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Havana at a GlanceBurmilla Full Body

A people-oriented breed, the Havana likes a lot of attention and will return it with great affection. These gentle cats are playful members of the family and always curious about everything that is happening in their home. Playful and smart, they can be a good friend to a child and get along well with other pets. Their striking mahogany coat requires very little grooming. Find out more about this breed and if the Havana is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Playful, Inquisitive, Smart

  • Size: Havana cats are a medium-sized cat. Males range in size from 8 to 10 pounds. Females range in size from 6 to 8 pounds.

  • Colors: Havana cats can be found in two colors: rich mahogany red-brown and pinkish grey or lilac - with matching whiskers.

  • Life Expectancy:: 8-13+ years

About the Havana

Havanas crave lots of attention and return it with great affection. Often compared to a puppy, Havanas love to follow their families around and involve themselves in everything they do. These gentle cats are playful and curious, yet enjoy family-time, sitting in a lap and chatting to their owner in a soft voice. 

Activity Level:  Havana’s are highly intelligent. Challenge their brain by teaching them tricks and providing puzzle toys that reward with kibble or treats when they learn to manipulate them and Interactive toys that will ensure your focus is on them.

They get along well with children and are well suited to any home with people who will love them and give them the attention and play they desire.

TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 


Find a Kitten: Havana TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Havana Kittens.

American Wirehair Breed Head ShotCare

The Havana is a relatively low maintenance cat. Their silky coat does not shed much, and only requires weekly brushing or combing.

As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.


Havana’s cats do not have any particular nutritional needs other than good, quality, dry kibble and canned food.    

As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. If the quality of the local tap water is a concern, use bottled water or filter the water. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.


The Havana is a relatively healthy cat breed, but as with all cats, it is also recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are kept to date and that regular veterinary appointments are scheduled.


While brown cats were shown in England as early as the 1800s, a group of British cat fanciers in the early 1950s developed the rich brown cat we call the Havana. Baroness Miranda Von Ullman (Roofspringer), Mrs. Anne Hargreaves (Laurentide) and Mrs. E. Fisher (Praha) used chocolate point and seal point Siamese bred to solid black domestic shorthairs and a dash of Russian Blue to create the self-chocolate cats. The first registered Havana was Elmtower Bronze Idol whose parents were a seal point Siamese (Elmtower Tombee) and a black shorthair (Elmtower Susannah). Praha Gypka was another early chestnut brown cat - a male that came from a chocolate point Siamese bred to a black shorthair. The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) recognized the new breed in 1958 as the Chestnut Foreign Shorthair, the name was then changed to Havana in 1970.

In the mid 1950s, Mrs. Elsie Quinn (Quinn) contacted Baroness Von Ullman and imported the first Havana cats to the USA to form the foundation for the Havana Brown breed in North America. Today, there is a significant difference between the English Havanas and those seen in TICA. The English cats are more oriental in type, following a development like other colors of Foreign (or Oriental) Shorthairs, with straight profiles, flared ears and wedge-shaped heads. In TICA and North American registries, the standard reflects the type of the foundation cats and preserves the original look with the upright ears, corn cob muzzle and angular profile lines.

In 1983, TICA accepted the lilac Havana for championship competition and changed the breed name from Havana Brown to Havana.

Similar Breeds

Siamese, Russian Blue

Did You Know?

  • In Britain, the shorthaired cat called the Havana is a brown variety of the Oriental Shorthair, but the Havana in the United States is a separate breed with a different body and head type.
  • There are two stories about how the Havana got its name. One is that the cat was named after a rabbit breed of the same color, and the other is that the name is based on the fact that the cat is the same brown color as a Havana cigar.
  • Havana cats have whisker that match their coat color.

The Breed Standard

Overall, this is a medium-sized semi-foreign short hair cat. Males will be larger and heavier boned than females. The head stop and muzzle break are distinctive features of the breed. The ear set should give the animal a very alert look. Animal should stand high on the legs with a level back. Cats respond to a firm but gentle hand.

Click here to read the full TICA Havana Breed Standard.

Havana Breed

Havana Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 1979

Photos used courtesy of © Helmi Flick Cat Photography. 

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