July 15, 2013 PetGuide
PetGuide logo


  • Height: 18-20 inches
  • Weight: 5-10 lb
  • Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Physique: Slender and elegant
  • Best Suited For: First time cat owners, families with children, retirees
  • Temperament: Loving and affectionate, requiring daily attention
  • Comparable Breeds: Siamese, Balinese, Oriental Shorthair

New Search

Considered one of several “designer” cats reminiscent of the Siamese, the Javanese is most closely kin to the Balinese. The cats have no connection to the Isle of Java. Helen Smith of the MerryMews Cattery came up with the name in 1950 for its Oriental sound and because Java is a sister island of Bali. The Javanese breed is the product of a cross between a Balinese and a Colorpoint Shorthair to arrive at a Siamese-like cat with a longer coat and a wider variation in colors.

Closely kin to the Balinese, the Javanese is a talkative philosopher that is fine staying by himself during the day, but would like your attention in the evenings.

javanese-1Closely kin to the Balinese, the Javanese is a talkative philosopher that is fine staying by himself during the day, but would like your attention in the evenings. Since the breed can be inventive when left to their own devices, having two to keep each other company is a good idea. Playful and devoted, the Javanese never turns down a meal, and has to be watched closely so they don’t steal from your supper table. These cats are so active, however, that the extra calories have no chance to settle around their middle. They seek out ways to indulge their intelligent curiosity, and at times will seem to be very earnestly trying to tell you about their latest discovery. As interactive but less demanding than the Siamese, the Javanese is an easy cat to train, being quick to catch on and delighted to be included in every activity. They do well in families with older, well-behaved children and will interact with cat-friendly dogs. If other cats are present, the Javanese will assert himself as the dominant animal in the house.

The body conformation of the Javanese is very similar to that of its near relative the Siamese, but tends to be softer, with longer, more svelte lines. The legs are also long and slim. The body and legs display firm muscles for an athletic bearing in keeping with the cat’s playful nature. The ears are large, moving from a wide base toward a definite tip, which accentuates the triangular look of the face and the cat’s almond-shaped eyes, which are always blue. The cat’s long, thin tail is plumed and tapers outward to a point. Naturally long-lived and healthy, these cats can bring joy to you and your family for years.

javanese-2Although decidedly Siamese in appearance and coloration, the Javanese does have different point colors on the face, ears, paws, and tail. These range from solid reds and creams to lynx and tortie variations like the seal lynx point or the chocolate tortie.

The Javanese sports a semi-long coat that has no undercoat, which eliminates the issue of tangling and matting. Even show cats require almost no grooming. Use a stainless steel comb once or twice a week to take dead hair out of the coat. Baths are needed only rarely. Thanks to this cat’s great love of people, they tend to be highly cooperative when it comes to grooming.

Photo credit: Monika Wroblewska-Plocka/Shutterstock

Comparable Breeds

Go to Siamese


  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 8-10 lb
  • Lifespan: 11-15 years
  • Physique: Slim muscled body
  • Best Suited For: Families with children but often bonds with one person.
  • Temperament: Intelligent and affectionate. Playful and talkative. Extroverts
  • Comparable Breeds: Devonshire Rex, Havana Brown
Go to Balinese


  • Height: 6-7 inches
  • Weight: 8-12 lb
  • Lifespan: 18-22 years
  • Physique: Wedge-shaped head
  • Best Suited For: Families or individuals who can provide constant companionship
  • Temperament: Intelligent, affectionate, loving, inquisitive
  • Comparable Breeds: Siamese, Singapura