hierarchical inheritance in java

what is hierarchical inheritance in java with example

Hierarchical inheritance in Java refers to a scenario where a single superclass (parent class) is inherited by multiple subclasses (child classes). Each subclass may further act as a superclass for other classes. This creates a hierarchical structure or tree-like arrangement of classes. The advantage of hierarchical inheritance is that it allows for the sharing of common features among multiple classes while still enabling specialization in each branch of the hierarchy.

hierarchical inheritance in java

Here’s an example of hierarchical inheritance in Java:

// Superclass (Parent class)
class Animal {
    void eat() {
        System.out.println("Animal is eating.");

    void sleep() {
        System.out.println("Animal is sleeping.");

// First subclass (Child class 1) inheriting from Animal
class Dog extends Animal {
    void bark() {
        System.out.println("Dog is barking.");

// Second subclass (Child class 2) inheriting from Animal
class Cat extends Animal {
    void meow() {
        System.out.println("Cat is meowing.");

// Third subclass (Child class 3) inheriting from Animal
class Elephant extends Animal {
    void trumpet() {
        System.out.println("Elephant is trumpeting.");

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Creating instances of the subclasses
        Dog myDog = new Dog();
        Cat myCat = new Cat();
        Elephant myElephant = new Elephant();

        // Accessing methods from the superclass and subclasses
        myDog.eat();        // Inherited from Animal
        myDog.sleep();      // Inherited from Animal
        myDog.bark();       // Specific to Dog

        System.out.println(); // Separating output for clarity

        myCat.eat();        // Inherited from Animal
        myCat.sleep();      // Inherited from Animal
        myCat.meow();       // Specific to Cat

        System.out.println(); // Separating output for clarity

        myElephant.eat();    // Inherited from Animal
        myElephant.sleep();  // Inherited from Animal
        myElephant.trumpet(); // Specific to Elephant

In this example:

  • Animal is the superclass (parent class) with methods eat() and sleep().
  • Dog, Cat, and Elephant are subclasses (child classes) that inherit from the Animal class.
  • Each subclass adds its own specific behavior (bark(), meow(), and trumpet(), respectively) while inheriting common behavior from the superclass.
  • The main method demonstrates creating instances of each subclass and calling methods from both the superclass and the subclasses.

This structure forms a hierarchy where Animal is the common ancestor, and Dog, Cat, and Elephant are branches of the hierarchy inheriting from the common superclass.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *