Basic Information

Other Name
Long-haired Siamese
United States
Life Span
10-15 years
Colorpoint and Tabby
Long, Silky, Soft, and Undercoat
Blue, Chocolate, Cream, Lilac, Red, and Tortoise Shell
8 - 12 Pounds



The primary difference between the Balinese and the Siamese is coat length, with the Balinese having long, silky hair and a plumed tail. The Balinese shares the svelte but muscular body of the Siamese, as well as his wedge-shaped head, blue eyes, large triangular ears and striking color points. In the initial years of breeding, the Balinese had heavier bones and apple shaped heads, more akin to the former standard Siamese. They also had much longer coats than the Balinese breed today, with full ruffs and britches. Over the years, Balinese breeders have improved the physical form of the breed by outcrossing it with the parent breed, the Siamese, and the features of the Balinese have become leaner and longer, just as the modern Siamese has. The breed standard for the Balinese is identical to the standard for the Siamese in most respects, including overall body type and color, with the obvious differences being in overall coat length, and in the full plume tail. The coat is single coated, with only minimal shedding. In fact, the Balinese is noted for its lack of shedding amongst long coated cats.

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The Balinese is a magical cat. How else to explain his lack of history, his sudden appearance on the world cat stage? Oh, there are references here and there to a longhaired Siamese on a Chinese tapestry, a mention of one in an 1871 issue of Penny Illustrated magazine, and a Cat Fanciers Federation registration record for one in 1928, but very little is known of how he came to be. If the magical explanation doesn’t work for you, the more pragmatic one is that he is the result of a natural mutation for long hair in the Siamese. Longhaired kittens showed up occasionally in Siamese litters, but the first breeding program for them didn’t begin until the 1950s. Siamese breeders Marion Dorsey in California and Helen Smith in New York each had longhaired kittens born in Siamese litters and fell in love with them. In a romantic gesture, Smith called them Balinese because their grace and elegance reminded her of the dancers for which the island of Bali is famous. The International Cat Association recognized the Balinese in 1979. The cats are also recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association and other cat registries.  

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