Essentially the Balinese is a longhaired variant of the Siamese, which deserved formal recognition in the early 60s of the XX century. This graceful and splendid breed was named after elegant Bali dancers. It will suite finely for a person who wants to have an affectionate, loyal and intelligent family pet with vivacious temperament.
Photo: © cattery Dizigner (dizigner.ru)
It’s commonly thought that a long-haired variety of the Siamese had existed long before its formal breeding was started in the second half of the XX century. An ancient Chinese tapestry contains the image of the longhaired feline, which bears close resemblance to the modern-day Balinese. It was also mentioned in a Penny Illustrated Paper of 1871 and longhaired specimen of the Siamese was registered with the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) in 1928. It remains unclear though whether the long hair was caused by natural mutation or this characteristic became the result of crossing the Siamese with a longhaired breed such as the Persian or the Turkish Angora.
Official story of the Balinese began in the 50s of XX century when two Siamese breeders were totally fascinated by astonishing beauty of several longhair kittens that were produced by their Siamese pets. Marion Dorsey (Rai-Mar kennel) in California and Helen Smith (Merry Mews kennel) in New York were simultaneously hit upon an idea of developing a brand new feline breed and their efforts eventually led to creation of the Balinese. The breed owes its original name to Helen Smith who tried to put emphasis on its grace and liveliness.
The Cat Fanciers Federation officially accepted the Balinese in 1961. It was granted recognition of the Cat Fanciers Association in 1970. Actually the breed is nowadays recognised by virtually all feline registries including the American Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association. It enjoys a world-wide popularity among cat fanciers for its exotic appearance as well as for its lovable disposition.
The Balinese is well-known for its highly affectionate and devoted nature, which it inherited from the Siamese. This cat strives for always being around its favourite people and will invariably escort its master all over the house. It will curl up beside him while he is asleep and will immediately appear in his lap when he is resting in his easy-chair.
This cat likes to spend endless hours playing with children and will get along with a cat-friendly dog. Of course it demands respectful attitude to its authority and private space. It purports though that the initial introduction of two strange animals should be performed carefully and in controlled situation.
Unlike it closely related Siamese the Balinese is considerably less vocal but it won’t hesitate to use a wide variety of sounds to draw your attention. This clever and active cat seems to be always busy with some sophisticated game. This breed should always have puzzle toys and a big cat tree, which will provide the exercise not only for its body but also for its inquisitive mind. Thanks to its exceptional intelligence the breed member can be taught to perform tricks or it can be trained to a leash. Without necessary physical and mental stimulation the Balinese will find its own ways to expand its energy and you mightn’t like them.
The mischievous and loving Balinese fits best to families, which can devote enough quality time to its feline pet. This cat has tendency to suffer from stern separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· asthma/bronchial disease;
· congenital heart defects;
· eye problems;
· gastrointestinal conditions;
· hyperesthesia syndrome;
The Balinese needs pretty basic care since its lustrous coat is prone neither to shedding nor to matting or tangling. It should be combed several times a week with a stainless steel comb in order to get rid of loose hair.
The cat’s nails require regular trimming, preferably every other week. The owner should periodically examine protruding ears of its Balinese for the traces of wax and dirt in its canals. This breed is prone to periodontal diseases so it’s essential to brush its teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste at least once a week.Cats are meticulously tidy creatures so yourpets’ litter box should be cleaned as often and as thoroughly as possibly.