Differentiating one breed of cat from another by its physical characteristics is not always easy. Especially when several races share some of those characteristics. That is what happens with the Balinese cat, a breed often mistaken with the Siamese cat for its aesthetic resemblance.
One of the reasons that this breed and the Siamese cat breed are confused, is that its origin is related. The story of the Balinese cat begins from the cross between Siamese cats and cats of other long-haired breeds. What was sought at the time was to maintain the image and beauty of the Siamese cat, but with a much longer and softer fur.
In particular, its origin is in the United States, in the middle 40s. It is not known who was the first breeder or private person who began to cross Siamese cats with long-haired breeds, some of these breeds were the angora cat. Others state that the appearance of these cats occurred by a natural mutation of Siamese cats, but this hypothesis is less accepted.
Many Siamese cat breeders showed their rejection of this new breed, and even resisted the development of it. However, breeders such as Helen Smith and Sylvia Holland worked on it and set the features that were most interesting. It was also Helen herself who gave the race its current name.
The name comes from the movement of these animals, whom were compared to Balinese dancers, but it does not mean that the breed developed in Bali or that it has any relation to this place.
Gradually, Balinese cats began to capture the attention of breeders and people from all over the world. And, although the opposition of the Siamese cat breeders, who only provided low-quality specimens for the crosses, the Balinese cat found its mark and gradually refined.
It was in the 1960s that race was recognized as such in the United States, but it would still take a few years to draft the standard for other places. Specifically, it would be 20 more years before it was also recognised in Europe.
Today, it is easy to find balinese cat specimens all over the world, as well as breeders specialized in the breed. However, it is not one of the most expanded or desired breeds as a pet. That is because it is still quite unknown and because it is still confused with the Siamese cat or even with the Himalayan cat.
Luckily, there are enough specimens for the continuity of the breed to be more than guaranteed, and with all odds will continue to increase over the years.
Balinese Cat Features
The Balinese cat is a medium-sized animal compared to other domestic feline breeds. It has a great beauty and a stylized figure. Having a rather elongated body, it may seem thin in certain postures, but the truth is that it is a strong and very agile animal, trained for intense exercise.
Of his whole body, what most reminds to the Siamese cat is the shape of his head, triangular and thin towards the snout, and the color of his fur. Highlighted on its head are large, upright ears, a broad, dark nose, and large, almond-shaped eyes of a deep blue color. Its legs and tail are also elongated, in perfect proportions with the rest of the body.
The fur is long, soft and silky. But it is also attached to the body, so it is not as fluffy as it happens with other breeds. The most common color is the cream on the body and the dark brown or brown on the tail, on the feet or on the mask of the face. Although you can also find many other base colors, such as white, chocolate or blue, and all that are allowed in the Siamese cat.