The Balinese breed is known for its long hair and Siamese style markings. Their medium-length silky coat and plumed tail do not require significant amounts of grooming. They are not nearly as “talkative” as Siamese cats, but are still extremely intelligent.

Originally the Balinese cat was registered in the 1920s as a “longhaired Siamese”. The cats were first bred by Marion Dorsey of California and Helen Smith of New York. Helen named them Balinese because “Longhaired Siamese” seemed too long of a name, and because they had the grace of Balinese dancers. The breed’s popularity grew, and other breeders started trying to perfect the appearance. Eventually two separate strands of Balinese cat were bred. Some are traditional or “apple-headed” while others are more contemporary.

The traditional Balinese is a sturdy cat with a 2 inch coat covering its entire body. It has a semi-rounded muzzle and ears and resembles a Ragdoll cat. The contemporary version has a much shorter coat and besides its tail, is almost identical to the Siamese.

The four traditional Siamese point colors (seal, blue, chocolate and lilac) are accepted in most associations for the Balinese, as well non traditional colors such as red, cream, lynx and tortie. The non traditional colors are not accepted in CFA and are considered Javanese.