The Balinese Cat
The Old Style Balinese is not the same as a Modern, Wedge head Balinese.
The Old Style Balinese breed are Siamese cats with long flowing silky rabbit like hair. They are not a different breed from the Siamese, but are Siamese in long hair splendor. Their long hair is due to a mutated gene occurring in the Siamese long ago. It wasn't until the 1950's that breeders here in the US started formal Balinese programs, breeding these kittens to one another instead of hiding them, as had been the practice, and then naming them "Balinese". The CFF was the first to register a Balinese in 1928. The style then was that of the robust round Balinese.
The Balinese hair is low shedding and non matting. We have fallen in love and made it our commitment to promote the old robust, round style of Balinese. Now a days, You will only see this style in the show halls of the CFF Cat Fanciers Federation in New England states. They are no longer shown in any other shows in the US. This ended in the 1980's when the skinny, wedge, modern Balinese or Wedge Heads were preferred. Hats off to the CFF for understanding the importance of keeping this ancient style alive. If you are in the New England area and are interested in showing through the CFF please let me know.
There are so many beautiful traits of the Balinese but my favorite is their tails. The longer the better and the more full the better. Their tails are graceful and should have a full and flowing plume. They are a robust cat sometimes reaching weights of 18 pounds but the typical weight for girls is 8-10 pounds and males, 12-15 pounds. They are full faced with a preferred smaller ear set, at an angle and not straight up on top of their head. Their muzzle should be rounded and not too pointy. An Old Style Balinese will have rounded eyes, sometimes shaped into an almond but not too slanted. Full eyes are a trait for this style. Their paw shape is more oval and not overly dramatic in size. They should never have more than four toes on all four paws with a dew claw on each front leg . Balinese and Siamese whether Old Style or Modern should not have more toes, polydactyl, and if they do is a sign that they are a mixed breed. One trait that varies from breeder to breeder and from line to line is the coat. This breed whether Old Style or Modern should only have a single non matting coat. The trait that varies is the density of their coats. Some lines produce thick, lush coats that feel full and are longer in length along with a full and flowing ruff and pantaloons. They are still single coated. Smooth, long and silky coats is another way this breed can display its coat. These varying coats are due to polygenes. Both coats are acceptable for the breed standard.
The Balinese personality is docile yet playful, curious and very intelligent. They have been ranked one of the most intelligent of long haired breeds. These are wonderful companion cats as they bond very deeply with their owners. It is not unusual for them to play fetch, carry their favorite toys around and spend their day walking around with you following you wherever you go. Two of their favorite pastimes are running around and finding places to hide their toys. I once had a Balinese who would steal my earrings out of my dresser jewelry box and hide them behind my desk. He then moved onto my daughter's Barbies and lastly, plastic bags. We ended up having to hide all plastic bags which ended this game.
Balinese can be very noisy and demanding at times. If they are excessively talking to you, they have a need. Maybe they need a little more attention, maybe they are hungry or just looking for you. Many times they just want you to sit down for a few minutes and be with them. They will amuse you as sometimes it sounds like they are saying words like "mom" and "no". They don't like to be alone and it is best if they can be given a lot of attention when you are home. Adopting two Balinese kittens is always better and we do give a $200 discount to those who choose to get two. They will spend hours of time chasing each other, hiding, carrying toys with each other and just entertaining each other endlessly.
My heart belongs to this breed and trying to describe my passion and earnest interest and protection of them is not possible. There are no words to describe how much you will love your Siamese or Balinese cats, you just have to immerse yourself in their little worlds to even begin to understand.