The slender yet muscular Javanese cat is often said to resemble a ballerina – it certainly has all the grace and charm. Intelligent and active, Javanese cats are loyal, chatty felines who make great companions and are ideal for households with children and other cat-friendly pets.
Just about everything about this breed can be described as long; long tail, long legs, and a long yet muscular body. The tail is slender and tapers towards the tips. The legs, which are slightly longer at the back, end in small round paws. The Javanese has a semi-long coat with hair that is as fine and thin as silk. Hair on the tail is a little longer than the rest of the body and forms a plume.
The eyes are beautifully almond shaped and come in radiant green for solid colors and all over patterns, or a hauntingly dark blue for pointed cats. While the triangular shaped head is considered medium sized on such a long gives it the illusion of being quite small. A long nose, fine muzzle, and slightly pointed ears which start from a wide base finish off the look of intelligence and fine breeding for this svelte breed.
The Javanese cat came about during a controlled Balinese breeding program during the 1950s – these long-haired Siamese cats were named after the graceful Balinese dancers. Later, breeders introduced ColourPoint Shorthairs to the program, which produced cats with stunning coat colours. Due to their closeness to the Balinese breed, they were named for the closest island to Bali – which is the island of Java, renowned for its coffee bean production.
The Javanese is as intelligent as it looks and like their Siamese cousins, are quite vocal. They are a sociable breed and make great pets for homes with children and get on well with other household pets. They also love to be ‘helpful’ around the house, and will happily follow you around the house from room to room, often getting under your feet.
Javanese cats are athletic, agile and they love to play – they are quick to learn tricks and enjoy a game of fetch. When you’re home make sure they receive lots of attention, as they are prone to mischief or depression if left to their own devices for extended periods of time.
Javanese are also excellent mousers so any furry little critters who dare step over the threshold of your home will find their days numbered.
Did You Know?
Despite the misleading name, the Javanese cat is not actually from the Indonesian island of Java – instead, their origins are in the United States.
Javanese and Balinese breeds are almost identical, the biggest difference is that the Javanese are available in a larger range of coat colours. There is ongoing debate as to whether the Javanese is a breed in its own right, or just another variety of Balinese cat. The CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) recognise Javanese cats in red, tortie, or tabbie – all others are classified as Balinese cats.
Caring for Your Javanese Cat
Despite being a long-haired cat, Javanese don’t shed much and are easy to groom – simply brush them every 2-3 days to help them maintain their gorgeous coat and condition.
The Javanese are fairly healthy on average but they are prone to a few hereditary conditions due to their genetic links to Siamese cats. They may suffer from nystagmus (a neurological disorder which causes involuntary eye movement), heart disease, and are prone to upper respiratory tract infections. Because of this it is highly recommended to seek pet health insurance.
If you have a Javanese cat in your life, please share your experiences below.
Image: Starjely via Wikimedia Commons.