Balinese Cat Breed(Characteristics, Temperaments, Care)
The Balinese cat is a Siamese cat dressed up in a medium-long silky white coat and a plumed tail. When they first appeared in the 1940’s, breeders thought they were just anomalies in the pure Siamese bloodlines. However, in the 1950’s, a breeder in New York and a breeder in California independently began to develop the new breed. Since long hair in a Siamese is a recessive gene, it takes a pair of long-haired Siamese to produce a long-haired kitten. The New York breeder, Helen Smith, chose the name “Balinese” because the graceful movements of the cat reminded her of the graceful dancers of the island of Bali. The first Longhaired Siamese was shown at a New York cat show in 1961. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) only recognizes the four official Siamese color varieties as Balinese and calls all other longhaired color varieties Javanese. Other cat fancy organization in the US and Britain allow many other longhaired color varieties to be grouped under the Balinese. The CFA granted the Balinese championship status in 1970.
|Exercise||Active – requires some exercise|
|Grooming||Minimal grooming – combing once per week|
|Temperament||quieter than Siamese but needs attention|
Balinese Cat Characteristics
The Balinese is a medium-sized cat breed with a luxurious tail plume. Male Balinese weigh from 10 to 15 pounds and females from 8 to 12 pounds which is similar to the Siamese. The Balinese is svelte and dainty but also lithe and muscular. This is a long slender cat that resembles the Siamese except for the long coat and plumed tail. The head of the Balinese forms a long and tapering wedge with a long and straight profile. The ears are large. They complement and extend the wedge. The eyes are Oriental, slanted slightly and are a deep vivid blue. The Balinese coat is medium length and silky to the touch and since there is no undercoat, it lies flat to the body. The tail has longer hair than the coat, about 2 to 3 inches, and when brushed forms a luxurious and graceful plume.
The only point colors recognized by the CFA are the same as the pedigreed Siamese cat. Points refer to the face, ears, tail and paws which contrast with the body color. The points should all be the same shade and clearly defined with no ticking or white hairs in the points. Other cat fancy organizations in the US and Britain recognize other non-Siamese colors, while the CFA puts these longhaired colors in the Javanese breed. The CFA standard Balinese colors are:
- Seal Point has a pale fawn to cream body shading to lighter color on the stomach and chest with points a dark seal brown.
- Chocolate Point has an ivory body with no shading with points a milk-chocolate.
- Blue Point has a bluish-white body shading to white on the stomach and chest with points a slate blue.
- Lilac Point has a glacial white body with no shading with points a frosty grey with a pinkish tone.
The Temperament of Balinese Cat
Balinese are quieter and less demanding than their Siamese cousins. They are active and busy cats who love people and like to follow them around. Balinese have an insatiable curiosity and are always underfoot or investigating anything that interests them. They love high places and often will ride on the shoulders of their favorite people. They can be quite demanding of attention but enjoy being a lap cat. They are fairly active and like to play games. Balinese cats require toys and if you don’t provide them, they will find something else to make into a toy that you may not appreciate. Toys do not have to be elaborate. They will enjoy a game of soccer on a hardwood floor using a ping pong ball. Balinese are indoor cats. Like their cousins, the Siamese and Javanese, the Balinese are very talkative cats that use a fairly loud voice. Balinese do well with young active children but don’t enjoy being left alone during the day. If you have to leave your cat for long periods of time then you should acquire a second Balinese as a companion.
Balinese cats are very healthy and can live from 15 to 20 years if provided with a healthy diet and lots of exercises. The medium-long coat is easy to groom and a once per week light combing with a steel comb will suffice. This is a low maintenance cat except for the demands for attention.