You may be quite surprised to know that brown is not a particularly common color for a cat. Brown is extremely common in the rest of the animal kingdom in general, with several species (dogs, even) showing up in brown.
You are more likely to encounter a cat that is possibly partly brown or patterned with brown elements. That said, these partially brown cats, like most others, are adorable when they are indeed found.
In cats, for some reason, though there are certainly lots of amazing and popular cat colors, brown is more likely to be an exception to the rule, and there are very few breeds of cats that are specifically solid brown by design. In terms of fact, only one specific breed is considered truly totally brown – the fluffy Havana Brown cat (more on that below).
Because they are relatively rare, solid brown cats are especially treasured by their owners. With all that said, here are 19 brown cat breeds (or at least partly brown cat breeds) to look out for and consider adopting.
19 Brown Cat Breeds
These cats are sought after and beautiful in brown, whether it be solid or with a slight pattern. Bear in mind that most of these breeds will also come in a variety of colors.
1. American Wirehair
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Like wirehair dogs, wirehair cats are noted for their thick, coarse hair, which may seem unusual for a cat. However, it gives the cat a rugged, salt-of-the-sea look, which many cat owners find irresistible.
They are also somewhat muscular, though medium in size. They are especially fond of games and puzzles, so a decent set of toys and interactive items will be a good investment when owning one of these types.
Wirehairs are very hard to find, though. Bonus points if you can find a brown variation of the breed. That would be a cat to treasure and take many photos of for posterity.
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Beautiful Bengals are energetic and exotic. This is partly because of their heritage, which is intricately linked with wild Asian leopard cats. Despite the direct link to wild cats, they are remarkably pleasant and affectionate towards humans.
They are also an extremely smart cat breed and can be taught to play games like fetch. They even learn tricks. With that in mind, possessing one is a real privilege, and a brown Bengal will be a treasure in any home.
3. British Longhair
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Lovers of lap cats will testify to this breed’s willingness to cuddle on a lap. They are friendly, extremely sweet-natured, and love being around people, especially for grooming sessions. They also happen to be somewhat round in appearance and seem particularly cuddly.
These brown fluffy cats look particularly interesting, given that it’s an unusual color in cats in general. Just remember to invest in some good grooming gloves or a grooming brush.
4. British Shorthair
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You could regard the regular British domestic cat as a shorthair, but there is a technical distinction when it comes to the British Shorthair cat as defined by official registries. In this case, the British Shorthair is a pedigreed version of the standard domestic cat.
These cats are stocky and strong, though medium-sized. They originally worked as pest control in bars and houses, and their muscular bodies reflect this history. British Shorthair coats are thick, though they mostly come in what is termed “British Blue”; a brown variation is possible.
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Burmese are a unique cat breed in terms of color. They are commonly found in a shade of brown. As partially brown kittens, they also have points that can sometimes be dark brown.
Burmese are particularly attached to their humans and will always be found close to you at home. In terms of looks, they are usually simply described as “round,” with regard to their body, head, and eye shape.
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Sometimes this cat is referred to as a Chantilly or a Foreign Longhair. They are known, amongst other things, for their striking gold eyes. Uniquely, these eyes seem to get more intense in the shade as the cat gets older.
Chantilly has no undercoat or very little if they do. Though they are sometimes called longhairs, they are, in fact, medium-length coat cats. The origin story of the Chantilly is quite interesting, as it is said to have actually started off as a brown kitty with two chocolate brown parents.
What we know for certain is that the first recognized Chantilly was recorded in New York. The “Tiffany” name was first attached in the 1980s, after the Tiffany Theater. Most interestingly, the breed was thought to be extinct at one stage in the 1960s. Somehow it’s made a comeback, although they are a very rare cat breed.
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The ancient Chausie is one remarkable cat that never fails to grab attention. This domestic cat is thought to have been bred from a wild jungle cat, at least on one side of its lineage. This might explain why it is such a large cat; it can stand up to 15 inches high and weigh 25 pounds. That’s just slightly smaller than a Maine Coon.
This wild heritage also probably makes brown a more likely color in Chausies than in most other breeds. They have exotic looks and a history dating back to ancient Egypt.
Though Chausies have a short coat, it feels thick and dense to the touch. Chaucie’s searching eyes and slender, long body suggest a predatorial bent, but these cats really love humans. They need constant attention and love to play, making them better suited for experienced cat owners who can spend a lot of time with them.
8. Devon Rex
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The unusual-looking (some say alien-looking) is a remarkable breed within the species of domestic cats. The huge triangular head, big ears, and round eyes make it stand out immediately.
To add to that, the Devon Rex often has very little or even no fur on some parts of its body. What fur it does have can present in a variety of colors. Brown, as with most cats, would be unusual, but that just makes it that much more special when it does.
Fair warning, these cats have quirky personalities. They are not easy cats for first-time cat owners to manage.
Interesting fact: Devon Rex’s downy fur can be fragile. Grooming can cause some of the hair to actually break. The same is true for its whiskers.
9. European Burmese
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With big eyes, shades, face masks, and relatively small stature, the Burmese are nonetheless one of the celebrities of the cat world. The European Burmese looks slightly slimmer, and expert artists will notice its eyes slanted towards the nose. This distinguishes it from the Regular Burmese.
Beyond that, the European Burmese has a very similar personality to the Burmese. It is family-friendly and gets along well with other pets. When it presents in brown, it feels like a throwback to a time when it was considered very special in Burmese culture. After all, it is said that monks and royalty alike once treasured Burmese cats.
10. Havana Brown
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No, a Havana Brown does not refer to a brand of cigar. It is, in fact, a breed of cat that is part Siamese and first emerged in the UK in the 1950s. Beyond that, little is known about the actual origins of the cat. Some say the breed emerged accidentally, while others believe it was a planned affair.
Chocolate brown cats are highly prized. Believe it or not, the first official Havana Brown cat was born chocolate brown. Today, a Havana Brown cat is not considered a true Havana Brown unless it is dark brown. You should therefore consider this one of the very rare breeds of full brown cats. They are considered very rare and, therefore, quite expensive to acquire.
11. Maine Coon
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Our old friend, the Maine Coon cat, comes in many colors, and brown is one of them. Of course, we know that Maine Coons are a giant breed of cats. They happen to love water and seem to occupy a lot of space in the home. That’s a part of their charm.
Maine coons typically have fairly thick fur and undercoat layers. They have tall ears and are known to come in several different patterns as well. But the most interesting part about the Maine Coon’s appearance is its silky coat that sometimes presents what looks like a mane around its neck.
Given that the breed is said to be related to the Norwegian Forest Cat, it should come as no surprise that they are strong and can be very fluffy around the stomach and legs. Therefore, some good grooming tools like a slicker brush and lots of toys will help to keep your Maine Coon mentally occupied and happy.
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The very quick way to recognize a Manx cat is by its tail. Or rather, it’s a lack of one. Yes, Manx cats typically do not have tails because of a genetic mutation that occurs naturally at some point in the past.
In some cases, it does seem like their little stump of a tail does remain, though. It’s also worth mentioning that when kittens are born to a Manx cat, they are sometimes born with tails which may sound quite odd.
At any rate, Manx cats are quite beautiful with a round face and fairly rugged rounded body. They have powerful hind legs. Combined with a lack of tail, this sometimes makes them look like a very weirdly shaped rabbit.
For the most part, a Manx cat is short-haired. Long-haired versions do exist, but they are called Cymrics instead.
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What can one say about Munchkin cats that could possibly do its cuteness level justice? Munchkins are perfectly ordinary cats but for their very short legs. This gives them a comical but intensely lovable appearance that is hard for anyone to resist.
Over time this small cat breed also became known as sausage cats. But they are far from hampered in their normal activities in any way. These cats will climb whatever they can, just like normal cats do. Most people love their munchkin cats in white. However, they can be found in most colors related to cats, including brown.
Side fact: Some cat organizations like the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) do not recognize the Munchkin, despite expert testimonies that the cat is perfectly normal, other than for its short legs. Regardless, Munchkin owners simply adore their little brown kitties.
14. Oriental Shorthair
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The Oriental Shorthair is closely related to the Siamese and is a rare, fully brown cat. They have similar looks and temperaments, at least in terms of general description.
As the name indicates, they have short hair, which is quite close to the body and very silky to the touch. One of the remarkable aspects of the cat breed is that it normally has really bright green eyes.
As with Siamese cats, oriental Shorthairs are usually demarcated by point patterns. They are not considered orientals if they are solid in color, so look for brown points or markings.
15. Persian Cat
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Don’t confuse the Persian cat with a munchkin. Both are short-legged. It seems quite surprising whenever you look at them. But the Persian is considered an exotic cat because of its history.
Some believe that they were associated with royalty. Given their sometimes aloof personality, this seems like a fair argument. Part of that history also involves a story about Queen Victoria of England absolutely adoring them. This may have contributed to their popularity once imported into the United States.
The face of a Persian cat often seems squished or flat. They are quite fluffy and furry most times, and people love them in a more solid color like white or gray. However, Persians can be present in brown or light brown. It’s not that hard to think of them as giant cotton balls sitting on your sofa.
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The history and lineage of the Ragamuffin cat is a little vague. It is generally accepted that at some point, owners of ragdoll cats crossbreed their kitties with a number of other long-haired breeds. Among those other brigades were Persians and Turkish Angoras.
Nevertheless, the result is a brown long-haired cat that is quite sizable as cats go. A typical ragamuffin has a color point pattern that usually involves a light body with a dark tail, ears, and head.
A pattern that often appears is an inverted V on its forehead. You’re more likely to encounter this cat in a by-color variation, which might be brown and white.
17. Scottish Fold
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Much of the Scottish Fold cat could be described as round, including the ears, which are folded because of a rare genetic mutation. The Scottish Fold cat’s faces around its folded ears look particularly small and almost invisible from a distance. Amazingly they are not actually born with their ears folded.
The same genetic condition that allows the ears to fold is present in the cat’s entire body. This means that the Scottish Fold suffers from arthritis more than other cats, at least statistically.
With all that said, Scottish Folds tend to live average to long lives, statistically. I’m talking around 15 years or more. Traditionally they have gray coats but can also be a very attractive solid brown.
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Did you know that aquamarine is the official color of a Tonkinese cat’s eyes? Pretty crazy, right? The Tonkinese cat is a crossbreed between Burmese and Siamese. That makes them rather exotic, even by cat standards.
The gorgeous look combines the best of both parents’ breeds with a darker face, delightful point-pattern ears, and a short coat that doesn’t require much grooming and maintenance at all. Amazingly, the shade of the coloring can change according to the temperature of the cat’s environment.
That said, they do demand your attention, with a loving, playful personality.
Fun Fact: According to at least one Guinness World Records entry, a Tonkinese holds the record for the largest litter of cats. Imagine the shock on the new human owner of 19 Tonkinese kittens in one go!
19. York Chocolate
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Finally, moving into the domain of real show cats, the York Chocolate is a somewhat rare and recent breed. It’s a really gorgeous dark brown cat and carries a long coat that appears fluffy and lush. It was named after New York State, from which it hails.
Unlike most cats on this list, the York Chocolate is one of the very few chocolate-colored cats, either solid or predominantly so. The breed, as mentioned, is still very new, so it is not recognized by most of the official cat registries.
Final Thoughts on Brown Cats
Brown cats may not be among the most common you find. For that reason alone, they may be more treasured than cats with more common coloring.
Additionally, there are a few cats on the list that are rare breeds by themselves, without the added twist of being a standard brown or chocolate brown cat. Like any other, a beautiful brown cat usually becomes the center of a loving household, and there’s no reason why any of these cats in brown can’t be a crucial addition to your family.
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