Balinese History

History of the Balinese Cat

The Balinese is the long hair version of the Siamese. They possess the same elegant body form and dramatic markings. They have a long silky coat, a feathery tail. They are as affectionate and demanding as their Siamese cousins.

According to the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF), The ideal Balinese is a svelte, graceful, refined cat of medium size with long tapering lines. It must be in excellent physical condition: very strong, lithe and muscular. While the breed is considered medium in size, balance and proportion are to be considered of great consequence than size. The cat should “fit together”; if it is extreme in one part, all parts should be extreme to retain balance.

It is generally accepted that the breed originated as a spontaneous mutation of the Siamese cat, therefore coat length is the only difference between the Siamese and Balinese. The most distinctive feature of the Balinese is luxurious tail plume.

The breed originated and was established in America as The Balinese in the 1950’s. Formally Registered in 1928 as the Longhair Siamese. 2 Siamese Breeders, Mrs. Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery in New York and Mrs. Marion Dorsey of Rai-Mar Cattery in California began propagating the long Haired Siamese by allowing them to reproduce. Mrs. Smith is credited with giving the Balinese Breed their name after Balinese Dancers, because their fur swayed gently and gracefully, which reminded her of the dancers from Bali.

Mrs. Dorsey later sold her cattery (Rai-Mar) to Sylvia Holland (Hollands Farm Cattery) in 1965. Mrs. Holland was originally a Siamese breeder, but once she was introduced to the Balinese breed she came the leading pioneer to have The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) officially recognize the long haired Siamese as Balinese.

Sylvia describes her vision of a Balinese in terms that still hold true today: “What is a Balinese like? Picture an elegant, tall, slender Siamese, with a noble head, piercing blue eyes, and a proud bearing. Clothe him in long, fine, silky hair, flowing back softly towards his tail, where it spreads out like a plume. Listen to his voice – not quite so loud and insistent as some Siamese we could mention, but unmistakably Siamese in tune. Watch how he steps up graciously to make your acquaintance, tail on high, purring his loudest and ready for a romp. This is a Balinese.”

There are 2 Balinese Breed Type’s: The Original (Apple Head or Old Style) and the Modern (Wedge Head, and Show Style).