Balinese

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balinese cat portrait
Welcome to the captivating world of the Balinese cat breed! With their svelte bodies, striking blue eyes, and luxurious long coats that defy the norms of a typical Siamese, these cats are a perfect blend of beauty and brains.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEBalinese
OTHER NAMESLong-haired Siamese, Thai Siamese
ORIGINUnited States
HEIGHT10-12 inches
WEIGHT5-8 lbs
LIFESPAN15-20 years
COAT LENGTHLong
SHEDDING LEVELLow
GROOMING NEEDSModerate
SOCIAL NEEDSHigh
ENERGY LEVELHigh
VOCAL LEVELModerate
balinese cat sitting by the window
Photo: Jeff Anderson/Getty Images

Appearance

The Balinese is a picture of elegance and grace. With a height ranging from 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder, these cats have a long, tubular body that exudes an aura of aristocracy.

When it comes to weight, males typically tip the scales between 6 to 8 pounds, while females are slightly lighter, weighing in between 5 to 7 pounds.

Despite their slender stature and fine bones, they do not appear frail or emaciated. Instead, they carry a certain regality in their posture.

Their heads are a long triangle, accentuated by large ears set wide apart, continuing the triangular shape. This unique structure gives them a distinct, captivating look. Their eyes, almond-shaped and sapphire-blue, add to their expressiveness and charm.

As for their coat, it’s a true spectacle. The Balinese is a long-haired variant of the Siamese, with a silky coat that resists matting. Interestingly, unlike most long-haired breeds, the Balinese lacks an undercoat. This results in a close-fitting, silky coat rather than a fluffy one, reducing the risk of matting significantly.

Coat colors usually follow the same point coloration as seen in Siamese cats – darker colors on their ears, face, paws, and tails. Common colors include seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point.

The tail of a Balinese cat is a sight to behold. It’s plume-like, carrying the same long silky hair as the rest of their bodies, often swishing elegantly as they move.

In a nutshell, the Balinese cat breed is a blend of physical grace and striking features. Its sleek body, expressive eyes, and luxurious coat make it a standout among feline breeds.

Temperament

Balinese cats are renowned for their energetic and active nature. They are intelligent and social creatures that love to be the center of attention. Their lively, playful personalities make them a joy to be around, always ready to engage in a game or embark on a new adventure.

One of their most endearing traits is their unmatched intellect. Balinese cats are among the smartest of all cat breeds, often showcasing their curiosity and humor. They are quick learners and can be taught new tricks when trained in a positive reinforcement manner.

Balinese cats are also known for their deep affection for their human companions. They form strong bonds with their families and enjoy spending quality time with them – whether that’s playing or cuddling.

They are balanced in their need for play and cuddle times, making them an ideal companion for those who appreciate a mix of activity and relaxation.

Despite their lively nature, Balinese cats are not as vocal as their Siamese relatives. They are friendly and easy-going, making them a great choice for families with children, other pets, or anyone seeking a sociable and loving feline friend.

However, because of their sociable nature, Balinese cats don’t like being left alone for long periods. They crave interaction and may become distressed if neglected. Therefore, they are best suited to households where they will receive plenty of attention and companionship.

balinese cat lying on the sofa
Photo: Africa Images

Care

Grooming

Balinese cats are a long-haired breed, but unlike many other long-haired felines, they don’t have an undercoat. This means their grooming needs are not as demanding.

Their silky coat is easy to care for, and a quick combing now and then is all that’s needed to remove loose, dead hair and keep them looking their best. Brushing twice a week with a stainless steel comb is ideal to prevent any snarls and tangles.

Exercise and Play

Balinese cats are active and need proper exercise to maintain their health and happiness. They are very adaptable and do well in active households. They enjoy playtime and are always eager to engage in games.

Interactive toys, climbing trees, and scratching posts can help channel their energy positively. They also enjoy learning new tricks, which provides mental stimulation as well as physical exercise.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding your Balinese a high-quality, balanced diet is crucial for their overall health. As with any cat, portion control is important to avoid weight-related health issues. The breed’s slender build means care must be taken that they do not become obese. Therefore, it’s recommended to feed them measured meals rather than free feeding. Always provide plenty of fresh water alongside their meals.

Remember, each Balinese cat is unique and might have individual preferences and requirements. Regular vet check-ups will ensure your Balinese cat stays healthy and any potential health issues are detected early.

Health

The Balinese cat breed is generally known for its good health. These cats have an impressive lifespan, often living well above 15 years, with some reaching the ripe old age of 20.

However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Here are five common health issues associated with the Balinese cat breed:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a genetic disorder that can lead to blindness. The condition causes the retina to degenerate over time.

Amyloidosis: This is a disease where a type of protein, called amyloid, is deposited in organs, leading to organ failure.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart condition that affects the heart’s muscles, preventing it from pumping blood efficiently.

Congenital Heart Defects: Some Balinese kittens may be born with heart defects, which can be treated if detected early.

Asthma and Respiratory Issues: Like many cat breeds, Balinese cats can suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems.

To keep your Balinese cat healthy, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet. High-quality cat food that meets their nutritional needs can help prevent obesity and related health issues. Regular exercise is also essential for maintaining a healthy weight and overall physical health.

Regular veterinary checks are vital to detect any potential health issues early. Your vet can provide appropriate vaccinations to protect against common feline diseases. They can also advise on preventative care, such as dental hygiene and flea treatment.

Remember, while this list represents common potential health issues, every Balinese cat is unique and not all will see these problems. Regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are the keys to a long, happy life for your Balinese companion.

balinese cat's face
Photo: Oksana Osypenko/Getty Images

History

The Balinese cat breed, contrary to what its name might suggest, does not originate from the Indonesian island of Bali. Instead, it was developed in the United States. The breed is essentially a long-haired Siamese, and it came into being through a natural mutation in purebred Siamese cats that caused them to develop longer coats.

This mutation first appeared in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that breeders started selectively breeding for the trait, hoping to create a new breed. These cats were initially known as “Longhaired Siamese”, but the name was changed to Balinese as a reference to the graceful dancers of Bali – an apt description of these cats’ elegance and poise.

The breed was first registered by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1970, and later by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979. This recognition helped increase the breed’s popularity, and today, the Balinese cat is well-loved for its striking appearance and playful, affectionate nature.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

balinese kitten sitting on the floor
Photo: Oksana Osypenko/Getty Images

FAQs

Are Balinese cats rare?

The Balinese cats, while not extremely rare, are not as common as some other breeds.

How much do Balinese cats cost?

The price of a Balinese kitten can vary widely based on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, the lineage of the parents, and the location. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $600 to $1000 for a Balinese kitten from a reputable breeder.

Are Balinese cats hypoallergenic?

While no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, Balinese cats produce fewer allergenic proteins, making them a good choice for individuals with mild to moderate allergies.

Do Balinese cats like to cuddle?

When it comes to behavior, Balinese cats are known for being affectionate and sociable. They enjoy the company of their human companions and often seek out cuddles and attention.

What is the lifespan of a Balinese cat?

Balinese cats are generally known for their good health and longevity. Many live well into their teens, with some reaching the ripe old age of 20.

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