The Balinese is an oriental breed of cat with long hair and Siamese-style markings. They resemble a Siamese with a medium-length silky coat and a plumed tail, but nowhere near as fluffy as a Himalayan, and they require much less grooming. Balinese are extremely intelligent cats, although less talkative than their Siamese ancestors.
The Balinese was originally registered as a 'longhaired Siamese', and examples were known from the early 1920s. The occasional longhaired 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 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.
Like the Siamese, there are now two different varieties of Balinese being bred and shown - 'traditional' Balinese and 'contemporary' Balinese. The traditional Balinese cat has a coat approximately two inches long over its entire body and it is a sturdy and robust cat with a semi-rounded muzzle and ears. The traditional Balinese closely resembles a Rag doll cat although they do not share any of the same genes or breeding other than having a partially Siamese ancestry. A 'contemporary' Balinese has a much shorter coat and is virtually a twin to a standard show Siamese except for its tail, which is a graceful silky plume.
Balinese and Javanese are active, busy cats, like their related breed, the Siamese. Balinese and Javanese love people, and are constantly following "their" people around the house and getting underfoot. They can be quite demanding when they want attention, but they are also true cuddlers and lap cats. They require a lot of interaction and active play
Balinese and Javanese also love high places; if you don't provide somewhere high for them to perch, they will find a spot of their own. Many love to ride on the shoulders of their favourite humans
Both Balinese and Javanese need toys and much love something simple, such as a ping-pong ball slit enough to drop in a few grains of rice for noise, or a peacock feather. A bored Balinese or Javanese may find something else to make into a toy, such as pens, papers, boxes of envelopes, or other things you may wish not to become toys
Balinese and Javanese are very curious. There is not much that won’t get investigated. Because of this curiosity, their lithe build, and a penchant for getting toys under things, they are also accomplished contortionists who can scoot under low couches, beds, and cabinets with ease
Like their cousins, the Siamese, Balinese and Javanese are "talkative" cats, with loud voices they seem to use at any opportunity. Many just seem to "chat" for no apparent reason. The quality of the voice varies from cat to cat
If you're looking for an active, fun, devoted companion with elegant good looks, a Balinese or Javanese is a wonderful choice.