A Javanese cat
|Domestic cat (Felis catus)|
The Javanese is a breed of domestic cat recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association as a show cat. It is an oriental-type longhair. The breed was developed in North America and its name is derived from the tradition of naming oriental-type cats after south-east Asian places.
The Javanese cat is not from Java nor Indonesia. Genetically they are long-haired Oriental. The term "Javanese cat" was coined by a Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery circa 1950. It is unknown if she had ever traveled to Indonesia. The name is derived from the tradition of using the names of the countries and islands of south-east Asia for Oriental cat breeds.
According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, the term "Javanese" is classified to distinguish the traditional colors of the Balinese cat from the tabby or "lynx point", red, and tortie point colors. Javanese cats are synonymous with color point long-hair cats, which are Balinese cats with other colors rather than the traditional colors. Though some breeders consider the Oriental breed synonymous to the Balinese breed, they are not the same breed due to being classified as another breed and standard. The primary reason for this classification has been due to the goal of keeping Siamese and Balinese lines pure or distinguished.
The Javanese breed has a long, silky coat in a variety of colors. It is distinct from the native domestic cats of Java which have very short hair, approximately 2 cm long, due to the hot and humid equatorial climate.
Javanese cats are referred to by show cat fanciers as colourpoint cats: showing odd or "rare" colors; such as red or white, or patternation; tabby and tortie.
It is noted as an intelligent cat and tends to vocalize, though often for no apparent reason. They are notably fond of play, jumping and human contact and allegedly depressed if regularly not entertained by humans or other pets. They are reportedly good mouse hunters.
- [The International Cat Association: Breeds: http://tica.org/public/breeds/os/intro.php] access date: 20 May 2010
- J. Anne Helgren, 1997. Barron's Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds: A Complete Guide to the Domestic Cats of North America. Barron's Educational Series, 1997. ISBN 978-0-7641-5067-8.
- David Alderton, 1992. "Cats". Ed. Daphne Negus. Dorling Kindersley, 1992. ISBN 978-1-56458-073-3.
- Somerville, Louisa (2007). The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds. Edison, N.J.: Chartwell Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780785822646.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of this name in the cat world, although it is always used to describe cats of distinctly Oriental type. It has been adopted simply because of the tradition which has grown up for using the names of countries and islands from south-eastern Asian for other Oriental breeds, such as the Siamese and Balinese.
- Marcus Schneck, Jill Caravan: 1990. Cat Facts". Barnes & Noble Books: 1990. ISBN 978-0-88029-558-1. 160 pages.