Critter Culture
The Cheerful Balinese Cat

The Cheerful Balinese Cat

Critter Culture Staff



Balinese cats are a medium- or long-haired version of the Siamese, with whom they share the same personality, temperament, blue eyes, and point coloration. Far from being from Indonesia as their name implies, the Balinese was bred in the United States and the UK by selecting siamese cats that carried a long-haired genetic trait. Further work on the breed led to the development of cats with long, athletic, and fine-boned bodies and a long tail. They were given the name Balinese because breeder Sylvia Holland thought their slender figures resembled "exotic Balinese dancers."


The Balinese is very sociable

Balinese sitting aleishaknight / Getty Images

Just like the Siamese, the Balinese is a super social cat that will follow you around, walk between your feet, and greet both you and your guests at the door. Like dogs, they might even react when someone rings the doorbell. That's why it's better not to leave them alone for too long, or they might become depressed and have destructive behaviors. Consider adopting two Balinese together so they can keep each other company while you are away.


The Balinese loves to play

Balinese cat BravissimoS / Getty Images

These cats are a lot of fun. They are very energetic and need plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity to be happy. Buy them cat toys and cat trees to keep themselves mentally stimulated and entertained. Balinese cats are also great climbers, and their elongated bodies allow them to reach the most unlikely places, which makes them great hide and seek players.


The Balinese is trainable

Balinese cat on a tablet BravissimoS / Getty Images

It's not much work to train a Balinese cat. Their devotion to humans and love for socialization means that they are always looking forward to spending quality time with their owners. Additionally, they are very intelligent and energetic. You can teach them how to play fetch, jump obstacles, or be on a leash by using positive reinforcement techniques.


The Balinese is very opinionated

Balinese cat yawning BravissimoS / Getty Images

Like the Siamese, the Balinese cat can be very vocal. Not only they are chatty, but they are also very opinionated. They can modulate their voice to emit many different sounds with which they communicate quite effectively. Balinese aren't shy to tell you or your guests off, remind you loudly that it's dinner time, or tell you that you both should be off to bed. If you are looking for a cat you can talk to through your day, then a Balinese is the pet for you.


The Balinese is a great family pet

Balinese cat looking up BravissimoS / Getty Images

Balinese cats get along with everybody. They love to snuggle with their humans and cherish the company of other pets. With cats of any breed, careful introduction into a new home environment has to be non-traumatic and gradual, but the Balinese will adapt fairly quickly to new settings and new animal companions. They are great for kids since they can play for long stretches of time and are incredibly clownish.


The Balinese has point coloration

Balinese cat looking at camera Natalie Herzer / Getty Images

Just like their Siamese ancestors, the Balinese have point coloration. Their long-haired coat is soft and silky, and kittens are one color. With time, points appear on the face, tail, paws, and ears that can turn seal, blue, chocolate, or lilac. If the points are of any other color, then the cat is no longer a Balinese, but a Javanese.


How to care for a Balinese

Balinese cat being groomed BravissimoS / Getty Images

Balinese cats are a fairly low-maintenance breed, but they do require brushing once or twice a week. Grooming your Balinese will not only strengthen your bond but will also remove dust and dirt from their beautiful coats and distribute their natural oils so they remain soft and silky to the touch. Also, remember to clean their litter daily, or you might end up with unwanted gifts around the house.


Your Balinese's diet

Balinese cat eating BravissimoS / Getty Images

A cat's diet may vary with age, size, and activity levels, so it's better to consult your veterinarian about the best food and portion sizes for your feline. Balinese cats are prone to weight gain, especially when spayed or neutered. It's also advisable to feed them special food that prevents the creation of hairballs.


Health concerns

Grumpy Balinese cat sjallenphotography / Getty Images

Like other pure breeds, Balinese might develop some diseases, even though they are generally quite healthy animals. Conditions they are susceptible to include progressive retinal atrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy, liver amyloidosis, respiratory issues like asthma, and some neurological problems. However, responsible breeders try to avoid the transmission of diseases through the generations.


They are not to be confused with the Javanese cat

Balinese cat Paolina Petsa / Getty Images

Balinese and Javanese cats are somewhat similar. The Javanese is a hybrid developed by crossing Balinese and colorpoint shorthair cats. They present a medium-length coat that may or may not have point coloration or have a coloration that is not officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association. Their long and slender bodies are another reason they get confused with the Balinese.


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