Balinese at a Glance
Named for the exotically graceful dancers on the Indonesian island of Bali, the Balinese is a longhaired variety of the Siamese breed and part of the Siamese Breed Group which includes the Siamese, the Oriental Shorthair and the Oriental Longhair. They all share the same body type, but come with a different “paint job”. Balinese are very social and talkative and thrive within the company of other people. Find out more about this breed and if a Balinese is right for you and your family.
- Temperament: Outgoing, inquisitive, affectionate
- Size: Medium sized cat
Adult females: small to medium approximately 5-8 pounds
Adult males: medium approximately 8-12 pounds
Kittens mature slowly and don’t fully develop until 18-24 months.
- Colors: The main coat of the Balinese is light and wispy complete with a plume tail and shaggy undercoat. The facial area mask and extremities are dark. This pattern is known as seal point. Other recognized colors include chocolate, blue, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, red and cream points. All of these colors come with and without white, silver/smoke, lynx point(tabby points) and tortie/tortie points.
- Life Expectancy: 10+ years. Balinese can live longer than other cat breeds, reaching an above average life expectancy and have been known to live 20+ years.
About the Balinese
If finding a furry best friend is your goal, look no further than the Balinese cat. Known for being highly sensitive to the moods and emotions of their humans, they are certain to cheer you up with their companionship and conversation as well as dish out advice when needed.
Balinese have extremely loving temperaments and bond closely with their families and people of all ages, including children, cat-friendly dogs and other cats. They thrive on attention and affection and are often found beside their humans. They like to be “helpful” and follow family members around throughout the day. They love to be near their humans, but not directly on top due to their coats being longer than the Siamese.
The Balinese is a vocal cat that enjoys talking with his family. They demand a lot of attention and get into mischief so should not be left alone for long periods of time.
There’s never a dull moment with the Balinese. Highly intelligent, agile and athletic, they require stimulation or lots of toys to keep them occupied. Cat trees, teaser toys and games of fetch keep them on their toes. They excel at the feline sport Agility and are very receptive to training. They can play fetch as well as any Retriever and can easily learn to walk on a leash.
While very active, one of their favorite spots is on the lap of their owner or under the covers with their head on the pillow, human style.
The active and social Balinese is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
The silky coat of the Balinese rarely tangles or mats, does not shed much and is easy to groom with weekly brushing.
Nails should be trimmed weekly. A human nail clipper can be used to tip the white area of the nail. Be careful not to go back too far into the red blood area inside the nail. Eyes and the inside of their ears should also be cleaned weekly. Clean their ears with a warm, damp washcloth or cotton square. Brush their teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath and schedule regular veterinary dental cleanings.
Adult Balinese cats need to be fed at least twice a day. Kittens should be fed more often, at least three or four times per day, as they burn off calories more quickly. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some cat behaviorists -Place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
Canned foods are often the preferred method for feedings. Not only are they more convenient, but they are higher protein and lower carbohydrates than dry food. Canned food has a higher-water content so it increases the cat’s overall fluid intake, which keeps the kidneys and bladder healthy. Due to their easily-digested ingredients, canned foods produce less solid waste in the litterbox as well.
Balinese cats are generally a healthy breed. They have a tendency to be sensitive to anesthesia. It is important to make the veterinarian aware of this before any type of surgery. This includes routine surgeries such as neutering, spaying and dental cleanings. Balinese can be susceptible to Amyloidosis. There is much research being done to find a test for this disease but, to date there is no test available to detect Amyloids.
The early history of the Balinese is unknown although sporadic references to it occur from early on. Some say there is a Chinese tapestry depicting a longhair, an 1871 Penny Illustrated magazine contains a reference to a longhaired Siamese. While the longhaired kittens were showing up sporadically, the history of the Balinese starts with the first breeding programs in the 1950s. Two Siamese breeders, Marion Dorsey (Rai-Mar) in California and Helen Smith (MerryMews) in New York, both fell in love with the beauty of some longhair kittens that appeared in their Siamese litters and decided to develop more of the lovely cats. Helen Smith coined the name Balinese to reflect their grace and elegance that reminded her of Balinese dancers.
On the founding of TICA in 1979, the Balinese was one of the original breeds in championship competition. TICA currently accepts all colors and patterns of the pointed category for show.
Did You Know?
The Balinese cat is named for the exotic and graceful dancers that inhabit the Indonesian island of Bali.
While named after dancers from Bali, the breed does not originate from Bali but rather the United States.
The Balinese is known to leap onto their human’s shoulders, perching there for a ride!
The Breed Standard
The ideal cat of this breed group is a svelte, graceful, refined cat of medium size with long tapering lines. It is in excellent physical condition, very strong, lithe and muscular giving the sensation of solid weight without excess bulk. While the breed is considered "medium" in size, balance and proportion are to be considered of greater consequence. The cat should "fit together". If it is extreme in one part, all parts should be extreme to retain balance.
Click here to read the full TICA Balinese Breed Standard.
Additional information and an introduction to the Balinese breed can be found in the links below:
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979
- Balinese Breed At A Glance
- Breed Introduction
- Printable Breed Introduction
- Balinese Breeders
- Breed Standards
- Breed Committee
Photos used courtesy of © Helmi Flick Cat Photography.