Balinese Cat


The Balinese Cat is not actually from Bali or any part of Indonesia. It is not a natural occurring breed, but originates from human-controlled breeding efforts.

Balinese Cats, the longhaired version of Siamese Cats. The Balinese was originally registered as a "long-haired Siamese" and examples were known from the early 1920s. The cats orgin was in longhaired kittens born in Siamese litters.

These may have been accidental mutations, but it may be during the 1920s some Angora blood had been introduced into Siamese lones in England.

A breeder, Marion Dorset, appears to have been the first to plan a breeding program, followed in the 1960s by breeder Helen Smith.

Smith named the cats "Balinese" as she felt they showed the grace and beauty of Balinese dancers and because "long-haired Siamese" seemed a rather clunky name for such graceful felines.

By the end of the 1960s the Balinese cat had gained acceptance with the American cat societies. More than a decade later the breed was recognized in Europe. In Australia the cat also known as the Oriental Longhair, but not to be confused with the breed known more generally by that name.

The breed became quite popular after this and a number of breeders began working on "perfecting" the Balinese appearance. This led eventually to the development of two entirely separate "strands" of Balinese cat – some owners prefer a traditional or "apple-headed" Balinese. Others breeders and judges tend to prefer a more contemporary appearance.


The Balinese has the conformation of the Siamese; a graceful, long body set on long slim legs with small oval feet and a long tapering tail. The elegant neck carries a wedge-shaped head, narrowing in straight lines to a fine muzzle, the tips of the large, pointed ears continuing in the triangle.

A straight line should be felt from the top of the head to the tip of the nose with no bulge over the eyes or dip in the nose. The eyes are almond shaped, slanting slightly toward te nose, with at least an eye's width between them. They must be a bright, clear blue color.

Like the Siamese, there are now two different varieties of Balinese being bred and shown – "traditional" and "contemporary". The traditional has a coat approximately two inches long over its entire body. It is a sturdy and robust cat with a semi-rounded muzzle and ears.

The traditional closely resembles the Ragdoll breed, but do not share any of the same genes or breeding other than having a partially Siamese ancestry. A contemporary has a much shorter coat and is virtually identical to a standard show Siamese except for its tail, which is a graceful silky plume.


The coat is fine, silky and of medium length with no wooly undercoat. It softens the line of the cat making it look less extreme than the shorthaired Siamese. A tendency to a neck frill and some ear tufting are permitted but ideally should not be present.

The body should be an even color with subtle shading, if any, on the back and sides. Point color is restricted to the tail, feet and ears.

The mask, which covers the feet including whisker pads, is connected to the ears by tracings but should not cover the top of the head. Kittens are born with short coats and no markings. Although the color appears in the first few weeks, the full coat may not develop until they are adult.


In most associations, the Balinese is accepted in a full range of colors, including the four traditional Siamese point colors of seal, blue, chocolate and lilac, as well as less traditional colors such as red and cream and patterns such as lynx (tabby) point and tortie point.

In the Cat Fanciers' Association, the Balinese is only accepted in the four traditional Siamese colors; all other colors and patterns are considered Javanese.


Solid Points: Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Liliac, Red, Cream (in Red and Cream, barring and striping of the points are permissible.)

Tortie Points:Seal Tortie, Blue Tortie, Chocolate Tortie, Liliac Tortie, Cream.

Tabby pointsSeal, Blue, Chocolate, Liliac, Red, Cream, Tortie.


Solid Points only: Seal, Chocolate, Blue, Liliac.


Like the Siamese, the Balinese loves attention. Very playful and fond of human company. Similar to the ancestor "Siamese", the "Balinese" is a vocal breed which may vocalize for no apparent reason, albeit at lower volume than the Siamese. Balinese cats rarely scratch when irritated, but they moan and growl and sometimes hiss.


The Balinese cat is rated the highest in intelligence of all the long-haired breeds, rated 9–10. In comparison: Persians are rated as 6 and Himalayans as 7.

Life span

Balinese tend to live between 18 to 21 years.

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