Colour: In the USA, Seal, Chocolate, Blue and Lilac Point are the only colours permitted. Other colours, such as Red, Tortie and Lynx (Tabby) Point, are referred to as Javanese. In the UK this separation is not made, all the colours being included in the Bali
Balinese cats are the long-haired version of the Siamese Cat. It has been called 'the fashion model of the cat world'.
Domestic Breed: The long-haired version of the Siamese Cat. In the United States some colour forms (see below) are called Javanese Cats. When the breed first appeared it was given the name 'Long-haired Siamese' but this was unpopular with Siamese breeders and a new name was sought. 'Balinese' was selected for two reasons. First, Bali is close to Siam (Thailand) and secondly the elegant movements of the cats were thought to be reminiscent of Balinese dancers. In Australia it is also known as the Oriental Longhair. In France it is the Balinais; in Germany the Balinesen.
Appearance: It has been called 'the fashion model of the cat world'. Described as 'slim and dainty'. The elongated, angular body of this breed, its colour-pointed coat pattern and its vivid blue eyes are identical with those of the Siamese, the only difference being that the Balinese has a soft, silky, medium-long coat with a plumed tail.
History: The Balinese began as an accident. Siamese kittens started to appear with much longer fur than usual. At first they were looked upon as unfortunate oddities and were discarded from breeding programmes, until a Californian breeder decided to turn a negative into a positive and develop them as a distinct new breed. Marion Dorset is said to have first taken an interest in them as early as the 1940s and by the mid-1950s she had developed a planned breeding programme with them. In the early 1960s she was joined in this venture by a New York breeder, Helen Smith, and it was she who suggested changing the name to Balinese. Other breeders were soon attracted and in 1968 they formed a club called 'The Balinese Breeders and Fans International.' They also launched a magazine: Speaking Balinese. By the end of the decade the new breed had achieved Championship status with all the American cat societies. In the 1970s it had spread to Europe and had also gained Championship status there by the 1980s.
There are two theories as to how the long coat came appear in pure-bred Siamese stock. One sees it as a spontaneous mutation. The other sees it as the delayed result of the occasional introduction of Angoras into Siamese lines, which apparently happened in England, back in the 1920s.
Note: The Balinese should not be confused with the Himalayan. Both could loosely be described as 'Long-haired Siamese', but this is misleading. They are very different animals. The Himalayan is essentially a modified Persian - with Siamese colour-points, whereas the Balinese is a modified Siamese - with long coat.
Personality: The following terms have been used to describe this breed: Extrovert and lively throughout life. Intelligent, eager, enthusiastic, active, athletic, acrobatic, expressive, regal, graceful, loyal, friendly, warm, curious and affectionate . Like their Siamese ancestors, they are vocally noisy.
Colour forms: In the USA, Seal, Chocolate, Blue and Lilac Point are the only colours permitted. Other colours, such as Red, Tortie and Lynx (Tabby) Point, are referred to as Javanese. In the UK this separation is not made, all the colours being included in the Balinese breed.
GCCF: Seal Point; Blue Point; Chocolate Point; Lilac Point; Red Point; Seal Tortie Point; Cream Point; Blue Tortie Point; Chocolate Tortie Point; Lilac Tortie Point; Seal Tabby Point; Blue Tabby Point; Chocolate Tabby Point; Lilac Tabby Point; Red Tabby Point; Seal Tortie Tabby Point; Cream Tabby Point; Blue Tortie Tabby Point; Chocolate Tortie Tabby Point; Lilac Tortie Tabby Point.
CFA: Seal Point; Chocolate Point; Blue Point; Lilac Point.
American Balinese Association. Address: 29 Harvest Lane, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA.
Balinese and Siamese Cat Club. Address: Holly Tree Cottage, Clacton Road, Horsley Cross, Manningtree, Essex, CO11 2NR, England.
Balinese and Siamese Cat Society. Address: Lapislazuli, 10 Osborne Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7DW, England.
Balinese Cat Society issues a magazine. Address: 5, Lamaleach Drive, Freckleton, Preston, Lancs, PR4 1AJ, England.
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