Whether your cat is a purebred Balinese cat, or a Balinese cat mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health.
Don’t let the name fool you — Balinese cats were named after the grace of traditional Balinese dancers, but these cats aren’t from Indonesia. In the 1940s, this cat’s long hair appeared from a mutation in a Siamese cat litter in the U.S. Today, Balinese cats are known for their sapphire blue eyes and social personalities.
One of the most striking features of Balinese cats are their unique eyes, which are always a striking blue color. This breed’s coat also sets them apart from their relatives, Siamese cats.
“The cream-colored coat of a Balinese is medium length and notably soft and silky, absent is an undercoat common to other breeds,” Monica Frenden-Tarant, chief innovation officer of feline lifesaving at the Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society, says. “Balinese tails will be notably fluffier with visible plumes enhancing their color points.”
Alongside their longer coats, the modern Balinese also have a more triangular head shape, a longer and more narrow muzzle, wider ears and a sleeker body than its Siamese counterpart. Balinese cats’ large paws support muscular bodies and their dense two-layered coat keeps them warm and dry.
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The typical Balinese cat’s personality has much in common with Siamese cats. They’re curious, playful, vocal and particularly acrobatic. They’re energetic cats, highly affectionate and form strong bonds with their families. Balinese cats were also historically known for their keen hunting skills and adaptability.
While there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or cat, compared to other breeds, Balinese cats do produce fewer protein antigens that cause some allergies. They’re also known to minimally shed, which may benefit allergy sufferers.
Because of their longer hair, Balinese cat parents should regularly brush their pet. Cats are great at cleaning themselves, but to avoid matting in their long hair, you may want to trim some of the harder to reach spots, or take them to a groomer.
While generally a healthy breed, the Balinese shares some of the same health problems as Siamese cats.
“Progressive retinal atrophy is the most common of these conditions, as well as liver amyloidosis, asthma or bronchial disease and cardiomyopathy,” Frenden-Tarant says.
To keep these cats healthy throughout their 8 to 13 year lifespan, pet parents should take them to the vet regularly for checkups and vaccinations.
Are you interested in adopting a Balinese cat, Balinese cat mix or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.
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Photos by David Köhler on Unsplash