The Havana Brown was the result of planned breedings between Siamese and domestic black cats by a group of cat fanciers in the 1950s. Similar to the oriental shorthair, full colour cats, also known as non-blue Siamese. Early breeders introduced Russian blue into their breeding, however it is thought almost none remains of that gene pool.
It has been documented that self-brown cats were shown in Europe in the 1890s; one name given to these was the Swiss Mountain Cat. These disappeared until post-World War 2, with the most likely explanation that the Siamese Cat Club of Britain discouraged their breeding.
In the early 1950s a group of English cat fanciers began working together to restore the breed. Havana Brown is the only cat that requires brown whiskers for the Kennel Club Pedigree. There are various lady breeders credited with the effort of producing a chestnut (chocolate) brown kitten through mating a black shorthair and a chocolate point Siamese.
While the breed developed in the UK became the Chestnut Brown Oriental and retained the Siamese conformation, it was developed in the USA to have a different head shape and became the Havana Brown. The Havana Brown is not recognised in this form in Britain.
This is a moderately sized, muscular short-haired cat with a body of average length but they can sometimes be chubby. They are a moderately active breed, compared to other short-hair cat breeds. The cost colour must be brown, typically reddish-brown, with no tabby markings. Whiskers should also be brown and the eye colour should be green. The head should be slightly longer than wide and the nose should have a distinct stop at the eyes. Males tend to be larger than females and are average in weight compare with other breeds.
The Havana Brown is an intelligent cat that often uses its paws both to examine objects and to communicate with its owners. (Our Precious may be just a moggy but she uses her paws to communicate by waving them at us as well). The mostly likely explanation of the breed's name - and the one most believed by Havana Brown devotees - is that its coat colour is very similar to that of Havana cigars, however some have also argued that the breed's name is also derived from the Havana rabbit which also shares the same colour.
The breed has been recognised for championship competition in both the US and Britain since the late 1950s. It is considered an endangered breed since the breeding pool is very small. In the late 1950s, there were only 12 Cat Fancier's Association-registered Havana Brown catteries and under 130 unaltered cats.
Thank you to Wikipedia for the information about this breed of cat although they do say they would like more citations. I doubt though that there is very much that is incorrect here.