The 6 Rare Brown Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

The 6 Rare Brown Cat Breeds

Brown Cat Breeds

If you are a dedicated cat enthusiast, you would have heard of—or come across—solid black or solid white cat breeds but have you ever thought about why there are no common brown cat breeds around? Solid brown cats are difficult to find because such cat breeds are rare—cats usually have markings, stripes, or points on their coats, or they are solid black or white. There are, however, some exceptions of predominately brown cat breeds all over the world. Let’s go over the breeds in detail—their history, temperament, size, lifespan, coat type, and much more.

1. Havana Brown

Key Features

Eye Color: Green

Temperament: Playful and sensitive

Weight: Male: Medium 8 – 12 lbs. Female: Small <8 lbs.

Origin: England

Lifespan 8 – 13 years


In the 1950s, a group of cat enthusiasts in England decided to mix two cat breeds to create a solid brown cat. They eventually created chestnut-brown kittens by breeding the shorthaired black cat with a chocolate-point Siamese—as both carry the chocolate genes. The Havana Brown cat was exported to the U.S. in the late 1950s, and that is when the breed began to go two different ways.

In the U.S., the breed is still known as the Havana Brown. However, in Britain, Havana Brown cats are known as the brown Oriental Shorthair. The bodies and head shape of the Havana Brown cats distinguish them from the British’s brown Oriental Shorthairs.                                                                                   

Coat Type and Color

Havana Brown cats have muscular and firm bodies with short, smooth, and reddish-brown fur. Even though the fully grown Havana Brown cats are solid brown, kittens and young adult cats can have the tiniest hint of tabby markings—which may disappear over time.


Havana Brown cats are generally healthy, but they may suffer from upper respiratory infections.

2. Burmese


Key Features

Eye Color: Gold or yellow

Temperament: Active and curious

Weight: Male: Large >12 lbs. Female: Medium 8-12 lbs.

Origin: Burma

Lifespan 9 – 13 years


The first-ever Burmese cat was called “Wong Mau,” who was brought to the U.S. in 1930 by Dr. Joseph Thompson. Siamese cats with dark brown coats were common; hence, people assumed the Burmese cat to be a dark Siamese. However, Dr. Thompson decided to breed the Burmese cat with a seal-point Siamese that resulted in dark brown kittens and became the foundation of Burmese’s new, distinctive strain.

The breed was officially registered by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1936. Unfortunately, due to continued extensive crossbreeding with Siamese, the CFA suspended the breed recognition a decade later. However, the ban was lifted in 1954 by the CFA as several American breeders attempted to refine the unique Burmese standard.

Coat Type and Appearance

The Burmese have a short and silky coat in various colors—sable, champagne, and dark brown. They have compact bodies with a round head and large, yellow, or gold eyes. Their ears are slightly tilted forward and rounded at the tips.


Burmese are generally healthy but may develop Gingivitis over time. They are also sensitive to anesthesia. Other common diseases the Burmese may suffer from include:

  • Lipemia of the aqueous
  • Corneal dermoid
  • Hypokalemic polymyopathy
  • Congenital peripheral

3. Devon Rex

Devon Rex

Key Features

Eye Color: Aqua, blue, orange, yellow, copper, green, gold, hazel, odd-eyed, amber

Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, interactive

Weight: Male: Small <8 lbs. Female: Small <8 lbs.

Origin: England

Lifespan 9 – 13 years


A kitten named Kirlee was born in Devon, England, in 1959. It was first believed that the kitten shared the same genetic markup as the Cornish Rex—a breed that was found a decade earlier than the Devon Rex. However, after breed testing, it was concluded that Kirlee resulted from a natural genetic mutation. Doctors and breeders could not find the real ancestors of the Devon Rex, but it is believed that the mother was a stray cat and the father was a roaming tom with a curly coat.

Devon Rex was registered as a separate breed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1979.

Coat Type and Appearance

Devon Rex has curly and soft coats with large ears, striking eyes, and high cheekbones. They have medium-sized and muscular bodies that feel hard when touched. Devon Rex has slim and long legs with small oval claws. They also have long tails covered with short fur.


Even though Devon Rex cats are generally healthy, they may suffer from diseases such as:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Malassezia dermatitis
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital hypotrichosis

4. Persian


Key Features

Eye Color: Copper, odd-eyed, green, hazel

Temperament: Quite, sweet, and intelligent

Weight: Male: Large >12 lbs. Female: Medium 8 – 12 lbs.

Origin: Mesopotamia, modern-day Iran

Lifespan 8 – 11 years


The Persian cat originated in Mesopotamia—which was later known as Persia, and now Iran. The cat was later brought to Europe in 1626 by an Italian nobleman world traveler, Pietro Della Valle. Persian cats were later exported to the U.S. in the late 19th century.

Here at home, they quickly became the object of affection of all and sundry. Today, Persian cats are the fourth most popular cats in the United States.

Coat Type and Appearance

Persian cats are known for their long, thick, soft, and shiny fur coat. They have round eyes, a short nose, full cheeks, and small ears with rounded tips. Their legs are short and thick with small rounded claws. Their tail is short but proportional to the length of the body.


Persian cats may seem healthy, but due to their flat facial structure and long coat, they are prone to certain health complications. Some of the most common diseases found in Persian cats are:

  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Dental malocclusions
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Cherry eye and entropion

5. York Chocolate       

Key Features

Eye Color: Striking gold, hazel, or green

Temperament: Social, affectionate, and playful.

Weight: Male: Large >12 lbs. Female: Large >10 – 18 pounds

Origin: New York

Lifespan 13 – 15 years


The first York chocolate was born in 1983 when a black and white female cat mated with an all-black male farm cat. The owner of the farm where the York Chocolate cat was born—Janet Chiefari—named her Brownie and eventually started breeding the solid brown cats.

The CFA officially registered the York Chocolate cats in 1995.

Coat Type and Appearance

York Chocolate cats have a long and dark brown coat which is lighter during kittenhood. They have a medium-sized body with a short to medium neck and a fully rounded chest. Their legs are long with a medium-sized tail.


Fortunately, the York Chocolate cats are among the healthiest cat breeds, and there are no specific health complications associated with this breed. However, it is highly advised that you take your cat for regular vet checkups to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

6. British Shorthair

brown cat breeds

Key Features

Eye Color: Blue, odd-eyed, copper, gold

Temperament: Overly affectionate and friendly


  • Male: Large < 12 lbs.
  • Female: Large >12 lbs.
  • Origin: Great Britain

    Lifespan 12 – 17 years


    The British Shorthair originated in England. The British Shorthair was a popular cat back then—famously known as the Puss in Boots and the grinning Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland. During the two World Wars, the breed almost went extinct but was later revitalized. The CFA officially registered the British Shorthair in 1980, and the American Cat Association recognized the British Shorthair in 1967.

    Coat Type and Appearance

    The British Shorthair has a thick and short coat with a rounded body. They have big round eyes, round cheeks, and round heads. The body is compact but muscular with a broad chest. They also have strong legs with rounded paws and a thick rounded tail.


    Even though the British Shorthair is a generally healthy cat, Gingivitis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have been observed in the Shorthair, both of which can affect the breed at any age.


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