The Balinese Cat Ultimate Guide

Are you looking for a furry BFF to keep you amused with its non-stop chatter?

Well, look no further than the Balinese cats. These cats are famous for their affectionate nature towards humans of all sizes.

However, as you’re aware:

Welcoming a new cat to a home is a challenging task.

Just like all cat breeds, the Balinese also have unique requirements and need adequate care from their owners.

And of course, loving companionship is a must if you wish to befriend this breed of cats.

Luckily, we have developed this guide where we’ll tell you all about the Balinese cats and how you can take the best care of this ‘full of life’ but loving breed.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the ultimate guide of Balinese Cats. This article has been divided into several chapters. Feel free to browse through them and read the section that’s most relevant to the information that you need.

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Balinese cats

Many non-cat loving individuals often mistake the Balinese for a Siamese and vice versa.

However, we cannot blame them, as there is an uncanny similarity between both breeds.

The Balinese cat is usually considered the longhaired version of the Siamese cat. That’s because both breeds share many personality traits besides their physical attributes.

If you’re interested in knowing the differences in both breeds, check out our article on Balinese vs Siamese cats. In it, we go into detail on the differences and similarities of both breeds and give our verdict on which one’s better for you.

The history of Balinese cats

The first Siamese cats were imported from Thailand to the US and UK in the mid-1800s.

Some of them carried longhaired genes and produced a spontaneous litter of the same physical feature.

However, these types of cats were regarded as a fault in the bloodlines for several years.

And most breeders kept them aside from the breeding pool and used these cats for ‘domestic’ purposes only.

One day in 1950:

The breeders in the US started taking a serious interest in the “long-haired Siamese” and began developing them as a separate breed.

But don’t they come from Bali…?

Contrary to popular belief, the Balinese cat does not originate from the land of Bali – the Indonesian island famed for its graceful dancers.

In fact, it is not from any part of Indonesia for that matter.

You must be wondering:

Then why is this cat breed named “Balinese?”

As we already discussed, the cats were not recognized until the mid-1950s as a separate breed.

Up until then, they were called the “long-haired Siamese,” and there are even records present of them being registered at the American Cat Fanciers’ Federation by the same title.

But the initial breeder Helen Smith found this name to be too cumbersome and gave it the name of “Balinese” as a reference to the graceful dancers of Bali.

Sylvia Holland, an illustrator for Walt Disney Productions further enhanced the breeding program of Balinese in the 1960s and 70s.

With her efforts, the Cat Fanciers Federation recognized the Balinese in 1961, followed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1970.

They are also recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association, along with other cat registries.

Currently, the Balinese are classified as a rare breed and ranks #35 from the 41 cats listed in the Cat Fanciers Association.

The size of Balinese cats

The Balinese are medium-sized cats that weigh between 5-10 pounds.

They boast a sleek and dainty body with fine bones and appear long and supple from the legs, body, and tail.

Luckily, for the owners, the Balinese do not put on weight that easily and are not prone to obesity like their counterparts.

This is because they are quite active and are usually on the move.

Due to its dynamic nature, it’s essential to provide a nutritious diet to your Balinese cat. If you’re a Balinese owner, you may want to get ahold of our list of top cat foods for Balinese cats.

Lifespan

The average lifespan of this ‘long-haired’ cat is 15 years.

But according to some sources, they can enjoy life for up to 22 years – provided they are well cared for.

Physical traits of Balinese cats

The cats come in two types – traditional and the contemporary.

The traditional variety has a coat that is more than two inches long while the contemporary type is more identical to the Siamese.

Unlike the Siamese, the Balinese have shiny coats that don’t get dull with time as well.

Depending on whether you bring home a traditional or modern Balinese, the cat will have either an apple head or a wedge-shaped head.

The eyes are slanted with wide, large, and significantly open ears.

Interestingly, the color of their eye changes intensity with age and diet from being blue to golden and green.

The plummeted-tail is the focal point of this cat breed that can grow up to 5 inches in length to give the Balinese a luxurious appearance.

Coat and color

Many prospective Balinese owners assume that its coat is hard to maintain.

Surprisingly, it is not!

This is because:

The Balinese cat has no undercoat and as a result, it is not prone to excessive matting in its hair.

This is undoubtedly good news for the owners who are looking for a feline-friend that requires minimal upkeep.

When it comes to color, here are the varieties found in Balinese cats:

  • Seal point
  • Blue point
  • Lilac point
  • Chocolate point

However, other possible color patterns are probable through the different breeding process.

The color points are not apparent in the Balinese kittens.

They are usually born plain white or cream.

The colors develop gradually and begin showing fully within four to six weeks of birth on the colder parts of their body – paws, tails, ears, and face.

Is Balinese cat a hypoallergenic cat or not?

Although it has not been scientifically proven, the Balinese cats are presumed to be hypoallergenic by most breeders.

This is because:

This breed of cat produces less Fel d1 protein than other types of cats.

The Fel d1 is a specific cat-allergen that is secreted in the cat’s saliva, tears, skin, perianal glands, fur, and feces.

Moreover, the Balinese has a scanty undercoat and sheds less than other breeds of feline. This minimal undercoat makes it possible for allergic individuals to react less when they are present in their surroundings.

Of course, there are no guarantees!

And there is only one possible way to tell.

That is:

To spend some time with the Balinese cat to know if they trigger your allergies.

Can you keep the Balinese cat outdoors?

You can, but the Balinese cat prefers to remain indoors in the company of human beings.

Keeping it outdoors will also increase the risk of the graceful cat catching ailments and accidents from passing vehicles and animals.

And most importantly:

Theft!

We highly recommend you keep all doors and windows of the house closed when you are going out, so your prized-possession doesn’t wander outside in your absence.

Top 5 cat foods for Balinese cats

If someone would ask me: “What’s the most integral part of caring for any pet?” I’d say it’s the diet that you feed it.

With that said:

Here are my top 5 picks for cat foods for Balinese cats:

  1. Purina Fancy Feast Seafood Grilled: For cats that love seafood, there’s nothing better than this wet cat food!
  2. IAMS Purrfect Delights: This wet cat food contains no fillers like gluten, corn, or soy. In easier words; this cat food is pure and safe for your Balinese cat.
  3. Purina Friskies Tender Shreds: With these tasty wet cat food shreds, eating is much easier for Balinese cats that have a hard time swallowing dry food or bigger bites of food.
  4. Hill’s Science Diet: This is the stuff which is recommended by most veterinarians. Goes without saying that it’s safe and healthy for your Balinese. It is highly recommended as a dry cat food option.
  5. IAMS Proactive Indoor: One of the top choices for dry foods for indoor cats.

Chapter 2 – Care for Balinese cats

 

AdaptabilityHigh
SocializationHigh
EnergyHigh
IntelligenceHigh
Affection levelHigh
Health issuesModerate
Grooming difficultyLow
SheddingLow

The smart and graceful Balinese is one of the best breeds to have,

especially if you are looking for a pet to adjust comfortably in a household with kids and other pets.

However, the pet requires a lot of attention.

And they are always on the move.

And will definitely keep you on your toes as well.

If you think you can handle the upkeep, then there is no reason why you should not get one.

Generally, the Balinese cats enjoy excellent longevity and are prone to minimal health issues.

However, as a responsible owner, you should be aware that pets of any type require special care.

Besides care, they require a good home environment complete with lots of opportunities to play and garner attention.

Here, let’s take a look at some of the tips that will help you give your pet the best maintenance.

Grooming the Balinese cat

Since Balinese don’t have an undercoat, their fur doesn’t need much grooming.

Chances of matting and tangling are also quite low – and so is the possibility Balinese cat shedding.

Nevertheless:

To maintain their shiny coat, make sure to brush the cat from head to toe, twice a week, using a special cat-only
stainless steel comb
.

The Balinese cats don’t need frequent baths but if the need be, make sure to use a shampoo developed specifically for longhaired cats.
We recommend trying this shampoo for your Balinese cat as it is proven to reduce dander and is made from all-natural ingredients.

We also advise against drying your cat under a fan after a bath as this may lead to excessive dryness.

Instead, use warm towels and keep the cat in a warm place after bathing.

Tooth care

Periodontal care of a Balinese cat should not be ignored as they are likely to develop oral diseases.

If possible, daily brushing is ideal, but bi-weekly, or weekly will also work.

Use specially formulated cat toothpaste and toothbrush for your Balinese.

Never use human toothpaste for your cat – or any pet for the matter.

Additionally, check the teeth and gums of the Balinese frequently for:

  • A fractured or loose tooth
  • Signs of gingivitis (red or swollen gums)
  • Lesions
  • Bacteria
  • Plaque
  • Foul smell

Ear care

As part of a weekly grooming ritual, make sure to check and clean your cat’s ears for any discharge or infection.

For the ears, use a cotton ball or a soft cloth damped with a feline ear cleaner and wipe it gently.

But remember:

Never use cotton swabs on your pet as they can damage the interior of your cat’s ear.

Balinese cat’s eyes

The Balinese are susceptible to retinal degenerative disease that may lead to loss of vision.

Because of this:

You have to keep a close eye on the cat’s… well, eye!

Use a soft damp cloth to clean the corners – especially if a discharge appears.

Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye to avoid the risk of spreading any infection.

Trimming the cat’s nails

Trim the nails of your Balinese cat once a week or every other week.

Doing this will prevent the Balinese from scratching on your furniture and the floor’s surface.

It will also keep the nails clean and free from bacteria that usually reside under the feline’s nails.

Here are some tips for an enjoyable nail-trimming session:

  • Start when they are young, so they get used to the idea of nail trimming
  • Use a cat-friendly nail trimmer (widely available at local pet stores)
  • Trim the nails when your cat is in a relaxed state, even sleepy
  • Be careful when cutting the nails and don’t cut too deep
  • Do not cut all the nails at the same time
  • Resist the urge to punish or scold your furry friend if they don’t cooperate
  • Don’t forget to give your cat a treat for each paw nail that you manage to cut safely

Lastly, if you are finding it troublesome to cut your cat’s nails, consider seeking the help of a professional pet groomer or your veterinarian for the task.

The health of the Balinese cat

The Balinese are prone to some health issues – similar to any other pedigree. However, with time, they have become hardier and less delicate than the former breeds.

Some health issues that have been reported in the Balinese include:

Chronic bronchial disease

The chronic bronchial illness is a life-threatening condition prevalent in the Siamese-related breed.

And more common in the young cats.

The disease causes inflammation in the airways that makes it difficult for your cat to breathe.

If your cat is susceptible to the problem, take it to the vet immediately who would prescribe oral, anti-inflammatory medications that would clear the airway passage.

But here is the deal:

These medications would be needed for life and lack of them – can prove to be fatal for your feline friend.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Unfortunately, Balinese cats are vulnerable to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

The genetic condition causes the heart muscle walls to thicken, which affects its ability to pump optimally.

Just like us humans, if the heart condition of the Balinese is not managed efficiently, it can ultimately result in heart failure.

However:

Your veterinarian can suggest medications depending on the seriousness of the condition. Such medications can help extend the life of your cat and enable it to live as long as possible.

Central nervous system diseases

Siamese-related breeds are prone to congenital-impairing illnesses that can affect the Balinese’s behavior and appearance.

If not appropriately treated, the condition can even cause your cat to have seizures.

Liver Amyloidosis

Although this condition is pretty rare in Balinese, the Liver Amyloidosis is a disease that causes the functions of the liver to stop working gradually.

Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Dehydration
  • Gingivitis
  • Poor coat quality
  • The excessive urge to urinate
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Rapid weight loss

Eye problems

As we mentioned in the above paragraph, the Balinese are vulnerable to eye issues that can lead to loss of vision.

They may also develop a condition that can cause their beautiful, almond-shaped blue eyes to appear cross.

However, if other health issues are not present, the cat can adjust well to the damage in their vision and function, normally using their other senses.

Schedule regular visits to the vets

It is often challenging to know when the cat is in the discomfort of any sort.

This is why it is essential that you schedule regular visits for checkups with its veterinarian, at least twice a year.

Moreover, if you notice any type of problem in your cat – either physical or behavioral, bring in the cat immediately to its health care provider for a complete assessment.

Chapter 3 – Feeding the Balinese cat

The Balinese have no special dietary requirements and are able to eat both – wet and dry foods easily.

But of course, the cats do enjoy some food more than others.

If you want to know the best cat food brands for Balinese cats, check out our top cat food picks for Balinese cats.

And it is vital that you – the owner is aware of its dietary preference to enhance its zest for a variety of treats.

Keep a feeding corner for Balinese cats

Just like we humans go to the dining table during meal times, setting aside a feeding corner for your Balinese is essential to maintain discipline.

However, make sure:

Not to isolate the feeding area from the rest of the house but don’t keep it in a very populated room as well.

Maintain a feeding schedule

Establish a regular feeding schedule for your Balinese by putting out the food at the same times every day.

You should space out wet meals by eight to twelve hours.

And leave out dry kibbles and water all day for your cat to munch when hungry.

How much food does the cat need?

This question is best answered by a professional, and we suggest talking to your Balinese’s vet for a recommendation regarding the amount and type of food best suited for your pet.

However, as a general rule of thumb, the more active your cat is – the more food it might require.

And the thing is:

Balinese cats are very active. If that surprises you, check out our article on Balinese cats jumping (hint: they’re crazy!)

Unlike other cats, the Balinese are not at risk of obesity and are very disciplined regarding their eating habits.

They rarely overeat and usually stop eating once they are full.

In fact, within a few days of adopting one – you will soon be able to tell the cat’s preference for food and serving.

Nevertheless, prevent any risk of overeating by putting out portion-controlled meals each day.

Cats are carnivores

Cats of all breeds are obligate carnivores.

This means that most of the food that they eat should come from meat sources.

Besides protein, the cats can benefit from ‘taurine’ by eating animal sources.

The ‘taurine’ is an amino acid found in animal tissues and seafood.

It is especially essential for the Balinese cats and safeguards it from several ailments.

Effects of ‘taurine’ deficiency

EyesLack of taurine can lead to blindness
Brain functionImproves nerves and cell function of the brain
HeartDeficiency can cause Cardiomyopathy, a common ailment in Balinese
DigestionAids in digestion
ImmunityImproves immune system responsiveness
Fetal developmentIts deficiency can cause stillbirths and low birth weight in kittens

Unfortunately, the symptom of taurine deficiency shows up gradually, and often, it is too late to make amendments to improve its ratio.

This is why it is crucial that you add taurine-enriched food to your pet’s diet.

These include:

  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Shrimp
  • Clams

You can also talk to your cat’s vet for taurine supplements suitable for your Balinese.

Dry food for your Balinese cat

Besides a high-protein diet of wet food, your Balinese will also enjoy dry cat food.

Dry food items are hard and crunchy – good for your cat’s dental health.

However, your cat may become at risk of dehydration if their diet consists of mainly dry food items.

So make sure to combine feed the cat with both – wet and dry items for optimal health.

What about treats for your Balinese?

Cats always enjoy occasional treats!

Look out for healthy options in treats.

Catnip makes a great treat for any cat, and you can buy them in both – dried and fresh variety.

However, don’t overdo the treats as they might make your cats full before mealtimes.

And always remember:

Never give human treats to your cats.

They are unsafe and not at all appropriate for cats to eat.

Chapter 4 – Training the Balinese

The Balinese cat personality is such that it can easily be trained.

The silky and graceful Balinese are also smart and intelligent.

Their temperament and behavior are similar to that of dogs, making them easy to train.

In fact, they don’t require much encouragement, and simply getting the needed affection from their owners makes them behave in a remarkably lovable manner.

Litter training your cat

Since the Balinese remains indoors during most (if not all) part of the day, it is vital that you housebreak it to avoid any unwanted mess.

If you have purchased an adult Balinese from a responsible breeder, then chances are they may already be house trained to use a litter box.

However, if you have a Balinese kitten in your hands, here are some tips to teach them to do their business in the right place.

  • Litter training should begin the moment you bring your feline friend home.
  • Invest in a hassle-free and straightforward litter box and place it in the corner of the room.
  • Don’t put the litter box next to the cat’s food and water bowls. If given a choice, the Balinese will not eat in the area where their bathroom is.
  • The best place for a litter box is your own bathroom or a laundry room. But make sure to leave the doors of the room open at all times so the cat can go when the need arises.
  • Place the cat in their litter box as soon as they wake up and after every meal. Doing it repeatedly will help them understand that this is the place for their business.
  • Always remember to clean the litter box after every use, as the Balinese are highly finicky about their bathroom spaces.

And remember to appreciate good behavior of your cat each time it uses the litter box successfully by patting or treat.

Train your Balinese cat to walk on a leash

We are accustomed to seeing dogs walk on a harness along with their owners.

But seeing a cat do the same isn’t that common a sight.

Walking on the harness is not for all types of cats.

But guess what:

The Balinese are just some of the breeds of cats that are as trainable as dogs when it comes to walking on a harness.

Choose the right gear

When selecting a harness for your cat, make sure the equipment fits comfortably around your cat.

However, it shouldn’t be too tight.

To check the harness, insert two fingers between the cat and the harness. If you barely can, it means that your Balinese should has enough room to wiggle around but not escape.

Remember, that a regular collar is not at all suitable for cats as they can escape from them easily and potentially hurt themselves.

Get your cat accustomed to the harness

The Balinese, just like any other creature, may be reluctant to put on a harness.

Never force your cat to wear one.

Initially, keep the harness in the cat’s view, so it gets accustomed to its sight.

Gradually try putting it on the Balinese indoors while offering plenty of treats and encouragement.

Take it off after a few minutes.

Repeat the exercise for a few days before taking your cat outside.

The first walk outside

Once you feel the cat is comfortable walking with a lead on a harness, take it outside for the first walk.

On your first adventure together, choose a quiet time, when there is minimal traffic.

Teach the Balinese ‘not to scratch’

Scratching is an instinctive behavior of cats which they often to do to mark their territory.

However, the results of the behavior can wreak havoc on your furniture and sofa.

Luckily, the secret weapon to avoid this problematic situation is:

‘A scratching post’

Out of the loads of options available in the market, we find this one to be quite satisfactory.

Initially, your cat might not be interested in the scratching post.

But with a little reinforcement from your side, the cat will forget about your precious furniture and keep its attention towards the scratch post.

Here, are some tips on how you can benefit from one.

  • Choose a scratching post that is taller than your cat.
  • If there is any specific texture preferred by the Balinese, consider nailing a piece of the same to the post.
  • Make sure the post is stable.
  • Get more than one post and keep it in areas where the cat can easily access them.
  • Use a clicker or clap your hands loudly to redirect your cat away if it scratches on the furniture.
  • Put some catnip on the scratching post to attract your cat.
  • Cats hate foil and even sticky tapes. So, if there is any specific area of the furniture your cat likes to scratch – tape some pieces of foil or double-sided tape on it.

Clicker training for your Balinese

Clicker training is an easy way to teach your Balinese good behavior.

The clicker is basically a marker based training where you ‘click’ to mark the desirable behavior of your Balinese along with a treat.

Obedience and trick training – Do’s and Don’ts

Balinese are quick learners and can learn a variety of tricks to keep you entertained.

Additionally, it is important that you show them what is good and bad to make co-existing comfortable.

This includes staying off counters, tables, and other pieces of furniture.

Training them to come on command

Preventing aggression towards other animals and human beings

And using the litter box when needed

Take a look at some of the tips to follow and make the training process easier:

Do’sDon’ts
Kittens are easy to train when compared to adult Balinese but not impossible. Start the training process as soon as the cat becomes comfortable in your homeCats get bored and tired easily so avoid overdoing the training session. Generally, 5 – 10-minute sessions several times a day work best
Be firm with your catBut don’t be too harsh
Do appreciate good behavior with a treat, pat, and encouragementBut don’t punish any unwanted behavior  by evoking fear in your cat through punishment or deprivation
Use a small squirt gun or bottle to distract your cat from unwanted behaviorNever hit your cat
Do keep a safe and loving environment for your catDon’t force your cat in training when it is reluctant to follow your commands

Chapter 5 – Balinese Cat Personality

The Balinese are an affectionate breed and enjoy spending time with both – humans and other friendly animals alike.

Even though they may seem like the ‘sophisticated’ type, they are clowns at heart!

They enjoy playtime and can often be mischievous.

In fact, it may not be a bad idea to keep a watchful eye on them when they are active.

Interaction with humans

The Balinese are fond of humans.

Whether its adults or children –the cat gets along with both.

And they don’t hesitate to show their love for their owners. When the owner is home, Balinese cats sit in the owner’s lap or snuggling with them under the covers.

They are a loyal breed and will follow you around the house and even supervise your every move.

Deemed as ‘mood readers,’ the Balinese can sense when you are in the dumps and will stay close to you to lift your spirit.

Balinese – a chatty bunch

The Balinese are a chatty breed.

And will talk and talk in their sweet ‘meows’ all day.

Balinese with other animals

The Balinese are friendly and extroverted.

They are easy-going as well.

This means that they get along well with other ‘like-minded’ cats and dogs, present in the house.

They are exceptionally friendly with dogs, and you may find them both snuggling together at nights.

Playtime for Balinese cats

There is never a dull moment with the Balinese.

They are agile and athletic and enjoy a game of chase and fetch.

They also like to climb on perches, and you may consider getting a cat tree for it.

Balinese are full of intelligence, so invest in a few puzzle toys to keep it’s brain active.

It is an excellent trainer itself and may start running your household before you know it.

Can the Balinese be left alone in the house?

As much as it enjoys the company of human beings, the Balinese will allow you to leave home to earn your bread and butter.

And of course:

It’s cat food!

However, don’t leave it alone at home without any form of entertainment

Such as:

  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Pet toys

Or it will decide to empty your toilet rolls or pre-record your DVR.

It will find some way to entertain itself until it hears your key in the lock.

After which, be ready to devote all your time and attention to your feline friend.

Where to buy a Balinese cat

For a purebred variety of Balinese, search for a reputable and ethical breeder.

Take a look at the kitten themselves to assert their physical attributes.

Ask questions regarding its health.

And if they have had any genetic testing done.

A responsible breeder will show you all the paperwork before handling the cat and make sure to look at all the documentation before committing.

Unfortunately, there is no 100% guarantee that you will not purchase a sick kitten but researching the breeder well might reduce the chances of you running into one.

And don’t forget to talk to a veterinarian before purchasing a kitten.

Balinese cat price

Balinese are an expensive breed.

Especially the purebred variety.

Good breeders will also charge more on the kitten as they have spent time and effort on the wellbeing of the breeding pair.

In general, you can expect to pay more than $600 for a Balinese kitten.

Since they are a unique breed; it is unlikely that you will find a Balinese in an animal shelter.

But it doesn’t hurt to check out one as many adult cats end up in these shelters after the death of their owners or change in economic situation.

Do you own a Balinese cat? Let us know in the comments below how it is to live with one.

Related Questions

Should you buy a mixed breed of Balinese?

There are mix-bred varieties of Balinese available, but there is no guarantee on their health and vitality. If you do consider purchasing a mix bred Balinese cat or any other cat for the matter – get it screened for potential genetic issues.

Should I get a kitten or an adult cat?

Most cat-lovers prefer bringing home a kitten as they are adorable and you can teach them the basics as per your requirements. But they are a lot of work.

If you think that you might not be able to handle bringing it up – consider an adult cat from a responsible owner who is already taught the basics of co-existing.

I am a little weak on my knees. Will the Balinese be a suitable companion for me?

As we mentioned above, the Balinese are a chatty bunch of cats. They are loving towards their human companions and adore them to an extent. If you are looking for a feline friend to keep you company and prevent boredom – the Balinese are the right breed for you.

However, they are active and if you are a little wobbly in the knees or use a cane/walker to aid in walking, the Balinese might not be suitable. Balinese cats like to keep their owners on the toes alongside them.

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