The Balinese cat is as old as the Siamese in terms of existence but was first acknowledged in documented Siamese litters in early 1900s, not considered a breed until many years later.
Siamese cats have their origins in Thailand and were first introduced and bred in the United States around the late 1800s. During this time, Siamese cats were a relatively new breed to United States cat breeders as well England cat fanciers. Siamese cats that carried the rare long-haired gene produced long-haired offspring in certain litters. Purebred Siamese breeders of that time saw these long-haired versions of the Siamese as "faulty" cats or undesirable due to their natural and recessive long-haired gene; after all, it didn't meet the current Siamese breed standards which specified requiring short hair. For these reasons Balinese cats became very rare as the anomalies that they were rarely appearing in pure Siamese litters. Breeders initially bred two long-haired Siamese cats and realized they would breed “true", which meant that they would produce offspring that were also of the long-haired appearance and standard. By these cats breeding true, it meant that they could be considered a breed in itself and not a hybrid or “mutt” cat.
In the year 1928 a Siamese breeder registered the first long-haired Siamese cat through the CFF (Cat Fanciers Federation). This was the first and only record found during this time of a long-haired Siamese or a Balinese cat. Two Siamese breeders, Marion Dorsey (Rai-Mar Cattery) in California and Helen Smith (MerryMews Cattery) in New York, both fell in love with the beauty of some longhair Siamese kittens that appeared in their Siamese litters and decided to develop more of these unique cats. Later another breeder by the name of Sylvia Holland (Holland’s Farms Cattery) in California dedicated the last years of her life to breed and promote this cat breed and bring it to full recognized breed status. Since then, Balinese cat breeders have worked effortlessly to preserve this rare, natural and wonderful cat breed in its initial appearance and traits as recorded in historic archives.
Being a highly intelligent cat breed, Balinese cats resemble their short-haired Siamese counterparts in their superb personality traits. They will follow you everywhere, love to be petted and adore constant attention. If they do not receive the attention they desire they will be sure to let you know with their vocal skills. Balinese cats are known for their dog like personalities and sweet demeanors.
- Activity level: 4/5 (they remain playful as adults, but are not crazy active)
- Intelligence level: 10/5 ( highly intelligent, rated 10 highest of all long-haired cats by Barron’s 1997 Cat Educational seriesbook)
- Curiosity: 5/5 (highly inquisitive cat breed, will always follow you around)
- Friendliness: 5/5 (incredibly friendly with children, strangers and other pets including other cats)
- Vocal: 4/5 (Can be as vocal as Siamese, but can be less vocal according to a cats personality)
The Balinese cat breed is known for its medium-Long-haired coat that resembles a royal ermine coat which is how they received their name from Balinese island dancers that used such attire in their graceful dances. They are one of the most beautiful cat breeds that display their different colors through the points on their face, ears, paws and tails. Balinese cats come in traditional colored points such as Seal, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac and other rare and exotic colors such as the Lynx (Tabby), Red, and complete white variations. Unlike man created cat breeds that come in a rainbow of mixed colors, Balinese cats should be colored pointed and have blue eyes.
- Fur: They are semi-longhaired with a coat of 2”-2.5” Balinese cats do not have double coats, and their hair is silk like and soft as rabbit fur. They do not shed as much as Persians, Rag-dolls and other long-haired breeds making this breed very manageable on their own without the need of daily grooming.
- Eyes: Round to Almond shaped eyes that are bright and saphire blue colored. True Siamese and Balinese cats are only blue eyed and have the darkest blue eyes of all cat breeds when properly bred to preserve this quality.
- Body structure: The true Balinese standard is the Old-Style or Traditional standard which consists of a cat that Solid and muscular body, barreled chest supported by medium sized legs and rounded paws. The modern or “wedge-head” standard consists of a very slim and elongated cat with delicate features such as small paws, long ears and thin faces. The tails is bushy and resembles an ermine coat in texture.
- Facial features: They have a broad forehead, medium sized rounded ears, a round cute nose and striking eyes that match their highly intelligent qualities.
- Weight: The average male weight is between 12 to 16 pounds, whereas the average female weight is between 6 to 10 pounds.
Balinese cats are generally very healthy cats. Health issues that may affect the Balinese are the same as those for the Siamese breed which include an inherited defect that causes crossed eyes and kinked tails which does not negatively affect their lives but only their appearance in the show ring. Hereditary liver amyloidosis, which leads to liver failure; and dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that reduces the heart’s ability to contract.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org