These strikingly beautiful felines are poised, regal, and outgoing. Though sometimes mistaken for Siamese cats, Balinese cats are not the same breed. The Balinese cat has long and silky fur that makes them appear larger than they actually are.
Balinese cats have very similar personalities to Siamese cats, but they are regarded as their own breed due to a genetic mutation that gives them longer hair.
These cats are incredibly friendly and playful, and love to be the center of attention. They are known to be somewhat demanding of their humans, and if they want something they will let you know—loudly.
If you’ve been considering adding to your family and the Balinese has crossed your mind, let us give you an overview of their personalities and what it’s like to live with one. You might just find that this is the perfect cat for your home!
Where does the Balinese cat come from?
Just from their name alone, you might assume that the Balinese cat comes from Bali, yet this is not the case. The Balinese cat was simply named after the grace and elegance of the Balinese dancers in the temples of Bali.
This cat is not from Indonesia at all. In fact, the origins of the Balinese cat are traced back to 1940s America. (However, their predecessor, the Siamese, is not a U.S. native; they originated in Thailand.)
In the 1940s, a Siamese cat had a litter where one kitten was born with long hair. Who was the father of this Siamese kitten? Records aren’t quite clear. Some say a Persian cat.
Regardless of the backstory, Siamese breeders Helen Smith, Sylvia Holland, and Marion Dorsey were immediately obsessed with their long-haired Siamese and started a new breeding program. Balinese breeders focused on the natural mutation that resulted in long hair.
Some people view the Balinese as a variation of the Siamese, but the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognized the breed for official championship status in 1961. Similarly, the Cat Fanciers Federation and the International Cat Association recognize this crowd favorite.
Since then, the Balinese has become a lovable and friendly addition to many families. You’d be lucky to spend years growing alongside one.
What does the Balinese cat look like?
With their silky colorpoint coat and vivid blue eyes, the Balinese cat stands out. These felines are long and thin, yet muscular and graceful with fine bones. They are considered medium-sized cats, with long, plump tails and proportionate legs.
Balinese cats have long or semi-long hair that is fine with no undercoat. This makes them a bit easier to maintain when it comes to grooming. They are often considered hypoallergenic as one of the few cat breeds to produce less Fel d 1, the protein that causes cat allergies in humans.
Their coat length does call for a weekly combing or, as we call it, a bonding session. Coat colors are very similar to that of a Siamese cat and can display several variations of point patterns and colors, including lilac point, chocolate point, seal point, and blue point. Eye colors can range from pale blue or deep azure to lilac and more. (P.S. Sometimes they have crossed eyes, too.)
These cats are very elegant and majestic, with a magical ambiance that you can’t fully describe. It’s exciting to be in the presence of the Balinese, gaining their trust and affection.
What are the personality traits of the Balinese cat?
The personality of a Balinese is very similar to that of their cousin, the Siamese. They are outgoing and playful cats that really enjoy being around their people. You’ll need to give a Balinese cat a lot of time and attention, as well as find ways to keep their interests piqued.
The Balinese is not a pet for someone who is looking for a very hands-off cat. You will need to be actively involved with your Balinese to ensure they are content.
Before you care for a Balinese, it’s important that you consider what kind of care you have time for. Having a pet like the Balinese takes a lot of responsibility, because they rely on you to have a happy life!
Your Balinese cat will follow you around and stick by your side. They prefer interactive conversations with you and your guests. They will do just about anything to be the center of attention.
Balinese cats are very willing to please their humans and view your companionship as a blessing. You won’t ever feel alone with your beloved Balinese. They sure know how to make you the center of their world!
Playful and chatty
If you want peace and quiet, you won’t get it with a Balinese around. The Balinese, like the Siamese, is a very chatty cat. They like to talk to you, about you, at you, for you, at all times of the day. Be prepared to have many conversations with your Balinese.
In addition to being vocal, the Balinese love to play with their humans. They prefer for their humans to be involved in playing and creating fun new games to solve. Playscapes, interactive toys, cat furniture, and food puzzles will keep your Balinese entertained so you can actually get some work done.
Despite their regal and elegant look, the Balinese cat is lovable and affectionate with all kinds of people. They adapt easily and take well to strangers. They don’t take long to warm up to someone—if they’re getting attention, they are happy.
Balinese are known to be very good family pets because of their friendly nature. They are tolerant with well-behaved children and will form bonds with them as long as they feel respected.
Curious and intelligent
Balinese cats are intelligent and extremely curious. They like to be in the middle of things and are always looking for an excuse to be involved.
Because they’re so curious, boredom can lead to mischief. If there is nothing to entertain them, it’s likely that they will find a way to entertain themselves. And we all know what that means…
Energetic, active, and ready to go
Balinese cats are very energetic and active. These precious kitties are a healthy breed with a healthy thirst for adventure. They need lots of attention, but they also need to play and stay active. They love scratching posts, cat trees, and perches where they can get to high vantage points.
Balinese cats do well with dogs and other cats, especially as companions that help them burn more of their energy throughout the day.
Caring for a Balinese cat
Before you adopt a Balinese cat, you need to understand what kind of attention and care you’re able to provide. If you are someone who can only manage one pet, works a lot, and spends a lot of your time traveling, having a Balinese might be more difficult for you.
Balinese cats need you to be there for them. They crave their human’s attention and can become destructive and depressed when they feel they aren’t getting enough of it.
Subsequently, they need a bathroom space that is as clean and elegant as they are. A self-cleaning litter box will provide an always-clean bed of litter and make them feel like true royalty.
When you decide the time is right, coming home with a Balinese cat will be a significant moment in your life. You get love, companionship, an outgoing and affectionate personality, and comical days full of Balinese antics. What could be better than that?
- Longhair Cat Breeds | Britannica
- Balinese Cat Breed at The Great Cat in History, Art and Literature | The Great Cat