Friday, April 17, 2009

Cat Breed - Balinese

The Balinese, an oriental cat, was named after the graceful, traditional Balinese dancers that it resembled. It is really identical to its feline cousin, the Siamese, being a spontaneous mutation in a Siamese litter in the U.S. back in the 1950's, except it has a longer coat; it looks like a Himalayan cat but is not as fluffy.

The Balineses' former name was the 'Longhair Siamese' and it was first registered as a breed in the U.S. in 1963; it now comes in two distinct kinds; the apple-headed traditional version, similar to a Ragdoll cat, and the contemporary variety, with a much shorter coat and is virtually the same as a Siamese except for its plume like tail. There is also a relatively rare short-haired variant.

Because of its longer coat, the Balinese seems to have softer lines. Its long, straight head is in the shape of a tapering wedge, ideally, its skull is flat. It has a well-muscled, elegant, medium sized body, with light but strong structure; the males weigh from 12-16 pounds (lbs), and the females are a bit lighter at 8-12 pounds.

The Balinese's ears are often strikingly large, pointed and wider at the base. They have tear-drop shaped, medium-sized eyes, which are neither recessed nor protruding. Eye color comes in various tints of blue, in sapphire hues, the deeper the shade the better!

The nose is long and straight, a continuation of the forehead with no break; their muzzle is fine and wedge-shaped. Paws are usually dainty, small and oval. They have a long, thin, dense, clearly defined tail which tapers down to a fine point; the hairs, which are longest on the tail than other parts of the body, spread out like a feather.

The ermine coat of the Balinese is of medium length, fine and silky; they do not have a downy undercoat like many other breeds. The coat lies close to the body and may appear shorter than it is. They have points on the mask, ears, legs, feet; there is no ticking or white hairs in the points. Coat colors are same as the Siamese and include: seal, chocolate, lilac, and blue as well as less traditional colors such as cream and red. Coat patterns include styles such as the lynx (tabby) point and tortie point.

The Balinese's body is graceful, extended and svelte, with a long and slender neck and they have a majestic, regal bearing to them. Their body structure is a distinctive combination of fine bones and firm muscles. Shoulders and hips have the identical sleek lines of their tubular bodies. Hips are rarely wider than the shoulders, and they have a tight abdomen; their legs are long and slim, hind legs higher than the front. The male Balinese is usually somewhat larger than the female.

Balineses' do not usually require a lot of grooming, just an occasional brush or comb; routine nail cutting and good mouth hygiene is essential! Generally speaking, they are a fairly low maintenance cat.

Personality wise, they have an, outgoing, extroverted, extraordinarily loving and friendly temperament and bond closely with their owners. Making excellent pets, they enjoy fun and games and the indoor life and are cuddly and affectionate! Playfulness is a marked trait of this breed. Gregariousness prevails, similar to their Siamese relatives and they love to live in groups; they are quite vocal but have a softer voice than that of the Siamese cat.

The Balinese is highly intelligent, interactive, and can be quite demanding when it is seeking attention! They are easy-going cats and are not difficult to train; renowned mischief makers when they are bored, they love toys and will make anything and everything in to one! They will even play fetch, just like a dog would but won't tolerate mistreatment from others!

They need a good diet and plenty of exercise; generally speaking, they are very healthy cats and have few serious problems; sometimes furballs or hairballs can be an issue; lifespan is 10 -14 years.

This breed of cat is suitable for families with children and elderly people too. The Balinese gets along with other family members, as well as other pets, and have even been known to cosy up with the family dog on occasions!

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