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Balinese vs Siamese Cat: What’s The Difference? (With Pictures)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Balinese vs Siamese Cat: What’s The Difference? (With Pictures)

Have you ever wondered about the differences between Balinese and Siamese cats? The two breeds are incredibly similar, and for good reason. The Balinese is actually an offshoot descendant of the Siamese family tree. However, there are a few differences between the two breeds that are worth noting.

So, if you’re on the fence regarding which cat breed is best for you, we’ll examine both breeds to help you make the right decision for you and your family.

cat paw dividerA Quick Overview:

balinese vs. siamese

  • Average Length (adult): 12–18 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 6–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–16 years
  • Grooming needs: Weekly brushing
  • Traits: Friendly, Active, Loving
  • Dog-friendly: Yes

  • Average Length (adult): 15–20 inches (not including tail)
  • Average Weight (adult): 6–14 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–20 years
  • Grooming needs: Weekly brushing
  • Traits: Talkative, Playful, Curious
  • Dog-friendly: Yes

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Balinese Cats

Balinese cat lying on sofa at home
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

You may think the Balinese cat hails from Indonesia, where they share their namesake with a popular island destination, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Balinese cats were initially bred in the United States. They started as a genetic mutation birthed from a Siamese litter.

Instead of separating these “long-haired Siamese,” breeders nurtured them and built upon their variety. In 1961, the Cat Fanciers Federation granted them an official status.

So why the Balinese name? It’s said that the original breeders compared the grace and beauty of the cats to temple dancers on the island of Bali.

Length: 12-18 inches
Weight: 6-12 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-20 years
Colors: Primarily cream-colored with darker color (black and brown hues) prints around face, ears, legs, and tail
Eye Color: Striking blue
Temperament: Smart, playful, affectionate, vocal, curious.

Balinese Cat Care

A Balinese cat is a wonderful family cat, and they get along with kids and adults. Balinese are active members of the family. They don’t necessarily follow many other cats’ “look but don’t touch” philosophy.

Grooming ✂️

Although the Balinese cat is also known as a long-haired Siamese, it is technically considered a short-haired cat. It’s the only longer-haired relative to a Siamese. The Balinese’s coat is a single layer without undercoat and is very silky. You’ll also notice they have a tail plume up to 5 inches long.

However, you will need to comb its hair from time to time. Cats normally self-groom, but the Balinese need minimal help to maintain their coats and maximize hairball control.


The Balinese cat is active and has high energy levels. They are extremely curious and may try to force themselves into anything you do. They’re also vocal, so be prepared for many kitty conversations. If you’re looking for a quiet cat, the Balinese is not it.

Playfulness and Interaction

Balinese are very playful and affectionate cats. However,  they are not content simply being lap cats. Sure, they’ll give you a little time to snuggle, but they’d much rather be out doing something.

Since they’re such a smart breed, Balinese require plenty of healthy mental stimulation. Picking up a puzzle toy such as the Trixie Brain Mover Activity Strategy Game is a great way to entertain them.

Special Considerations for the Balinese Cat

The Balinese is a fun, playful, and relatively easy cat to care for. However, there are a few things to consider when owning one.

seal point Balinese_SJ duran_shutterstock
Image Credit: SJ Duran, Shutterstock

Leaving Them Alone for Extended Periods

Balinese cats don’t like to be left alone for too long. They crave interaction and stimulation. If left to their own devices, they may grow bored and mischievous, leading to clawed furniture or other acts of wanton destruction.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to be there 24/7. There’s a straightforward solution to this issue. Get a second cat. Balinese love company! Getting another cat will give them someone to interact with during the day, minimizing the mayhem caused.


When it comes to their diet, Balinese cats are far from high maintenance. That doesn’t mean they should be eating out of the garbage can or fed table scraps. You need to choose a nutritious food for them that’s high in protein and taurine, and plenty of great dry food is available. We recommend Blue Buffalo Indoor Wilderness for your Balinese.

Health Considerations

The Balinese cat is a relatively healthy breed compared to some cats, but that doesn’t mean they have no issues. They actually share many hereditary issues from their Siamese ancestors. Perhaps the most common health conditions in Balinese cats are eye problems. It’s not rare at all to see cross-eyed Balinese cats. There’s nothing too harmful about it and has largely been bred out. They can also suffer from glaucoma at later stages in life.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Balinese Cat

  • Generally healthier than Siamese cats
  • Great family cats
  • Smart, playful, and affectionate
  • Longer hair makes them more difficult to groom than Siamese
  • Has issues being left alone for extended periods
  • More expensive than Siamese cats

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Siamese Cats

Siamese Cat Stare
Image Credit: Pixabay, Pexels

Siamese are easily one of the most recognizable cat breeds. They are among the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world, and their origin is shrouded in myth. One story tells of a pair of beautiful cats whose sole job was to guard a treasured royal goblet. The cats stared so deeply and longingly into the goblet with such ferocity that their eyes became permanently crossed. Since they had wrapped their tails around the goblet, they became permanently kinked.

Although they are known for their crossed eyes and kinked tails, modern-day Siamese generally don’t have these traits anymore. They’ve been selectively bred out through breeders and fanciers worldwide.

Length: 15–20 inches
Weight: 6–14 pounds
Life Expectancy: 8–15 years
Colors: Light to cream with darker point colors (black, brown, chocolate, lilac)
Eye Color: Deep blue eyes
Temperament: Highly intelligent, playful, active, vocal, affectionate

Siamese Cat Care

Bringing a Siamese cat into your care can be an excellent choice for your family. They’re great with kids and larger pets (cats or dogs). They’ll love all the company and playmates they can get. Not only that, they are not as high maintenance as other cats, despite their regal elegance.

Grooming ✂️

Siamese cats are extremely easy to groom and care for because they do most of the work. Their short coats seldom need brushing, and they don’t shed much compared to other cat breeds. This can be a significant advantage for those with cat allergies.


Siamese cats are known for their intricate personalities. They are extremely opinionated cats and won’t hesitate to let you know. If you’re looking for a quiet cat, you’ll have to search elsewhere. However, they love their owners and often become their human’s new shadow. You may find yourself tripping over them time and time again.

If you’re looking for a devoted companion and best friend, the Siamese is a wonderful choice.

Playfulness and Interaction

The Siamese is one of the most playful and active felines around. Not only that, but they’re intelligent as well. This means that they require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Interactive chase toys, puzzles, or large cat trees are recommended to help provide the proper entertainment they require.

Siamese Cat
Image Credit: Pxfuel

Special Considerations for the Siamese Cat

It’s easy to see why Siamese cats are so popular. Compared to other cats, they are much more engaged with their family. However, understanding their needs is vital to ensure you provide them with a loving home.

Indoor Cat vs Outdoor Cat

Regarding indoor versus outdoor living for Siamese cats, we recommend keeping them indoors. Siamese cats can have relatively delicate constitutions, and there’s a good chance they can catch parasites or other diseases from exposure. They’re also lovers and not fighters, so if they come across an aggressive outdoor cat or unfriendly dog, there’s a high chance of injury.

But one of the biggest concerns about turning your Siamese cat into an outdoor feline is other people. Not that someone will intentionally steal your cat, but their playful, social nature makes them friendly even towards strangers. Somebody may mistake this craving for attention as a call for help. With their beauty, the allure of rescuing a Siamese stray can be difficult to resist.


All cats, including Siamese, require a high-protein diet. This can be found either through dry or wet food. Just be sure to check the labels to ensure the food isn’t loaded with fillers. Cats have a very short digestive tract, and they’ll need to get the best food they can to absorb as much nutrition as possible.

Health Considerations

Compared to the Balinese cat, a Siamese cat does have additional health ailments you’ll need to look out for. This is due to the different head shapes that a Siamese cat can have. There are two main head shapes: the apple and the wedge. Apple-headed Siamese are the healthier of the two. Wedge-headed Siamese are much more prone to respiratory and dental problems.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Siamese Cat

  • Grooming is extremely easy
  • Cheaper kitten price than Balinese
  • Very active and social
  • Very vocal — not for quiet cat lovers
  • Not as robust as Balinese cats

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Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our thorough rundown of the Balinese and the Siamese. While every feline has a unique personality and quirks, both breeds are affectionate, social, and active cats.

Reflect on your lifestyle and how much time you can dedicate to a cat to help you decide which one is for you. If you’re still right down the middle, their differing aesthetic beauty is bound to push you in one direction.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit by: CNuisin, Shutterstock

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