The Balinese cat is regal yet clownish. They are generally healthy and can live up to 22 years. They are sweet, playful and talkative cats that do well around children and other pets.
Like the Siamese cat, the Balinese cat is elegant, slender, and small-boned with long legs and tail. This breed has big pointed ears, almond-shaped eyes, and oval paws.
There are two types of Balinese cats: the traditional type and the modern type. The traditional Balinese cat generally has broader head and stronger body while the modern Balinese cat’s head is more wedge-shaped with longer muzzle. The modern type also has broader and longer ears. They also have longer and more slender bodies.
Generally, the coat of the Balinese cat is medium in length but varies per individual. Their fur is soft and silky. Unlike the usual long-haired cat breeds, the Balinese cat does not have fluffy undercoats. The breed’s tail has a definite plume, or fringe, of longer hair. Like their Siamese counterparts, Balinese cats come in the following colors: blue point, seal point, chocolate point and lilac point.
The eyes of the Balinese cat can be pale blue, violet, or sapphire and their vibrancy may change according to diet and age. Balinese kittens are born white or pure cream. Their coat color eventually develops visible points in colder parts of their body such as the ears, paws, face, and tail. The color of the Balinese cat’s paw pad can also be used to determine the color point: chocolate and lilac points have pink paw pads while blue and seal points have dark paw pads.
On the other hand, Balinese cats that live in warm areas have lighter coats compared to those living in cold areas.
Personality and Temperament
Balinese cats may appear elegant, but they are funny cats. They are like clowns – demanding clowns. They love their owners and would love to participate in everything you do. They are people-pleasers, and this trait makes them easy to train. These cats are smart, and they can do most of the things you’ll teach him.
Balinese cats are conversationalists. They are extroverted cats who have sweet and soft voices and gets along well with children, other cats, and dogs.
Health and Care
Although Balinese cats are a healthy breed, health issues lysosomal storage disease and feline acro melanism can affect them.
Remember, all cats are prone to health problems, so it’s always best to keep your cat’s vaccines updated. Make sure to give your cat a proper diet and grooming as well. Do not overfeed your cat as keeping it fit is the best way to protect his overall health.
Balinese cats do not shed much and are generally easy to groom. They only need weekly brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Like all cats, Balinese cats can develop periodontal diseases, so it’s very important to brush their teeth with appropriate pet toothpaste.
History and Background
Just like the American Wirehair, Balinese cats are the result of something called natural mutation. Balinese cats are believed to have originated from Siamese cats.
There have been references to longhaired Siamese cats throughout history including some in a Chinese tapestry. These mutated Siamese cats were also mentioned in an issue of Penny Illustrated magazine in 1871.
In 1928, the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) registered the very first longhaired Siamese cat. However, little has been known about these cats until their popularity surged decades later. True Balinese breeding programs were established in the 1950s.
Siamese cats gave birth to long-haired kittens from time to time, but their long coats were considered undesirable traits back then. Fortunately, this changed in the 1950s. Two Siamese cat breeders: Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery in New York and Marion Dorsey of Rai-Mar Cattery in California. Both ladies adored the longhaired kittens, so they started breeding these longhaired Siamese cats.
Helen Smith is the one credited with bestowing the Balinese cats their breed name. Helen named the formerly called longhaired Siamese cats after Balinese Dancers, because their beautiful fur sways gracefully – like that of the dancers in Bali, Indonesia.
In 1965, Marion sold her cattery to Sylvia Holland of Hollands Farm Cattery, who originally bred Siamese cats. After she was introduced and shown the Balinese cats, she was in awe of the breed and eventually led a group to have C.F.A. recognize the longhaired Siamese cats as Balinese. And in 1979, the International Cat Association officially recognized the Balinese.