Introducing the Silky and Smooth: Balinese Cat Breed

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beautiful balinese cat meowing at someone

The Balinese Cat breed raises images of idyllic paradise islands, but it, in fact, originated in the United States. This delightful breed acquired its name because of their unique and silky flowing coats, inspiring the breed to be named after the graceful dancers of Bali.

The Brief History of the Balinese Cat Breed 

Just looking at these distinguished kittens will clue you in as to their definite Siamese heritage. The fact is that they are a result of a spontaneous long-haired mutation in the Siamese, but past breeding between the Siamese, Persian and Turkish Angora Cats also play a role.

While longhaired Siamese kittens were not improbable, tracing the history of the Balinese as a breed begins in the 1950s, with the first breeding programs.

It must, however, be noted that in 1928 the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) did have a longhair Siamese, which is in fact what the Balinese cat is.

Marion Dorsey, who bred Rai-Mar Siamese in California, and Helen Smith, who bred MerryMews Siamese in New York, were both enamored with the captivating fluffy or fuzzy longhair kittens which graced their Siamese litters every so often.

Both Siamese breeders made the decision to actively breed more of these long-haired Siamese beauties. Helen Smith came up with the name Balinese because the kittens so beautifully reflected the elegance and finesse reminiscent of Balinese dancers.

In 1965 Rai-Mar Cattery was sold to Sylvia Holland of Hollands Farm Cattery, who actually pioneered to have the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognize the longhaired Siamese as a separate breed – the Balinese Cat.

The Cat Fanciers Federation recognized the Balinese in 1961, and in 1970 the Cat Fanciers Association followed suit. Other registries also recognize the breed, including the American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association.

The Appearance of these Silky Cats 

What makes the Balinese distinctive is the recessive longhair gene. This is the initial reason behind Siamese cats throwing the odd long-haired Siamese kitten within their typical litters.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association describes the ideal Balinese cat as lithe but muscular, and svelte with long tapering lines. Much like its ancestor, the Siamese, the Balinese struts the long legs, body, head, and tail, but takes it a step further to include the long hair – which the Siamese does not boast.

The Balinese cat’s tail is its most distinctive feature, as it plumes so very elegantly. Did you ever see eyes as blue as those peering out at you from the wedge-shaped face of a Balinese cat?

A deep sapphire blue that can be mesmerizing, set in the pointed pattern of its lovely mask. The pointed pattern repeats in the face, ears, legs, and tail against the contrasting creamy white body.

two balinese cats with bright blue eyes sitting down

Average Size and Weight! 

Balinese are medium-sized cats. Males weigh from 6 to 8 pounds and females range from 5 to 7 pounds. These cats can grow to a length of about 1.5 feet, with a one-foot-long tail.

Balinese Coats and Colors Explained! 

The Balinese coat is its most unique feature, lying close to the body it flows silkily along the cat’s lines flowing naturally towards the rear, and does not mat.

Unlike other longhairs, the Balinese has a single coat rather than a double coat. The CFA at first accepted the breed in the traditional Siamese colors. By 1979 however non-traditional colors such as the lynx (tabby) point and tortie point patterns were accepted as a separate breed, the Javanese. In 2008, these two breeds merged.

The Balinese cat breed presents in the following color points: The true colors of the breed are the traditional color points of seal point, chocolate point, blue point, and lilac.

The exotic patterns include lynx points, and the rare points of red, cream, torties, and foreign white. You will notice that these follow the Siamese Point colorings such as Siamese Seal Points.

Balinese Cat = Hypoallergenic Cats? 

There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic cat. Some breeds are simply less likely to cause allergies in certain individuals.

A protein in cat saliva known as Fel D1 causes the sneezing and itchy reactions in humans. The cat licks their coat, the allergen-laden saliva dries and becomes airborne, and you have allergic reactions.

What Are Their Grooming Requirements? 

The silky single coat seldom mats or tangles, making the Balinese an easy longhaired cat to keep well groomed. A quick and easy combing removes loose hair and maintains the spectacular plumed tail splendidly.

A simple wipe of the ears with a cotton swab will remove any wax. Also trim your cat’s nails regularly!

person grooming a balinese cat hypoallergenic cats

Temperament and Personality: What to Expect! 

Expect an intelligent, chatty, opinionated, ever-helpful, and omnipresent assistant. Balinese cats love to supervise and keep their human’s company. They love to play and are incredibly energetic and agile.

You would not be out of order providing teaser toys, a well-placed scratching post, and puzzles to keep your Balinese entertained. They love attention and will vocalize endlessly with you or a stranger, given the opportunity.

If you must leave home regularly to bring home the kibble, a companion kitty for your Balinese might be a good idea.

What is the Average Lifespan of Balinese Cats? 

Longevity seems debatable on this breed. A lifespan for an average cat is about 15 years, and you might expect the Balinese to fit within these parameters.

They can, however, live to between 18 and 22 years of age – a true testament to the nine lives of this breed of cat.

List of the Breed’s Potential Health Issues! 

As with any pure-breed or mixed breed, health issues tend to be genetic in nature. As such, the Balinese shares the same issues as the Siamese.

  1. Progressive retinal atrophy is a group of genetic diseases that are rare in cats. It is characterized by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss and eventual blindness.
  2. Crossed eyes result from abnormal retinal pathways, and may impair depth perception. Additional health problems may follow, but it usually doesn’t affect their quality of life.
  3. Amyloidosis is a rare disease which causes decreased liver function in Balinese cats. Symptoms include dehydration, poor coat quality, gingivitis, excessive urination, lethargy, and weight loss. This can eventually lead to the rupture of the liver and internal bleeding.
  4. Hyperesthesia syndrome is a rare illness in domestic cats often called “rolling skin disease”. It causes agitation, self-mutilation, and a characteristic rippling of the skin when touched.
  5. Asthma or bronchial disease.
  6. Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The muscle tissue becomes thickened, usually in the left ventricle of the heart, and affects its ability to fill and pump.
  7. Gastrointestinal conditions such as megaesophagus.
  8. A lymphoma is a form of cancer that begins with infection-fighting cells of the immune system called lymphocytes. These cells are found in the lymph nodes, including the spleen, thymus, and bone marrow.
  9. Nystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement.
  10. The kinked tail was prominent in Siamese cats, but over the years Breeders have largely eradicated it. Kinked tails do however persist to a lesser degree.
  11. Bladder stones
  12. Cancer
  13. Periodontal disease. You can avoid this with regular dental care and cleaning.

Balinese Cat for Sale! 

three tiny balinese kittens being picked up

Anyone wanting true love and companionship will be thankful for a Balinese Cat.

Balinese Kittens: Price 

Expect to pay between $1100 – $1500 for your little piece of furry heaven in a cat, although prices can be as low as $600. Make sure that low-cost kittens are not the product of a kitty mill.

What to Look for in Reputable Cat Breeders! 

Typically a reputable Balinese breeder provides socialization, training, and love before rehoming kittens, as well as most, if not all, of the following:

  • Vaccinations
  • Micro-Chip
  • De-wormed
  • Health examination and certification by my Veterinarian

The CFA can help you find the Breed Council Secretary for the Balinese Cat breed, which will assist you in locating a quality breeder.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Find a Balinese Rescue Group! 

With all the homeless kitties in shelters, and in humane societies throughout the world, why would you not want to give a cat a second chance?

Give a lap-less cat a loving forever home. It’s easy with a Balinese Rescue Group in almost every state of America, and many throughout the world, as well as Speciality Purebred Cat Rescue in America.

Check online for a rescue group in your area. Shelters often calculate adoption fees by the age of the cat with discounts applied for health or special needs.

Adoption fees typically include spay/neuter, feline leukemia/FIV testing, distemper vaccination, microchipping, deworming, flea-free, grooming, temperament testing, and often full dental cleanings. Older cats may have had blood panels to assure health.

Common Questions on the Balinese Cat

On which parts of the body will the ‘points’ be prominent in a Balinese Cat? 

Will my Balinese cat get along with strangers in my house? 

Could my purebred Balinese cat be the reason behind my new boyfriend’s allergies? 

How often must I brush my long-haired Siamese?

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