The Balinese was originally registered as a 'longhaired Siamese', and examples were known from the early 1920s. The occasional long-haired kittens in a Siamese litter were seen as an oddity, and sold as household pets rather than as show cats. This changed in the mid-1950s, when two breeders, Mrs. Marion Dorsey of Rai-Mar Cattery in California and Mrs. Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery in New York, decided that they would commence a breeding program for the longhaired cats. Helen Smith named the cats 'Balinese' because she felt they showed the grace and beauty of Balinese dancers, and because 'longhaired Siamese' seemed a rather clunky name for such graceful felines. The breed became quite popular after this, and a number of breeders began working on 'perfecting' the Balinese appearance. This led eventually to the development of two entirely separate 'strands' of Balinese cat - some owners prefer a traditional or 'apple-headed' Balinese, while breeders and judges tend to prefer a more contemporary appearance.

The Balinese is a breed of oriental cat with long hair and Siamese-style markings, or points. They resemble a Siamese with a medium-length silky coat and a plumed tail, but not nearly as fluffy as a Himalayan, and they require much less grooming. Balinese are extremely intelligent cats, although less talkative than their Siamese ancestors.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Balinese".