The Balinese breed started in the U.S. around 1950. It is said that spontaneously, in pure Siamese breeds, kittens appeared with a Siamese appearance but with a long-haired fur. However, it seems more likely that the long hair gene is brought in when Siamese cats were bred and crossed with other long haired breeds. A few breeders in the U.S. were so charmed by this long-haired Siamese that they decided to make a separate race of it and made the effort to have the breed recognized and registered. Mrs Helen Smith is responsible for the name “Balinese”. These charming cats reminded her of the exotic Balinese dancers. Unfortunately, there is no natural population of Balinese cats on Bali itself.
The Balinese has the same physique as the Siamese: Muscular, long and slender. The hind legs are higher than front legs, the legs are slender and long with oval shaped feet. A long, thin tail is ideal. They have a wedge-shaped head, which together with their big ears, forms a perfectly angled triangle. The eyes are almond shaped, obliquely placed in the head. Eye color is preferably as pure as possible like deep blue.
Coat and pattern
A silky fine coat, which rests flat against the skin. Little undercoat. The hair on the tail is long, silky and not too thick. The most common colors are: seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, red point, cream point. These colors are also in tabby (striped) and tortie (red / cream spots). The more recent colors are cinnamon and fawn point. The most popular is the “Foreign White” Balinese. This is an all-white cat with blue eyes associated with the Balinese. Kittens are born white, the typical Himalayan pattern comes later. The coat will keep its color from one year.
The Balinese is a cheerful and lively cat who is playful and needs lots of attention and affection. He is quieter by nature than the Siamese and has a softer voice. He likes company and is very attached to his family and other animals in the house. He likes movement and is therefore best off when he regularly go outside in a secluded garden.
Care and Maintenance
The semi-long coat of the Balinese makes it easier to maintain then a full long-haired breed, although regular brushing is necessary, as with other (semi)long-haired breeds.