Cats Beautiful balinese cat

Published on July 30th, 2015 | by Debbie Martin


Know your furry friends – Balinese Cats

What is a Balinese Cat?

This type of cat is a beautiful long haired breed with a Siamese style point colouration and gorgeous blue eyes. They have cute looking apple shaped heads and long, lean bodies. They look similar to the Siamese, except they have slightly longer coat length and a full plume tail. Their coats are silky and soft, lying close to the body. They are both dainty and muscular at the same time, with slanted eyes and large ears.


History of the Breed

Balinese Cats are not actually from Bali. The Balinese Cat originated in the early 1900s when longer haired kittens started to appear in otherwise shorthaired litters of Siamese kittens that were imported from Thailand to the US and the UK. The long haired gene was recessive and these odd long haired kittens were considered a fault and were sold as pets rather than breeding animals.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that breeders started to register the long haired Siamese as show cats and develop them as a separate breed. The name “long haired Siamese” was too cumbersome, so breeder Helen Smith decided to name them “Balinese” because their elegant grace made them resemble Balinese dancers.

A cat breeder by the name of Sylvia Holland was the one to further establish the Balinese breed in the 1960s and 70s. She only recognised cats that showed the classic Siamese markings in the colours blue, lilac, chocolate or seal. She did not consider other markings to be Balinese, as they had probably originated from crosses with other breeds.



These cats are well loved for their charming and sociable personality. They are very vocal and they are always communicating with their owners with many different types of meows.

Balinese are very smart and they are sensitive to your moods, so they will come to cheer you up when you are feeling down. They are very affectionate cats and they love to cuddle and interact with humans. They are independent and easy to manage.

These cats are friendly with children, but children should be taught not to mishandle them or there could be a risk of biting and scratching.

These cats love to run, jump and play and you can even train them to fetch. They will bring the ball or toy back so that you can throw it for them again. They are very playful and they will entertain you a lot with their energetic antics.

The Balinese is very intelligent, so when they interact with other animals they usually assume superiority. However, it is friendly enough not to be a bully to other animals it may meet on the street.


Common Health Issues

Balinese cats are generally very healthy and they have a long lifespan too. These cats have been known to live for 18-22 years. They don’t have many specific health defects, aside from a tendency to have crossed eyes. Of course, like all cats you should keep an eye on their health and take them to the vet for a regular check-ups.

The health issues that might affect the Balinese cat include lysosomal storage disease, which is a condition that affects the central nervous system causing all sorts of behavioural changes in cat. They might also be prone to feline acromelanism, which is a condition that can cause changes in coat colour due to variations in temperature.

It is also important to give your Balinese a healthy balanced diet so that you can protect them from obesity, which can cause a lot of long term health problems.


It is said that Balinese cats are more hypoallergenic than other breeds, although this is not scientifically proven. The Balinese produces low amounts of protein allergens.

These cats do not shed very much and they are easy to groom with weekly brushing. They will grow accustomed to the brushing and they will even start to enjoy it.

The only other care that they require is for their nails to be trimmed once per week and their ears to be cleaned. This breed is also susceptible to periodontal disease, so it is important to brush your cat’s teeth at home with a toothpaste and toothbrush that is made specifically for them. It is also a good idea to schedule teeth cleanings with a vet as needed. If you notice any redness, bald patches, fleas or bumps when you are grooming your Balinese you should have them examined by a vet as soon as possible so that a treatment can be arranged.


More Tips for Owning a Balinese Cat

Here are some helpful things that you should know if you are considering owning a Balinese cat:

  • Make sure that you have the time to pay attention to them, as this breed is very social and thrives on interaction.
  • You might want to invest in a lint remover brush in order to keep the cat hairs off of your clothes and furniture.
  • Balinese Cats are curious and intelligent, so you will need to cat-proof your house before you bring them home. This means hiding or covering up electrical wires, putting a screen on the fireplace and putting child safety locks on all shelves.
  • If you live alone and you will be at work all day, a Balinese Cat might not be right for you. They will miss you terribly and they may even start to exhibit destructive behaviours due to stress. A Balinese cat is better off in a home with multiple people where there is almost always someone home or close by to home.
  • If you have young children, teach them how to play with the cat the right way. Balinese cats are great around children, so they will be a happy companion for your child for many years to come so long as they are handled gently.


Keep these tips in mind if you think adopting a Balinese Cat is right for you.


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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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