Balinese is an oriental cat breed that is essentially a long-haired Siamese cat. It has the same traits and appearance as the Siamese apart from its flowing long hair. The cats were recognized as early as the initial decades of the twentieth century, in sporadic mutations of Siamese litters. However, it was not until 1950's when its beauty was truly appreciated and development of the breed started in earnest. The name 'Balinese' was given as a depiction of its grace, akin to that of exotic Balinese dancers.
Over the years two variants of the cat have emerged. One is the 'traditional' Balinese with semi-long hair on whole of its body. Other is the 'contemporary' Balinese that has short hair on its body apart from its fluffy tail that has long hair. Both types have the same markings as Siamese cats, their only distinction being their ermine coat. Body is slim, long and muscular. Head is wedge shaped with sapphire eyes somewhat slanted in accordance. Recognized colors are the traditional Siamese blue, chocolate, lilac and seal. Other colors such as red and cream also occur, though such cats are often characterized as Javanese rather than the Balinese.
The silky fur and aristocratic appearance makes the Balinese a sought after breed of felines. They are often considered to be the most intelligent of the longhaired cats. This alongside their single coat that does not get matted nor shed or require constant grooming means they are quite well suited to be the ideal house cat.
Despite their longish hair, the Balinese have a robust physical appearance and are sleek and attractive. Being quite active and playful, they require constant love and attention for their continual intellectual stimulation. At times may gain weight owing to lack of regular exercise. Whilst sometimes reported to be not as vocal as their Siamese ancestors, the Balinese cats are still quite expressive, loving and good natured, known above all as being bright and wonderful companions to humans.