The Havana is a remarkably beautiful breed with a rich chocolate coat and emerald green eyes. This graceful medium-sized cat acquired its sociable and alert disposition for its Siamese ancestors. Its short silky coat needs minimal grooming.
Photo: © Xocol Havana Browns (xocolcat.com)
Solid-brown cats of Siamese type could be found in England and Europe in the second half of the XIX century and were known as Swiss Mountain Cats. In the 20s of the XX century the Siamese Cat Club of Britain stopped breeding brown cats without blue eyes and they became no longer fashionable.
The revival of interest to the chestnut-brown Siamese began in the 50s of the XX century, when several British cat breeders thoroughly researched the genetic reasons of appearing of a self-brown cat. They crossed chocolate-point Siamese with a shorthaired black cat in order to produce charming chocolate brown kittens with brilliantly green eyes.
In the subsequent years the Russian Blue and the Burmese were most likely also used in the development of the modern-day Havana. The breed was granted with its current name for the similarity of its typical colouration to that of a famous Havana cigar and has no connection to Cuba whatsoever.
In the mid-50s of XX century first specimens of Havana were brought to North America. At that point the breed’s development went in two separate ways. British breeders renamed it to the brown Oriental Shorthair. In the United States it preserved its original name and gradually acquired physique characteristics, which distinguished it from its British sibling. The breed has been made eligible for registration by the Cat Fanciers Association since 1959 and received Championship status in 1964.
The population of the Havana is fairly limited so the breeding of cats of desirable quality is usually a challenging task. That’s why an outcrossing program was launched in 1998, which allowed this cat to be mated with blue or black domestic shorthair, or fixed colours of the Oriental Shorthair or seal-point or brown-point Siamese.
The Havana is a frisky, human-oriented and cheerful cat, which usually becomes intensely devoted to its master. It wants not only to be always in the centre of events but also to actively participate in the life of its family. When it’s not engaged in playing the Havana will be happy to play the role of a lap cat.
Thanks to its Siamese descent its specimen can be quite bossy and vocal although it’s notable for more gentle voice and more biddable disposition than Siamese. This breed tolerates other pets and gets along with kids as long as they respect its private boundaries.
The Havana is extremely skilful at using its paws so nothing will escape the attention of its active and curious mind. Make sure that your pet always has rich supply of interactive toys and your furniture and stuff will stay undamaged.
The smart Havana responds extremely well to training and will be happy to learn several easy commands. Its progress should be rewarded with its favourite treats. It will become a perfect feline companion if you are searching for a sweet and quick-witted cat who strives for being a part of everything you do.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· upper respiratory infections;
· calcium oxylate stones in the urinary tract.
The Havana has low grooming requirements. It’s quite enough to brush its short and shiny coat once a week to make it look neat and healthy. The rest care routines consist of systematic nail trimming and ear cleaning as soon as they become dirty.It’s advisable to brush the cat’s teeth on a weekly basis to ensure their good overall health and freshness of breath. Try to keep the cat’s toilet in an ideally clean state otherwise it will avoid using it. This breed sheds little to nothing.