Balinese Cat Breed Information

Learn all about Balinese Cats, read about the Balinese Breed information, find out about the Balinese Breed Standard, Balinese behavior and lots more about Balineses.

Balinese Cat Breed Introduction

Balinese Cat Picture

Balinese cats originated as long-haired Siamese cats. Since the 1950s, they have been bred as a separate line, though the Balinese cat breed still closely resemble the Siamese breed.

Balinese Behavior/Personality

Source: "The Lovely Balinese," by MaryKae Krause

Balinese cats are generally considered very companionable and attentive.

Balinese Breed Standard/Physical Description

Here are some facts on the Balinese breed based on the Cat Fanciers Association's breed standard.

  • Head: long, wedge-shaped
  • Muzzle: wedge-shaped
  • Ears: very large, pointed
  • Eyes: medium-sized and almond-shaped
  • Body: medium-sized, thin, fine-boned
  • Legs: long and slim, with back legs higher than front legs
  • Paws: small and oval-shaped, with five toes on front paws and four on back paws
  • Tail: long, tihn, and tapered with plumed hairs
  • Coat: medium-length and silky

Balinese History

Source: "The Lovely Balinese," by MaryKae Krause

The Balinese cat breed was originally just called the "long-haired Siamese," since that's essentially what a Balinese cat is. Up through the 1950s, when a longer-haired kitten was born to a Siamese litter, the kitten was not allowed to contribute to the Siamese breed because the breed standard called for short-haired cats. In the 1950s, two Siamese breeders, Marion Dorsey and Helen Smith, decided to breed the long hair cats as a new breed line. Helen Smith named the new breed "Balinese" because she thought the cats were elegant like Balinese dancers.

Another breeder, Sylvia Holland, bought Marion Dorsey's breeding business in 1965, and picked up the mantle of promoting the new Balinese breed. Today, almost all Balinese cats can trace their pedigrees to the lines established at Sylvia Holland's breeding business, Holland's Farm. Holland also led the push to get the new breed recognized by different cat registries. In 1970 they were officially recognized as a Championship breed by the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA). During the 1960s, the Balinese Breeders and Fans of America (BBFA) was also established. In the late 1980s, the group disbanded and was replaced by the Continental Balinese Club.

In 1979, a new colorpoint offshoot of the Balinese breed was recognized by the CFA as a new breed: the Javanese. Other cat groups treated the colorpoint cats as Balinese.

By the late 1980s, the popularity of the Balinese breed declined as breeders argued over standards and as new breeds appeared. Still, the cats compete in shows today and still are found around the US.

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