The Balinese originated from the litters of Siamese kittens, where some were born with mid-length fur. Because of this, they did not meet the requirements at that time for Siamese cats and they were of little value to their breeders. Only up until 1950, two breeders from the United States became very interested in this mid-length haired kitten and decided to preserve this trait by creating a new breed. One of the breeders decided to change their name to the Balinese cat in honor of the Balinese dancers, for their graceful motion which mimics these dancers...And No! they are not native to Bali.
Balinese are known for their deep blue slanted eyes and the darker extremities of their ears, triangular-shaped faces, feet and tails! They are medium-sized with a long tubular body. They are quite slender with fine bones but by no means are they undernourished!
Balinese are the more independent type...they love spending time with their owners but require a lot of alone time with peace and quiet. They love to be admired from a distance.
These breeds are quite energetic, hence their slender built, which is why care must be taken to keep them healthy by making sure they are not over-fed. They love to play and hunt, therefore lots of play-time has to be on their schedule with toys to keep them busy.
Their curiosity and physical attributes tend to leave them to stray so extra caution must be taken to keep them safe at home. There must be proper supervision when it comes to being outdoors.
Due to their energetic nature, they are quite compatible with children as they are very curious of what children do and play with. Once there is proper supervision and training both children and Balinese cats can build a great relationship.
Introduction to other pets once done gradually can lead to a great friendship as long as the needs of all pets are respected.
Daily dental hygiene is best to prevent Gingivitis and other gum diseases. Weekly brushing and combing is sufficient. Clean ears with a cotton ball or a soft damp cloth using a mixture of half cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs as this can cause damage to the interior of the ear.
Balinese can develop the same illnesses as any other cats, such as oral diseases. Some other diseases may appear, including:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - this results in the thickening of the heart muscle. This pathology causes heart failure that can result in arrhythmias or even pulmonary aedema. Screening can be done by means of an echocardiography examination, which is usually renewed annually. Treatment can be administered to improve the cat’s quality of life.
Progressive retinal atrophy - a disease that can cause blindness in Balinese. Screening tests exist.
Renal amyloidosis - an irreversible hereditary disease. This disease progresses quickly and clinical signs generally arise between the age of 1 and 5. They are similar symptoms to those of severe renal failure. There is no screening test to date as the gene(s) that cause the disease have not yet been identified. Nevertheless, vigilance on the part of the breeders has caused this disease to remain rare.
Annual Checkups at the vet will keep your cat healthy and will also save you money in the long run.
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