Java – Finding all objects that have a given property inside a collection


I have some complicated object, such as a Cat, which has many properties, such as age, favorite cat food, and so forth.

A bunch of Cats are stored in a Java Collection, and I need to find all the Cats that are aged 3, or those whose favorite cat food is Whiskas. Surely, I can write a custom method that finds those Cats with a specific property, but this gets cumbersome with many properties; is there some generic way of doing this?

Best Solution

Try the commons collections API:

List<Cat> bigList = ....; // master list

Collection<Cat> smallList =, new Predicate() {
    public boolean evaluate(Object o) {
        Cat c = (Cat)o;
        return c.getFavoriteFood().equals("Wiskas") 
            && c.getWhateverElse().equals(Something);

Of course you don't have to use an anonymous class every time, you could create implementations of the Predicate interface for commonly used searchs.

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