The Balinese is the long-haired version of the famous Siamese cat, and other than coat length, the two breeds are almost identical. There is much debate as to the origins of the Balinese, and some breeders speculate that the long coat is the result of a natural genetic mutation, while others hypothesize that the Siamese was crossed with a long-haired breed like the Persian. Either way, the Balinese is recognized as a separate breed and was officially recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association in the early 1970s.
Underneath their long coat, the Balinese is essentially identical to the Siamese, and they have the same point colors as Siamese cats. The Balinese comes in a fairly wide variety of colors, and in this article, we’ll take a look at 12 common variations.
1. Seal Point
The most commonly found coloration of both Balinese and Siamese cats, Seal Point defines the breed and was the original color point when Siamese cats were brought to the West. This color variation is characterized by dark brown, almost black, coloration on the cat’s paws, face, and tail, with a light brown, ivory, or cream body. Seal Point cats are also known for their deep, dark blue eyes — far darker than with most other colorations.
2. Seal Lynx Point
The darkest of all Lynx point color varieties, the Seal Lynx Point is a wild-looking cat, resembling a Lynx and giving them their name. The body is typically a light tabby pattern with light stripes, with the face, tail, and legs all a deep, dark brown or black. Lynx Point cats all have the characteristic “M” marking on their forehead in the same dark color as their points, with light blue eyes.
3. Chocolate Point
Often described as a lighter version of the traditional Seal Point, Chocolate Seal Point variations are not only slightly lighter but also more contrasting. They have an ivory-colored body with chocolate points on the head, tail, and paws, and they occasionally may have splashes of light chocolate brown on their bodies. They have the same blue eyes as seal points, but slightly lighter in hue.
4. Chocolate Lynx
The Chocolate Lynx Point Balinese is similar to the Seal Lynx point but is of a slightly lighter shade. They have an ivory, tan/white body with tabby markings or light stripes of chocolate brown. The points can vary from fairly light chocolate brown to almost black coloring. It can be difficult to distinguish the Chocolate Lynx from the Seal Lynx point, but one telling difference is the Chocolate Lynx point’s brown nose: Seal Lynx points almost always have black noses.
5. Blue Point
A well-known and popular variation of the Balinese is the Blue Point coloring. This creates a darker base coat overall, with dark grey/blue points on the head, tails, and paws. These cats are often confused with Lilac Points but are much lighter, being a diluted version of the Seal Point. The dilution results in a washed-out, grey/black point that resembles a blue coloring.
6. Blue Lynx
The Blue Lynx variation has the same washed-out blue/grey paws, head, and tail of the Blue Point, but with tabby markings and occasional light striping throughout their body. They also have the characteristic “M” marking on their forehead like all tabby variations, with a velvet-grey nose and blue eyes.
7. Lilac Point
One of the lightest and rarest color point variations of the Balinese, the Lilac Point is also one of the most uniquely striking. Their light grey color reflects lilac and pink when seen in bright light and thus gives them their name. Lilac Points are a diluted version of the Chocolate Point and are similar to the Blue Point. They have ivory-colored bodies with light grey, lilac points on their paws, faces, and tails. These points can sometimes be very dark and only distinguishable from Blue Points by their lighter ivory bodies.
8. Lilac Lynx
Like the Lilac Point, the Lilac Lynx is a rare coloration and the rarest and lightest of the Lynx variations. Lilac Lynx colorations have characteristic white rings around their eyes and the usual “M” marking on their forehead. They also have the tabby stripes of Lynx variations, but in much lighter hues than other Lynx colors.
9. Red Point
Another rare Balinese color variation is the Red Point. They are also commonly referred to as “Flame Points” among breeders, as their red-pointed tails resemble flames. The red points can be as light as a faint peach coloring, all the way to a darker red or orange coloring. They typically have ivory, cream, or white bodies with red points on their paws, faces, and tails, and Lynx variations are sometimes seen but are exceedingly rare.
10. Cream Point
A diluted form of the Red Point, the Cream Point Balinese has a light, cream/white body with light red points on the face, paws, and tails. This variation is often confused with Red Points, especially in kittens, and it can take up to a year to fully distinguish between the two. They are far lighter than Red Points, however, and have light pink noses.
11. Tortie Point
The Tortoise Shell or “Tortie” Balinese is a rare and largely unknown color variation. They can come in a wide variety of different colors, patterns, and shades of color, and the Tortie patterns can vary from barely visible to quite dark in presentation. The Tortie can come in several variations, including Seal Tortie, Chocolate Tortie, Blue Tortie, and even Tortie-Lynx patterning.
12. Ivory Point
Balinese have beautiful coats that are completely white with blue eyes. These cats are unique in that genetically, they may be any version of a point Balinese, but do not have the visible color points to prove their heritage! These cats are difficult to identify as kittens, as all Balinese cats are born white and will only present coloring at around 4-5 weeks of age. In Thailand, these cats are considered rare and good luck charms and are prized by locals.
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