Balinese cats have nothing to do with Bali; the name arose from a comparison made by an early developer of the breed when she commented that they were “as exotic as Balinese dancers”. The breed began with long haired kittens that occurred from time to time in Siamese litters; experiments were made in breeding them and having found that they bred true a programme was launched to develop them as a separate breed. The programme to develop the Balinese was started in the early 1950s and by 1961 they were granted championship status in the USA. They achieved Championship status in the UK in 1986 and since then have gone from strength to strength. The Balinese is bred back to the Siamese to improve type and quality.
Whilst the Siamese coat lies very close to the body the Balinese coat is silky, half to two inches long with a plumed tail. Short haired kittens, known as Variants occur in litters from time to time; these cats are used in breeding programmes because they carry the gene for long hair, though are not allowed on the showbench.
Like the Siamese the brilliant blue eyes are a particularly striking feature; the colour range is similar to that of the Siamese, a range of pointed colourings from Seal through to the pale Cream point, plus Tortie points on the non-red colours (Red and Cream). All colours can be Tabby pointed and further variations are of Tabby Tortie. Cat breeders seem to have an endless fascination for breeding colours and seeking perfection in the difficult patterning of Tortie and Tabby. However, as a pet owner the primary concern is for affectionate kittens, who have been well socialised. Be aware that like their cousins, they can be extremely vocal.
Although Balinese have no particular health problems, it makes good sense to insure your cats. Many breeders sell their kittens with six weeks free insurance cover. More and more owners are now insuring their pets as advances in veterinary medicine, plus the soaring costs of drugs can mean astronomical bills.
Balinese Breed Clubs & Rescue
Contact the Breed Clubs who will have lists of Breeders and may have Kitten Lists.