Brown tabby cats sure look pretty, but these are fairly common. It’s the solid chocolate-colored cats that you have to keep an eye on.
Apart from looking extra gorgeous, these cats are harder to find. Don’t worry, though, because they’re not extinct. Fact is, there are seven brown cat breeds worth checking out, and we’re here to tell you more about each one.
Cats & The Color Of Their Coats
Most cats come with patterns like tabby markings, while others have a solid coat color. A cat with solid-colored cat hair (with no markings whatsoever) is also known as “Selfs” or “Self-colored.”
Like human skin, a cat’s fur color depends on the amount of melanin present in their bodies. Two types of melanin can be found in mammals. These are pheomelanin and eumelanin.
Pheomelanin gives cats its yellow or red shade, while eumelanin gives its coat a brown or black hue. And much like humans, the color of a kitten’s coat is highly dependent on their parents’ genes.
Solid Brown Cats And Why They’re So Rare
Finding a self-brown cat – those with a real chocolate brown coat – is particularly difficult. And so we ask, are brown cats rare?
The pure brown coats are considered a genetic mutation and dilutions of the black gene. For a cat to have a true brown color, its genetic code should include B/b/b1.
B refers to the dominant gene black. The b and b1 codes are recessive genes with decreased eumelanin – these give cats its brown color.
Since cats would have to inherit their parent’s recessive chocolate gene to get that solid brown coat, most cats with solid brown coats are purebred cats.
Also Read: Top 10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
7 Must-Know Brown Cat Breeds
True brown cat breeds are hard to come by but don’t lose hope. There are seven brown cat breeds worth checking out if you adore cats with brown fur.
Some of the brown cat breeds on the list may just be predominately brown, but they’re beautiful nonetheless. Each cat breed also flaunts a temperament that you might find interesting and charming.
So make sure to go through each one. Who knows? You might just find a new furry family member that would perfectly jive with your personality among the seven brown cat breeds below.
Havana Brown Cats
Lifespan: 8-13 years
Coat: A shorthair mahogany brown-colored cat (think reddish-brown) with a soft, silky coat.
Other notable features: Have mesmerizing green eyes, a long face, rosy-toned paw pads, and a corn cob-shaped muzzle
Temperament: Pet- and child-friendly, affectionate, and occasionally mischievous
History Of Havana Browns
When searching for brown cat breeds, the first that will come up in Google is the Havana Brown cat breed, aka “Chocolate Delights.”
It is an extremely rare breed that has been struggling to exist for several years. As such, all efforts are being made to save these captivating endangered species from extinction.
This includes breeding this cat with certain Oriental Shorthairs, Chocolate Point Siamese, and black or blue domestic shorthairs.
They’re aptly called Havana Brown cats because of their coat color that matches the color of a Havana cigar. According to The Cat Fanciers’ Association, it was in the 1890s that the existence of self-brown cats in Europe was documented, and they were called “Swiss Mountain Cat.”
Unfortunately, they disappeared. Back then, the Siamese Cat Club favored the breeding of blue-eyed Siamese. Cats with non-blue eyes were also excluded from shows and classes.
It was only in the year 1950s when the first Havana Brown was registered. A local of England, this self-brown male kitten was named Elmtower Bronze Iron.
This Havana Brown was a product of an accidental breeding gone right between a seal point Siamese and a black shorthair.
More About The Cat’s Attributes
A Havana Brown Cat is a beautiful cat you’d most likely want to have if you live in a multi-pet home and have kids. Havana Browns just love the company of other animals and kids.
Despite this, they can also feel powerfully attached to one person (like their owner). They also exhibit just the right amount of energy, easy to train, and are less chatty.
If you’re to leave them alone, make sure to give them some toys. Because once bored, they can be destructive. They also love chasing smaller animals.
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Coat: It has semi-long hair that has a soft and light undercoat. It comes in either or a combination of chocolate brown and lavender color.
Other notable features: has green, hazel, or golden almond-shaped eyes, puffed tails, and some feathering in the ears and between the toes.
Temperament: Pet- and child-friendly, affectionate, and a capable hunter
The York Chocolate cat breed started in 1983. A traditional farm cat, it just makes sense that this cat originated in a goat dairy farm in the US. Its name is simply based on its chocolate color and the breeder’s home state, New York.
Like the Havana Brown, York Chocolates are even-tempered cats that will do great in a household full of pets and kids. They’re just a bit more cautious when around strangers.
They’re loyal, friendly, and adaptable. While they love attention, they are independent and can do well on their own.
Health-wise, you won’t have to worry about any inherited medical condition since the York Chocolate breed is generally healthy. However, they’re not hypoallergenic and can be very vocal, especially at night.
Lifespan: 9-16 years
Coat: They have a short, sleek, close-lying, smooth coat that is often rich dark brown- or sable-colored. Burmese can also come in other colors like platinum, blue, and champagne.
Other notable features: Have round heads, short bodies, and gold or yellow eyes
Temperament: Pet- and child-friendly, curious, loyal
Burmese cats originally came from Burma, aka “Myanmar.” These affectionate cats were brought to the US in 1930.
These cats are known for their dog-like qualities. Apart from being playful and energetic, they don’t have issues getting along with other animals and kids. They are very trusting and would even befriend strangers.
A Burmese cat is also an exceedingly curious feline with a kitten-like playfulness. And much like dogs, they love to be around their human companions. Leaving them alone for long periods is a bad idea.
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Coat: Their coats can range from wavy to suedelike. They also come in various colors (like cream and blue) and markings. Its unusual coat can be easily damaged by rough brushing.
Other notable features: Dubbed as “pixie of the Cat Fancy,” medium-sized, has an elven face, oversized ears, and large mischievous eyes.
Temperament: Fun-loving. energetic, playful
A product of natural mutation, Devon Rex cats originally came from England in the late 1950s.
If you’re a lifelong cat lover looking for a unique feline with dog-like qualities, the Devon Rex fits the bill. This one will follow you around everywhere.
And just like the Burmese, besides being friendly to kids and other pets, these affectionate cats are stranger-friendly. So, it’s best to keep a watchful eye on your Devon Rex when out and about.
Apart from that, they’re intelligent and playful cats. Teaching these lively cats tricks will be easy peasy. Be warned, though, because they are also known for their mischief-making acts.
Lifespan: 13-14 years
Coat: They have smooth, straight fur that comes in a wide array of shades, colors, and patterns.
Other notable features: It is a mid-sized cat with a long, wed head, large ears, almond-shaped eyes, and slender legs.
Temperament: Curious, highly-intelligent, and loves attention
Oriental Shorthair is closely related to Siamese. And like the Siamese, this distinct-looking cat breed can be very vocal.
Given its curious and fearless nature, this cat loves to explore the outdoors. They would even check all the dark nook and crannies of your home.
And since Oriental Shorthair is also known for its intellect, you can expect this cat to be highly trainable.
One thing you need to consider, though, is its need for constant interaction and attention. Like the Burmese, this cat doesn’t do well on its own. Having other cats in the house will help keep this sociable cat preoccupied.
Lifespan: 14-20 years
Coat: Apart from brown, their soft, dense coats also come in various colors and patterns
Other notable features: This teddy bear-like cat has a stocky body, a round head, and large round eyes.
Temperament: Relatively calm, easygoing, and friendly
Deemed as the oldest English cat breed, the British Shorthair was once known for its hunting ability. Nowadays, they’re no longer hunting, but they’re adaptable and can be easily trained.
A British Shorthair is great with other pets and kids. They’re also very affectionate and are less vocal. It’s also good to know that these cat breeds are not prone to genetic health problems. They can be a bit clumsy, but overall, they’re cute and adorable.
Lifespan: 10-18 years
Coat: Long-haired breed that comes in various colors, including brown. Their long coats are prone to mats and knots, so daily brushing is needed.
Other notable features: Apart from its large, fluffy coat, this cat also has a round face and a short muzzle.
Temperament: Reserved, adaptable, and affectionate
One of the most popular purebred cat breeds, the Persian cat has been around even before the Victorian era. If you’re looking for a less active cat breed, this is the one.
This sweet cat is excellent around kids and is cautious around strangers. They play whenever they feel like it, but most of the time, you’ll find them lying around. In fact, they don’t care if they’re the only cat at home.
Unfortunately, this breed is prone to having hereditary health issues like kidney disease. It’s best to seek veterinary guidance or veterinary advice to learn more about this feline’s overall health condition.
Also Read: 500 Awesome Unisex Cat Names
Food For Thought
Brown cat breeds look gorgeous. But, if you’re after a feline that would make good pets, it’s best to look past its color. After all, it’s what’s inside that matters most.
How many brown cats exist?
This gorgeous cat is the only breed that can be called “true chocolate” not only is it extremely rare but while there over 200 million cats in the world, it's estimated that there are fewer than 1,000 Havana Brown cats overall!
What is the rarest color of cat?
The rarest color of cat is Albino. The recessive genes in true Albinos damage their TYR gene, which causes them to produce no melanin in their skin. What is this? The result is a cat with pink skin that tinges their white fur pink. They have light blue or pink eyes.
Are brown cats rare?
A chocolate or cinnamon brown cat is hard to find. It appears only with a genetic mutation of the black color gene, they are pretty rare.
Are brown cats friendly?
They are outgoing and friendly. Expect one to follow you around the house as you go about your day. Like most cats with Siamese ancestry, the Havana can be demanding and talkative, but his voice is softer and his personality more subtle.
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