Flipping through a book of cat breeds the other day, I came across a lovely picture of a cat with a triangular face, almond-shaped eyes, a long coat, and a feathered tail. Allow me to introduce you to… the Balinese Cat!
The name comes from the cat’s graceful movement — so much like a Balinese dancer! In truth, Balinese are long-haired Siamese Cats. Every so often, a long-haired kitten would appear in a litter of short-haired Siamese. These odd fuzzy kittens became the start of a whole new breed in the 1950s!
Balinese Cats share a lot of features with their Siamese cousins. They have the same slender, tall build. The same triangular head and piercing eyes. And they are chatty — not always as insistent as the Siamese, but with a similar ring in the voice. The differences come with the long, silky coat. The Balinese has a single coat, so it is surprisingly easy to groom. (Other long-haired cats have a double coat, which can be a little more involved at brushing time.)
And they come in such lovely colors! Even the names are graceful and evocative: seal point, blue point, chocolate point and lilac point — the same colors you will see on a Siamese. The face (or “mask”) and large ears are colored, as are the paws and tail. The eyes on a Balinese, just like on a Siamese, are a bright, piercing shade of blue.
When it comes to temperament, the Balinese is smart, lively, playful, and affectionate. A Balinese Cat likes to be involved with everything his people are doing. Males tend to be even more affectionate than females, though both love to play. You may be surprised to see this cat with the regal bearing acting the clown at playtime!