top of page

TRADITIONAL BALINESE

(Silky-Haired Siamese) Cats and Kittens
For Those Seeking the Companion of a Lifetime

The Traditional Balinese (aka Applehead Balinese) cat combines the unique personality and intelligence, robust body type, pointed coloring, and the minimal shedding of the Traditional Siamese, with a softer voice and a silky coat. Our Balinese are hypoallergenic. 

 

They are extremely intelligent, curious and loving. Their behavior and loyalty often resemble what most people expect of a dog more than a cat, as they follow their owners about, sleeping outside of the door of any room you occupy, that they cannot enter, and amusing themselves with a toy until they can once again be on your lap. Agile, swift, muscular and extremely intelligent, they love to play fetch or to make up other games. They get along easily with other cats and with dogs and yet are independent enough to adjust to periods of being alone.

While they still 'talk' like their Siamese cousins, their voices are far softer and they speak only when they have something they feel is important to say. As such, they grow up to make delightful 'watch-cats' often alerting their family when strangers approach or when something seems 'wrong'. They are very alert to their owners and surroundings, but not a hyperactive cat. Rather, they maintain an easy balance of playing and napping depending on the circumstances.

HISTORY OF THE TRADITIONAL BALINESE

The early history of the Traditional Balinese is the same as the history of the Traditional Siamese. The Siamese is considered by many to be a 'natural' breed - that is to say, one that developed without the intervention of man.

The first Siamese cats appeared in the West in the mid-to-late 1800s. Photographs from the late 1880s of some of the first cats to be imported from Siam show the thick, round heads and solid, muscular bodies that distinguish the Traditional Siamese from today's modern Siamese that dominate the modern show-ring.

 

Many say that Balinese kittens have always appeared now and again in purebred Siamese litters. Some attribute a pure Siamese appearing with a longer coat to be a simple mutation and say there are examples of early drawings that depict pointed cats with what seems longer fur. Another opinion is that it was an outgrowth of the domestication of the Palas cat (Felis Manul) who originated in western China and has a very dense coat which comes in a wide variety of colors. Others say that the longer coat is a result of the early British breeders crossing them with the then popular Angora or Turkish Angora, a cat with a tremendous history as a companion cat. The Turkish Angora was first introduced to Europe in the 14th century when the crusaders brought Turkish Angoras back home in their saddle bags.

The truth may be a bit of both. The long-haired trait persisted however, and a long-hair Siamese was registered with C.F.F. in 1928. They were not bred in earnest however until 1955 when a woman named Marion Dorsey of California began breeding and showing the longer-haired variety.

 

It turned out the Balinese bred 'true' meaning that when a Balinese was bred to another Balinese the resulting litter were all always Balinese, thus qualifying it to be a 'pure breed'. At this time, they were still referred to as Long-Haired Siamese but soon were christened 'Balinese' not, as many think, because it came from Bali, but because the fanciers of the time thought so graceful and athletic a cat resembled the graceful Balinese dancers.

In 1961 the Balinese was recognized and accepted for registration in the same colors as Siamese seal point, chocolate point, blue point and lilac point. Other colors such as red tabby, blue tortie, red cream, cinnamon, fawn, smoke, silver and all others were registered as Javanese, just as other colors of Siamese which emerged due to out-crossing, were registered as Oriental Shorthairs.

In the 1950s virtually all the Siamese and Balinese cats were what we think of today as the Traditional Siamese and Balinese, a heavier boned, rounder headed cat. But just as the ever-changing whims of the show ring judges have dictated what body type is fashionable at any given time, the Traditional Balinese, like the Traditional Siamese, fell out of favor in the late fifties and early sixties and were gradually replaced with the modern version of the breed. The modern version is a smaller longer and thinner more angular cat with large ears and, in the case of the Balinese, a short coat on its body with the only long hair occurring on its plumy tail. This look became popular with the show-oriented Balinese breeders, while other breeders, who preferred the Traditional look, continued to breed the larger, rounder-headed Traditional Balinese. These Traditional breeders found that their cats were no longer competitive in the show ring and stopped showing though they continued breeding with their existing purebred Balinese stock.

Currently, the Traditional Balinese is quite rare, though they are beginning to make a comeback as many pet buyers and breeders alike rediscover the Traditional Balinese many endearing qualities as top-notch companion cats.

It should also be pointed out, that Traditional Balinese are purebred cats, descended from the original cats imported from Siam. A pointed cat that you find in a shelter, though it may look Balinese, is probably not a Traditional Balinese. Enough purebred Siamese, Himalayan or other pointed and long-haired cats have interbred with domestic cats over the years that the gene which creates the pointing pattern and longer hair, is found in a large number of cats. So, while some may look Balinese, they may have very little Balinese blood in them.

The other difference is that the Traditional Balinese tend not to use their loud voices. They have them, but they reserve them only for the most urgent of situations. Most of the time they speak in small voices or little trills, depending on what they are communicating.

Since these babies are already so intelligent and also raised within a home, they are used to being in one and have no difficulty being able to find their cat box and scratching post and knowing generally how to fit in as an experienced in-home cat within a very short introductory time. They have never experienced trauma but instead have had an infancy filled with affection and love. So, they are not nervous or ever anticipating anything but their new people to be as loving and caring as they've always known people to be.

 

Right along with Traditional Siamese, Traditional Balinese cats are ranked as the smartest of all cat breeds. This makes the Traditional Balinese ideal for people who love having a highly interactive cat.  Wherever you are, they are. Like the Siamese, their intelligence makes them fully aware of their human's emotions and mood and they are typically keen to fit into whatever groove their person is in at that moment. They are there to play fetch, hide and seek and any number of games often with imagined players that either they are chasing or being chased by. Naturally they love when humans join in the fun. On the other hand, they are eager performers and will do their gymnastic routines with their toys all on their own and invite you to watch, or not, as they completely enjoy their own company and monkey antics.

If you are not feeling well, they know immediately, sometimes before even you realize you are not doing well or maybe coming down with "something." Fortunately, since cats and humans can't catch each other's colds or flu, you can have your buddy with you when you're bedridden and enjoy the sweet healing power of a caring and unquestioning presence and often the comforting rumble of their purr.

Our kittens may go to their new homes beginning at 12 weeks old. We feel that 12 to 16 weeks is the optimum time for a kitten to bond to their new people. Like all intelligent animals, every individual kitten is a unique and each individual is typically their own combination of both a lap cat and a clown. Our goal in placing a Siamese cat or kitten with you is to match you with the companion that suits you best.

Show Record. Our cat's ancestry is based in foundation stock that can be traced back a dozen generations. As the shift in the show ring came to full impact the traditional Siamese and Balinese in the late 1980's and 1990's, competitions among traditional breeds became specialized such as in the case of the 'Traditional and Classic Cat International Show' (TCCI). Cosset, one of our foundation queens, was 1997 Best Traditional Balinese. In 1998 one of our Balinese kittens received the prestigious 'Morris Award' as Best Kitten in Show. In the 1999 show, one of our foundation kittens was again Best Kitten in Show and the father was Best Traditional Balinese and Best Traditional Seal Point Balinese. In 2002 International competition one of our cats was Best Cat in Show and our kittens placed second and third Best Kitten in Show as well as many other first places. At that time our Balinese kittens and cats were featured in a video entitled "Kittens and Stuff," which was released in 2001.

References. We have a well-documented reputation for raising top quality, superbly socialized kittens in immaculate conditions.
Click on horizontal menu Letters and References where you can see photographs of the many cats from our line living long and healthy lives.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the Traditional Balinese.

Goals. Our goal in raising the Traditional Balinese is to keep this noble and highly intelligent breed alive and to share them with other Traditional Balinese lovers. It is extremely important to us that you and your cat are a 'love match' and, since we are fully acquainted with our kittens' individual personalities before they leave us, we can often match you with exactly the right kitten for your particular situation.

wally01.jpg

© Copyright 1987 - 2024 by SiameseKittens.com
Content may not be reproduced, disseminated, published, or transferred, in any form or by any means, except with prior written permission.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
© Copyright SiameseKittens.com
© Copyright SiameseKittens.com
bottom of page