Brown (Chocolate and Cinnamon) | Veterinary Genetics Laboratory

10 Most Popular Brown Cat Breeds

Brown is a common feline coat color found in many pedigreed and mixed breed cats. From light tan and reddish brown shades through to deep chocolate hues, brown coats exhibit diverse genetic expressions. Certain cat breeds only come in a signature brown color while other breeds simply have brown as one among their many possible coat variations. This article will provide profiles of the 10 most popular cat breeds that exhibit brown coat colors recognized by major cat registries along with care and personality information for each breed.

What Makes a Cat Coat Brown

There are two major genetic influences producing brown hues in cat hair:

Pheomelanin Pigment – This red/yellow pigment naturally occurs in cat skin and hair follicles, especially pronounced in areas not heavily pigmented with darker eumelanin. Concentrations of pheomelanin in the coat results in cinnamon to chocolate brown tones.

Sex-linked Barring Gene

The tabby coat pattern gene causes stripes and swirling patterns. Variant expressions create spotted, ticked and mackerel striping effects. A brown tabby forms when this barring gene interacts with pheomelanin pigment.

The specific genes present determine whether a cat presents with warm tan, deep chocolate or patterns like striped brown tabbies. Knowledge of genetic factors helps explain the coat colors possible in different breeds.

Profiles of Popular Brown Cat Breeds

The following sections describe 10 cat breeds exhibiting brown coat colors and patterns recognized for championship competition by registries like TICA and CFA. Personality and care highlights for each breed are also provided.

Havana Brown

Havana Brown

 

The Havana Brown is a rare breed only presenting in various tones of rich, solid brown with no other coloring. Their coats run from reddish-brown akin to mahogany wood to deeper black-brown evoking espresso and chocolate. Alert, social and playful, they demand interactive quality time. Moderate shedding requires weekly brushing with no special care needs.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: United Kingdom
HEIGHT12″-14″
ADULT WEIGHT6-10 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 12-15 years

Bengal

European Burmese

Bengals exhibit spectacular spotted or marbled coats where the background color may appear in brown-toned rosettes. The breed was developed by crossing domestic cats with Asian Leopard Cats resulting in exotic wild-looking fur. Intelligent, energetic and needing extensive play and challenge to thrive, Bengals adapt well to leash walks and games. Twice weekly brushing controls shedding while maintaining their thick, soft pelts.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: United States
HEIGHT: 13″-16″
ADULT WEIGHT: 6-15 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 12-20 years

 

Maine Coon

Maine Coon

One of the largest domestic breeds, the Maine Coon comes in every possible coat color and pattern variation except chocolate, lavender and pointed classifications, including varied shades of brown tabby sometimes with white spotting. Originally working farm cats in New England, they remain laid-back, family-friendly gentle giants despite their imposing size. Their long water resistant double coat requires weekly combing and brushing.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: United States
HEIGHT10″ to 16″
ADULT WEIGHT9 to 20 pounds
LIFE SPAN9 to 15 years

Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthair

Closely related to the Siamese, Orientals exhibit the same lithe bodies in over 600 coat colors and patterns beyond the limited “colorpoint” expressions possible in their predecessors. Rich chestnut brown and softer cinnamon shades are warm, red-toned brown expressions appearing in the breed. Demanding significant interactive time daily, their extreme intelligence makes them quick to learn tricks. Minimal grooming is required for their short, fine coats.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: United Kingdom
HEIGHT8″- 10″
ADULT WEIGHT6 – 12 pounds
LIFE SPAN12-15 years

RagaMuffin

Image of Ragamuffin

Developed in the 1990s, the RagaMuffin allowable coat colors encompass the whole spectrum including brown-toned variations from light tan tipped fur to deep chocolate. Their fur consists of a thick stand-out collar ruff and lush medium long coat. Remarkably placid, patient and affectionate, they welcome cuddles from kids and pets. Twice weekly brushing prevents matting in their silky fur.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: United States
HEIGHT: 9″-11″
ADULT WEIGHT: 10-15 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 13-16 years

Burmese

Burmese

One of the original “brown” breeds stemming from Siamese stock, Burmese come in limited brown shaded sable and champagne expressions. Compact, muscular bodies covered in short, satin-like fur makes grooming fast and easy. Vocal, affectionate Velcro cats craving close bonding, Burmese thrive when someone is home frequently. Regular play sessions satisfy their moderate activity needs.

Breed Overview

ORIGINBurma/Myanmar
HEIGHT8″-10″
ADULT WEIGHT8-12 pounds
LIFE SPAN12-16 years

Manx

Manx

Best known for the truncated to nonexistent tails resulting from genetic mutation, Manx coats range widely in colors and patterns including brown tabby striped, patched and ticked. Curious, smart problem solvers, their outgoing personalities ensure they actively investigate their surroundings while demanding interactive play. Both long and short fur varieties require weekly combing to reduce shedding and prevent mats.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: Isle of Man
HEIGHT10″-14″
ADULT WEIGHT7-13 pounds
LIFE SPAN12-16 years

Munchkin

Munchkin

Distinguished by their achondroplasia dwarfism causing short legs, Munchkin exhibit normal sized bodies atop little legs suited to their “Magnificent Munchkin” nickname. Self-confident and silly, they easily learn tricks and play readily with kids, dogs and other cats when socialized young. Long and short fur versions come in all colors and patterns including brown tabby, chocolate point or solid chocolate. Minimal grooming keeps their coats healthy.

Breed Overview

ORIGINUnited States
HEIGHT: 6″-9″
ADULT WEIGHT4-9 pounds
LIFE SPAN12-15 years

 

European Burmese

European Burmese

A separate Burmese breed branch originating in Great Britain allows for additional brown based solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, particolor and tortoiseshell patterned coats beyond the standard sable brown and champagne shades. Sweet natured, gentle yet playful when coaxed, the European Burmese prefers a quieter household. Their short, silky fur needs only weekly brushing to remain glossy.

Breed Overview

ORIGINUnited States
HEIGHT13″-16″
ADULT WEIGHT: 6-15 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 12-20 years

American Wirehair

American Wirehair

Characterized by unique bent, hooked and coarse textured guard hairs resembling their namesake twisted wire, American Wirehairs display all coat colors and patterns, occasionally in a brown base. Easygoing, moderate energy cats bond closely with their special people while welcoming strangers. Both long and shorthaired wire coats require combing 2-3 times a week to limit mats and hairballs.

Breed Overview

ORIGIN: United States
HEIGHT10″-14″
ADULT WEIGHT: 8-15 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 12-18 years

 

Many pedigreed cats display captivating brown hues ranging from warm tans to chocolate browns sometimes in stripes, spots or patterns against lighter backgrounds.

From the rare solid brown Havana Brown to the wildly spotted Bengal to the gentle giants of the Maine Coon breed, brown coats appear across diverse personalities and care needs. Responsible adoption matching helps ensure aspiring owners find the perfect brown cat to welcome into their homes.