- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
The Javanese cat is one enigmatic breed. Confusion surrounds their history, classification, name, and even their surprising muscular capabilities.
Fans of the Javanese, however, don’t bat an eyelash at the breed’s peculiar origins or characteristics. Developed in North America, this stunning designer cat certainly has their share of devoted admirers.
We did some digging, and we’re here to set the story straight. Read on for all the interesting things you need to know about the Javanese cat.
1. Their name is misleading
Although their name suggests otherwise, Javanese cats are NOT from Java. In fact, they’ve never existed in Java. So, where did the name come from?
The name was selected following the tradition of naming oriental-type breeds (at least, according to Wikipedia) after countries in southeast Asia. Because the Javanese cat so closely mirrors the Balinese cat, it makes sense that Java (an island right next to Bali) was their chosen namesake.
2. Their breed classification is…complicated
Are Javanese cats a breed in their own right? A sub-breed? A merged breed?
If you’re confused about what qualifies as a purebred Javanese cat, you’re not alone.
The Javanese belongs to a group of Siamese-style cats developed by breeders who wished to blend the personality of a Siamese with a customized coat. This hybrid line includes the Balinese cat, the Colorpoint Shorthair, the Oriental Shorthair, and the Oriental Longhair.
These breeds are all extremely similar, hence the confusion. The main difference lies in their coat’s length, color, and pattern.
Javanese are categorized differently, depending on the country you’re in and which organization you ask. PetMD maintains that the Javanese cat is a long-haired version of the Colorpoint Shorthair.
Most organizations consider the Javanese cat to be a variety of the Colorpoint Shorthair, rather than a separate breed. The Cat Fanciers’ Association is the only group that recognizes the Javanese as a distinct breed.
3. They have a coat of many colors
Unlike the domestic short-haired cats that actually come from Java, Javanese cats have a semi-long coat. This coat lies close to the skin, giving the breed their signature sleek appearance.
There’s a color to satisfy everyone’s taste here: the CFA defines a grand total of 24 different color variations, in addition to the four Balinese basics.
The Javanese also sports a luxurious, full tail that resembles a plume.
4. Looks can be deceiving
Its lean silhouette gives the Javanese an air of graceful elegance. But while they may look dainty and delicate, the Javanese is a muscular and athletic breed, capable of impressive acrobatics. These strong cats like to jump, climb, and remain active.
5. Silence isn’t golden to these cats
If you cherish your peace and quiet, perhaps a Javanese is not for you. Much like their Siamese ancestors, these cats are vocal communicators. They have no problem making their needs known, and they’ll meow persistently to get what they want.
Enthusiasts of the breed have even insisted that these perceptive cats appear to understand their owners when being spoken to! That fact is up for debate, but it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
6. They love to eat!
A cat that shares your appreciation of food? Oddly endearing. Javanese cats have a strong fascination with food, so owners of the breed must be mindful of their pet’s diet and exercise habits.
You may need to regulate their diet (smaller portions, no free-feeding), and play with them frequently to burn off excess calories.
You can curb your cat’s drive to eat when she’s bored with extra playtime and affection. Hardly an imposition for a devoted Javanese fan.
7. Javanese cats are incredibly friendly
It’s not unusual for a Javanese cat to stick to their owner like glue. These extremely people-oriented cats like to be involved with all household activities, and they have a habit of following their humans from room to room. For some, they might seem clingy. We prefer the term “loyal.”
Responsive and interactive, Javanese cats love to snuggle in their owner’s lap or curl up next to their pillow. Typically, this good-natured breed has no problem sharing living space with other pets and children.
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8. These cats are smarty pants
Owners of the breed love to brag about their feline’s remarkable intelligence. Known for their exuberant playfulness and endless curiosity, this active cat can be trained to walk on a leash, play fetch, and perform tricks. They can even learn how to open cabinets and doors.
Since a bored kitty often becomes a destructive kitty, it’s a good idea to keep your Javanese cat entertained with interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and a cat tree he can climb.
9. They’re expert jumpers
The Javanese cat’s athleticism is off the charts. These kitties are powerful and skilled jumpers who can scale great heights effortlessly. They like to observe the world from a high vantage point. If they’re not provided with adequate cat trees and perches, the Javanese will take to jumping on top of the refrigerator, a bookshelf, or even your shoulder.
10. They’re a good choice for allergy-sufferers
As PetMD makes clear, there’s no such thing as a completely non-allergenic cat. There are, however, certain breeds that produce fewer allergens than others. The Javanese cat makes the cut. The breed’s single coat means they have less allergy-triggering fur. A welcome fact for sniffling cat lovers.
Once you meet a Javanese cat, it’s hard not to fall in love. There’s no doubt that we identify with admirers of this affectionate breed.
I mean, can you blame us?
Featured photo via Flickr/Nickolas Titkov