A Guide to Balinese Cats – Breed Information and Advice

Balinese cats developed as an offshoot of the short-haired Siamese cats, which occasionally have a long-haired kitten. These were selectively bred in the middle of the 20th century and eventually became a separate pedigree breed. Balinese cats tend to be intelligent and friendly. They can also be energetic, with a need for lots of attention and human company. Plus, they tend to love a chance to play and particularly to climb – the higher the better.

Balinese Cats

If you’re considering getting a cat for a pet, it’s always a good idea to check with your local cat shelter first for an animal in need of a loving home. It’s also good preparation to read up more on the breed and to be sure you’re ready for the commitments of having a cat. The PAAG guidelines on buying a cat responsibly are a good place to start. We’ve also put together a handy guide that gives lots of useful advice if you’re planning on buying a cat or kitten online. If you decide to go to a breeder, including through the cats section of Gumtree, it’s important to make sure they’re reputable and have done all the necessary health checks on your kitten and its breeding line.


Cats need a good-quality complete cat food to stay in great health, and Balinese cats are no exception. They aren’t usually particularly fussy eaters, but as individuals differ, you’ll probably soon get to know which brands your pet prefers. It’s always a good idea to weigh out the recommended portions carefully to avoid over-feeding and to be sparing with the special kitty treats. Their typically energetic nature means that most Balinese cats will love playing with cat toys. With many owners saying their cats enjoy watching the world from a high perch, your pet could well enjoy having their own cat tree.


That lovely long hair is single-coated, with no dense undercoat, meaning that the Balinese is officially semi-long-haired. Like many cats, they tend to shed their coats a little all of the time, and more during spring and autumn when they ‘blow’ their old coat and grow a new one. Because their single coat lies quite flat to the skin, they’re not high-maintenance to groom. A gentle weekly once-over with a special brush or a grooming glove should keep your pet’s coat healthy, silky and tangle-free.


Each animal has its own unique personality but Balinese cats are generally friendly and responsive to human company. This means they’re not the ideal pet for a household where they’ll be left alone a lot of the time. Balinese cats are also said to be highly intelligent and playful, making their need for attention and company quite strong. Owners say that many of these cats are good with children and even with other animals – and ‘chatty’ to the extent that they may be willing to keep up a long conversation, particularly on the subject of dinner time.

Health concerns

Like a lot of pedigree animals, Balinese cats are prone to some particular health problems as a result of their genetic inheritance. These may include:

  • asthma, which can cause wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • progressive retinal atrophy, an eye condition leading eventually to blindness
  • hip dysplasia, causing difficulty with walking
  • systemic amyloidosis, in which abnormal deposits of protein can lead to kidney failure

Many of these conditions are detectable and preventable by breeding only from animals that are free from them. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a reputable breeder and to satisfy yourself that both your animal and its parents have been tested and cleared. Otherwise, you could be looking at some hefty vet bills as well as an unhappy pet.

Thinking of buying a kitten? Take a look at our guide on kitten development to understand what to expect in your kitten’s first year.