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Discussion Starter #1
I just acquired this young female from a local rescue organization. She is about a year old. She was turned into the local Humane Society nursing 4 kittens, various colors and patterns. She was described as a Havana Brown, and she meets the description more or less - brown nose, rose pads, ears forward, 6.5 lbs., break at the eyes... except her eyes are only barely greenish yellow. Sort of like Black Hills green gold if you've ever seen that. She has a very faint tabby shadow, very very faint, but she is still only about 12 months old. I'm in Minneapolis, and as far as I know there are not any Havana Brown breeders anywhere near here, and this is supposed to be a pretty "rare" (read expensive) breed.

I'm having a hard time believing that I happen to have acquired a Havana Brown from a rescue organization, but I do not find any information anywhere about the existence of any other totally chocolate brown cats, other than Burmese, and I don't think she looks much like one of those. She is pure chocolate brown, (the belly is shaved), and there is not a spot of any other color anywhere. My understanding is that this color should not appear spontaneously, but I guess that is part of my question. Any ideas how my kitty came to be solid chocolate brown?

 

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Re: What is this pure chocolate brown cat?

Many years ago, in a place far away (from me now) I remember seeing a chocolate brown cat running free. It looked healthy, so I expect it had a home, but I have no idea if it was male or female.

The remark that she's stunning can only be repeated. Plus, don't fret the breed, just count your good luck. Have her cloned. We'd all like one. :D What's her name, Hershey?
 

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Re: What is this pure chocolate brown cat?

Is she *really* brown or is it just shading on her fur?

All cats are tabby cats, carrying at least one or two forms of the
patterns; mackerel, classic and abyssinian. They require the
agouti gene (Aa or AA) to show their tabby markings. Anyhow,
pure-bred cats can find themselves falling on hard times and wind
up in shelter/rescue situations.

My only other thought, is if her fur is 'burnished' or 'sun bleached'.
Sometimes, black cats' fur will fade to a red, orange or a burnished
brown. Can you post more pictures?

Here is my "black" cat, Blaze:
...and a few months later:


Finally, I also want to comment about the many genetics that affect
cat coat-color. I am fascinated with these myriad pairings and how
they affect each cat. You could simply have an unusual cat, one
whose coat genetics are similar or the same as what developed the
Havana Brown cats. I had a brown/brown tabby. I thought he was
*very* unusual in that he truly was brown/brown and not the common
brown/black tabby. So, it happens...
 

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Re: What is this pure chocolate brown cat?

There was an episode of Cata 101 where a cat like that wandered up to a home and was adopted.

They talked about how rare Havanas are and one couldn't possibly just wander by becasue there are only a few in the US. They ultimately determined that it was a Havana. I don't rerember how but they did.

They must have brown wiskers and the face looks wrong.

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/animal- ... -video.htm
 

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Re: What is this pure chocolate brown cat?

From what I've been able to determine, Havana Browns in Great Britain are much more oriental looking than Havana Browns breed in the US. Her head is a little longer than it is wide. Her face breaks into a snout, like a blunt strawberry, her ears are definitely forward leaning and her nose is brown. Her whiskers are brown too, but they are lighter brown than her coat, and they reflect well, so in the picture they look white, but they are not, nor are they black or gray or banded. She is only about 12 months old and has been an indoor cat the whole time. I have seen sun-bleached black cats. She is not that red, but is much browner and lighter than that. The tabby pattern is not very easy to see. It is in the picture, if you look. That's as much as you can see up close. She won't sit still for a good picture right now, she'd rather nap.


 

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She is a lovely girl. It is a rare breed...most have never heard of it so it doesn't sound very likely that the people who surrendered her would have come up with the name on their own.

Generally I don't give much credence to "breed" info on a cat (unless it comes from a breeder) but as solid brown is exceedingly rare in the general cat population, I would suspect this girl had a kitten mill or backyard breeder in her background somewhere (a reputable breeder would never let a kitten out of their house without spaying unless it was going to another reputable breeding/show home). Those types of breeders generally breed more for color than body conformation, so her "faults" (eye color and the other things you describe) -ie the things that are not up to breed standard - could be explained by that.

The only other thing I can think of is that she might be a DSH whose parents both carry the pointed gene (Siamese-type coloring) and as a fluke she just turned up all brown. If I recall correctly (I never was a breeder) all cats are tabby, but in "solid" color cats the stripes and the background color are the same (or very close to the same) color so it doesn't 'show'. Faint tabby markings are very common even in cats that aren't 'supposed' to have them and this is more or less penalized (depending on how faint, and what other good qualities the cats have) in the show ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The person calling Marley a Havana Brown was from the Humane Society, a cat person who also works for a vet, and is supposed to know what they are talking about. That doesn't mean I believe it, but I do not find any information that would indicate that a solid brown cat is otherwise easily explainable, hence my post. She was surrendered to the Humane Society with her 4, one week-old kittens, including one little girl that was also solid brown, but a darker brown than her mother. She herself would have been only about 9 months-old at the time. She was vicious towards other cats when she had her kittens; they called her a slasher. I guess that's why she was given up with her litter. She talks a lot, but very quietly, and she follows me everywhere. She uses her foot to touch everything too. She'll poke a newly opened can of cat food before she smells it. Very comical.

 

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She's beautiful!

Even vets don't know breeds sometimes. One of Cinderella's vet visits before she adopted me lists her as Burmese. Beautiful cat, but not one I'd think you'd confuse with a Birman.

Speaking of Burmese, though, they can look a little like your kitty.

 

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in the picture of her with her litter, especially, she looks more like a "rusted" black than a truly brown cat. and that kitten certainly looks black.

rusting can be cause by lots of things, other than just sun bleaching (which is normally more orange-y or reddish). diet (too much iron, i think?), stress (too young a mama, being abandoned, new home, ect, yea, i'd say she's stressed), hormone changes (again, being pregnant too young, nursing, weaning, spay) are all the sort of things that can cause rusting. also, dead fur, right before they go through a big shed, is often brown. i once fostered a black great dane who, every year when she shed her winter coat, turned a lovely chocolate brown.

how long have you had her? how long ago were her kittens weaned? how long ago was she spayed? you said you just got her.... while she may look brown now, she may turn black after she's settled in, been on a better diet, and her hormones return to normal.

if her nose truly is brown, then maybe she is a misplaced havana brown. no matter what, though, she is beautiful, and i am so glad she now has a loving home.
 

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I think she has an interesting mix of genetics!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_coat_genetics

Whoa, according to this article, it seems the Havana Brown breed is on the verge of extinction. :(
http://www.cfainc.org/breeds/profiles/a ... avana.html


I'd like to discuss their genetics.
There is a solid black kitten (it looks black on my monitor) and a solid blue in additon to two tabbies. Because
she herself is a solid (brown/black?), she has no agouti and is homozygous (aa). The sire of her litter, if there
was only one sire, had to be heterozygous for agouti (Aa) because there are both solid(aa) and tabby(Aa)
kittens in the litter. Because the mamma is aa, both of her tabby kittens will also be heterozygous (Aa), having
received the dominant (A) from their sire.
AA = tabby markings. Aa = tabby markings. aa = solid color.

Because of the blue kitten, Mamma is also heterozygous Dense (Dd), carrying (D) for full color which expresses
on her coat, and (d) for dilute. When paired with the sire's genetics, he must also have carried (d) in order for
the blue(dd) kitten to be present. The sire could be either full-color(Dd) or dilute(dd).
DD = full color. Dd = full color. dd = dilute color.

Color genetics for chocolate is a variation of the black(B) base-coat. The cat must have a homozygous pair of
the (bb) genes that change the black base to chocolate. If the cat carries the homozygous pair of recessive
Dense (dd) genes, a black cat will be blue and a chocolate cat will be lilac.
BB = black-based. Bb = black-based. bb = brown.

Length of hair coat. Some of the kittens look like they may have long hair, and if they do, this also means the
Mamma cat is heterozygous for long hair (Ll). If the kittens have some with long hair and some with short hair,
then the sire was also heterozygous (Ll) for long hair.
LL = short hair. Ll = short hair. ll = long hair.


Here is my brown tabby, Dusty. He passed away very suddenly at the first of the 2009 year.
You can definitely see the difference between black and brown tabby:

Showing a bit of a 'rusty' tail:

Close ups of his brown/brown fur and broken-striped Mackerel markings:



A traditional spotted Mackerel tabby:

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Heidi,

Thank you. I too am a recovering analytic (it's a 22 stage program, right?) and this is exactly the kind of answer I was hoping for. It's hard to take a good picture of her, her coat reflects back more darkly than she appears in person. Her nose is definitely chocolate brown, her pads are rosy, and in indirect sunlight, her irises are slightly greenish gold, but not plain yellow. I have seen rusty black cats, and she is not rusty, not reddish black, but truly milk chocolate brown, and she's the same color brown all over, not darker or lighter underneath, or at the ends of her tail, or face or ears either. She is not ticked or aqouti, the entire hair shaft is the same color, and they are all more or less the same color. Her coat is about 3/8 inches long.

The kittens:


Little Miya, she is a long haired grey female:


Little Boy Indy, he is a classic brown tabby:


Pip, she is a medium hair dark brown, almost black:


Macy, she is a mixed tabby and white:
 

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Ack! Where was the warning!
Maya and Macy are *stealing* my heart! :luv

Oh, and I don't have an analytical problem. I can guess anytime I want to. I just, don't, want to ... yet. :mrgreen:


***
You know ... there is a member here, I think her name is "Sundance" or "Sundancer-something". She has a
red Somali, a couple lynx-points and an odd colored cat like your kitty. It *looks* black in pictures, but her
fur is a deep red/brown along the entire hairshaft, just like you are describing. I think the kitty's name is
Pandora, or Pandia. Pan-something for sure.

Check out this thread, I am sure she posted pics of her cats in this topic because I begged and pleaded
with her, her cats were so unusual. Maybe you could add your kitty, too?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54570
 

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Recovering analytic, that's funny!!

You just have the mama kitty, right? The kittens and she are beyond adorable. That little gray one..... :luv
 

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Rare and expensive kitties can end up in shelters. My Vet was taking care of Siamese colorpoints
that had been 'confiscated' from a breeder. I don't know the details of why they were confiscated
but we short circuted the rescue/shelter process and I adopted an very rare and expensive Lilac
Colorpoint. My Vet adopted her mother.

My other cat is a Ragdoll adopted from a neighbor who was starting to breed Ragdolls. She had a falling out
with her breeder mentor and Fay had a medical problem and didn't getalong with one of her other
cats so I adopted her. The husband had wanted to drop her at a shelter even they paid a lot for her
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They were all spoken for before I was even able to inquire, but I wasn't initially interested in the mother. I only got a chance at her because the family that adopted her was looking for a second cat, but after a week of terror, (for the cat they already had) they decided the 2 cats weren't going to be compatible, and they reluctantly had to give her back to the rescue organization. That's when I got the call I wasn't expecting. Me because I didn't already have a cat, and because I only wanted one cat. Go figure.
 
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