Choosing a Havana Brown

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Grooming a Havana Brown

Unless you plan to show, the Havana brown needs little care to keep that glossy coat looking sharp. In fact, breeders warn that excessive grooming can result in bald spots. The coat is very short and close lying with no undercoat, so a once-a-month grooming with a rubber curry brush is enough to remove dead hairs and keep the fur glossy. Breeders recommend the Safari Curry Rubber Brush® for Cats. Brush gently to avoid damaging the coat.

Pricing varies depending upon the quality, breeder and the bloodline. Since the breed is rare and the best stock is generally kept, it’s difficult for a novice fancier to buy breeder or show quality.

Expect delays, too — waiting lists are common. Since Havana brown breeders are more rare than the cats themselves, you may find no breeders in your area or even in your state. In that case you may have to buy your kitten sight unseen and have her shipped to you. Ask to see photos of the parents and all the kittens in the litter, not just yours, and ask for references. Check out the breeder’s cattery with the registering association to make sure he or she is in good standing. Above all, get a written sales contract with a return clause, in case the kitten isn’t as promised.

Association Acceptance

The Havana brown is accepted for championship by the following North American cat associations:

  • American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
  • American Cat Association (ACA)
  • American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
  • Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
  • Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
  • Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF) under the name “Havana”
  • The International Cat Association (TICA) under the name “Havana”
  • United Feline Organization (UFO)
  • Special Notes

    With only 67 registered with CFA in 2000, the Havana brown is 37th out of the 40 breeds CFA recognizes. Why so rare? The main reason is that outcrossing – breeding Havanas to other breeds to expand the bloodlines – stopped in 1974, too early in the breed’s development. Dr. Leslie Lyons of the University of California at Davis has conducted genetic studies on the Havana that show the breed’s genetic diversity is as low as that of the Florida panther, one of the most endangered cat species. Because of this, the CFA voted in 1998 to allow the Havana to be outcrossed to Oriental shorthairs in certain colors and to black or blue domestic shorthairs. It’s hoped that this program will keep the breed healthy and viable by expanding the bloodlines and broadening the genetic diversity.

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