Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Identify a Balinese Cat

Balinese Cats are the close cousins of the more famous Siamese. They are a cat originating from the orient and are popular in cat shows throughout the country for their grace and poise. They are so much admired for their strength tempered with elegance that they are known as the ballet dancers of the cat world, which is coincidentally how their name originated. They are not nearly as temperamental as the Siamese, though they are still primarily an indoor cat. This guide is meant to explain how to appropriately identify a Balinese cat should you come across one.

How To Identify A Balinese Cat
Step 1:
Start by looking at the cat's general shape. You should see a medium sized cat with long, lithe limbs and a tubular body. The paws should be small in relation to the rest of the body. Despite their thin appearance, they should have well defined muscles under their fur and be surprisingly heavy if picked up.

Step 2:
Look at the cat's head. It should be wedge shaped with large ears at the end of a long neck. If looked at from above it should appear to be an even sided triangle. The eyes should be a deep blue and slightly slanted in the Oriental fashion.

Step 3:
Examine the fur. One point that distinguishes the Balinese from the Siamese is the slightly long and silky soft fur. This fur will serve to soften the otherwise sharp angles limbs of the cat. The coloration of the Balinese is fairly strict, following the Siamese exactly in that the main portion of the body is a cream or light tan that darkens to a near black along the edges of the ears, the face, and the hindquarters and tail.

Step 4:
Examine the tail. This is the best way to tell if a cat is Balinese. Despite having a coat of short, soft fur; the tail will have silky fur about two or three inches long. It should form a thick plume. If the cat you're examining fits these criteria then you're most definitely looking at a Balinese. These cats are common enough among good pet stores and breeders, though finding one with enough pedigree to have the plume tail on the street or at your shelter is rare.

Tips & Warnings
The Balinese, though a medium haired cat, requires little grooming compared to its Siamese and Javanese cousins. These cats are among the most intelligent of the medium-haired breeds and can be trained with simple positive reinforcement techniques.
Balinese can work well with children, depending on the child. They will not tolerate being mistreated and will immediately strike out if they are pushed, held inappropriately, or their fur or tail is pulled. As a result they should be kept away from babies and small children.

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