Studio shot of a Javanese cat.
(Photo Credit: Agency Animal Picture | Getty Images)


A true gem among feline breeds, the Javanese cat breed enchants with their distinctive looks and endearing personality. Though originally from North America, this cat breed traces their roots back to the graceful Siamese, sharing a close kinship with the elegant Balinese. The breed’s moniker pays homage to the Indonesian island of Java, a fitting tribute to its Balinese heritage.

Renowned for their striking color points, long silky fur, and piercing blue almond-shaped eyes, the Javanese cat exudes an air of regality. The Cat Fancier’s Association regards the Javanese cat to be a sub-group of the Balinese. These cats are also exhibit sociable and interactive personalities. Additionally, they often form strong bonds with their human companions. Their silky coats come in various color patterns, adding to their allure.

When considering a Javanese, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase a Javanese kitten, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable Javanese breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: North America.
  • Size: Medium.
  • Breed Group: Oriental
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years.
  • Coat: Long, silky, and color-pointed, with colors such as red, seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, and tortoiseshell.
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful, and affectionate.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate to high.
  • Training: Relatively easy to train.
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing and occasional bathing.
  • Health: Generally healthy, but can be prone to certain genetic health conditions, such as feline acromelanism (temperature dependent pigmentation) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
  • Cats that fall under the Javanese subgroup in the Balinese breed are those that don’t have the traditional colorpoints of Balinese cats.
  • Originally, the Javanese cat was their own breed, but they merged with Balinese in 2008.
  • The Javanese is what’s called a “vertical cat“, meaning it likes to climb and perch high.
  • The Javanese has only a single coat and sheds less as a result.

Javanese Pictures

Javanese History

The Javanese is a longhaired variety of Siamese dressed in Colorpoint colors. He was developed from a foundation of Siamese, Colorpoint and Balinese cats. The cats do not actually come from Java but were whimsically given the name because Java is a sister island to Bali, which was a nice touch, given the breed’s relationship to the Balinese (which does not come from Bali, by the way).

At first, the Cat Fanciers Association categorized the Javanese as a distinct breed, separated from the Balinese by color, but in 2008 the Javanese was declared a division of the Balinese breed. The International Cat Association also considers the Javanese a variety of Balinese and places both in its Siamese grouping of breeds. The Javanese may be outcrossed to the Balinese, Siamese, Colorpoint Shorthair and Oriental Longhair.

Javanese Size

Javanese are medium-size cats that typically weigh 5 to 10 pounds.

Javanese Personality

The Siamese and the Javanese might differ in coat length and color, but beneath the skin they are identical. Javanese are extremely fond of their people. They like to be “helpful” and will follow you around and supervise your every move. When you are sitting down, a Javanese will be in your lap, and at night he will be in bed with you, probably under the covers with his head on the pillow. He is frequently underfoot, so he might not be the best choice for people who are unsteady on their feet or use a walker or cane.

A Javanese is perhaps not quite as loud as his relative the Siamese, but he is most definitely just as  opinionated. He will tell you exactly what he thinks, and he expects you to pay attention and act on his advice. You can also count on him to “tell all” to visitors, so be grateful that most people are not conversant in the Javanese language.

The Javanese is highly intelligent, agile and athletic, and loves to play. Keep his busy brain active with puzzle toys and his body exercised with teaser toys that he can chase and a big cat tree he can climb. He likes to play fetch, is willing to walk on a leash, and learns tricks easily. He is also a good trainer himself and may be running your household before you know it. Never leave him without any form of entertainment, or you will likely come home to find that he has reprogrammed your DVR to record only nature shows or at the very least decided that your toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes look better empty. Do not get a Javanese if living with a chatty busybody would drive you insane.

On the other hand, if you enjoy having someone to talk to throughout the day, the Javanese can be your best friend. Just be sure you have time to spend with this demanding and social cat. Javanese don’t mind staying home during the day while you go off to earn money to buy cat food, but they will expect you to devote time to them when you are at home. It can be smart to get two of them so they can keep each other company.

Choose a Javanese if you look forward to spending time with and interacting with your cat. This is a loyal and loving feline who will pout and pine if given little or no attention. In the right home, however, he thrives for years.

Javanese Health

Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. The same problems that may affect the Siamese can also affect the Javanese, including the following:

  • Amyloidosis: This is a disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver in members of the Siamese family.
  • Asthma/Bronchial Disease: Asthma in cats is a respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and constriction of the airways, leading to breathing difficulties. Similar to asthma in humans, feline asthma can range from mild to severe and may require medical management.
  • Congenital Heart Defects: Congenital heart defects in cats are abnormalities in the structure of the heart that are present at birth. These defects can affect the heart’s chambers, valves, or blood vessels, and they can vary in severity. While some congenital heart defects may not cause noticeable symptoms, others can lead to serious health issues. 
  • Crossed Eyes: Strabismus in cats, also known as “crossed eyes” or “squinting,” is a condition where the eyes are misaligned, meaning they do not point in the same direction. This misalignment can be present from birth (congenital) or may develop later in life due to injury, illness, or neurological issues.
  • Gastrointestinal Conditions: Enlarged esophagus in cats, also known as megaesophagus, is a condition characterized by a dilated and weakened esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Megaesophagus can lead to difficulties in swallowing and may result in regurgitation of food and water.
  • Hyperesthesia Syndrome: This is a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted
  • Lymphoma: Lymphoma in cats is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphocytes, which are white blood cells involved in the immune system. It is one of the most common forms of cancer in cats. Lymphoma can affect various organs and tissues in the body, leading to a range of symptoms.
  • Nystagmus: This is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in cats is a genetic disorder that affects the retina, leading to a gradual and irreversible loss of vision. The retina is the part of the eye responsible for detecting light and transmitting signals to the brain for visual interpretation. PRA is not a singular disease but rather a group of genetic conditions that share a similar outcome. 

Javanese Care

The fine, silky coat of the Javanese is easily cared for. Comb it once or twice a week with a stainless steel comb to remove dead hair.  A bath is rarely necessary. Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing.

Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear. K

eep the litter box spotlessly clean. Like all cats, Javanese are very particular about bathroom hygiene. It’s a good idea to keep a Javanese as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Javanese who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.

Javanese Coat Color And Grooming

Except for color and coat length, the Siamese and the Javanese are indistinguishable, having a svelte but muscular body with long lines and a wedge-shaped head that is long and tapering from the narrow point of the nose outward to the tips of the ears, forming a triangle.

The unusually large ears are wide at the base and pointed at the tip, giving them the same triangular shape as the head. Medium-size eyes are almond-shaped. The body is often described as tubular and is supported by long, slim legs, with the hind legs higher than the front legs. The Javanese walks on small, dainty, oval paws and swishes a long, thin tail that tapers to a fine point.

The appearance of the body is softened by a medium-length coat that is fine and silky. It is longest on the plumed tail. The other way in which the Javanese differs from the Siamese is in the point colors seen in the breed. The darker points of the face, ears, paws and tail come in solid colors such as red and cream, plus various lynx point colors, including seal lynx point and seal-tortie point, and parti-color points such as chocolate-tortie and lilac cream. The eyes are always a deep, vivid blue.

Children And Other Pets

The active and social Javanese is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.

Javanese Rescue Groups

More Info For You

If you’re also looking for a dog, check out DogTime’s dog breed page!

Life Span
10 to 15 years
Small to medium
5 to 10 pounds
Country Of Origin
United States and Canada
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