|TRADITIONAL BALINESE BREED
What are the differences between the Traditional and Modern Balinese?
Like the Traditional Siamese, the Traditional Balinese has a heavier more robust body, a rounder head and smaller ears than the modern Balinese. The modern Balinese has a far more slender and refined body and head with large ears. The Traditional Balinese has medium to long hair (2+ inches) over its entire body while the modern Balinese has short hair over its body and long hair only on its plumy tail. Different people prefer different types.
Why aren't Traditional Balinese often seen at cat shows?
Over time the changing whims of the show ring have valued one body type of cat and then abandoned it for another. At the present time, most cat judges favor the modern versions of every breed, be it Balinese, Siamese, Burmese, Himalayan or Persian. The Traditional Siamese and Balinese are specially bred by people dedicated to keep this original type of Siamese from disappearing because they believe that the traditional types represent more authentic and robust examples of these breeds.
Are Traditional Balinese intelligent?
According to "Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds" by J. Anne Helgren 1997 Barron's Educational Series Inc., which has a rating scale on intelligence and other breed traits, the Siamese and Balinese are rated the highest 9-10 on a scale of 1 to 10. The Balinese is rated the highest in intelligence of all the long-haired breeds. Other breeds such a Persians rate a 6, Himalayans 7 and Tonkinese 8.
How do Balinese get along with other animals?
Balinese are easy-going cats adjusting to even large numbers and a wide variety of other animals (birds, dogs, reptiles etc.). This is probably because of their high intelligence. Long-time owners often say that a Balinese kitten brought into a group of established cats are typically accepted immediately. Some say it is because cats in general organize themselves in order of intelligence and find Traditional Balinese kittens fascinating in this regard. This may also be the reason a Balinese will, as an adult, usually be at the top of the 'pecking order'. Balinese are also very fond of dogs, perhaps (like Traditional Siamese) feeling akin to them, and often will sleep curled up with 'their' dog and even let themselves be nuzzled or groomed. See link to reference letters for videos of dogs and Siamese or Balinese playing.
How are Balinese with children?
Balinese are very playful and intelligent cats and for this reason adapt easily to the noise and activity of children, typically throwing themselves right into the middle of the fun. Balinese however will not tolerate being mistreated. Young children should be carefully supervised with kittens, particularly those kittens so young they can't escape the child's attention. If a child hurts the kitten, even by mistake, the child maybe scratched. However, for the careful and gentle child, Balinese kittens are cuddly and affectionate and their soft hair makes them ideal as something soft and warm to hold and pet. At the same time their healthy head and nose construction makes them able to play for long periods without tiring, while their temperaments make them eager for fun and an ideal companion for children who handle them properly.
Are Traditional Balinese outgoing?
The longer a breeder has worked with a line of animals, the more they will assure you that personality in cats is about 95% genetic. Lines of Traditional Balinese bred for personality are going to be very outgoing and friendly with people be they children or adults. They do know who they know and who they don't know and will demonstrate immediate recognition and affection for those they know more than those they don't know. They are also quick to abandon a relationship with anyone who mistreats them.
Why do Traditional Balinese look similar to Himalayans?
Balinese have the same general coloration as Himalayans because both breeds get their coloring from a Siamese and both breeds have long hair, although Himalayans have much longer hair than Balinese and they are considered Persians with points, never Siamese with long hair. Himalayans are essentially Persians with Siamese coloring and share the Persian traits of flat faces, profuse endless shedding, shorter legs and body and the Himalayan's level of intelligence (7 on a scale of 1-10). Traditional Balinese are essentially long-haired Traditional Siamese who share the Traditional Siamese traits of rounder faces, minimal shedding and have a more out-going, intelligent, (9-10 on a scale of 1-10), playful and active personality.
Why do Traditional Balinese look similar to Ragdolls?
The origin of Ragdolls is generally a mystery but is obviously a combination of multiple breeds. Some have points resembling a Siamese, Balinese, or Himalayan, while others have points combined with white markings on the face and or white feet suggesting traits of Birmans or various other breeds with white spotting. It is not known, except to the originator of the breed, exactly what combination of breeds were used, although one might assume that the Traditional Balinese was one of them, particularly given the silky, non-matting fur so characteristic of the Balinese which now is considered a trait of some Ragdolls. Generally speaking, the Ragdoll is larger, has lighter eyes and, according to "Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds" By J. Anne Helgren (which offers comparative evaluations of various traits of various breeds) Ragdolls are less intelligent, more docile, less active, require more grooming and are less vocal than Traditional Balinese.
Do Traditional Balinese require a lot of grooming like Persians and Himalayans?
No. The 'Himalayan or Persian shed profusely and their coat can get very long and easily mats without daily grooming. By contrast, the Traditional Balinese shed very little and their coat is usually no longer than 2 to 2 1/2 inches and does not mat, making grooming requirements minimal. According to "Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds" By J. Anne Helgren (which offers comparative evaluations of various traits of various breeds) lists Persians and Himalayans as a '10' on a scale of 1-10 regarding 'need for grooming' and the Balinese a '4' on a scale of 1-10. Only short-haired cats require less grooming, the Siamese and Tonkinese being listed as a '2'.
Are Traditional Balinese noisy?
While they do have a 'voice' and like to 'talk' to their owners, they lack the Siamese yowl and speak in softer voices and only when they have something they feel is important to say. This means they will not be wandering around the house 'talking' for no reason. However, they will make it very plain if there is something wrong and their owner should never ignore a Balinese who is trying to make a point. Balinese, like all cats, have a far more powerful sense of smell and hearing than humans and often can perceive of a problem long before their human owner.
How much do they cost?
High Quality, cats from reputable breeders who come with registrations from legitimate registrys, (CFA, ACCA, TICA) are more expensive, as they should be cats and kittens of higher quality.
Will a male or a female make a better pet?
Cat personalities differ between individuals be they male or female. If they are neutered or spayed, sex plays a very small role in their personality. Good breeders are familiar with each individual kitten and can help you select the right personality for you.
Should Balinese be let outdoors?
No! Balinese should never be allowed outdoors except in circumstances where they are prevented from wandering, such as in a high-walled covered patio. While many owners believe that cats are better off being let outdoors at least during the day, just the opposite is true. Outdoor cats typically live much shorter lives than indoor cats. Almost all breeders will sell kittens only with an agreement that they will be indoor cats only. Cats or kittens allowed to wander outdoors face a variety of life threatening dangers including traffic and other animals. Also since Balinese are so friendly, they make excellent kidnap victims. A good breeder can give you advice on how to make sure your cat or kitten learns not to go outdoors.
Do they scratch furniture?
Not usually, because it's so easy to train them to use a scratching post. Good breeders will start their kittens on a scratching post before they ever leave for their new homes. They usually prefer a sisal-covered scratching post, but are often fond of the scratching products which resemble corrugated cardboard in a long narrow box that is treated with cat-nip.
What health problems are they prone to?
Crossed-eyes occasionally occur, although this is not typically considered detrimental to their health or longevity. Modern breeds, in general, are more prone to health problems than the more robust traditional types.
Do they have bad habits?
The high intelligence of the Balinese is wonderful because it makes them so 'human'. However, the difficulty is that, like intelligent children, they can be quickly confused and spoiled by inconsistent discipline or general poor handling. Balinese are generally easy going and do want to please so they are easily trained and if handled well are truly a joy to have in a household.
How big do they get?
Traditional Balinese tend to be average sized or slightly larger. Males weigh from 12-16 pounds and females 8-12.
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