The history of the Balinese cat is somewhat in dispute. According to Petfinder, some longhaired kittens began to show up in otherwise shorthair Siamese litters in the early 1900s. Some people theorize that the long hair gene was introduced into the Siamese gene pool after World War I in Europe. The Siamese breed had been nearly obliterated by the war, and some theorize that breeders used other types of cats to help further the Siamese bloodline.
Photo Credit: Carol VanHook.
Others believe that the long hair gene occurred naturally. Both theories have merit and have been disputed. No one knows which theory is responsible for the long hair gene found in Balinese cats.
A longhaired Siamese cat was registered with the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) in 1928, but there was no real effort to establish the breed until the 1940s. The Balinese were named by Helen Smith, one of the early breeders working to establish the cat as a breed. She named the breed Balinese because the graceful cat reminded her of Balinese dancers.
The Cat Fanciers' Association originally accepted Balinese in the traditional colors - seal, lilac, chocolate, and blue. Later, in 1979, the CFA started accepting "non-traditional" color points as well, such as lynx (tabby), cream, tortoiseshell, and red.
The Balinese have many physical characteristics similar to the Siamese. Balinese have long, svelte, muscular bodies with long silky hair. Unlike other longhair breeds that have double coats, these cats have a single coat. The Balinese's long silky coat measures anywhere from one-half an inch to two inches. The bread's fine coat lies close to the body, and it is not likely to mat. The bread's tail forms a plume, with hair measuring up to five inches in length, according to The International Cat Association (TICA).
The Balinese's head forms a tapered triangle, and the breed has stunning blue Sapphire eyes. According to the TICA, the breed is medium-sized with females weighing 5-7 pounds and males weighing 6-8 pounds.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Titkov.
Like the Siamese, Balinese cats have white or cream colored bodies and points of different colors. Points refer to the mask or face, tail, legs, and ears of a cat, and they range widely in color and pattern. Balinese point colors and patterns include lilac, chocolate, blue, seal, lynx (tabby), red, tortoiseshell, and bicolor points.
Balinese have a loving and playful temperament. As I mentioned earlier, these cats are social and love attention. They bond closely with their families and want to be involved in everything you do from cooking dinner to checking email to helping you with the chores. These cats get along well with children and other pets as well.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Titkov.
Like their Siamese ancestors, Balinese love to talk! They will chat with you about anything and everything. Their voices are softer than that of the Siamese. If you don't like a vocal cat, this breed is not a good choice for your family.
These cats are intelligent and inquisitive. They tend to get into mischief, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time, according to the TICA. They love to play and tend to love all sorts of toys. Petfinder states that Balinese cats can easily learn how to fetch as well.
Have you ever owned or met a Balinese cat? Please tell us about your experience in the comments section.