A longhaired variety of the Siamese cat, Balinese cats are renowned for their silky fur and stunning blue eyes. But it's the breed's playful personality and uncanny ability to comfort their humans when they're feeling down that has long made them a popular family pet.
That said, they’re a talkative bunch and tend to ask for a lot of attention, so they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Balinese cats are happy living in apartments or houses as long as they have plenty of cat furniture to climb, scratch, and pounce on.
Caring for a Balinese Cat
As a long-haired Siamese cat, the Balinese is selectively bred to share the Siamese’s beloved personality, but with a long coat and full plume tail. Much like their parent breed, Balinese cats are adored for their good humor, good nature, and high energy. They’re most content when being loved by a human.
According to the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the long hair of the Balinese is easy to care for, requiring only a weekly combing to remove loose hairs. They’re medium-size, weighing 5–8 pounds, and are known to live into their 20s.
Balinese Cat Health Issues
Balinese cats tend to be a healthy, long-living cat breed, with an average lifespan of 18–22 years. Nonetheless, certain health conditions are prevalent in Oriental breeds, including the Balinese, as well as common health issues that can affect cats of any breed.
Hepatic amyloidosis, the abnormal deposition of a fibrous protein called amyloid in the liver, can be an issue with Oriental breeds such as the Balinese. The condition can lead to organ failure and death. According to a study published in The Veterinary Journal, cats with amyloidosis typically show signs of illness anywhere from 1–7 years of age.
To test for amyloidosis, your veterinarian will likely complete a series of urine and blood tests, and an ultrasound of the abdomen. There is no cure for amyloidosis, but treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and manage symptoms.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a genetic eye condition that causes progressive blindness in cats. Affected Balinese kittens are born with eyesight, but typically show signs of vision loss around 7 months of age. They usually lose all sight by the time they’re 3–5 years old.
Blind cats can live full lives with extra help from their pet parents. Nonetheless, it’s important to ask your Balinese cat breeder if either parent is a carrier for PRA. Cats carrying the gene for PRA should not be bred.
As with all cats, the Balinese can develop bad breath, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. To prevent dental disease, it’s important to brush your cat’s teeth at home with cat-safe toothpaste. Start brushing your cat's teeth at a young age so they get used to it and it becomes less stressful for them throughout their lives.
In addition to at-home oral care, your veterinarian will assess your cat's dental health during routine wellness visits and recommend professional cleanings as needed.
What To Feed a Balinese Cat
Feed your Balinese a commercial diet that meets the nutritional recommendations of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You’ll find an AAFCO label on cat foods that are complete and balanced with all the nutrients your cat needs for their life stage.
How To Feed a Balinese
Pet parents should feed their Balinese two or more small meals throughout the day. Creating a feeding schedule adds routine to your cat’s day, which they’ll appreciate.
For high-energy and intelligent cats like the Balinese, mealtime stimulation like feeding puzzles or snuffle mats can provide entertainment and help keep them out of mischief. These encourage cats to solve puzzles or forage for their food.
How Much Should You Feed a Balinese Cat?
The label on your cat food provides serving suggestions based on your cat’s age and weight. However, it’s best to consult your vet, who will determine the right portion sizes for your cat based on their body condition, ideal weight, healthy history, and lifestyle.
Nutritional Tips for Balinese Cats
The Balinese is an active breed, but any cat can become overweight when fed too much. Keep in mind that while treats are an important part of bonding and rewarding your cat, they should make up no more than 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake.
Before adding supplements to your cat’s diet, talk with your veterinarian.
Behavior and Training Tips for Balinese Cats
Balinese Personality and Temperament
Balinese cats are high-energy and smart, which means they require mental stimulation as much as they do physical exercise. Prospective pet parents should ensure their home is feline-friendly and that their cats are able to jump and climb on appropriate surfaces and furniture, such as cat shelves and cat trees.
Balinese get along with other pets, especially when they’re socialized and if proper introductions are made. The breed also loves children, as long as cats and kids have been introduced properly and children understand how to interact with pets safely and respectfully.
Balinese cats are playful and good-natured, but they can also be reserved and independent. They enjoy the company of humans and other animals, including dogs, but they can be mischievous and destructive if they don't have enough to do.
In other words, adopting a Balinese cat means making time for interactive play sessions and training.
These kitties are highly intelligent, so they pick up training cues easily. Like all pets, Balinese cats respond best to positive reinforcement—such as praise, treats, or play—for desired behaviors.
Fun Activities for Balinese Cats
Puzzle feeders and snuffle mats
Playing hide and seek
Climbing up towers and scratchers
Balinese Cat Grooming Guide
Despite a coat that’s longer than their parent breed’s, the color-point Balinese is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming.
Balinese cats typically don't require special skin care or bathing. However, if your cat is itchy or their skin is red or irritated, talk to your veterinarian.
To prevent pesky parasites from irritating your cat's skin and causing other havoc, keep your kitty up to date on year-round flea preventatives—even if they're an indoor-only cat.
As a long-haired Siamese cat, the Balinese has a silky coat that doesn't tend to matt or tangle easily. A weekly brushing should keep this cat’s coat in good shape and your house free of loose hair.
You may notice your Balinese cat has crossed eyes or that their eyes flicker from side to side. These conditions, called convergent strabismus and nystagmus, are normal in the breed and typically don't affect cats’ vision.
However, Balinese cats are prone to PRA, which can lead to vision loss. If you notice changes in your cat's vision, such as them bumping into walls, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian.
Balinese cats don’t require special ear care, but it is important to regularly check their ears for redness, odor, or debris. These can be signs of an ear infection, which your veterinarian can treat.
Considerations for Pet Parents
Balinese cats are loving, intelligent, and playful companions. With proper care, they can live long and healthy lives.
Balinese cats are also very active, so they require plenty of mental and physical stimulation, such as furniture to climb and food puzzles to solve. They enjoy the company of humans and other animals, preferring to not be left alone for long periods.
While generally healthy and living long lives, Balinese cats can be prone to certain health conditions, such as amyloidosis, PRA, and dental disease. Therefore, it’s important to schedule regular wellness exams and to feed your cat a complete and balanced commercial cat food diet. Purchasing pet insurance for your Balinese kitten can also help cover routine and emergency medical bills.
Balinese Cat FAQs
What’s the difference between a Balinese vs. Siamese?
The primary difference between a Balinese cat and a Siamese cat is the length of their fur and the shape of their tail. Balinese cats have long, silky fur and a full plume tail, while Siamese cats have short, fine fur and a tapered tail.
Both breeds have color-point fur; blue eyes that may be crossed; and a wedge-shaped face. They also share personality traits, such as intelligence and an affinity for human interaction. In short, Balinese cats can be described as long-haired Siamese cats.
Are Balinese cats hypoallergenic?
There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat because all cats produce allergens in their fur, saliva, and urine. That said, Balinese cats may be a better fit for some people with allergies because they have silky hair that doesn't shed much.
Before bringing home a Balinese kitten, spend time with the breed to see how your allergies react.
Are Balinese cats high-maintenance?
The color-point Balinese is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. But they are active and smart cats, which means they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to be happy. Balinese cats can be mischievous and destructive if they don't have enough to do.
How much does a Balinese cat cost?
A Balinese cat’s price can reach $1,000 or more.
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