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The Balinese Cat

Balinese portraitPortrait of a Balinese Cat

The Balinese cat is effectively a Siamese cat with the typical Siamese markings and amazing, dog-like personality, but with a luxurious, silky coat that may reach as long as 3 inches on the feathery tail.

Originally occurring spontaneously in the litters of traditional Siamese cats in the 1800’s, the occasional long-haired Siamese kitten was considered a fault in the breed, and not desirable.  

Fortunately, some breeders began pairing long-haired Siamese together, and found that they “bred true” – meaning they had litters of long-haired kittens. The breed was established in the United States in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but still remains rather rare.

Some might think the Himalayan cat is a long-haired Siamese, but the Himalayan is the result of interbreeding Siamese with Persians, creating a Persian-type cat with Siamese coloring. The Balinese is genetically still a Siamese cat, and early breeders did not use any other breeds to solidify the type, they just selectively bred those Siamese that tended toward longer coats.

Over time though, the Balinese has become it’s own breed, with a slightly milder personality than the sometimes edgy Siamese, and a softer voice as well.

Named after the beautiful dancers of Bali, the Balinese is a graceful, athletic cat with a lithe, sleek frame, long lean limbs and piercing blue eyes. Colors are seal, blue, chocolate and lilac points on a cream colored body. More exotic points like the tortie and flame point can be found in the sister breed of the Balinese known as the Javanese. 

Some Balinese breeders wanted to expand the color varieties of their cats by introducing exotic shorthair cats to their breeding programs. Balinese traditionalists wanted to keep their breed pure, and so the Javanese became a separate breed in 1979.

Javanese and Balinese cats are extremely similar, with color being the main difference, although the Balinese, in general, also retains a longer coat.


Balinese cat descriptive wordsHow Do You Describe a Balinese Cat?

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Balinese CatBalinese Lynx Point



The Balinese cat personality is vocal, friendly, energetic and fun. They may look very elegant, but they are often more like regular Joes around the house, who are very interested in everything that’s going on.

Balinese cats are very dog-like overall, seeking out interaction, enjoying play, and greeting visitors with their distinctive, raucous meows. They seem to enjoy learning tricks, and fetching is not beneath their dignity.

This is a really nice choice for a small family who wants a lot of cat in a neat little package. Too much bustle may make them shy, but they will happily spread the love around with considerate children, and this breed can make a very gentle, yet active companion.

Balinese cats can be very vocal, greeting you at the door with lots of noise, waking you in the morning with loud purrs and grumbles, and talking about everything throughout the day. Most find this positively endearing, but be warned, this amazing cat will not be ignored.

While their personality is simply wonderful, their appearance is exotic and quite unique. The beautiful silky coat is single-layered and requires only a quick brush once or twice a week.

This cat is very naturally neat, really never needs to be bathed and is found to be hypoallergenic for many people who suffer allergy symptoms. There are no guarantees of course, and remember “hypo” simply means “less than” it does not mean the complete absence of allergens.

Overall, the Balinese cat is one of those shoulder-riding, busy-bodies that can be a dream pet for the right person, but is not recommended for those who want to be left alone, or plan to leave their cat alone. They can become depressed if not given enough attention.

Tortie Point JavaneseTortie Point Javanese
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Balinese Kitten!Balinese Kitten!

Balinese kittens are born white and develop their darker points and creamy coat color as they mature. They have a shorter muzzle and shorter coat when young, but even very small kittens are long and lean with a very graceful quality.

This is an extremely domestic cat, bred for hundreds of years to provide excellent companionship, and they are born with a desire to please.

Balinese kittens tend to learn and adjust very quickly. They will fall into the family routine effortlessly and are very neat and clean when it comes to litter boxes and hygiene.

This cat can make a good travel companion as well, so introduce them to the car at an early age, and teach them to walk on a harness and leash.

This is a very athletic and active little kitten and kitten-proofing your home will be an absolute must. The Balinese is a very lean and slippery cat that can and will find its way into tight spots or high places. This is also a kitten that does not necessarily like being held, and they have been known to leap out of peoples arms.

This is a somewhat rare cat and finding a pedigree Balinese breeder may be difficult. 

Balinese KittensBalinese Kittens

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Balinese cat full

Head Shape: The head should be a long, evenly proportioned, tapering wedge with straight lines, to a fine muzzle. A wedge, as viewed from the top or front, is created by straight lines from outer ear bases along sides of muzzle. The total wedge starts at the nose and flares out in straight lines to the ears forming a triangle, without a break in jaw line at the whiskers. When the whiskers are smoothed back, the underlying bone structure is apparent. In profile, a straight line, without a dip or a rise, is seen from the center of the forehead to the tip of the nose and from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the chin. Ears: Large, pointed, wide at the base, continuing the line of the triangle formed by the head. Eyes: The eye aperture should be almond shaped with an Oriental slant toward the nose, so that a projection of the line, from the lower eye corner to the upper eye corner, would extend to the center of the ear base. Eye color clear, deep vivid blue. Deeper colors preferred. Dilute body colors may have a slightly lighter eye color, this is allowed. 

Body and Tail: Medium in size, long, lithe and svelte Overall body structure to be fine boned, firm and muscular The neck should be long and slender and carried to display length, not telescoped between the shoulders. The legs are long and proportionately slim, hind legs longer than front; proportioned to carry body length and weight gracefully. Feet: Proportionately small and oval in shape.Tail: The tail should be narrow at the base, long, tapering and whippy, giving the effect of slenderness and length  without visible kink or visible abnormality or any joint. Tail to be in balance with size of cat. 

Flame point

Coat: Fine, silky and single coated. Accepted colors are pointed with a body color of  cream, tan, beige, or near white in Blue Pointed cats. 

Pattern: The body color should be even with slightly darker shadings across the shoulders, back and top of hips shading gradually into lighter color on the chest and belly. Allowance will be made for darker color in older cats, as Siamese darken with age. The mask, ears, legs, feet and tail should be clearly defined in darker shades, but merge gently into body on legs [except Red, Cream, Red Lynx and Cream Lynx Points. See those colors for allowances]. The mask covers the entire face and is connected to the ears by tracings. Allow for color development in kittens and young adults in the dilute and red genes. Paw pads and nose leather to be included in the point colors, as described in the color standard. 

Overall Appearance: This should be a hard-bodied and lean cat with a long, lean torso, and fine boned limbs.  They should feel rather heavy when lifted and be neither soft nor thin.  Exceedingly exotic in appearance, very bold in personality.


Balinese in grass
  • The Balinese cat is basically a long-haired Siamese
  • Only pure-bred Siamese cats were used when developing this breed
  • The breed was named after the famous Balinese dancers
  • The Balinese is one of the most talkative cat breeds

Balinese tiny kitten

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