The Balinese is not a naturally occurring breed, and despite a misleading name did not originate in Bali. Up to the 1950s, the occasional longhaired kitten appeared in litters of Siamese cats and were sold as household pets. A human controlled breeding program was implemented around this time, with the name “Balinese” chosen by one of the breeders because she felt the cats were as graceful and beautiful as Balinese dancers. There are now two “strands” of the breed - the traditional or “apple-headed” look, and a more contemporary look.
Balinese make wonderful pets for anyone with a lot of time and attention to give. Curious, active and adventurous, they enjoy being involved in everything their family does. Though a piece of string or a leaf may keep them amused for hours, they should not be left alone for long periods of time. They are extremely loving animals and will bond very closely with their family. Balinese are vocal cats, with quieter and softer voices than Siamese. Not only will they enjoy being part of all your activities, but they will also enjoy talking to you throughout the day.
Balinese are very graceful and dainty cats. Though small, 6-8 pounds for males and 5-7 for females, their bodies are strong and muscular. They are sleek and svelte, their legs are long and fine, and their long, thin tails can have have a beautiful coat up to five inches long. The head of the Balinese is a long, tapering triangle and its eyes are the same deep blue as the Siamese. Their coat is fine and silky with no undercoat, reducing the likelihood of matting and making them an easy cat to groom.
Like the Siamese, the Balinese has the pointed pattern with restricted color on the mask or face, ears, legs and tail with a contrasting white body. The Balinese comes in a variety of colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream, tortoiseshell and tabby patterns. They may also include bicolor points.