Monday, November 19, 2012

The Characteristics of the Balinese Cat

The history of the Balinese is shrouded in mystery. There are references to a longhaired Siamese (coat length is what separates the Balinese from the Siamese) in 1871 and in 1928 the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) has a registration record for a longhaired Siamese. Despite this, real breeding for the Balinese didn't really begin until the 1950s. Longhaired kittens born into Siamese litters were singled out for a specific breeding pattern and the Balinese was truly born.

In the beginning, there were only four accepted colors -- chocolate, blue, seal, and lilac. But other colors weren't far behind and in 1979 red, cream, and tabby patterns were added to the acceptable colors list. It was still some time, however, before any of these colors in combination with white were considered acceptable. Today, most colors and patterns are acceptable by most cat associations around the world.

The Balinese is very much like the Siamese except for the longer coat. This longhaired breed is elegant, graceful, and muscular in an understated sort of way. The long coat lies close to the body. There is no undercoat, making grooming easier and limiting the mats that often form with other longhaired breed. The tail is long and plumed with hair that can grow up to 5 inches in length. The body is a creamy white and the markings on the coat should be restricted to the tail, legs, ears, and face.

The eyes of all Balinese should be brilliant blue, very much like glittering sapphires. The legs should be long and the body should be svelte. Some of the larger cats can weigh as much as 8 pounds, though most are closer to 6 pounds. This breed does need some grooming to remove dead hairs and keep the cat comfortable, but the coat doesn't really mat so a weekly brushing is really all that is required.

If you want to understand the personality and temperament of the Balinese, look to the Siamese. A Balinese is one of the most vocal of cats, often having little "conversations" with the people around them. They are also loyal and love to be around people, though they can play the aloof game as well as any other cat breed.

These cats are incredibly intelligent and easily bored, so work to keep your feline companion occupied. They can become destructive is left alone for too long, so if you have to be away from the house for more than 4 or 5 hours, you should probably consider getting a second cat. They need the companionship and they're less likely to dig a hole in your prized couch if they have a friend to occupy their time.

It's important to note that the Javanese is very similar to the Balinese. In fact, since some associations still only recognized the four original colors in the Balinese, other colors are usually assigned to the Javanese. These two breeds are almost identical, however, and many enthusiasts make no distinction between them. Both breeds live for many years and have no breed-specific health issues. They also make excellent companions for people of any age.

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