You might have already noted the main 8 colorations available in the Balinese & Siamese breed. The four traditional color
points and four Lynx points totaling 8, but there are more colorations available; some currently being established by cat
fanciers here in the United States and abroad, including Azureys Cats.
Red Point "Flame Point"
The red point or “flame point” Balinese cat is that with pointed markings of the red/orange color. The term “flame” came about due to the similarity in coloring to a flame, and the Balinese shows this example very well with its plumed tail resembling a fiery torch. There's no natural form of a red point within Siamese or Balinese lines. To achieve the look of this color point, past Siamese/Balinese cat fanciers and breeders mixed purebred Siamese/Balinese lines with an orange/red tabby cat to produce the red colored points in the Siamese/Balinese breed.
Red-pointed Siamese have existed for only a couple of decades and Balinese red points are just starting to emerge considering the much work needed in order to improve and diversify these lines and produce outstanding red points within the Balinese breed. One current flaw that's currently being tackled by breeders the removal of the tabby markings seen in present red pointed Siamese/Balinese cats.
Though some kittens/cats show profound “ghost striping”; which are faint tabby marks that later disappear with age, red points happen to still carry tabby marks after this period due to their tabby cat background. I hope to one day produce red pointed old-style Balinese cats that neither produce nor ever show these tabby marks; but to produce a balanced point like of the primary pointed coloring of the Balinese.
I'm currently working with close mentors and Balinese breeders to have this accomplished but it could take years. Azureys has plans to produce Red points to better improve these lines, so please stay tuned.
Red-pointed cats were first produced in other breeds such as the Persian as cat fanciers wished to produce purebred lines with the color of the red tabby cat. It's said that by accident Siamese cats would breed with red tabby cats that would later produce these red-pointed Siamese cats, but the same could have been the case with trying to produce Siamese cats with red points by past cat fanciers.
The first records of flame pointed Siamese cats appeared in the 1930s. In 1948, United Kingdom breeder Nora Archer, with the help of other breeders, started working profoundly with the Siamese breed to produce red points. Miss Ray, another breeder working with red points, worked very hard in trying to establish red/flame pointed only breeding lines, to better eliminate the problems of the tabby striping and in having the color point recognized by cat registries.
After many attempts, the GCCF; The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, didn't allow registration of the red points as an actual Siamese, but as a Foreign Shorthair cat, which Miss Ray and other breeders did not accept. This was unacceptable to many red pointed Siamese breeders who felt it should be considered part of the Siamese breed, as it was of Siamese type and eye color. It was also a pure Siamese cat, genetically speaking in terms of the cats being bred Siamese to Siamese lines only for more than 10 generations of the original outcross. She wasn't successful in seeing the red pointed Siamese recognized, which occurred in the year 1971, after her death.
Since then, red points have been catching up as one of the popular rare colors of the Siamese and Balinese breeds, but they're still a work in progress in the United States. Registries in the United Kingdom have been much more organized in only allowing certain red point Siamese and their lines accepted as actual pure Siamese cats, due to their Siamese genetic and breeding lineage concentration, thus having more diversified lines to work with in Europe.
Tortie Point "Freckled Point"
You might have not known this, but there are also Siamese/Balinese cats with tortoise shell/freckled points. Due to the same red/orange gene available to the Siamese/Balinese that caused the red points to occur, this same gene can cause a difference in appearance for Siamese/Balinese cats with a different genetic Chromosome sequence.
The red/orange gene is only present and carried in the X chromosome strand. Females carry the paired XX chromosomes and males carry the paired XY, this is what also determines gender. This means a female cat needs to inherit 2 (X) red/point strands in order to be a red point, and a male only needs to inherit 1 (X) to be a red point.
For this reason, litters from either a Tortie and/or Red point cat mainly produce Tortie females, and Red point males. It is rare to produce red point females but they have occurred in the past through successful breedings between red points/tortie points to concentrate the red/orange gene more in the genetic sequence.
Tortie points are an acquired taste to some, but they have much increased in popularity as the “other” type of point available to the Siamese/Balinese pointed colors. I have seen very beautiful Tortie point Balinese cats and they are rarity to see.
Foreign White "Ivory Point"
Foreign white Balinese cats are very, very rare and completely white in color. They're almost a myth here in the United States and are becoming very difficult to find in Europe. These cats are purebred Siamese/Balinese cats without color points or markings but have the physical appearance and deep blue eyes known to the Siamese/Balinese breed. Though they're completely white in color, the genetics for a color point are present which means that under the white coat, there's either a seal, blue, chocolate or lilac pointed cat; genetically speaking of course! Because of this, I like to describe them as “ivory points” because they are “white pointed” cats concealing their true pointed color.
Foreign white Siamese and Balinese cats are non-existent in the United States and only a couple of breeding lines exist in European countries, but they are usually of the wedge head look due to the “modern” registry standards that also exist in Europe. Now imagine how rare or a myth it would be to find a pure Foreign white Balinese cat of old-style standard, it's...almost nonexistent.
Even though a few foreign white lines can be found in Europe, they're becoming harder to find and breed as breeders don't aim to preserve breeding lines purely as Siamese or Balinese. Due to this, foreign white lines are becoming more distant and lost.
The reason for this is due to some cat registries considering the foreign white as an oriental cat, even for foreign white cats with pure Siamese blood and no oriental ancestry. Another problem is that cat registries and current breeding programs are changing their breeding guidelines. They're now allowing oriental cats to be bred with foreign whites, eventually losing these foreign white cat lines, and eventually producing White Orientals with blue eyes, which look like foreign whites but are not foreign white Siamese cats, genetically speaking.
This not only causes harm to the pure foreign white Siamese/Balinese lines that breeders seek to preserve and improve the lines with, but these cats with oriental parentage have a higher probability of producing oriental cat offspring with green eyes and different color designs not known to the Siamese breed. Oriental cats also come in a complete white coat color, which closely resembles a foreign white, but once more they are NOT pure Siamese or Siamese cats genetically speaking. They cannot produce foreign white offspring as well, only an actual foreign white cat can.
Foreign white cats may become completely extinct if Siamese/Balinese breeders don't aim to preserve these pure lines or establish pure lines for the future.
Siamese and Balinese cats are born white. As they mature, their pointed colorations start to establish. It's said that English cat fanciers wanted to produce a cat with the same personalities, appearance, and deep blue eyes of the Siamese but in a completely white coat. Producing a cat that is completely white with blue eyes was and is almost impossible to accomplish due to the many flaws involving an all-white cat, and/or animal with natural blue eyes.
A completely white animal with blue eyes doesn't naturally occur without consequences. Animals that are completely white are mainly defined as albinos, where the gene responsible for albinism doesn't allow for blue eyes to occur but red eyes due to the abnormality. In order to produce a white cat or animal with blue eyes, it would involve the consequence of producing one with deafness and other genetic consequences already seen in today’s completely white cats with blue eyes.
The first recorded attempt to produce a white Siamese cat was in the 1960s with the efforts of Patricia Turner, a profound cat geneticist at the time. Patricia Turner received inspiration when she saw a photograph of a lilac point Siamese cat with its points being very faded, giving the appearance of a completely white Siamese, with eyes of dark blue. This would make sense to me, considering there are some lilac points that are very clear in color and seem to be whiter in its points. The term used for lilacs with close to white points is “frost points” and they are rare as well as mentioned before.
An expert in cat genetics, Patricia Turner sought to find a way to produce a white cat that had naturally blue eyes without any genetic defects. She established a breeding program with the goal of producing a white colored Siamese with naturally blue, and without genetic defects that would cause deafness and other problems.
We must keep in mind how important the Himalayan gene is in producing a white cat with blue eyes, without genetic defects. The Himalayan gene is responsible for producing cats with pointed colors. This gene is heat sensitive in terms of the pigmentation/color being affected by either warm or cool temperatures. The cooler it is, the darker the color of the coat becomes. Due to this temperature sensitivity, Siamese/Balinese cats only have pointed colors on their nose, ears, feet, and tail as they are the coolest areas in a cat’s body and it allows for the body, which is the warmest, to become diluted or white.
Patricia Turner and other breeders knew that the only way possible to produce a white cat with blue eyes without deafness would be through a crossing with the Siamese breed. She started by crossing a lilac point Siamese with a white British Shorthair to produce offspring that would eventually be white colored but have the Himalayan gene. The Himalayan gene is also responsible in producing cats that aren't deaf due to influencing the production of Tapetum Ludicum in the ears, thus preventing deafness in these cats.
Breeders also acknowledged that by breeding foreign whites to a seal point, they would produce offspring with darker eye color. At the same time, another breeding program took place in Ireland to produce foreign whites. Instead of using a pure Siamese cat for this project, they would use a red point or took place approximately more than 30 years, to really establish a white cat without any flaws, and one with actual purebred Siamese bloodlines generation after generation.
For this reason, Foreign whites are not and should not be bred to another foreign white cat, due to the increase risk of bringing about the Waardenburg disease of deafness.
Overall, they are classified as foreign white, but I like to call them white or “ivory” points due to them being actual purebred Balinese cats with “white” points.
My goal as a Balinese breeder is to introduce pure, white foreign old-style Balinese cats without any oriental/colored short/long-haired lines in them, but of Siamese background only. The reason for this is because of the mixture of lines involving orientals in their colorations and appearances. Oriental short/long-hairs aren't pure Siamese cats, but a mixture of them, which can also allow green or amber eyes and many appealing colors not seen or allowed in the Siamese or Balinese breed. This in all actuality is not a purebred or an actual Siamese/Balinese, due to when breeding cats with lynx points or other Siamese/Balinese cats they do not breed true, but have other color mixtures involved.
This goal may be almost impossible as foreign white Siamese lines are becoming impure little by little, but it would be an added goal if we need to re-purify them. Please stay tuned!