What’s so great about a Balinese cat? Everything! Ask
anyone who is owned by one of these fabulous felines
what is so special about the breed, and you set off a glowing
monologue that ends only when the speaker is exhausted.
Despite his regal bearing and aristocratic appearance, the
Balinese is a clown with a heart as big as a circus tent. To
gauge the level of his intelligence, you have only to gaze into
those sapphire eyes which sparkle with alertness and healthy
curiosity. Although he is every bit as demonstrative and
affectionate as the Siamese, he is somewhat less vocal, and his
voice is softer.
Balinese enhance the elegance, grace and intelligence of the
Siamese with the luxury of a silky flowing coat. Named for
the graceful dancers of Bali, the coat is the most unique
feature of the breed. It does not mat and lays close to the
body, flowing along the cat’s lines, the tail forming a proud
plume. It was initially accepted by CFA in the traditional
Siamese colors. The lynx (tabby) point, tortie point patterns
and other “non-traditional” Siamese colors were accepted in
1979 as a separate breed, the Javanese. In 2008, the breeders
voted to merge the two, bringing the breeds more in line with
other registries around the world.
It is generally accepted that the breed originated as a
spontaneous longhaired mutation of the Siamese cat.
Apparently, Mother Nature decided that the already glorious
Siamese could be made even more glorious by adding the
long, flowing coat to the svelte body lines of this graceful
Coat length is the primary difference between the Siamese
and the Balinese. Although it is probable that occasional
longhaired kittens had been turning up in pedigreed
Siamese litters long before they attracted the interest of a few
imaginative breeders, no serious effort was made to promote
the longhairs as a new breed until the 1940’s.
The breed standard of the Cat Fanciers’ Association describes
the ideal Balinese as a svelte cat with long tapering lines, very
lithe but strong and muscular, unique with its distinct range
of colors and silky coat that hides a supple and athletic body.
Like its ancestor breed, the Siamese, nearly everything about
the Balinese is l-o-n-g, including body, head, legs and tail. It
goes one step further than the Siamese in that its coat length
is also long. The most distinctive feature of the Balinese is its
luxurious tail plume.
Because the Balinese has a single coat, in contrast to the
double coat of other longhairs, the hair lies close to the
body, flowing naturally toward the rear. Thus, it does not
detract from the long, slim lines of the basic body structure.
Grooming is simple, for the coat does not mat like the double
coat of most longhaired breeds.
Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and
sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had
their basic inoculations and developed the physical and
social stability needed for a new environment, showing,
or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure
indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable
surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of
scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy
surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy,
long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.