Javanese Cat a Spice of Life – Breeds information
Javanese Cat – Variety is the spice of life. If it wasn’t, then Baskin-Robbins wouldn’t have 32 flavors of ice cream, Sherwin-Williams wouldn’t offer 500 hundred different shades of green and everybody would drive a four-door sedan instead of today’s vehicular array of SUVs, mini-vans, convertibles, luxury coupes, pickups, and station wagons.
Ours certainly is not the first era to recognize the need for variety. An ancient Chinese proverb states, “Sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted.” It was the famous British poet and hymnist William Cowper, writing in the early 1780s, who first wrote, “Variety is the very spice of life,” to which Johnny Carson added in the ’60s, “If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.”
If variety truly does make life taste better, however, then never before has an age experienced such succulence. Thanks to industrialization, technology, and globalization, coupled with an ever-changing and expanding population, the choices available to us are greater than ever before. We can pick from apparel available in every color under the rainbow – and some that aren’t – while enjoying exotic cuisines from the farthest corners of the world. Thanks to advances in science, we have a truly astonishing array of medicines and procedures to treat, and often cure, diseases that debilitated our grandparents’ generation. New advances in science have also carried over to the animal world, where we not only have the ability to create new breeds of animals but also, through cloning, can create an exact copy of an animal that already exists.
Javanese Cat – A Cat for Everyone
The cat fancy has been forever changed by this era of endless variety, as well. Today the different types of cat available are no longer restricted by environmental conditions and random genetics. Enthusiasts literally have dozens of breeds to select from in choosing the cat that is perfect for them, and if none of these choices is just right, then they have the know-how to create a breed that is.
The Javanese Cat is such a cat, for the breed is one in a line of Siamese-style cats created through the efforts of breeders who wanted to take the qualities of the Siamese and alter the coat and colors to their own preferences. Like the Balinese, the Oriental Shorthair and longhair, and the colorpoint shorthair, the Javanese Cat bears a strong resemblance to the Siamese in terms of conformation and personality type. The difference, as they say, is in the details, and it is in areas such as coat length, color, and pattern where the Javanese Cat distinguishes itself from its Siamese ancestors.
The Javanese Cat and the Balinese are so closely related, in fact, that some consider them to be the same cat. This may or may not be true, depending of your point of view, but the history of the two breeds is undeniably linked. Longhaired Siamese kittens began appearing in Europe around the time of World War I. Two different theories attempt to explain how this occurred. The first is that this was a naturally occurring mutation in the Siamese. The second proposes that the longhair gene was introduced into Siamese stock during and directly after the war, at a time when the Siamese gene pool in Europe was almost obliterated and breeders may have used other breeds to help rejuvenate the bloodline.
Longhaired Siamese was considered an anomaly well into the 1920s and 1930s, and no one began a serious effort to establish the cats as a separate breed until the 1940s, when several breeders began working with longhaired cats born in purebred Siamese litters. Many Siamese breeders opposed these efforts because they did not believe the longer hair was a natural mutation. Nevertheless, development of the cats persisted, until it was clear a distinctive name was needed to distinguish the cats from the Siamese. Helen Smith, one of the earliest and most avid breeders of these cats, suggested the name Balinese because the cats’ sleek yet graceful appearance reminded her of the traditional dancers from the isle of Bali. Although these cats bore absolutely no connection to Bali, the name stuck, in large part because it suggested an exotic heritage.
Balinese breeders, hampered by the Siamese breeders who wouldn’t sell them top-quality breeding stock, struggled to refine the body type of the breed, and after years of work, they finally achieved success. By 1970, the year the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) granted championship, all the major United States associations recognized the breed. Like the Siamese, the Balinese comes in four pointed colors: seal, blue, chocolate and lilac. Another Siamese-related breed, the colorpoint shorthair, was also gaining recognition throughout the late ’60s and early ’70s. This cat shared the short coat of the Siamese as well its body style, personality, and coat length. It also shared the Siamese’s pointed color pattern, but in the untraditional colors of red, cream, tortoiseshell and lynx (tabby) points.
As both the Balinese and the colorpoint shorthair gained acceptance, breeders became intrigued by the idea of a cross between the two breeds. It wasn’t long before that idea became a reality, and Balinese breeders began using the colorpoint shorthair to introduce that breed’s designer colors into the Balinese line. Breeders soon needed a name to describe these longhaired colorpoint cats, and they turned to a familiar source of inspiration – the South Seas. The Javanese Cat isn’t from the Isle of Java any more than the Balinese is from Bali, but the name had a suitable romantic ring and the two islands are closely related to one another, just like the cats that bear their names.
Javanese Cat – Exotic Excitement
As its exotic name suggests, the Javanese Cat is a breed for folks who want a little spice in their lives. Known for their curiosity and intelligence, Javanese won’t settle for being ignored and will actively involve themselves in your life and activities. You can’t outsmart a Javanese, either, for they have an uncanny ability to learn your behaviors and routines, even to the point where they will remind you in their soft but determined voice that you are late for a very important event such as their dinner. In fact, Javanese cats, like the Siamese and other Siamese-related breeds often have a preoccupation with food. Some will burn off the extra calories in playful antics, but care must be taken that couch potatoes don’t become overweight.
Many fanciers say Javanese are easy to train. Others may argue that the Javanese Cat is good at training you – some are known to “fetch”; in actuality, however, the cat has taught its owner to “throw.” Their voice is softer than a Siamese’s but just as active. Frequent meows seem definite attempts to communicate, and they look you directly in the eye awaiting an answer.
The Javanese Cat is a perfect breed for our variety-crazed society, for breed enthusiasts insist that the personality of a Javanese Cat varies with its color. Tortie points are regarded as the class clowns of the Javanese, with an outgoing, eager-to-please demeanor. They speak their minds freely and are eager to entertain with their antics. Red and cream points are considered more laid back, easygoing and affectionate. Lynx points often have a regal, dignified demeanor to accompany their dramatic good looks.
Currently, the CFA is the only registry that separates the breeds into the classifications colorpoint shorthair and Javanese Cat. The other registries merely extend the color parameters of the Siamese and the Balinese to include the wider ranges of colors. This is because some breeders feel that separating the Balinese and the Javanese Cat is like splitting cat hairs; both breeds share a body type, personality, and coat. This opinion, however, seems to go against our widely held belief that more variety is better. Although the Javanese Cat may share many of its characteristics with other breeds, its unique colors and beautiful appearance have a style and appeal all their own. Just ask a Javanese Cat owner – this beautiful, distinctive cat will add spice to any life.
Javanese Cat – The Building Code
The ideal Javanese Cat is a svelte cat with long tapering lines, very lithe but strong and muscular. To the eye, the Javanese Cat often appears to have softer lines than a Siamese because of the longer hair. Since the fur is only semi-long and lacks the downy undercoat, the coat doesn’t tangle and even show cats require little grooming. The wedge-shaped head, large ears, and blue eyes are all typically Siamese. As you would expect, the Javanese’s standard is almost identical to the Siamese’s and to the standards of the other Siamese-related breeds. The main difference lies in the color schemes and hair lengths. The Javanese Cat is generally a healthy breed but can suffer from the same defects as the Siamese. Endocardial fibroelastosis (a congenital heart disease) is a more serious anomaly that can be found in some Siamese lines.