Balinese Cat: Breed Profile, Facts, & Health

A cat that is more than it seems. 

A Balinese cat and a Siamese cat are the same breeds of cat in all but one way; the luxurious coat of the Balinese. 

This trait was originally deemed undesirable by breeders until the 20th century, when the incredible long coat of the Balinese cat began to take favor. 


Quick facts about the Balinese

Weight: 5 to 10 pounds Height: 8 to 13 inches
Life span: 9 to 15 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate
Playfulness: high Activity level: active
Vocalness: frequent Coat length: long
Shedding amount: normal
Good with: kids | families | seniors
Traits: Balinese cats are very friendly and get along well with strangers. They are also very affectionate and love to be around people. These cats are not scared of being left alone for long periods of time, but they do require lots of grooming.

The breed itself was called Balinese to differentiate it from the standard Siamese and because the lovely hair reminded breeders of the elegance of Balinese dancers. This breed was officially given its title in the 1950s after it was decided that “Long-haired Siamese” was not quite fitting for these dashingly beautiful felines. 

In most other ways, though, when you buy yourself a Balinese cat, you are buying yourself a Siamese cat. 

And well done for that! 

Balinese are brilliant, trainable, loving, and talkative. (Although their howls are known to be of a softer candor to the Siamese, making it a little easier for those living close to others.) 


They require plenty of mental and physical stimuli and thoroughly enjoy batting balls along the floor as they chase after them. You can also expect to have your Balinese follow you around your house as you work, chatting to you and maybe chasing after your toes. 

The major difference in the fur of the two cat breeds also brings us to the significant difference in care for Balinese cats. You are going to need to keep a regular brushing routine to keep shedding and mats out of your house. 3-4 times weekly should keep you ahead of the shedding cycles. 

Other significant considerations for the health of your Balinese cat are primarily genetic due to the pedigree’s limited gene pool. The three significant conditions to look out for are: 

  • Liver Amyloidosis — Where defective proteins are deposited into the liver, eventually causing liver failure 
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy — A condition that enlarges one of the chambers of the heart and reduces cardiac functioning 
  • Progressive retinal atrophy — A degeneration of the retina that can lead to blindness 

Besides this, your Balinese could look a little cross-eyed, a rather sweet-looking condition called Strabismus. 

Otherwise, you can expect your Balinese to be a healthy and happy cat, which will live up to 13 years, a few years less than their Siamese predecessors. 


Developed in United States with foundation stock from Thailand


Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

The Balinese cat breed, also known as long-haired Siamese by some breeders, is similar to the Siamese cat in numerous ways but with some slight genetic mutation causing them to have long coats.

Asides from their high intelligence and how well they climb perches, the Balinese cats are people-friendly and can tolerate other pets in the home. Because they have good health, the life expectancy of the Balinese cats ranges from 8-15 years.

Despite being regarded as a healthy cat breed, the Balinese cats are faced with a couple of health conditions that have also been found in the Siamese cats. This is because they share almost similar genetic patterns with the siamese.

Among the health issues faced by the Balinese cats includes; Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a condition known to affect the eyes. Another common medical condition that Beninese cats are prone to is Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a health issue affecting the cat’s heart. Amyloidosis is another health condition associated with Balinese cats, which affects the liver and other multiple organs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a condition seen in Balinese cats that affect the light-sensitive part, known as the retina, to degenerate. 

The degeneration of the retina leads to visual impairment or a complete loss of visual functions.

This visual impairment is a result of degeneration of the photoreceptors of the retina. This condition in Balinese cats is caused as a result of inherited mutant genes from both parents. If the mutant gene is present in just one of the parents, the offspring would not be affected.

Common symptoms of progressive retinal atrophy that should be watched out for in the Balinese cats include;

● Bumping into objects while walking.

● Cats may avoid dark rooms or not feel convenient in a dark environment. 

● Dilation of the pupils.

If any of these symptoms have been noticed in your Balinese cats, then it’s important to reach out to your Veterinarian to carry out necessary tests.

Another health condition faced by the Balinese cats is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Although this is a heart condition that is relatively rare in cats, it is caused as a result of an excessively dilated and enlarged left ventricles (a section of the heart that pumps blood out). 

This thickening of the ventricles causes a weakening in the contractile nature of the left ventricle and its weakened ability to pump blood out properly. 

It is believed the cause of this condition in the Balinese cat is a lack of dietary amino acids known as Taurine.

Some common signs to watch out for includes,

● Weak pulse. 

● Distension in the belly.

● Heart murmurs and sounds from the lungs.

● Coughing and shortness of breath.

● Cats are not tolerating exercises.

Most cat foods have incorporated the amino acid Taurine into them. However if your Balinese cats have shown a couple of these symptoms, then they might need to visit a Veterinarian for proper examinations.

Balinese cats are also prone to Amyloidosis. Although this disease is common to the Siamese breed, due to the shared genomic pools, they have also been seen in the Balinese cats.

In Balinese Cats, Amyloidosis is known to affect the liver due to abnormal genetic mutation in the bloodline of the cats. This is a result of an abnormal deposition of a protein complex known as amyloids.

The amyloid deposits, which cannot be absorbed, eventually affect the organ’s functions and, in turn, causes the organ to fail.

Depending on the type of amyloid (which can be AA or AL amyloid proteins), the AA protein deposits in the liver, kidney, spleen, causing cancer, inflammatory actions, or infections. The AL amyloid protein deposits on the joints and nerves, causing joint degeneration and neurological damage.

Diagnosis of this condition can be quite different in Balinese cats as this condition can present signs similar to other health conditions. 

Although there are no known treatments for the treatment of Amyloidosis in cats, it is best to routinely take the Balinese cats for medical checkups in other to catch the condition before it gets severe.

Remember to discontinue any breeding program the Balinese cat breed is involved in once Amyloidosis has been confirmed condition.

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