Javanese cats, like their Balinese relatives, are playful, devoted, and always eager to tell you their views on life, love, and what you've served them for dinner. Javanese (and their Siamese relatives) have a fascination with food, and, while some will burn off the extra calories in playful antics, care must be taken that the less active don't turn into butterballs.
Known for their curiosity, intelligence, and excellent communication skills, the Javanese breed is perfect if you want a responsive, interactive cat, one that will blow in your ear and follow you everywhere. Their meows seem definite attempts to communicate, and they look you directly in the eye and seem to answer when spoken to. Fanciers say that the Javanese are easy to train, and are not quite as demanding of your time and energy as are Siamese.
Javanese Cat Breed Traits
The Javanese's standard is almost identical to the Siamese's and to the standards of the related breeds: Balinese, Color-point Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, and Oriental Longhair. The main differences lie in the color schemes and hair lengths. While having the same conformation as the Siamese, the Javanese appears to have softer lines and less extreme body type because of the longer hair. Since the fur is only semi-long and lacks the downy undercoat, the coat doesn't tangle and even show cats require little grooming.
The Javanese is generally a healthy breed but can suffer from the same defects as the Siamese. Protrusion of the cranial sternum is a common defect seen in some Siamese and related breeds. Endocardial fibroelastosis is a more serious anomaly that can be found in some Siamese lines.
Interested in the history of the Javanese cat breed?
The Javanese is one breed in a line of designer Siamese-style cats that includes the Balinese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, and Oriental Longhair. These breeds were inspired by breeders who wanted to take the qualities of the Siamese and alter the coat and colors to their liking. All of these breeds share similar conformations and personality types. The differences between these breeds lie in the coat length, colors, patterns, and the cat association to which you happen to subscribe.
The Siamese comes in four pointed colors: seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac. The Balinese is a long haired version of the Siamese in the same color schemes. The Colorpoint Shorthair comes in pointed colors outside the four traditional Siamese colors; they come in red, cream, tortie, and lynx points. The Javanese is a long haired version of the Colorpoint Shorthair.
The CFA is the only registry that separates the breeds into the classifications Colorpoint Shorthair and Javanese. The other registries merely extended the color parameters of the Siamese and the Balinese to include the wider range of colors.
The CFA's reasoning behind the separate designations is that Colorpoint Shorthairs and Javanese are hybrids, which they are, since these colors were created by crossing the Siamese with other breeds. However, some breeders feel that separating the Balinese and the Javanese is like splitting cat hairs; both breeds share a body type, personality, and coat, and the hybridization happened so long ago that it no longer matters. Other breeders zealously want the breeds kept separate to maintain the purity of the Siamese and Balinese lines.
The Javanese shares much of its history with the Balinese breed. The Javanese isn't from the Isle of Java any more than the Balinese is from Bali; the name was bestowed because of the nice, romantic ring. One of the foundation cats of the Javanese breed was created by crossing a Balinese to a Colorpoint Shorthair. The result was a cat with all the characteristics of a Siamese but with a longer coat length and a color outside the basic four. These colorful longhairs were recognized by the CFA in 1987.