The Balinese Cat

The Balinese Cat

The question most often asked at shows and among cat fanciers is ‘what is the difference between the Balinese and the Colourpoint, or as it is called in the USA, Himalayan?’. The Himalayan, well known across the country as the Colourpoint, is a Persian type cat with Siamese colouring. As such, it is judged by the Persian standard (short cobby body, wide head, short nose, short tail, round eyes with a sweet expression). It was developed by Mrs Marguerita Goforth of La Mesa, California, USA, who crossed Persians with Siamese and worked for many years to perfect this beautiful cat with its rich Persian coat.

The Balinese, on the other hand, is a pure Siamese cat. No other breed has been crossed with it to achieve the long coat. Consequently it is judged by the Siamese standard (body long and lithe, long legs and tail, almond-shaped eyes, wedge-shaped head), the only difference is that the Balinese has long, very soft, silky hair. This long hair has come from mutations, that is to say, long-haired kittens have turned up spontaneously among pure-bred, pedigree Siamese litters. These unusual kittens have been treasured by a few breeders and by carefully breeding long-haired Siamese to long-haired Siamese they proved that the cats will breed true, all long-haired. The Balinese make the most perfect pets one could wish for.

The coats of this breed, or so the Balinese Society tell us, are much easier to keep in order than most long-hairs as they are more flowing, not so dense and do not mat. Also they do not shed, even as much as short-hairs. Depending on the climate in your area, they may shed briefly, once a year; but most of the time you can wear black or navy blue with impunity even if your home boasts several Balinese.

They are very intelligent and lively cats and, like their Siamese forebears, enjoy taking part in their owner’s activities. They tend to be quieter than the average Siamese. Not to say they aren’t chatty when spoken to. You will always get a response from these long-haired Siamese; but you will get fewer demands. They are wonderfully gentle and affectionate. It is said that you never get a mean one.

The Balinese Society was formed in Britain in August 1978 with the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the pure-breeding of Balinese cats. The Balinese is by definition a long-haired Siamese. No other breed must be introduced. The Balinese coat, which is long, fine and silky, lying flat and flowing towards the rear, comes from natural mutations.

The temperament should be typically happy, lively and affectionate, not restless or always meowing, and the ideal Balinese should make an excellent, practical, healthy pet, easy to handle, easy to care for and, easy to love.