The Balinese Cat is a long-haired breed of domestic cat with a Siamese-style point color and sapphire-blue eyes. The Balinese is also known as the purebred long-haired Siamese, as it originated as a natural mutation of that breed and is therefore essentially the same cat but with a medium-length silky coat and distinctively plumed tail.
As is the case with their short-haired counterparts, a genetic distinction is made between traditional or “old-style” and modern body types. In the American Standard, color variants derived from the Colorpoint Shorthair are considered a separate breed, known as Javanese.
There is no particular connection between these cats and the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java, from which they derive their names.
Like their Siamese ancestors, the Balinese are sociable, vocal, playful, curious, and intelligent.
|WEIGHT: 6 to 11 pounds|
|LENGTH: About a foot and a half long|
|COAT COLOR: Creamy white body with a variety of possible color points on the face, ears, legs, and tails|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 20 years|
|EYE COLOR: Deep, vivid blue|
Origin Of Balinese Cat
The Balinese cat is basically a long-haired Siamese and originated from Siamese cats that carried a mutant gene for long hair. It should not be confused with Colorpoint Longhair, which is a Perian Longhair with Colorpoint markings.
First noted in the early 20th century, breeders first gave away their long-haired kittens after World War II, when Marian Dorsey of California began deliberately breeding them to produce them. Initially, they were known as Longhaired Siamese, but the Siamese community protested the similarity in name, and ‘Balinese’ was suggested because of the cats’ resemblance to elegant, Far Eastern temple dancers.
The Balinese were recognized in America in 1961 but were not imported to Europe until the mid-1970s. The breed gained recognition and championship status in this country in 1986.
|Adaptability: 5 Points||Energy Level: 5 Points||Shedding Level: 3 Points|
|Affection Level: 5 Points||Grooming: 3 Points||Social Needs: 5 Points|
|Child Friendly: 4 Points||Health Issues: 3 Points||Stranger Friendly: 5 Points|
|Intelligence: 5 Points||Dog Friendly: 5 Points|
Balinese Development and History
“Balinese” is not actually from Bali or any part of Indonesia. Its history begins with the first Siamese cats brought to the US from Thailand in the mid-1800s. and imported into the UK, some of which carried the long hair gene.
The Balinese breed later evolved from deliberate breeding efforts based on this naturally expressed genetic trait.
Initially, the occasional long-haired kitten in Siamese litter was considered a bloodline defect and was sold only as a pet. There are records of these cats in the early 1900s; The “long-haired Siamese” was first registered in 1928 with the American Cat Fanciers Federation as a show cat.
In the mid-1950s, breeders in the US began serious efforts to develop the long-haired as a separate breed. Considering the long-haired Siamese too cumbersome a name, early breeder Helen Smith named the new breed “Balinese” in reference to the grace of the Balinese dancers.
A breeder named Sylvia Holland (who was also an illustrator for Walt Disney Studios) worked to further establish the breed standard in the 1960s and 1970s. She recognized only cats displaying the classic Siamese points in the seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac as true Balinese, refusing to accept others on the grounds that they possibly arose from crosses with other breeds.
The American Cat Fanciers Association, meanwhile, officially classified the Siamese as a new red and cream, as well as the lynx (tabby) and tortoiseshell-patterned points as separate breeds, the Colorpoint shorthair and longhair cats derived from these colors and patterns. It is then classified separately as “Javanese” in keeping with the same Indonesian island theme.
Like their Siamese ancestors, the Balinese gradually split into two distinct varieties based on physical type. Traditional Siamese was the type prevalent when Balinese was established and is therefore used in its development; These old-style Balinese still resemble early breeding programs.
As the parent short-haired Siamese grew in popularity, however, a trend developed to favor a more elongated, slender type with a wedge-shaped head. Modern Balinese later descended directly from this new Siamese ideal.
By the mid-1980s, the old-style Balinese, like their Siamese counterparts, had disappeared from most cat shows, with the exception of a few breeders who retained the original Balinese type. Thus the two varieties of Balinese have few if any recent ancestors in common.
The Balinese is, more or less, a fluffy Siamese. It has a medium to long silky coat that resists matting and lies close to its body, emphasizing its lean body. The coat is white or cream and color-pointed in the same traditional colors as the Siamese: blue, chocolate, seal, and lilac. Their tails are plumed or stiff, the hair matching the rest of their points.
Physically, Balinese cats are lithe, delicately built cats with strong hind legs that make them formidable jumpers. They have neat, oval legs and wedge-shaped heads; Their large ears are set far enough apart to continue the wedge shape of the head. Balinese eyes are almond-shaped and bright, clear sapphire.
Since the Balinese and Siamese are closely related, they share many traits. Like Siamese, Balinese are curious, outgoing, intelligent cats with excellent communication skills. They are known for their chatty personalities and are always eager to share their views on life, love, and what you served them for dinner.
They often continue monologues; They are not for those who believe that cats should be seen and not heard.
Balinese are often in tune with your mood and will be there to cheer you up if you are sad or share your joy when you are happy.
They make noise themselves, they can respond to your tone of voice, and a scolding tone can hurt their sensitive feelings. A coaching tone and positive reinforcement is the only effective way to correct unwanted behavior.
Balinese are agile and athletic and will ride on the shoulders of any willing family member if allowed. They love to play and easily learn to fetch, often bringing back a ball or toy to throw. They entertain you with their antics,
But also has a loving, devoted nature. They can be quite assertive in their requests for attention, but they also have a special pride for the Balinese and Siamese races.
In virtually every way except the coat, when you adopt a Balinese, you get a Siamese. From a personality standpoint, this means you’re getting a devoted, loving companion who likes to be around his humans as much as possible.
He will follow you from room to room, engaging in deep conversation the entire time.
“They have very similar traits because they have such a close ancestry,” says Lynn Kaufman, DVM, of Prairie View Animal Hospital in Grimes, Iowa.
“If you don’t want a cat that shouldn’t have the last word, don’t have a Siamese, don’t have a Balinese.”
While Balinese cats are just as vocal as their Siamese cousins, they also have a softer tone, making them somewhat more endearing to roommates or people in close living situations.
As a loving and intelligent cat, the Balinese will watch everything you do and follow you around the house. These furry brains are also capable of learning cool tricks and playing games, and they’ll make sure you treat them with the attention they deserve, says Cheryl Bonk, DVM of Pat Keen.
“They can make some demands on your time and talk if you don’t give them enough attention,” says Bonk. “Don’t expect to get one of these cats and just plan to feed them and clean them. They’ll ask more of you than that.”
They are considered a healthy breed with only a few health problems. They are a pedigree breed, which means they evolved from such a small gene pool of Siamese with the long hair mutation.
The smaller the gene pool, the more chance they have of inheriting many unknown health disorders. A potentially confirmed disease for Balinese is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a degeneration of the retina in the eye; Which can lead to poor or poor vision.
There are some cases of Balinese having dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a disease that causes enlargement of the heart muscle which reduces the function of the heart. There are also some claims that they are at a lower risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Another possible health problem is liver amyloidosis or systemic amyloidosis which eventually leads to the failure of some organs, usually the liver. Liver amyloidosis is commonly found in any member of the Siamese and the Balinese is a mutation from the Siamese, so it may be that Siamese has some hereditary disorders.
They sometimes develop a rare inheritance that makes their blue almond-shaped eyes appear cross-eyed. This is called strabismus, which is common in the Siamese cat breed.
Common Health Problems
- Eye problems (progressive retinal atrophy is one of the most common health conditions seen in Balinese. They may also be prone to cross-eyes (although these are often outbred) and glaucoma)
- Liver amyloidosis (this involves the accumulation of amyloid protein in the liver, and this reduces function and can lead to liver failure)
- Respiratory problems (usually asthma or bronchial disease/infection)
- Neurological problems (hyperesthesia syndrome which causes excessive grooming and licking, and nystagmus which results in rapid eye movements)
- Heart problems (including dilated cardiomyopathy)
Balinese are generally very active, intelligent, affectionate, and especially social, medium-sized cats. They enjoy playing and are very curious, so it’s important that you have plenty of toys, scratching posts, and enrichment ideas ready to keep them entertained and excited.
Their clever personalities mean they can be trained more easily than many other breeds using positive reinforcement methods. While they are smart and very attractive, they are sometimes referred to as clowns due to their silly and amusing antics.
They also crave company. They are not a cat that adapts to being left alone for long periods of time, and this can result in them becoming distressed and possibly exhibiting destructive behavior. With proper introduction, they are a breed that can get along well with children, dogs, and other pets. They are often a popular choice as a family cat.
Like many cats, they like to find high vantage points, so make sure you keep surfaces clean and provide them with suitable “hiding” spots so they can find peace if they so desire. This can save your curtains from getting ruined and your delicates from getting scattered.
If you enjoy a quiet home, the Balinese may not be the cat for you; They are known to be particularly vocal and love to chat with their owners, often demanding attention. They are generally accepted as being slightly quieter than the typical Siamese.
Balinese have medium-length, silky coats, and while they shed seasonally, their coat does not require much maintenance. They do not have an undercoat and this means they are not as prone to getting tangles or mats. A good brushing of the loose, dead hair once a week should be enough to keep their coat in good condition.
Caste comes in different colors. The main part of the coat is usually a creamy white, but there are distinctive color spots that can be seen on the face, ears, full tail, and legs. The most common of these are seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac, and these are the four recognized as acceptable official breed standards. They can also come in red, lynx, and tortoise shell-colored dots.
With their bright blue eyes, large ears, impressive plumed tails,s and muscular bodies, they are strikingly handsome and athletic animals. Their large ears may require a little more attention to clean than some cats.
Some Balinese lovers claim that they are a hypoallergenic breed. However, there is no scientific basis behind it. The fact that Balinese do not have an undercoat means that they shed less and this may reduce a possible allergic reaction, but it is certainly not a guarantee.
Feeding & Grooming
Feeding: The Balinese is an active cat and will require approximately 80 kcal of food per day. This type of cat rarely overeats and will soon let you know how much it needs each day.
Grooming: Balinese require regular grooming to keep their beautiful coats in good condition and free of knots and tangles, although this is no less a task than a Parison, thanks to the Balinese’s fine coat. A brush and comb will be needed.
It is best to start as a young kitten before the full coat is established so that the cat gets used to grooming as some cats object. The work will be easier if it is done frequently to prevent the formation of tangles.
Adopt or Buy a Balinese Cat
If you are open to listening and working with Balinese, you will find that they are a very loving and attractive cat breed. You’ll have lots of funny stories and adorable pictures to share!
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy In The Cat | VCA Animal Hospitals
- Feline Glaucoma | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Adopt a Pet
Fun Facts About Balinese Cat
- The name “Balinese” was chosen to distinguish the breed from its Siamese ancestors and because the cat’s graceful body and long, silky coats reminded breeder Helen Smith of a Balinese dancer.
- The Balinese is classified as a rare breed and ranks 35th in popularity out of 41 breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association.
- To ensure the compatibility of their bloodlines, only registered, purebred Siamese were allowed into the Balinese breeding program.
More Cat Breeds And Further Research
Balinese Cat Breed Review
Balinese Cat Breed FAQs
How rare is a Balinese cat?
The Balinese is classified as a rare breed and ranks 35th in popularity out of 41 breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association. To ensure the compatibility of their bloodlines, only registered, purebred Siamese were allowed into the Balinese breeding program.
Why Balinese cats are the best?
Personality and temperament
This breed is considered the most intelligent of the cat breeds and is also notable for its good humor, good nature, and high energy. Being good to both animals and people is one of the strongest qualities the Balinese possess.
Do all Balinese cats have blue eyes?
Balinese. Balinese is a pointed cat breed whose eyes are always deep blue. The long coat of these strikingly beautiful cats resulted from a spontaneous genetic mutation in purebred Siamese cats. These medium-sized cats are not just pretty faces.
What colors do Balinese cats come in?
The Cat Fanciers’ Federation and most other organizations around the world accept the Balinese breed in the seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream points in addition to tortoise and lynx points in all these colors.