together. They do enjoy being able to explore the great outdoors, but only if it is safe for them to do so. However, Havanas adapt incredibly well to being kept as an indoor pet, more especially if they live in a household where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house so they generally always have company.

One of the wonderful things about the Havana is that even when they are kittens, they rarely use their claws and as such are known to fall off furniture rather than cling on to it. This makes them the ideal choice as a family pet especially in homes with younger children. They are extremely inquisitive by nature and love to be involved in everything that goes on in their environment. Havana Browns are always quick and ready to give their opinion about something and will hold long conversations with their owners whenever they can, particularly when it's meal time.


Intelligence

The Havana Brown is a highly intelligent cat and one that boasts having an endless amount of patience. They adore playing interactive games and excel at things like "fetch" which they will happily play for hours on end when they are asked to. Because they don't like to be left on their own for even shorter periods of time, Havana Browns prefer living in homes where they are other pets and this includes both cats and dogs because they really do enjoy the company of other animals.


Children and Other Pets

Havanas with their outgoing, affectionate and easy-going personalities are a good choice for families with children and this includes toddlers. They are quick on their feet and therefore know when to get out of the reach of smaller children when they get too boisterous or loud. Rarely would a Havana use their claws to get away from a child, preferring to wriggle out of their grasp instead. However, care has to be taken when very young children are around cats and any interaction should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure things stay nice and calm. With this said, children need to be taught how to behave around cats and when it's time to leave them alone.

They also get on well with dogs especially if they have grown up together in the same household. However, care has to be taken when introducing a Havana to dogs they don't already know just in case the dog does not get on with their feline counterparts. Havana Browns are incredibly social by nature and have been known to get on with pet birds and small animals. However, it's always wiser to keep a close eye on any cat when they are around smaller pets particularly when they first meet each other.


Havana Brown Health

The average life expectancy of a Havana Brown is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.

The Havana is known to be a healthy breed and for the moment, there are no known hereditary health conditions that seem to affect them. However, because the Oriental is the foundation for the breed's gene pool, breeders should have stud cats tested for any conditions that affect them.


Caring for a Havana Brown

As with any other breed, Havana Browns need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. On top of this, cats need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives which is especially true of kittens and older cats.


Grooming

Havana Browns boast having short to medium length, close lying coats and as such they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather is all it takes to keep their coats in good condition with a nice sheen on it. Like other breeds, they tend to shed the most in the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to keep on top of things.

It's also important to check a cat's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections. Cats often suffer from ear mites which can be a real problem which is why it's so important to check their ears on a regular basis.


Energy Levels/Playfulness

Havana Browns have an endless amount of energy and will happily play "fetch" for hours on end with their owners. They thrive on being around people and particularly enjoy the company of other cats. They also get on well with dogs and are known to be quite dog-like in many of their behaviours which makes sharing a home with a Havana Brown so enjoyable. They love to explore the great outdoors, but cats should only be allowed to roam around outside if it is safe for them to do so.

Cats kept as indoor pets need to be given lots of things to do and places to hide when they want to, bearing in mind that the Havana loves to climb up high so they can look down on the world below from a high vantage point. They also need to have lots of places they can snuggle up for a snooze when the mood takes them because if there is one thing Havana Browns enjoy doing apart from playing, it’s taking a cat nap or two throughout the day. 


Feeding

If you get a Havana Brown kitten from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same kitten food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a kitten's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older cats are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature cat several times a day making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements which is especially important as cats get older. It's also essential to keep an eye on a cat's weight because if they start to put on too much, it can have a serious impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Like all other breeds, Havanas should be given access to fresh, clean water at all times.


Average Cost to keep/care for a Havana Brown

If you are looking to buy a Havana Brown, you would need to pay upwards of £300 for a well-bred kitten and you would need to register your interest with breeders because few kittens become available every year. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Havana Brown in northern England would be £15.71 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £25.29 a month (quote as of October 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a cat's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a cat’s life. This would set you back between £15 - £20 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Havana Brown and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a cat when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £600 a year.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Havana Brown would be between £40 to £60 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your cat, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred kitten.


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