Do Siamese cats have long hair?

No, Siamese cats do not have long hair. This post is for people who are new to the cat breeds and are perhaps thinking about adopting a cat for the first time.

Balinese cat with plumed tail
Balinese cat with plumed tail. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
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In fact, the coat is fine and lies close to the body. However, the answer does not stop there as there are a host of cats in the Siamese cat family, one of which is a longhaired variant called the Balinese. The Balinese is a pointed, semi-longhaired Siamese.

The semi-longhaired coat should be fine and silky lying close to the body as for the shorthaired cat. The coat is shorter around the shoulders. The tail is ‘plumed’. It should be long and feathery.

As to overall appearance the Balinese looks less extreme because the coat softens the cat’s profile and body conformation.

The temperament of the Balinese is the same as that of the Siamese. So if you are thinking about getting a Siamese cat but prefer longhaired cats this is your opportunity.

P.S. It seems that the creation of the Balinese was a mistake. It happened due to Siamese-to-Siamese breeding.

“It is likely that the longhair gene was introduced into the Siamese gene pool in England during the World Wars.”


Balinese Cat

They were first recognised (by the cat associations) in 1961 as a separate breed. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognised the breed in 1970 and called it the ‘Javanese’. The name was dropped for this breed and there is or was a Javanese cat breed which is not a longhaired Siamese. There is a certain amount of confusion surrounding the naming of cat breeds in the family of Siamese type cats, in my view.

The name ‘Balinese’ is taken from the Balinese temple dancers. One last, important, point. You’ll see what I call modern Balinese cats and the more conventional old style Balinese with a less extreme appearance. Bear this in mind when deciding on adopting one of these great cats.

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