Kitten History: Balinese

Some consider the Balinese as a long-haired Siamese.

By Stacy Hackett

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Balinese © Helmi Flick

Your kitten captivates you with her long silky hair and gorgeous blue eyes. But from where did she inherit her Asian beauty?

Balinese breeders and fanciers are unclear about the true early history of the breed. Some believe that old Chinese tapestries feature the longhaired cats. Others point to a genetic mutation that produced a longhaired kitten somewhere in a Siamese breeder's litter. Because that's what the Balinese truly is: a longhaired Siamese.

Such cats were reported as early as 1928, but breed enthusiasts point to the 1950s as the true beginning of the Balinese. Marion Dorsey of Rai-Mar Cattery in California and Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery in New York each decided to breed the fuzzy Siamese they found in their litters. Helen was the one to give these cats the name Balinese, as she believed they resembled the grace and elegance of Balinese dancers.

Breed enthusiasts worked diligently to gain acceptance of their beautiful silky cats, and their efforts paid off in 1970 when the Cat Fanciers Association accepted the Balinese. Today's Balinese breeders continue to promote the breed's beauty and pet characteristics.


- Return to the Balinese Breed Profile -

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Kitten History: Balinese

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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

9/1/2013 11:43:49 PM

Beautiful cat but is that really a photo of a balinese?

Fran    Wantagh, NY

5/15/2013 11:07:55 AM

I have a 4 year old Balinese named Chloe. She is my first cat and I love her so so much. She thinks that she is a lap dog. I sit down and she is on my lap. She is constantly talking to me. She has an opinion on everything. She is very spoiled and thinks is life is directed by her only. If I go out for a while she waits at the door and lets me know she didn't like being left alone. She many times blocks the front door telling me that I should not leave. We are the best of friends unless her back goes up and I wait for it to pass, then we get back to loving

katt    Saint Joseph, MO

7/5/2011 3:55:02 PM

i have a balinese named zelda because sometimes she'll act like a princess, then most of the time she'll act like a ninja!! when she is being naughty her eyes glow red instead of yellow! and just as the profile says, she provides endless entertainment!

Robert    Peoria, AZ

4/23/2011 11:56:27 AM

I never liked cats much. When my wife passed away in 2004 her grandkids brought me a female cat. We co-existed as I mourned my wife. We just lived in the same house. Then she got out, had a litter and out popped my Cagey. I had the litter around until they were just about grown and I found homes for them. I kept Cagey and we became fast friends. He is so smart and craves love. He cries when I leave. So smart this cat is I have to sneak out of my front door. He listens for keys, notices when I put my hat on and forget it he sees me putting my sneakers on. I can't unwrap a piece of candy without Cagey showing up. I used to have a bumper sticker that said "Cats Flattened While U Wait!" Now I'd fight to protect my buddy. I would recommend this type of cat to anyone who wants a genuine pal and not a stuck up cat like my wife's cat TC (too cute is her name but I think it should be too chunky cause she weight is about double the normal cat. She is neurotic and eats everytime my wife goes into the kitchen. Oh well we love her too. Take care.

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