2021 will be full of new things, including our new Cat of the Month blog post series! Tune in each month to learn the ins and outs of popular breeds. We’re kicking off the year with Javanese, a cat bread known for its resemblance to the ever-popular Siamese. Now, I have a soft spot for any Siamese cat, so I’ve always found Javanese interesting and beautiful!
What is a Javanese Cat?
This breed was created in the 1950s and is the trifecta mix of a Balinese, a Siamese and a colored shorthair. However, it is definitely considered part of the Balinese family. The name comes from the island of Java, located next to Bali.
Around 35 years ago, the breed was considered a standalone. However, they were reassessed and placed back to the Balinese breed family. Sometimes they are referred to as an “oriental shorthair.” However, the body/fur color and eyes are different than the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) registered breed for the oriental shorthair.
What Do Javanese Cats Look Like?
Since they are part Siamese, they have similar markings and characteristics which most people can usually point out very easily. The unique head shape and large ears are what makes this breed appear similar to Siamese cats.
One striking characteristic is the coat color and markings. The colorpoints (face, ears, paws, tails) are typically lighter than the rest of the coat, which may be tortoiseshell, tabby, a combination torti-tabby or red.
The super silky fur tends to be less than 2” long, lying very smoothly in a one coat layer. Single layer coats appear very silky and tend to shed less. This makes Javanese cats a good breed for someone who is usually allergic to cats. These coats are super easy to care for and maintain, meaning no mats or tangles.
As with the Siamese, the gorgeous eyes will be that classic blue. Their bodies are also very Siamese-like with toned, muscular, lean bodies and the ability to jump high.
One unique difference from the sleek Siamese is a fluffy tail. The tail is thick with longer fur than the rest of the body. In profile, these tails always reminds me of an ostrich plume! This tail may need to be brushed to keep any dust or debris from it as it is sure to be a dust catcher. Along the Siamese lines, the athletic body is small to medium in size and stature and these cats generally weigh anywhere between 5-10 lbs.
What Kind of Behavior Can I Expect From A Javanese?
These cats tend to have the loud Siamese yowl, but thankfully they’re not quite as loud or vocal as the typical Siamese. They are chatty cats and very smart and loyal. Having had several Siamese in my life, I understand the breed.
One big aspect of the Siamese personality is loyalty. They tend to bond with their owner and can suffer from separation anxiety when apart. They love their owners and are protective. This makes any cats in the Siamese family less likely to do well when left along.
If you’re planning on leaving your Siamese-type cat alone for more than 24 hours, I definitely recommend boarding them at a trustworthy facility. Before I started boarding my cats, I would come home to a hoarse cat from meowing too much or an anxious high strung scared kitty. I’ve learned my lesson if I ever have another Siamese!
One other suggestion would be to have a playmate for your Siamese so they have someone to bond with besides you. This can be a great way to distract the cat from owner separation anxiety.
Are Javanese Cats Healthy?
The breed does not have any distinct health issues. They tend to live 15 years in a healthy indoor environment. Because they’re a rarer breed, it’s difficult to find them at a shelter, but you never know! I am always amazed at the stunning pure-bred cats that turn up in shelters.
If you are set on this breed, one direct from a breeder is the best choice for a healthy animal. Make sure any breeder you’re considering has their CFA or TICA ( The International Cat Association) certification. The cleaner the blood lines, the more expensive they cat, but at least you know it will be healthy and exactly what you want!
You should consider the Javanese if you...
I hope to add a Javanese to the cat spa guest registry one day and meet one in person!