Are Brown Cats Rare? Find Out

Are Brown Cats Rare

Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by Fumipets

Beyond the Ordinary: Unraveling the Mystery of Brown Cats – Rarity Unveiled!


Brown cats, also known as chocolate or cinnamon-colored cats, are not inherently rare. The coat color of a cat is determined by genetics, and brown is a common and naturally occurring color variation. Various breeds, both mixed and purebred, can exhibit shades of brown in their fur. The perception of rarity often depends on specific coat patterns, genetics, and the prevalence of certain breeds.

Are Brown Cats Rare?

Cats seem to have an infinite number of different coat colors and patterns. Rich variation may be found in both the more prevalent domestic shorthair breed and numerous kinds of purebred cats. You would not consider brown to be unusual, but certain coat patterns and hues might be more uncommon than others.

Brown dogs are quite frequent, but what about cats? Actually, you probably have never seen a chocolate-brown cat before. This is due to the extraordinary rarity of brown cats. Yet why? Let’s investigate!

Genetics Is Everything!

Brown tabby cats are common, however cats that are chocolate brown or cinnamon-colored are seldom seen. They actually exist, and some purebred lines even acknowledge them as distinct coat colors. A cat with a brown coat has a gene variation that acts to decrease the black pigmentation in the coat, resulting in brown colouring, which accounts for the rarity.

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It’s interesting to note that a mutation in the gene responsible for the development of the black pigment mentation led to brown coat hues. The two structural components of melanin, pheomelanin (red and yellow colouring) and eumelanin (brown and black hues), which predominate in both black and brown hair, are what cause the rarity.

Black colour comes from certain genetic codes, whereas brown coloration results from recessive genetic codes with varying quantities of eumelanin in the cat’s core genes. The Havanna Brown and the Oriental Shorthair are two excellent examples of purebred cats that have a beautiful chocolate brown color despite the fact that this gene mutation is not very prevalent in cats.

Which Known Cat Breeds Are Brown in Color?

1. Havana Brown

The only cat breed with a reputation for being a real chocolate hue is the uncommon Havana Brown. The Siamese, black domestic shorthairs, and Russian Blue were crossed to create this breed. They are a solid chestnut brown, and even their whiskers are the same color. Speaking of uncommon, there are reportedly just 1,000 Havana Browns left in existence, and the present gene pool is essentially depleted.

2. Oriental Shorthair

These talkative performers are also available in cinnamon and full brown coat colors. The Oriental Shorthair originated from Siamese and other breeds crossed, and it finally gained purebred status. With their triangular heads and slim bodies, they have a distinct and beautiful look.

3. York Chocolate

The York Chocolate is a semi-longhaired breed with a deeper brown coat. Although this breed has been around since the 1980s, it is not as well known as some other breeds. The coat of York chocolates often becomes darker with age. Their coat hue ranges from lilac to bicolor chocolate, white, and chocolate brown.

4. Burmese Cat

The solid brown coat of the Burmese Cat, which was brought to America in the 1930s, was isolated via selective breeding. They come in four distinct hues: sable (a deep, dark brown), champagne (a warm beige), platinum (a light gray), and blue (medium gray with fawn undertones.)

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5. British Shorthair

There are several colors available for these little teddy bears, which have round, chubby cheeks, silky, thick coats, and big, amber-colored eyes. By mating with chocolate Persians, chocolate British Shorthairs acquired their coat color.

They may range in hue from very light to very dark shades of chocolate, but the breed standard forbids the mixing of any other hair colors. Remember the cinnamon color variant they are also made in; it goes great with those amber eyes.

6. Persian

One of the more uncommon coat colors among Persian breeds is the chocolate Persian, which comes in a variety of brown tones. As already noted, the genetics of the chocolate Persians contributed to the development of the British Shorthair.

7. Devon Rex

The brown coloring of the tall-eared, wavy-coated, skinny Devon Rex is also acknowledged. Rich chestnut brown is one of the several coat hues available for these cats.


Although uncommon, brown cats may still be found. In comparison to most other coat colors, brown cats are far less prone to be strays. You might check out some of the purebred cats that conform to the breed standard for recognized brown colouring.

All in all, recessive genes and genetic mutation are to blame for this. Brown and cinnamon-colored cats can only be produced by selective breeding, since these colors are not often seen in the gene pool.

Questions and Answers About Brown Cats:


Are brown cats a specific breed or mixed breed?

Brown cats can be found in both specific breeds and mixed-breed populations. Certain breeds, such as the Havana Brown, are known for their solid brown coloration. However, mixed-breed cats can also have brown coats, and the shade may vary.


What causes the brown color in cat fur?

The brown color in cat fur is typically a result of pigmentation, specifically eumelanin. The amount and distribution of eumelanin determine the depth and richness of the brown color. Genetic factors play a crucial role in the expression of brown in a cat’s coat.

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Do specific breeds specialize in brown coat colors?

Yes, some cat breeds are known for their brown coat colors. Breeds like the Havana Brown, Oriental Shorthair, and certain variations of the Bengal cat are recognized for their solid or patterned brown coats. However, brown can occur in many breeds.


Are certain patterns more common in brown cats?

Brown cats can display various coat patterns, including solid, tabby, or spotted patterns. The specific coat pattern is influenced by genetics. For example, the Bengal cat is known for its distinctive spotted or marbled coat with shades of brown.


Are there rare variations within brown cat colors?

While brown itself is not rare, specific variations within brown shades or unique patterns may be considered less common. For instance, rare coat patterns like rosettes in brown Bengal cats may be sought after by enthusiasts. However, the overall prevalence of brown cats is not rare.



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