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Balinese cat

Other names: Long haired Siamese

Balinese cat
Balinese cat

Despite their name, this breed is not native to Bali. They originate from litters of Siamese kittens, where some were born with mid-length fur. At the time, they were of little value to their breeders as they did not meet the requirements for Siamese cats. It was not until 1950 that two breeders became interested in these mid-length-haired kittens, and in order to preserve this trait they decided to try and create a new breed. These cats emanated such grace that one of the breeders decided to change their name (formerly known as Long-haired Siamese) in honour of the elegance of Balinese dancers.

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Key facts about the Balinese cat

  • Life expectancy : Between 15 and 20 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
  • Type of coat : Long
  • Price : Around £300

Physical characteristics of the Balinese cat

Adult size

Female cat Approximately 12 in
Male cat Approximately 12 in

Weight

Female cat Between 7 and 11 lb
Male cat Between 7 and 11 lb

Coat colour

Seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, cream, tortoiseshell

Coat patterns

The UK cat registration office (GCCF) only authorises colourpoint coat patterns.

Type of coat

Mid-length.

Eye colour

Blue. 

Description

Balinese have long, athletic and muscular bodies with thin frames. This gives them their majestic natural elegance. They have beautiful triangular shaped heads with almond blue eyes.

Temperament

Affectionate

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Balinese are renowned for being very affectionate towards their owners.

Playful

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Their slender bodies allow them to climb and jump with ease, making them very playful.

Calm

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Balinese are little athletes who only need a bit of peace and quiet after their daily playing, racing and jumping has ended.

Intelligent

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Does teaching your cat to hi-5 excite you? Then a Balinese is the perfect cat for you! Due to their intelligence, they can respond to commands.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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They’re generally rather curious cats, and they’ll always notice new people/things and love to go over and check them out. Just don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do!

Independent

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Balinese enjoy spending time with their owners, but also appreciate their own space and having some peace and quiet. There is nothing to stop you from admiring their natural elegance from a distance!

Behaviour of the Balinese cat

Chatty

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Their Siamese genes make them very chatty cats. It’s only the length of their coat that has changed, not their characteristics!

Need for exercise / Sporty

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These cats do need their owner’s company for chilling-out, but they mostly need them to play with! They don’t mind running after a ball or a mouse but that won't expand all their energy! If you actively play with your cat using a feather duster or a stick, they will have the opportunity to practice their running and jumping, as they would hunt prey in the wild.

Tendency to run away

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Their curiosity and physical attributes can lead them to stray far from home. You’ll have to pay attention to them!

Greedy / Gluttony

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Given the energy they expend while playing, they are generally quite hungry cats. Obviously the more exercise they do, the more food they’ll need!  It is important to monitor their caloric intake to keep your Balinese in good health.

Compatibility

Balinese cat and cats

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They will not be happy to see another cat in their home, but do not worry, by properly presenting them to one another, and by offering heights and hiding spaces for both cats, they can at the very least learn to tolerate each other!

Balinese cat and dogs

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Balinese will take an interest in the new, curious animal that you have presented to them. As long as you introduce them gradually, and respect the needs of both the cat and the dog, they can become firm friends!

Balinese cat and children

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Their energy and curiosity leads them to take an interest in what children do and what they play with. As long as both parties are trained, educated and supervised, they can play together safely, and build a great relationship.

Balinese cat and the elderly

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They’re not the ideal cat for elderly people as their high energy levels are likely to tire them out!

Price

A Balinese kitten costs approximately £300. Their price varies depending on their lineage, age and sex. They cost approximately £25 per month to keep them healthy and to feed them well!

Grooming

Weekly brushing and combing is usually sufficient for Balinese.

Hair loss

Even during moulting, Balinese only lose a little hair. This breed has no undercoat.

Nutrition of the Balinese cat

They should be provided with high quality food recommended to them by their vet to ensure that they stay healthy and avoid gaining too much weight.

Health of the Balinese cat

Life expectancy

15 to 20 years.

Strong / robust

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Their thin fur and lack of an undercoat mean that they are poor at dealing with large swings in temperature.

Tendency to put on weight

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By expending their energy daily, and providing them with a balanced diet using an interactive bowl, you will prevent your cat from becoming overweight.

Common illnesses

Balinese can develop the same illnesses as any other cats, such as oral diseases. Some other diseases may appear, including:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - this results in the thickening of the heart muscle. This pathology causes heart failure that can result in arrhythmias or even pulmonary aedema. Screening can be done by means of an echocardiography examination, which is usually renewed annually. Treatment can be administered to improve the cat’s quality of life. 

Progressive retinal atrophy - a disease that can cause blindness in Balinese. Screening tests exist.
Renal amyloidosis - an irreversible hereditary disease. This disease progresses quickly and clinical signs generally arise between the age of 1 and 5. They are similar symptoms to those of severe renal failure. There is no screening test to date as the gene(s) that cause the disease have not yet been identified. Nevertheless, vigilance on the part of the breeders has caused this disease to remain rare.

Reproduction

Balinese have on average 4 kittens per litter. 
Cross breeding is permitted with Siamese, Mandarin, Orientals and other Balinese.

Good to know

Balinese reach sexual maturity early in their lives (Like Siamese): they can come into heat at 6 months old.

Origins and history

This breed did exist naturally, as from time to time long haired kittens were born into Siamese litters. However, they were then removed from breeding programmes, as they did not meet the required standards for Siamese cats. Two Siamese breeders in the United States began breeding Long Haired Siamese by selecting precise kittens. Since the year 2000, their popularity has declined due to the appearance of other breeds, which makes it quite rare in Europe.

Names

Good names for a Balinese cat: Darcy, Kenzo, Peace, Turtle

Find out name ideas for your cat here