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Balinese

| February 9, 2014

Origin

The story of the Balinese began in the United States in the mid 50’s, when a long- haired kitten appeared among its shorthaired Siamese siblings. Initially the long-hair was considered an unfortunate mutation, but a few breeders in the USA were charmed and intrigued by these long-haired kittens appearing from time to time in litters of Siamese.  These kittens were Siamese in type but had longer, silky hair and when mated were found to breed true.  They consequently determined to establish them as a breed and to work towards recognition by the American associations.

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Pioneer breeders were Mrs Marian Dorsey of California (Rai-Mar Cattery) and Mrs Helen Smith of New York (Merry Mews Cattery), with Sylvia Holland, an English lady living in California, most closely associated with the development of the breed under her famous “Holland’s Farm’ Cattery.

At first the breed was referred to as the ‘long-haired Siamese’ but by the late 1950’s the breed was recognized by the name Balinese and placed on the Foreign Long Hair division of the Cat Fanciers’ Federation.  Over the years, Cat Fanciers’ Associations all over the world have recognized them.

Since the early days, the look of the Balinese cats has changed quite dramatically due to out-crossing with their Siamese cousins to achieve a true long-haired Siamese.  Many Balinese breeders make a practice of introducing Siamese blood into their lines to improve the type and eye colour of Balinese.  The short-haired kittens born as a result of these crosses are referred to as ‘variants’.  These variants can make a valuable contribution to improving the Balinese type.  The Balinese cats seen today are the result of much time and effort by a dedicated band of hard working breeders.

Read more about the beautiful Balinese in Issue 1 of Kittycat Magazine.

www.kittycat.co.za

 

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Category: Feline Resources

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