The Balinese is a cat with harmonious lines that conquers by its agility and graceful movements. The result of the crossing of the Siamese with other long-haired breeds, such as the Turkish Angora, it has inherited the point pattern and those intense blue eyes that captivate us from the Siamese. In fact, the first specimens were called long-haired Siamese twins.
Siamese breeders didn’t like it. Then, one of the creators of this breed, Helen Smith, opted for the name Balinese, as these cats evoked the elegance and stylized lines of Balinese dancers. They are active and intelligent cats that enjoy company, regardless of whether it comes from humans or other animals.
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Characteristics of the Balinese cat
This breed corresponds to slender but muscular felines. Its body is elongated, as are its legs and its nose. They stand out for the length of their hair on the abdomen, legs and tail, which endows them with great elegance. They reach 15-17.7 centimeters in height in adulthood.
- Origin America (USA)
- Medium size
- Weight of 6 kg approx. in males and 4 to 5.5 kg in females
- Medium-long hair, very abundant, fine and soft. It lacks an undercoat and shares its point pattern with the Siamese , that is, its legs, tail, face and ears are darker. Light gray, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream, and seal are accepted . It is always solid shades with solid or tabby spots
- Medium-sized, triangular, elongated head, contributed to by its slender neck
- Large, pointed ears
- Slightly slanted, almond-shaped, deep blue eyes
- Long tail, very bushy and tapering towards the tip
- Estimated longevity of 8 to 13 years
- Difficulty caring for it low
Character and behavior of the Balinese cat
These kitties are excellent climbers and jumpers , so they appreciate having access to the outside, as well as cat trees or gyms of different heights. They are active and affectionate, but not excessively. They prefer to devote their attention to their favorite human and be somewhat indifferent to the rest of the family.
They get along well with children and greatly appreciate the company of other animals. Like the Siamese it is a very vocal and communicative breed that will not hesitate to claim your attention with its soft and melodious voice. They love to catch all eyes and are quick learners, provided they are trained with love and positive reinforcement.
Care required by the Balinese
Its semi-long hair is very fine and although it does not tend to tangle it should be bathed every month and a half, approximately, to keep it in perfect condition. To do this, you must use a specific shampoo for long-haired cats. Brush it at least 3-4 times a week to prevent eating dead hairballs.
The Balinese have fine bones that make them prone to obesity if they do not exercise daily and neglect their diet. In this sense, we recommend you provide a mixed diet, made by alternating dry feed and wet food based on patés or homemade recipes, and ration it in 2 doses throughout the day.
Balinese cat health
It has been found that this breed has a certain predisposition to develop various ophthalmological diseases. We refer to strabismus, which occurs as a consequence of the alteration of the optic nerve, and nystagmus, which consists of the involuntary repetition of rapid forward and backward movements of the eye .
Despite the discomfort that both cause by reducing the quality of the animal’s vision, they are easily treatable through pharmacotherapy. However, you should always go to the vet to rule out that the nystagmus has been triggered by another underlying condition.
History of the breed and fun facts
These felines were born in the 1940s in the USA, between New York and California. Its creators, Helen Smith and Marion Dorsey, wanted to get a cat with the identifying characteristics of the Siamese, but with more abundant and longer hair. To do this, they resorted to crossing Siamese with long-haired breeds, such as the Angora .
In 1960 it was recognized as a breed in the US In Europe it happened decades later, in 1983. As a curiosity, it deserves your attention that the first specimens had thicker hair and bone structure . Through the selection implemented in their breeding programs, they managed to refine them until obtaining the current specimens.
There is a hypothesis that places its genesis in the result of a natural genetic mutation. However, it does not appear to have much scientific consistency. Be that as it may, the Balinese is a cat with a slender and elegant bearing, whose curious coat leaves no one indifferent. Do you agree?