By PetMD Editorial on Nov. 13, 2009

The Javanese is another breed that lives on contradiction: it’s elegant and refined, almost fragile in appearance, but in reality has a hard, muscular body that’s capable of astounding acrobatic feats. Curiously, the Javanese cat is neither from Java (the Indonesian island), nor has ever existed in Java.

Physical Characteristics

This is a graceful medium-sized cat built along long tapering lines with a muscular body. Its hair, which comes in a variety of colors including red, cream, torti, and seal, is easy to maintain and does not tangle easily. It can be distinguished from other cats because of its vivid blue eyes and long hair with soft lines.

Personality and Temperament

Owners will not have a moment of peace and quiet once they let this cat inside their house. The Javanese loves to chat and will express displeasure when it is annoyed. In fact, the cat is well-recognized for its excellent communication skills.

Javanese are also loyal to a fault, following its human family members incessantly. It possesses a high degree of intelligence and seems to understand when spoken to. It will look a person straight in the eye and answer with a meow. They can be easily trained.

A born glutton, it likes nothing better than a good meal. However, to maintain its slender figure you should keep them on a strict exercise routine, most often consisting of games. Furthermore, the Javanese is easily trained.


Though usually healthy, the Javanese is susceptible to endocardial fibroelastosis and protrusion of the cranial sternum, a genetic defect commonly seen in breeds related to the Siamese.

History and Background

There has been considerable confusion about what constitutes a Javanese, and the breed is treated differently in different countries, but in essence, it is a long-haired version of the Colorpoint Shorthair.

Initially created by breeders who desired a cat with the personality of the Siamese but which sported a variety of colors, the Javanese can now be found in red, cream, tortie, and lynx. So striking is the resemblance between the Javanaese and the Colorpoint that many associations consider it to be a variety of Colorpoint Shorthair and do not recognize it as a separate breed.

The only exception is the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), which recognizes the Javanese as a separate breed. (The CFA considers both Colorpoint Shorthair and Javanese to be hybrids and hence deserving their own identity, and not just extensions of the Siamese and the Balinese.)

The Javanese also has a marked similarity with the Balinese. An average cat lover will find it hard to distinguish between the two breeds. Both possess similar body shape, personality and coat. The Javanese has been named after the island of Java because it sounds fanciful and because it possesses so many of the same physical characteristics as the Balinese cat (Java is the next island over from Bali). However, the cat has nothing to do with the island itself and certainly did not originate there.

One of the first Javanese came into being when a Balinese was crossed with a Colorpoint Shorthair. The result was a Siamese-like cat, sporting long hair and possessing a wider range of colors.

The CFA would officially recognize the Javanese in 1987.

See More:

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?

Get Instant Vet Help Via Chat or Video. Connect with a Vet. Chewy Health