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Chocolate brown cats: they’re uncommon, and for one rescuer, it was exciting to find one needing foster care. Although there are brown dogs everywhere, a cat with solid brown fur is a rarity, like a house cat with brown Jaguarundi fur.

But we must mention that in 2023, an obsession with brown cats made national news. While we appreciate how pretty they are, we have to point out that the cat’s purrsonality and well-being are what matters. As always, we strongly advise never going to a breeder. There are thousands of gorgeous cats in rescues and shelters waiting for their furever home any given day.

A Chocolate Brown Kitten Needs Rescue

Over the summer, Kelsey, a rescuer from Los Angeles excitedly shared the cute picture of her foster Fefe. 

“😱 IM FREAKING OUT 😱 never have I ever seen a chocolate brown kitty before in all my years of rescue!! Meet Fefe 🍫🤎🍩”

After sharing the picture, many people came forward to adopt Fefe, and some noted that the kitten wouldn’t be available for long due to her unusual fur color. We agree that Fefe is gorgeous, but we’ll look at why that can be a problem, too.

Such trends attract folks who may not care that cats require lifelong commitments. That’s one reason why rescuers have to spend a lot of time carefully screening potential adopters for superficial motives.

What Makes a Cat Look Brown?

After seeing 6,000+ cats in her rescue career, Fefe was the first with such chocolatey fur. And Fefe’s pretty green eyes were lovely, too. Research showed why patches of her fur appeared brown. 

“According to research, “the color brown in cats is only possible due to a genetic mutation that focuses on the gene that produces the color black. The genetic mutation is rare, making its way through the passage of recessive genes, resulting in the color brown.” 🧬🙀 shared Rory to the Rescue.

Chocolate brown kitten, Fefe, rescued kitten, Rory to the Rescue, Los Angeles, 2

A cat’s fur and eye pigmentation are produced by melanin, just like with people. Mammals have two types of melanin: pheomelanin and eumelanin. (People have both in their skin.) The latter creates brown and black hues, but cats that appear brown have two recessive genes that cause reduced eumelanin. Meanwhile, cats like Marmalade have more pheomelanin that makes orange and red hues.

Brown Cat Madness

In 2017, we shared a story about Havana Brown cats. Rescuers saved a group of around 90 Havana Brown cats from a filthy hoarding situation in Missouri. The traumatized cats had never known life outside cramped and dirty cages.

While we love the brown fur, the unfortunate reality is that breeders will often do unethical things in the pursuit of easy money. Due to the recessive genes involved, inbreeding cats for brown fur is a real problem, inevitably leading to unhealthy, suffering animals. 

Chestnut and Beaver the bonded Havana Brown cats rescued from a hoarding situation

Chestnut and Beaver the bonded Havana Brown cats rescued from a hoarding situation. Photo via Cole and Marmalade/@5AcresAnimalShelter.

Beautiful Brown Highlights and Stripes

As always, we say, ‘Adopt, don’t shop,’ and you can find spectacular cats at a shelter or rescue near you. Occasionally, they do rescue brown bear kittens.

Hey, volunteering to help at a rescue or shelter might dramatically increase your odds of rescuing a brown cat if you do it long enough. Now, that’s the way to do it!

If you love brown, there are gorgeous brown tabbies, and black cats have lovely brown, slivery, or smokey highlights in their fur. Tortoiseshell, calico, and torbie cats like Jugg and Zig Zag have the loveliest shades of golden brown, unique to each cat.

Jugg and Zig Zag via Facebook

Some cats have subtle tiger stripes showing through their dark fur, too! At any given time, you might find the most beautiful of cats trying to survive on the streets near you.

In the end, their fur color won’t matter whatsoever, but the love your share will be cherished forever.

Harry and Ronnie the rescued kittens with subtle stripes against their grey fur

Ronnie, the foster kitten from Lil Foster Babes/Instagram

The Trend to Adopt Black Cats

Here’s a trend we’ll continue supporting! As we know, black cats still unfairly have longer waits to find homes. We previously shared the story of Kelsey’s adorable black kitten, Otter Pop. Wonderfully, she says the “black floof” cats are becoming very popular as people realize how wonderful, elegant, personable, and lucky they are.

You can follow and support Rory to the Rescue on Instagram and Facebook.

Video by Cole and Marmalade:

 

 

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