What is a Javanese?


Grand Champion Rakkestad's Legacy
Champion Rakkestad's Calypso of Staccato

Red Point Javanese Littermates
Photo Copyright (C) Carl Widmer

Take one Balinese, dip in the colors of the rainbow and you have a Javanese. The Javanese is everything that is Balinese, and then some... the intelligence, grace and refinement of the Siamese, the luxurious silk of the Balinese coat, combined with the crazy mixed-up colors of the Colorpoint Shorthair. Javanese have been around for about as long as the Balinese, some appeared in litters of Colorpoint Shorthairs, most likely a result of the longhair gene being introduced via the domestic shorthair when the red, lynx and tortie point colors and patterns were first introduced to the Siamese breed. Most are the result of Balinese breeders using the Colorpoint Shorthair to introduce these colors and patterns into the Balinese breed.

Although records show that a longhaired cat of pure Siamese ancestry was registered with the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) as early as 1928, there was no serious effort to promote this variation. Longhaired kittens appearing in Siamese litters were quietly sold as pets and their existence conveniently forgotten.

What is frequently left out of this tale is that early in the 1940s, Siamese breeders around the world had already began using domestics and a limited number of other breeds to introduce Red, Cream, Tortie and Lynx Point colors and patterns to the gene pool. These hybrids are the ancestors of CFA's (Cat Fanciers Association) Colorpoint Shorthair breed, but (over time) they were accepted as full Siamese by a majority of the other registries around the world.

It is not until 1950 that the story of the Balinese truly begins. Two longhaired kittens were born into a litter of registered Siamese owned by Marion Dorsey (Rai-Mar; California). She realized that she had something special and bred the two together. To her surprise they bred true for the long coat and thus the breed was formally started. Sylvia Holland (Holland's Farm; California) became interested in 1956 and soon afterwards, Helen Smith (Merry Mews; New York) also became involved. The name Balinese has nothing to do with Bali, Helen Smith chose the name because the svelte lines of the cat's body, flowing coat and effortless grace reminded her of the Balinese dancers. There is insufficient time and space to try to name all the early breeders that contributed their time and efforts to see the breed recognized around the world or the number of different "mutation" lines discovered all over the USA since the 1950s.

As Balinese breeders campaigned for acceptance in each registry they were not under the restraints and guidelines laid down today... they did not need to list and describe each color desired for championship competition. They used the Siamese show standard as a guideline, added the flowing coat and requested that the breed be accepted "in all championship colors of Siamese". This explains why Balinese were accepted in a rainbow of colors in all other registries UNTIL they reached CFA. Because CFA separated the "pure" Siamese (Seal/Blue/Choc/Lilac Point) from the ones derived from hybrid ancestry, the "other color" Balinese were denied registration by CFA. It was not until 1979 that breeders were able to gain acceptance by CFA as a separate breed known as Javanese. CFA Javanese have a special and unique history originating from a limited Colorpoint, Siamese, Balinese gene pool . Effective May 2008, the CFA merged the two breeds, the Javanese becoming a division of the Balinese breed. This brings CFA in line with the other worldwide registries while continuing to recognize and respect the history and accomplishments of both breeds in CFA.

Javanese are judged as a division of the Balinese, according to the Siamese standard with additional emphasis on the longer hair which lies close to the body, flowing along the cat's lines, longest on the tail forming a proud plume. The coat is the most unique feature of the breed, silky in texture, it doesn't mat like other longhaired breeds and tends to shed less than the Siamese.


More Information

CFA Breed Council Secretary - Kris Willison : 832/900-1218 (fax)
CFA Balinenese/Javanese: Breed Profile | Breed Standard | Registration Prefixes | Breeding Chart
CFA Almanac - Balinese Oct '97 | CFA Almanac - Javanese Feb '94 | History of the Javanese Breed
CFA Balinese Cats of Distinction | CFA Javanese Cats of Distinction | Javanese Foundation Cats: Balimoor Cattery | Mishna M'Lady of Su-Bali






Grand Champion, National Winner
Zinzani St John's Revelation

Blue Lynx Point Javanese Male
Photo Copyright (C) Larry Johnson


Grand Champion, Regional Winner
Staccato's Coffee Cantata

Choc-Tortie Point Javanese Female
Photo Copyright (C) Carl Widmer

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