Inquisitive, active, and affectionate with a natural curiosity.
Balinese cats are extremely intelligent. Barron’s Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds rates their intelligence in the highest percentile on their scale of recognized breeds’ characteristics. They will often sense when their humans are unwell or depressed and will lay close and try to comfort them.
Due to their high level of intelligence they are easily trained. With proper reinforcement they will scratch the scratching posts provided instead of your furniture. They can be readily trained to walk on a leash. Or rather, lead you while they wear a harness and leash.
Balis are active members of their households. They are very social cats and have a wonderful mellow and laid-back manner. They love their humans and normally make excellent lap cats. I also consider them to be the “Ultimate Companion Cat.” They are cuddlers and will snuggle up and sleep with their humans if given the opportunity. I have never known one who was not naturally sweet. Their personalities are as individual as any other cat breed, however, and you may find a bit of mischief mixed with the sweetness.
Like Siamese cats, Balinese cats are very active, playful and outgoing. In addition these cats are often clown-like and mischievous. It is not unknown in this breed to have a little thief who enjoys taking off with your pencils, paper clips, straws or even jewelry. Often when they are doing the stealing they will stop to look back to make sure you are watching them! (There is a certain little Bali boy named Alexander, living in Washington with a police officer. Alex is well known for his thievery of sports watches. His human has had to buy four so he can find one when it is time to go on duty!)
The Balis’ natural, feline self-sufficiency is tempered by their need for human interaction. They do not thrive when they are left alone for long periods of time and do better if there are other pets in the household. They often make friendships with dogs, bunnies, birds and other cats. When they go into a new home with an established cat population, they basically ignore any rebuffs until eventually all the other pets accept that the Bali is going to be an important part of the family.
Children: Balinese and Siamese cats both are excellent with children. But, as with any animal, they do need protecting from young children or rough handling. These cats will normally put up with a great deal of aggressive behavior and then hide instead of defending themselves.
The Balinese cats are among the most vocal of all breeds but have a softer meow than do their Siamese relatives. When they do have something to say it is wise to listen. They will usually tell you about their day, or vie for attention, but sometimes they are trying to relate to you that something is wrong. Maybe that silly kitten is caught inside the drawer again. Maybe their restlessness is due to a stranger outside or even the smell of smoke in the house.
As most cats do, the Balinese cats love to hold evening races or the Nighttime Crazies as I like to call them. They will race wildly through the house and bounce off their favorite places. If they don’t have a companion cat to run with, they welcome the participation of their humans. They love to retrieve toys or paper wads once they are able to train their humans to throw them. These athletic cats also love to play and jump after a toy on a string. But this is not to say they are wild or overly active cats. Barron’s rates their activity level as 8 out of 10 (10 being most active). They are just fun-loving and will settle right down and be back in your lap after their exercise period.
Balinese cats are robust and healthy. Females can average anywhere from 8 to 10 lbs with males weighing in from 10 to 14 lbs (or more).
They are as exotic-looking as Siamese cats. They also have the same wonderful blue eyes. The main difference between the two breeds is the length of their coats. The Traditional Balinese and Siamese cats possess the wonderful muscular body similar to the original imports from Siam. They are heavier than the modern, “wedge-head” cats that are featured in most of what is written about both breeds. The Traditional cats have a rounder shaped head giving them the nickname “Applehead.”
The Balinese cat is basically a low-maintenance long haired Siamese cat. The Bali coat is the most wonderful silky, luxurious Angora-feeling satin coat. When visitors pick them up for the first time it is not unusual for them to utter some sound like “Ohhhh” and then bury their faces in the wonderful fur. It is just silky, silky, silky and delightfully luxurious. The body hair is medium length, between 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, and of just one length. Without the double coat of other longhaired cats, the Balinese coat does not need the constant grooming and care of those breeds. When you brush your Balinese cat it is more of a demonstration of affection and a bonding experience than a necessity. My long haired Balinese cats actually seem to shed less than my shorthaired Siamese.
The most outstanding feature of the Balinese coat is the magnificent plume of a tail. The tail hair can reach 3 to 6 inches in length and is exquisite! The Traditional Balinese cats also have the cute little ear tufts, a ruff around their neck, and “britches” along their hind legs.
Here at Orecatay I raise Balis in Seal, Chocolate and Blue. I hope soon to be able to offer for sale the beautiful lilac color in Balinese kittens. Of course, all have huge, beautiful, blue eyes. The CFA recognizes four colors of Balinese cats: Sealpoint, Chocolate Point, Bluepoint and Lilac Point. All other colors are considered Javanese cats. Other registries are more accepting of other colors in this breed. The wonderful Siamese deep blue eyes complete the package.
Long haired kittens can be born to parents who are both long haired or to short haired parents who carry the gene for long hair or a combination of both.
It is generally accepted that the Balinese cat is a natural mutation of a Siamese gene. Longhaired kittens appeared occasionally in short haired litters over the years. Breeders usually quietly gave the kittens away. A Balinese cat was first registered in 1928 and Balinese was established as a separate breed in the 1950’s. Interest in the breed was slow to catch on and did not blossom until much later.
Another school of thought is that the breed originated from breeding Siamese with Persians, Turkish Angoras or other, longhaired cats. The flaw in this theory is that those cats have a double coat with the shorter guard hairs. Balis do not. It should be noted that some of the original imported cats around 1871 had longer, fluffy coats and could very well have carried the longhaired gene.
The OLD “TRADITIONAL” CAT vs the MODERN CAT
Unfortunately, in both shorthaired Siamese and the longhaired Balinese cat, immersion in the cat show world has been highly detrimental to the breed. Early in the 1960’s the extreme look of the modern wedge cat became popular. To keep up with the fad, the CFA changed their breed guidelines and would no longer allow the old cats into the show rings. Many breeders began breeding the modern “wedge head” cats. Some cats were bred back to parents to increase the likelihood that their desirable characteristics would be passed on to later generations. The inescapable genetic fact is that the chance for defects is also increased by inbreeding and health problems and shorter life spans have been the long-term effects.
A few die-hard breeders did not like the new extreme look and the politics of the show ring. These breeders, myself included (who never bothered with the cat show scene), continued breeding and selling the old cats to people wanting companion cats. I never liked the practice of inbreeding or even line breeding (pairing cats not immediately related, but of the same bloodline). Over the years I would locate other small breeders and either sell or exchange kittens or loan stud cats to keep the gene pool healthy. These are common practices with small breeders today as well.
I set exacting standards on health, personality, bone structure and coloring. I breed what have come to be known as Traditional Balinese and Siamese cats that are descendants of the original, hardy cats.. The Traditional Balinese still have the wonderful full coats that the modern cats have lost over years of inbreeding. I like to think their wonderful personalities are also similar to those that inspired fascination in the original breeders and importers.
MALE vs FEMALE
Once spayed or neutered, either sex will make a wonderful companion.
HEALTH and LONGEVITY
Like their Traditional Siamese relatives, Traditional Balinese cats are known for their robust health and long life spans. I have had cats live to be 18. It is not unusual for a few to live into their 20’s.
All adult cats in the cattery have tested negative for FeLv, leukemia and FIV.
Kittens are raised uncaged and “underfoot.” They receive regular wormings. There are no fleas, ear mites or ringworm present. Kittens receive at least their first Feline-4 vaccination before leaving the cattery. I work closely with local veterinarians to maintain the best health possible for the cats and kittens.
Adoptive kitten parents receive a written one-year genetic health guarantee.