The Javanese cat, also known as the colorpoint longhair, is related to the Siamese, colorpoint shorthair and Balinese. The Javanese looks like a Siamese cat with medium-long hair in lynx point, tortie point, or red/cream point. The Javanese’s semi-long coat is fine and silky, without an undercoat, so it lies close to the body. At one time considered its own breed by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the Javanese is now a color division of the Balinese, which itself is essentially a semi-longhaired Siamese.
OTHER NAMES: Colorpoint longhair
PERSONALITY: Outgoing, inquisitive, and affectionate
WEIGHT: About 5 to 12 pounds
LENGTH: Up to 14 inches
COAT LENGTH: Fine and silky without downy undercoat; lying close to the body
COAT COLOR: Lynx point, tortie point, or solid point in red, cream, cinnamon, fawn and smoke
EYE COLOR: Deep, vivid blue
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10+ years
ORIGIN: United States
Characteristics of the Javanese
Like its parent breeds the Siamese, colorpoint shorthair, and Balinese, the Javanese is alert, curious, and extremely loving. Like the Siamese, Javanese are highly attached to their people. This is a breed that wants to be part of everything you do and will follow you everywhere (even into the bathroom!). A friendly and accepting breed, Javanese usually live easily with other pets, whether other cats or cat-friendly dogs. Though the Javanese is talkative, breed lovers say they are a bit less vocal that the Siamese and not quite as loud. Javanese are very smart; you might have fun teaching them tricks and games using positive training methods, such as clicker training, and of course, lots of tasty food rewards.
|Tendency to Vocalize||High|
|Amount of Shedding||Low|
History of the Javanese
Some breeders in the 1970s began experimenting with introducing new colors and patterns into the Balinese breed, which itself had originated when breeders in the 1950s capitalized on a spontaneous mutation for long hair in the Siamese. Though they worked with the CFA to accept these “new-color Balinese” as a division of the Balinese breed standard, the cats ended up being categorized as a separate breed with a new name. In 1986 and now christened “Javanese,” the CFA granted the breed championship status. The breed was named after the island of Java, which is close to Bali.
The Javanese was shown as a separate breed for more than 30 years until the two breed councils for the Javanese and Balinese eventually decided to combine the breeds under one standard. Today, the Javanese is a division of the Balinese.
The International Cat Association (TICA) does not recognize the Javanese separately from the Balinese because all pointed colors and patterns, including those found in the Javanese, are accepted by the TICA Balinese breed standard. In TICA, a Javanese is simply a Balinese.
The Javanese and Balinese are physically identical outside of the permitted colors and patterns. Where the Balinese division comes in only the four traditional Siamese solid pointed colors (seal point, chocolate point, blue point, and lilac point), the Javanese division comes in other solid points (red, cream, cinnamon, fawn, and smoke), as well as various lynx point colors and parti-color point colors.
Javanese are energetic and need plenty of activity to stay happy. To help indoor cats get enough exercise, provide places to climb, including cat trees, perches and tall scratchers. Consider using multiple scratchers of varying types so your cat can scratch in the right places and leave your furniture alone. Some cats prefer to scratch vertically (such as scratching posts or cat trees), some enjoy scratching horizontally on the ground (such as cardboard or sisal scratchers) and some cats enjoy both types. Play with your Javanese as much as you can, using different toys like feather wands or fishing poles, fuzzy mice, balls, and interactive toys, including puzzle toys.
The Javanese’s single coat is medium in length but looks shorter due to its fine texture and how close it lies to the skin. The hair appears longer on the hindquarters and tail. The Javanese coat is easy groom. The coat rarely matts or tangles and sheds very little.
Brush weekly with a soft slicker brush or stainless steel comb to remove loose hair. Bathe as needed or if your Javanese gets into something messy. Trim the nails weekly or every other week, and check inside the ears periodically, checking for signs of dirt or redness. You can clean the ears with a pet-safe ear cleaner, using a cotton ball or gauze square (don’t use cotton swabs as you can accidentally damage the ear drum). If your Javanese’s ears seem red, inflamed, or very dirty, or if you notice your cat scratching at its ears, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian.
Common Health Problems
Certain purebred cats are more at risk for certain genetically linked health issues. Though Javanese are usually healthy, they can develop some of the same issues known to affect the Siamese, Balinese and Colorpoint Shorthair, including crossed eyes and other eye issues, renal amyloidosis, (a disorder affecting the kidneys), amyloidosis (a disease that occurs when the protein amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver), dental problems, and congenital heart defects, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Some Javanese and Balinese also experience sensitivity to anesthesia, so it’s important to discuss this with your veterinarian before your cat has surgery. Reputable cat breeders test their adult cats for health issues that may be genetic in nature and do not breed affected cats. Good breeders also usually offer some type of health guarantee on their kittens.
The Javanese shares the same body type as the Siamese and Balinese, a medium-sized, long, tubular body with refined muscles. The breed is svelte, graceful, and athletic, with fine bones and tapering lines. The legs are long and well-muscled, but finely boned. The rear legs are slightly higher than the front legs. The Javanese’s ears are termed “strikingly large” in the breed standard, and the head is a long, tapering wedge with the nose and ears forming a triangle. The medium-sized, almond shaped eyes are always a deep, vivid blue. The medium-length single coat is fine, silky and close-lying.
Diet and Nutrition
The Javanese is athletic and should be lean. Because most Javanese tend to be naturally active, they usually get enough exercise to stay at a healthy weight as long as they have enough playtime with you and plenty of opportunities to run, climb and play indoors. Pay attention to your cat’s weight to make sure it stays lean, which can help prevent certain health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Rather than free feeding (leaving food all the time), always give your Javanese measured amounts of food at regular meal times (twice a day for adult cats). Ask your veterinarian or breeder for a recommendation of a healthy food for your Javanese.
Loving and affectionate
Good with kids and other pets
Easy-care coat with very little matting or shedding
Rare/hard to find
Needs lots of attention
Doesn’t do well when left alone for long periods of time
Where to Adopt or Buy a Javanese
The Javanese is somewhat rare, so if you have your heart set on bringing home a Javanese kitten or adult cat, it might take some time. If you want to purchase a kitten, look for a Balinese breeder. The Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association both publish lists of Balinese breeders on their websites. If you prefer to adopt, you might be able to find an adult Javanese by searching animal shelters or breed-specific cat rescue groups, though it might hard to find one this way.
More Cat Breeds and Further Research
Make sure that you do lots of research before deciding if a Javanese is the right cat for you. Seek out reputable breeders, talk to other Javanese owners, and reach out to known rescue groups for further information.
If you're are interested in similar breeds you could consider:
There are many different cat breeds for you to explore before you decide which one is right for your home.