Siamese are quite popular cats thanks to their superior intelligence, social nature, and quirky personality. But what if you could have a Siamese with the bonus of a silky, beautiful coat? Well, meet the Balinese cat! This feline breed takes the playfulness and clown-like behavior of the Siamese and blends it with the regal looks of a long-haired beauty.
Long-haired with a glorious tail, the Balinese is an eye-catching cat with stunning blue eyes. You'll instantly fall in love! And the Balinese will fall in love with you, too.
This is a very friendly cat that bonds closely with you, picking up on your emotions. If you're looking for a cat that loves to cuddle and can't resist a good play session, check out the Balinese cat.
Balinese Cat Breed Personality
Intelligent, outgoing, curious, and talkative, the Balinese is described as a "clown with a heart as big as a circus tent" by the Cat Fanciers' Association.
The Balinese has sparkling, inquisitive eyes that always appear to be in thought. And they will let you know what's on their mind! This breed is known for its chattiness.
The Balinese will happily follow you from room to room, meowing at you about their opinion on your dinner preparation, the way you fold laundry, and pointing out you should maybe brush your teeth a bit longer. All kidding aside, the Balinese makes its opinions and feelings known throughout the day.
You will notice an increase in meowing when you leave the Balinese alone. If you prefer to sleep alone, you will often hear the Balinese meowing relentlessly outside your door. This is a cat that doesn't like being alone.
Known for being very social, Balinese cats will become very upset when they are excluded from the action. You might even notice them digging into drawers and opening cabinets to see what mischief they can get into, hoping to get some negative attention.
Balinese Cat Breed Origin & History
You've heard of the Siamese. You know, that quirky tan-and-brown cat with the comically loud meowing. Well, in the 1900s breeders started noticing some longhaired kittens in Siamese litters. It's believed this recessive gene appeared in the European gene pool after World War I.
Around that time, a lot of purebred cats were becoming quite rare. That's when more breeds were used to keep the Siamese breed alive. The longhaired cat thought to be used to revitalize this popular breed was the Turkish Angora. This is a cat with silky, long fur. The Balinese has very similar fur, making this more than likely the case.
Others believe that the longhaired gene is a naturally occurring mutation in the Siamese. Nobody really knows for sure if this is true or if Turkish Angoras are involved, but breeders were fascinated with the longhaired Siamese either way. At first, the long-haired Siamese kittens were quietly given away since they didn't meet breed standards. But by the 1940s, breeders were attempting to promote them as a distinct breed.
The long-haired Siamese oddities were called Balinese. They were named after the dancers of Bali, inspired by their grace and vibrancy.
In the beginning, the Balinese cat was heavier than the Siamese, with a more rounded appearance and a thicker coat. But the breed started to develop further in the 1970s. North American associations accepted the Balinese and even created the Javanese, a variation of the Balinese with a different color coat. The Balinese is now available in 22 colors, as well as the typical Siamese coat patterns of sealpoint, chocolate point, blue point, and lilac point.
Balinese Characteristics (Physical)
The Balinese cat is elegant and svelte, known for its refined features. Their majestic appearance is only improved by their silky coat and luxuriously fluffy tail. While quite similar in appearance to the Siamese, the Balinese has its own breed standards provided by the Cat Fanciers' Association
The Balinese cat is a medium-sized cat typically weighing between five and 10 pounds. Not including their tail, the Balinese is about 18 inches, all of it long and graceful. They are a svelte and thin kitty, much like the Siamese, with fine bones and firm muscles.
Their shoulders and hips continue their sleek lines. The hips are generally not wider than the shoulders. Their abdomen is tight, giving them a thinner and tubular look when compared to typical domestic housecats. Their tail is thin and long, with the fur spreading out like a plume.
Legs & Paws
This dainty kitty has legs to match. They are described as long and slim, proportionate to the cat's body. Their hind legs are higher than the front. Balinese cats have dainty, small oval paws. The front paws have five toes. There are four in the back.
The Balinese stands out from the crowd due to its coat. The medium-length coat is fine and silky, lying close to their body. Without a downy undercoat, their soft fur appears thin and smooth. Their fur becomes a bit longer along their tail.
This breed's color is divided into two divisions by the CFA: Balinese and Javanese. The Balinese colors are points: seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac. A point coat means that the cat has a lighter, tan body and then darker fur on their limbs. You'll often see Balinese with brown or other colors on their face, feet, and tail.
The Javanese coat patterns vary a bit more. They include solid color points, like red, cream and fawn, as well as smoke points. Lynx points are also an option, meaning they have a light torso and darker points with faint stripes. Balinese can also be parti-color points, including seal-tortie point and blue-cream point.
The Balinese cat is generally healthy. Still, they can develop the same hereditary conditions as the Siamese. Make sure you are only adopting from trusted breeders who can guarantee health for their litters. Registered breeders will regularly screen for hereditary diseases to take them out of the breeding pool
Progressive retinal atrophy is the most common health condition in Balinese cats. As cells deteriorate, your cat will become blind. There is, unfortunately, no cure for this disease. Always take your cat to the vet to regularly check for progressive retinal atrophy. They can provide a treatment plan to better care for your cat with this disease.
Balinese cats also suffer from being cross-eyed. This is often bred out by responsible breeders. Unfortunately, it still persists in many oriental breeds. While it may seem cute and quirky, Balinese cats with crossed eyes can have trouble seeing and balancing. Glaucoma is another eye problem present in the Balinese breed
Other Common Health Problems
Liver Amyloidosis: When amyloid proteins are deposited in the liver, the organ's functionality is reduced. This can lead to liver failure.
Respiratory Issues: Bronchial disease and asthma can be common in Balinese cats. If it seems like your cat is having trouble breathing or you notice extra discharge around the eyes or nose, bring them to the vet for a checkup.
Neurological Problems: A lot of oriental breeds have hyperesthesia syndrome. This causes them to excessively lick themselves. They can also suffer from Nystagmus, which results in rapid eye movement. Take your cat to the vet if you want a vet's support in dealing with these problems.
Heart Problems: Dilated Cardiomyopathy is something you should have your vet check for. The heart won't pump blood as efficiently as a healthy heart. You'll notice your cat struggling to breathe and seeming lethargic. If you suspect something is wrong, take them to the vet immediately.
Balinese Cat Breed Care
Active and intelligent, it's very important to have toys and other enriching activities for your Balinese. This can be interactive puzzles with treats inside, forcing the Balinese to use their intelligence for good. This means keeping your drawers and counters safe — at least for a little bit.
You should also acquire multiple scratching posts, which will keep Balinese from hyperactively scratching and running on your couch. Keep surfaces clear of breakable items and collectibles, since the Balinese enjoys being a bit higher. Their curiosity will end up getting the better of them once they start playing with what's on your countertops.
This hyper cat loves to play — especially with you. They are known for being agile and athletic, meaning cat trees and cat shelves are great for them to climb throughout the day. They also love chasing toys down the hall or showing off their acrobatic skills when you shake a ribbon. When they are not playing, the Balinese loves to sit on your shoulder, letting you bring them from room to room when they're out of energy.
The Balinese sheds seasonally but their coat isn't too high maintenance. Without an undercoat, their silky fur doesn't tangle or mat too easily. Give them a good brushing session weekly to get out loose, dead hair. This will keep their coat shiny and sleek, while also ensuring there's no excess shedding.
The Balinese needs more attention to their ears than other cats due to their size. Check their ears twice a week to ensure there's no wax or dirt buildup. If there is, use a vet-approved wipe to gently wipe it away. You can also trim their nails weekly and brush their teeth each night. Get them used to this routine as young kittens so there are no problems going forward!
The Balinese is a slimmer breed and should never look chunky. Make sure they are not overeating by implementing a timed feeder. This will provide your cat with the proper amount of food each day. You may also notice a (slight) reduction in meowing when your Balinese realizes YOU don't provide the food — the feeder does!
Always look for cat food with quality ingredients. The first ingredient should always be protein, like turkey, salmon, or chicken. Avoid brands where the first ingredient is something like "chicken meal." In fact, avoid food brands with an excessive amount of carbohydrates, like corn and wheat. These are considered "fillers" since cats don't need them in their diet.
A healthy alternative is wet food. Canned food has no carbohydrates. Instead, it's made of over 70% water. This is a great way to give your cat the liquids they need to ensure they don't become dehydrated
Children & Other Pets
Super social, the Balinese would love to have a kitty companion. Most people usually adopt two, giving their cats some company for when they are not around. You'll notice that the two will play off of each other, often finding creative and sneaky ways to get into trouble. The endless entertainment they provide will be well worth it!
Balinese cats are good with other pets as well, including well-behaved dogs. They are also great with children, intelligent enough to sense that they have to be gentle. Just make sure to supervise their interactions with other pets and younger kids. Some may be tempted to pull the Balinese's plumed tail or long hair.
More About This Breed
Because of their lack of undercoat, some people believe that the Balinese are hypoallergenic felines. This is actually untrue! They do shed less, however, minimizing the potential for an allergic reaction. But dander is still present.
Even though they may not be hypoallergenic, there's not a soul in the world who can resist being around the Balinese. This is a cat breed that enjoy spending time with you, no matter what you're up to. Reading? The Balinese is on your lap. Playing video games? They are probably trying to bat at your character on the television screen. Sleeping? They are cuddling right up against your face.
This is an intuitive breed that senses your emotions. This makes them great companions, able to understand exactly what you might need in that very moment. Head bonks, cuddles, hallway zoomies — they will do whatever it takes to make you happy.