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The Havanese is a medium sized cat with a long, muscular body. Males are larger than females.
The head of the Havana brown is a triangle, but has a unique appearance because the chin is well developed and rather square. This aspect gives a corn-cob appearance to the muzzle. The ears and eyes of the Havana are of medium size, and the eyes are a light, bright green.
The coat of the Havana is of short to medium length, and is soft and glossy. The coat colour is a deep brown with mahogany undertones which is unique to this breed. The Havana Brown is a playful cat, but is often content to play with his favourite toy. He will also play with his parents, but can sometimes be a bit of a loner. This breed tends to get very close to a person and becomes attached to them for life. The Havanese has a somewhat murky history. Some cat historians believe that this beautiful breed came about through accidental breeding, while others believe that the breeding was deliberate. In any case, in 1952, in England, a chocolate-coloured kitten was born. This kitten was named Elmtower Bronze Idol and is considered to be the first Havana brown kitten. The following year, four Havana brown males were born. They are the basis of the Havana Brown breed.
The Havana Brown was named after the deep brown colour of the Havana cigar. This caused some confusion in the early days of the breed, as many people thought this meant that the breed originated in Cuba rather than England. At one point an attempt was made to change the name to “chestnut brown”, but this was not successful and the breed name reverted to the original Havana brown.
Havana brown is known as Havana in Europe and in a cat registry in the United States. The European use of Havana is historical, while the American change reflects that the breed is presented in a colour other than its traditional deep brown.
The Havana is a very rare breed. If there were a list of endangered cat breeds, the brown Havana would probably top the list. Efforts are currently being made to save this breed from extinction. To do so, cat registries may have to reopen the breed. That means they may change the registration rules to allow the crossing of the current Havana browns with another breed. So if you see a Havana brown, understand that the cat registered in this way may have another breed in the pedigree. This can mean subtle but important changes in personality and habits as well as appearance.
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