The foreign white cat is a blue-eyed, all-white Siamese without any point colour on tail, face, paws or ears. The foreign white Balinese is the semi-longhair variation of the foreign white Siamese
The refined body type is similar to the modern Siamese, which they also resemble in temperament. Like all other oriental breeds, they are very affectionate, full of temper and highly intelligent.
It was around 1960 that people in England had the idea to breed a Siamese which would be completely white. Because of the blue eyes and white cats combination, a solution had to be found to prevent deafness of the kittens. They decided to use the blue eyes from the siamese and Pat Turner, a famous cat geneticist developed a breeding programm. In 1962 she started to mate a white British shorthair cat to a Siamese with the darkest blue eyes, the seal-point. Out of this programm the modern foreign white cat was developed, which is today accepted by all breeding associations.
After the Balinese breed was recognized as a breed in the early seventies, breeders also started to breed white Balinese out of white Variant Siamese. However, although white Balinese are extremely attractive and always an "eye-catcher", the breed is still rare.
Kara Kandida of blue Moon,
Siamese Variant foreign white
GC, BW, RW Purrmatix The Blizzard-of-Oz
blue-eyed white Balinese male
Br/Ow: Terrie & Bruce Smith, USA
Livia Drusilla of blue Moon
Balinese foreign white kitten
If a blue-eyed white Siamese or Balinese is mated to a green-eyed oriental, white kittens with green eyes or odd eyes (one green eye and one blue eye) are possible. However, Foreign Whites with any other eye colour than blue are not accepted in the European FIFE and in the British GCCF.
When the names of all the other colors of Oriental shorthairs and longhairs were changed from "Foreign" to "Oriental", here in Europe the Foreign White retained its original name. This underlines the fact that the breed is recognozed as a blue-eyed Siamese/Balinese plus a white coat, unlike Oriental Whites recognised in the US, where green eyes and odd eyes were also permitted.
A common problem of blue eyed white cats of many breeds is partual or complete deafness. Luckily, this is very rare in the foreign white Siamese. Strict breeding and rigorous selection have produced a white cat with deep blue eyes and almost no deafness problems. This is because Foreign Whites genetically get their blue eyes from the Siamese, rather than from the gene which is responsible for blue eyes in other breeds. From a paper about Foreign Whites (M. Raadsveld, Het Syndroom van Waardenburg bij de Foreign White kat) it is clear that the percentage of deaf Foreign Whites in England (637) and the Netherlands (200) can be ignored as it is 0.8% and 0% respectively. (More detailed information gives the followiing article by Hetty Berntrop, Thao thai Siamese: About 30 Years of Foreign White Breeding.)
The white colour of the Foreign White is dominant over all other Siamese and Balinese colours. Under their fur foreign white Siamese carry the points pattern. This makes heredity simple. A mating of a Foreign White with a pointed Siamese/Balinese leads in average to 50% foreign whites, the other 50% of the kittens will show their points. It is often difficult to determin the exact genetic code of a foreign white, due to the white line in the pedigree, that hides the colour of the point pattern underneath.
It is not allowed to mate two foreign whites, as this could strenghten the Waardenburg syndrome (blue eyes related to deafness). Some breeders also recommend to avoid the mating of foreign whites to red-, creme-, and tortie-points.
||Cat with Points |
|Foreign White||not allowed||50% white, 50% points|
|Cat with Points||50% white, 50% points||all cats have points|