region United States
silhouette eastern type
weight 3 to 5 kg
eyes Eastern form
ear Big and wide
tail Long and thin
federation LOOF, CFA, ACF, ACFA, TICA, FIFe, WCF
The Balinese is a breed of cat originating in the United States. This medium-sized cat is the semi-long haired variety of the Siamese.
The Balinese is the semi-long haired variety of the Siamese. Their history is therefore identical until the 1950s. Various legends tell that these cats with colored extremities were sacred temple cats, others that they were bred in Thailand under the supervision of the King of Siam1 or that they were presented to the English as sacred cats so that their true lucky cats, the Khao Manee2, would not be stolen from them. It was the English who imported these cats to Europe at the end of the 19th century. They were already exhibited in London in 18813. This very exotic cat quickly captivated the English who greatly appreciated it. From 1930 to 1954, the number of colors accepted in the Siamese increased considerably, going from only seal point to blue, lilac and chocolate point. A trace of a Siamese with semi-long hair was found dating from 1928. It is likely that this is a spontaneous genetic mutation because kittens with semi-long hair indeed appeared naturally among the litters of Siamese4 . These kittens were excluded from the breeding circuits because they did not correspond to the breed standard4. After World War II, many Siamese were imported to the United States. It was one of the most popular races with the Persian. It was two breeders of American Siamese who started breeding this Siamese with semi-long hair. They selected the semi-long haired kittens born in their litters and gave the Balinese name to these cats. Indeed, their look made them think of the dancers of Bali. Several Balinese breeders worked for the recognition of the breed by making numerous exhibitions4. The TICA and the CFA accepted the Balinese as a separate race in 1970, the FIFé in 1972 and the LOOF in 1983. The 1980s were devoted to refining the silhouette of the Balinese. Indeed, the Siamese had already evolved a lot and was considerably refined, passing from the traditional type (currently known under the name of Thai) to the modern type. In order for the same change to take place in the Balinese, breeders resorted to crosses between Siamese and Balinese4. The short-haired kittens born from these marriages are called "variants". With the appearance of many other breeds over the past twenty years, the popularity of the Balinese has declined4. In 2008, it was still rare in France where it represents only 0.08% of the total pedigree cats. Between 2003 and 2008, the LOOF recorded less than 20 new births each year6. In England, the GCCF has recorded an average of 172 Balinese births for a total of 30,000 purebred cat births per year since 1997.
The Balinese would share with the Siamese a playful, extroverted and active character. Like his cousin, he is also a great talker. He would be sociable and extremely affectionate. These character traits are however perfectly individual and are functions of the history of each cat.