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rec.pets.cats: Balinese/Javanese Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: cats-faq/breeds/bali-javi
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997

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                           Balinese/Javanese FAQ
    Author: Barbara French, Tarantara Cattery, Rochester, NY, USA
  Table of Contents
    Physical Description
    Characteristics and Temperament
    Is This Breed for Me?
    Care and Training
Physical Description

    Depending on the cat association, the terms "Balinese" and "Javanese" mean
    different things. In Europe, "Javanese" refers to a solid-coloured Oriental
        Longhair. However, for this FAQ, we will use these terms as used by
                            American cat associations.
       Basically, Balinese and Javanese are longhaired cats in the Oriental
     family, similar in both type and personality to a Siamese. A show-quality
    Balinese or Javanese will have a long, lithe body, tubular when the cat is
    stretched between your hands. Balinese and Javanese should be muscular, and
       will be deceptively heavy when lifted. Legs are long, fine-boned, and
                             slender, with small paws.
         The head is wedge-shaped, with large, alert ears which follow and
       complement the shape of the wedge. The eyes are distinctly Oriental,
    slanted slightly to fit in with the overall head shape, and sapphire blue,
     the deeper the colour the better. The nose is straight, with no break or
                              rise between the eyes.
    Balinese and Javanese both have longer hair than a Siamese, but don't have
    dramatically long fur like a Persian or Maine Coon. The body hair should be
    silky and close-lying, not "fluffy". The fur on the tail is longer -- about
     two or three inches -- and when brushed out forms a full, graceful plume.
    Most people seeing a Balinese or Javanese for the first time may mistake it
              for a Siamese, until they see the gorgeous, full tail.
    Colour is the difference between the Balinese and the Javanese breeds. Like
      Siamese, Balinese and Javanese are "pointed" cats, which means that the
     face, legs, and tail are a darker colour than the body colour. The darker
                      colours are referred to as the points.
     Some cat associations, such as TICA, make no distinction between Balinese
      and Javanese, and in these associations both Balinese and Javanese are
                             categorized as Balinese.
    In those associations that do make a distinction, such as CFA, Balinese are
     accepted in the four "traditional" Siamese solid colours of seal (black),
     blue, chocolate, and lilac. Javanese are accepted in the "nontraditional"
    colours of lynx (tabby) points (seal lynx, blue lynx, chocolate lynx, lilac
        lynx), tortoiseshell points, flame (red) points, and cream points.
                           An easy chart for reference*:
                 _Siamese_: short coat; seal, blue, chocolate, lilac
           _Colourpoint Shorthair_: short coat; lynx, tortie, flame, cream
                 _Balinese_: long coat; seal, blue, chocolate, lilac
                  _Javanese_: long coat; lynx, tortie, flame, cream
       *In associations that make distinctions between breed based on colour
       The body colour is lighter than the point colour, although it will be
    considerably lighter in a younger cat. The body colour tends to darken with
      age. Point restriction (restriction of the darker colours to the face,
        legs, and tail) is desirable. On lynx-point Javanese, some "shadow
      striping" (light striping on the body) is permitted but not desired. A
               clear coat with excellent point restriction is best.
Characteristics and Temperament

    Balinese and Javanese are active, busy cats, like their related breed, the
     Siamese. Balinese and Javanese love people, and are constantly following
     "their" people around the house and getting underfoot. They can be quite
    demanding when they want attention, but they are also true cuddlers and lap
             cats. They require a lot of interaction and active play.
    Balinese and Javanese also love high places; if you don't provide somewhere
     high for them to perch, they will find a spot of their own. Many love to
                 ride on the shoulders of their favourite humans.
    Both Balinese and Javanese need toys, but fancy ones aren't necessary. Many
     love something simple, such as a ping-pong ball slit enough to drop in a
      few grains of rice for noise, or a peacock feather. A bored Balinese or
    Javanese may find something else to make into a toy, such as pens, papers,
       boxes of envelopes, or other things you may wish not to become toys!
     Balinese and Javanese are insatiably curious and quite fearless. There is
    little they will not investigate: a noise, an open cupboard, water dripping
     from a faucet, a toilet flushing, the inside of a shopping bag, a running
    vacuum cleaner, a blow dryer. Because of this curiosity, their lithe build,
     and a penchant for getting toys under things, they are also accomplished
      contortionists who can scoot under low couches, beds, and cabinets with
    astonishing ease. Beware of this ability in strange houses and hotel rooms;
          you may find your Balinese or Javanese taking a tour of the air
     conditioning ducts! The only hole too small for a Balinese or Javanese is
                   one the cat cannot squeeze the head through.
      Like their cousins, the Siamese, Balinese and Javanese are "talkative"
    cats, with loud voices they seem to use at any opportunity. Many just seem
     to "chat" for no apparent reason. The quality (and quantity) of the voice
    varies from cat to cat. Some can be very quiet -- others rival Joan Rivers
                                for talkativeness.
Is This Breed for Me?

     Balinese and Javanese need human contact. If you don't have a lot of time
    for a cat, a Balinese or Javanese may not be the right breed for you. They
     do fine in a household where everyone is away all day, but be prepared to
    spend some time every day playing and interacting with the cat. Sometimes,
    that just means letting the cat sleep in your lap while you watch TV, or it
      can mean up to an hour of all-out play. They are marvelous jumpers, and
     toys that exploit this ability are fun for the cat and amusing to watch.
     If you're looking for an active, fun, devoted companion with elegant good
       looks, a Balinese or Javanese is a wonderful choice. The longer hair
                   softens the Siamese type and adds refinement.
     Like many active cats, Balinese and Javanese get underfoot a lot. It may
     not be the best choice for someone with mobility problems. They are good
    with children and keep up admirably with even the most active kids. They do
     best in households with at least another cat for company if their people
                                 are away all day.
Care and Training

    The main concern when showing a Balinese or Javanese is keeping the weight
    ideal. These are lithe cats with fast metabolisms, but some cats may not be
    able to free-feed without getting fat. Some Balinese and Javanese cats can
     free-feed without trouble, but others, particularly alters, may eat more
      heavily. Exercise and play can help burn off extra fat and calories. An
       excellent, show-ready Balinese or Javanese should not be skinny, but
      maintain lithe and elegant lines. A Balinese or Javanese run to fat may
                    appear "slab-sided", or flat on the sides.
    Balinese and Javanese need little daily grooming if they are pets, as their
    silky coats do not mat. They enjoy being combed and fussed over, but their
      coat will not suffer unduly because of it. A Balinese or Javanese being
      shown may need more care than that, including regular baths to keep the
                  coat, particularly the tail, in top condition.
     Balinese and Javanese are intelligent cats, which means that they can be
              trained, but also that you may find them training you!

     Balinese and Javanese can be difficult to find, as they are rare breeds.
     Most "pockets" of Balinese and Javanese breeders tend to be found on the
            two coasts. Some breeders may ship cats of appropriate age.
     Breeders of all breeds of cats may be found through the Fanciers Breeder
                            Referral List at (address).
   Copyright (c)1995 Barbara C. French, Text
   may not be copied or used without permission of the author.


     Balinese and Javanese FAQ
     Barbara French,

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