Balinese & Siamese Rare Points Information

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.

French Female Red Point Balinese -1986



History

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"

A Foreign White Siamese or Foreign White Balinese cat is a purebred Siamese/Balinese cat without color points or markings but have the physical appearance and deep blue eyes of the Siamese/Balinese cat.

They are completely white in color, and they carry a Siamese color point genetically beneath its white coat. This means that under the white coat, there's either a seal, blue, chocolate or lilac pointed Siamese or Balinese cat; genetically speaking of course! Because of this, here at Azureys Cats we like to describe them as " Ivory points " because they are "white pointed" cats concealing their true pointed colors.

True Foreign White cats descent from the original and initial breeding stock of Patricia Turner (Scintilla Cattery) that took place in the 1960's and produced the first and true White Siamese, Foreign White Siamese cat. The Foreign White cat is the only type of cat that can be completely white in color and have blue eyes without the risk of deafness. Due to this special combination, they are considered very unique and rare cats.

Cats that do not carry the gene for color point, and that are not direct descendants of the first breeding of Foreign White Siamese cats (Lisvane Lilac Domino & Orchid Lilias), are NOT considered real Foreign White Siamese or Balinese cats. Foreign white cats are coded as W 67 under the Fédération Internationale Féline, which is a major international cat association. They are the only cat association to respect and regard the Foreign White Siamese and Balinese cat in its true form.  

A white Oriental breed cat with eyes of blue (W 61), green (W64) or odd-eyes (W63), or a breeding cross of Siamese to Khao Mannee or other white colored cat breed is NOT considered a real Foreign White (W 67) Siamese or Balinese cat. The initial breeding of the Foreign White Siamese was made possible many years ago in the 1960's by crossing a white British Short hair cat to a Siamese. That interbreeding produced the first White Siamese cats that were later used to make the foundation for the Foreign White. Those foundation cats were then only bred to Siamese blood lines to concentrate their genes and breed standard (genetics, appearance and personality). This was made possible by breeding strictly Siamese to Siamese over many decades, which is why they are considered pure Siamese cats due to their extensive lineage. For this reason deafness is almost non-existent in the Foreign White cat, due to its Siamese genetics.

Foreign white Siamese and Balinese cats are very rare and non-existent in the United States at the time of writting this in 2013. Some breeders in the States are working to establish breeding programs for the rare color. In all actuality only a few breeding lines from the original outcross of the Foreign white Siamese exist in European countries, but they are usually of the extreme look due to the "modern" registry standards that also exists in Europe. Now imagine how rare it would be to find a real Foreign white Siamese or Balinese cat of the Old-Style standard, it's...almost nonexistent at this time.

At Azureys Cats we are working to establish a Foreign White breeding program of Old-Style standard, with purity in mind (Siamese and Balinese cat lines only), as Foreign White cat breeder pioneer; Patricia Turner did by breeding only with traditional color pointed Siamese cats.



Foreign White Siamese History

With the popularity and rise of the Siamese cat breed in England, it is said that English cat fanciers wanted to produce a cat with the same personality, appearance, and deep blue eyes of the Siamese but in a completely white coat. Cat fanciers knew that this was neary impossible, as there were genetic problems in producing a cat with such traits. Some of those problems included: partial or total deafness, degradation of vision, production of melanin (skin, hair color) , infertility and vitality in the overall health of the animal.

A completely white colored animal with blue eyes does not occur naturally without genetic consequences. Animals that are completely white are mainly defined as albinos, where the gene responsible for albinism doesn't allow for dark blue eyes to occur but pinkish- red eyes due to the abnormality. In order to produce a white cat with blue eyes 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 and breeder (Scintilla Cattery) at the time. Patricia Turner received inspiration when she saw a photograph of a lilac point Siamese cat with very faded color points, giving the appearance of a completely white Siamese with eyes of dark blue.

This picture inspired Patricia Turner to produce a white cat that had naturally blue eyes without any genetic defects and deafness. She realized the genetic importance of the Siamese cat breed in terms of its partial-albanism gene and the blue eyes associated with this genetic mutation. She then established a breeding program with other trusted breeders with the goal of producing a white colored Siamese with naturally blue eyes, and without genetic defects, so to avoid deafness.

At the start of her Foreign White Siamese cat breeding program, Patricia Turner bred a white British Short hair cat named Orchid Lilias with a Lilac point Siamese cat named Lisvane Lilac Domino. The offspring resulted in cats with the C/cs genetic code which was for cats that carried the Siamese pointed gene but were not true Siamese cats. Patricia chose cats from this breeding that were white with gold-brown eyes. They were classified as F1; the first generation offspring. From these chosen individuals, Patricia Turner then bred them back to pure seal point Siamese cats. We know for sure that she had some difficulties in achieving a true white Siamese early on in her program due to the resulting mix of genetics that produced deafness in the dominant white cats.

For this reason she striclty bred these offspring back to Siamese cats with seal points, so to increase the genetic concentration for darker blue eyes common in seal points, but mainly to avoid the production of deafness in the dominant (W) white cats. The same breeding combination was repeated for the F2, F3, F4, and F5 generations. At around the 6th-7th generation of breeding back to the Siamese cat, Patricia produced the first litter of only Siamese kittens, and Foreign white Siamese. From then on it was her breeding policy to continue to breed Foreign White Siamese cats to Siamese cats of pointed color, preferably to Seal and blue points to produce the darkest blue eyes possible, and to avoid genetic problems that could arise if bred to other colors not included in the Siamese classification.

During and after Patricia Turner's breeding efforts, other breeders were experimenting in producing their own White Siamese. Some breeding programs took place in Scottland, the Netherlands and other European countries. Many of those White Siamese lines were discontinued or eliminated due to the increase of deafness and genetic instability among the offspring. The main reason for this was due to these breeders using red points, tortie points, and other cats of different colors that had the "O" or orange gene. This gene was associated with the Waardenburg syndrome.

The waardenburg syndrome is a genetic disorder that inhibits the normal function of the ear, and melanin production (skin, hair color). Melanocyte melanin producing cells are restricted due to the Waardenburg syndrome; absence of melanocytes affects pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes, and hearing function in the cochlea. The waardenburg syndrome has been found to be in close association to the "O" gene when breeding for white cats. Cats that are naturally orange or red coated which carry the "O" gene are not deaf due to not having the genetics for dominant white (W). The partial albinism gene seen in the Siamese cat breed is responsible in producing cats that aren't deaf due to influencing the production of Tapetum lucidum (layer of tissue) in the ears, thus preventing deafness in these cats.

Tapetum lucidum is generated from the same stem cells associated with the inner ear tissue melanocytes (pigment cells). Cats that are white with blue eyes have no Tapetum lucidum in the ears thus creating deafness. The partial albinism gene found in the Siamese cat breed protects the tissue from being destroyed, hence a white cat with blue eyes without deafness can be produced. The Foreign White Siamese is the only white cat with blue eyes that can both hear and have tapetum lucidum present in their eyes.

For this reason it is very important for the Foreign White Siamese/Balinese cat breeder to avoid breeding a Foreign White cat with cats with the "O" gene. This includes red points, cream points, and tortie points of all colors. It is also not allowed to breed a Foreign White cat to another Foreign White cat, as it could bring back the Waardenburg syndrome by concentrating the past genes once present in the Dominant White (W) ancestor of the cat. For this reason some associations do not allow the breeding of a Foreign White cat to an Oriental breed cat due to their mix of genetics and colors.



Foreign White Cat Rarity & Genetics:

Foreign White Siamese cats are very rare and Foreign White Balinese cats are even rarer because of their long-haired quality. They are becoming harder to find and even to breed as some breeders do not aim to preserve breeding lines purely as Siamese or Balinese bloodlines. Due to this, Foreign White breeding lines are becoming more distant and lost.

The reason for this is due to some cat associations considering the Foreign White Siamese as an Oriental breed cat and changing their breeding policies by allowing them to be interbred with the Oriental cat breed, even Foreign White cats with pure Siamese lineage/bloodlines with no Oriental cat breed ancestry. For example, some cat associations are now allowing Oriental breed cats to be bred with Foreign Whites, eventually losing these foreign white cat lines, as they produce cats of other colors (non-pointed) and producing White Orientals with blue eyes (W61), which look like Foreign Whites but are not Foreign White Siamese cats, genetically speaking.

For this reason tests exist to determine which cat is a real Siamese or Balinese Foreign White cat, and not a "copy-cat". A DNA test can be processed by the University of Veterinary Medicine-at UC Davis to determine this. Genetically a Foreign White Siamese or Balinese cat is coded as cs/cs which is determined by the color point restriction specific to only the Siamese and Balinese cat breed. Oriental breed cats that are blue eyed and of a white coat are coded as CC (Oriental breed cat) or C/cs if the cat is a color point (Siamese cat) carrier but not a true Siamese cat.

These new policies and cat breeder mentalities have not only caused harm to the pure Foreign White Siamese/Balinese lines that breeders seek to preserve and improve the lines with, but these cats with Oriental breed parentage have a higher probability of producing offspring with green eyes and different color designs not known to the Siamese/Balinese cat breed. Oriental breed 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.

It has been noted that Foreign White cats (W67) that are offspring from an Oriental cat often times have spotting in its coat that later disappears with age. This has also been seen in cats that are offspring of a lynx point or tabby colored cat, which could be the result of its genetic combination. On the other hand, White Orientals (W61) are born and remain with some faint spotting in its head and/or body. This is actually a good indicator that it is not a true Foreign White Siamese (W67) but an Oriental White cat (W61).

Though there are breeders that endorse breeding Foreign white Siamese to Oriental lineage cats (we are not talking about Foreign White cats registered as Orientals that are of Siamese lineage only), we have to keep in mind that those who have and are currently breeding Foreign White's have enough reasoning against this type of breeding. We endorse breeding Foreign White Siamese/Balinese cats with only Traditional colored Siamese and/or Balinese cats. No red, cream, tortie or lynx points, and no Oriental lines, period. There are plenty of Siamese or Balinese outcrosses to introduce new blood if needed.

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.



Foreign white Siamese & Balinese cat breeding practices

A Foreign white Siamese or Balinese cat should be bred to the following:

  • Another Foreign white Siamese or Balinese- The reason for this is due to some registries not allowing this breeding because of the risk of the the Waardenburg disease of deafness coming about in the breeding lines and/or being concentrated in the breeding of Foreign white cats

  • Red points, cream points, or tortie points: The reason for this is due to these color points having the "O" gene that





Further Information on the Foreign White Siamese Cat





Foreign White Goals

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!