The Balinese made their debut at the 1961 Empire Cat Show in New York. For at least 15 years before that, however, longhaired kittens had appeared for tryouts on occasion in litters produced from shorthaired Siamese parents.Since the longhairs didn’t look the Siamese part, they were “discarded or quietly given away as undesireables,” as one Balinese breeder puts it.
These longhaired Siamese cats were developed into the breed known as Balinese, a name chosen by Helen Smith, a style setter in the new breed, because the graceful movement of her cats brought to mind the dancers from the island of Bali.
Body Structure:The Balinese, a willowy cat with long, tapering lines and a lithe, muscular body, is chiefly distinguished from its Siamese relatives by a slight fringe on the underbelly and a modest plume of a tail. It is fine-boned but firm-muscled, with a medium-sized body, equally slim at the shoulders and hips.
Its legs are long and slender, the hind legs being slightly longer than the front; its paws are dainty, oval and small. The head is a blend of sharp angles modified by softening curves; The long,tapering wedge that defines the head originates at the nose and flares out in straight lines, without a break at the whiskers, to the tips of remarkably large, pointed ears, open wide at the base.
Eyes:Medium-sized, deep blue eyes, almond shaped and slanted toward the nose peer from behind the Balinese mask, which covers the entire face.Neither protruding, recessed nor crossed, the eyes should be separated by no less than the width of an eye.
Coat:The coat is fine and silky and, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Federation standard, should be 2 or more inches long, but in reality it reaches that length mainly on the tail.
Color:The Cat Fanciers’ Association believes that true Balinese one of only four colors only: Seal, Chocolate, Lilac or Blue. Balinese-type cats with other point colors are regarded by CFA as a separate breed called the Javanese, but no other registry makes this distinction.
The Balinese are acrobatic, liking to run, jump, climb curtains and ride on the shoulders of their owners. They are very affectionate and demand affection in return, and yet at the same time retain an indefinable air of aloofness that characterizes the Siamese.