Peterbald – Hairless Beauty

Cat of the Month ~ February 2020

Black Peterbald

Photograph: © Tica


With these cold, wet, winter days still upon us we at Moggyblog have turned our attention to a cat that has very little hair or fur and some are even classed as ‘nude.’ How they ever coped with sub-zero Russian winters we can only guess.

The beautiful Peterbald breed was first developed in 1993-4, when (it is said) a Russian breeder named Olga S. Mironova crossed Afinguen Myth, a brown tabby Donskoy, with an Oriental Shorthair female by the name of Radma Vom Jagerhof. At the time their offspring were gaining popularity in St. Petersburg, Russia, and they were quickly pronounced with the new title Peterbald. New breeding lines were created as Peterbalds were consistently bred out to Donskoy, Oriental Shorthairs and Siamese. TICA accepted the Peterbald in 1997 and recognized them for championship status in 2005.

Young Peterbald Cat at rest

Photograph: © Tica


Although recognised by The International Cat Association (TICA) since 1997, the Peterbald is still a relatively rare purebred or pedigreed domestic cat breed.
Like the the Don Sphyx, the amount of hair or fur on a Peterbald can vary greatly from cat to cat. There’s even an “Ultrabald” type that doesn’t even have whiskers or eyebrows and they and never grow any hair at all. Then there is Flock or Chamois variety being ninety percent hairless. These cats have a soft silky feel. Other varieties of coat include Velour, Brush coat and Straight coated. However these coats can change significantly throughout their first two years of life, and their hair texture alter as time goes by either by gaining or loosing hair.

The Peterbald took its long and fine-boned, lithe body type and oblong head shape from the Oriental Shorthair. One unique feature about Peterbalds is that they have long front toes with webbing, which allows them to hold and manipulate toys and other items. Their tails are strong and thin with a graceful curl.

peterbald webbed foot
An extreme webbed foot of this Peterbald. © Unknown 

Large ears and ‘whip like’ tail © Lyudmila Baryshnikova


The breed are known to be intelligent, very active, friendly and playful, but because they are highly sociable they should always have companions around them, be these human or feline in origin. They can be fine lap cats in spite of their active natures. When venturing outdoors, care must be taken with the hairless Peterbald, as they are sensitive to very hot and cold weather. Sunburn and other skin issues are also potential concerns.

Peterbald showing the folds of his coat (er, his skin)

Photograph: © Tica


For keepers of Peterbald cats regular bathing is an important part of the weekly grooming routine. This will prevent the build up of oils on the cats skin, and will also remove daily dirt which may cause irritation. A vets advice should be sought which products to use.

Finally if you are drawn to purchase a beautiful Peterbald cat from a breeder, always investigate any hereditary or genetic conditions by asking about the breeding process. Kittens can also be examined by a vet to provide you with peace of mind before a purchase.

So, like all cat lovers, there is every excuse to stay home and dry and snuggled up with your Peterbald (or any other type of cat, for that matter) this winter and, for the Peterbalds, for the rest of the year too…


Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

The Spruce Pets Website & Others

We’ve featured these other hairless felines if you’re interested?

The Sphynx in 2007, and the Donskoy in 2012. How time flies….

A little dot with the cutest tail you ever did see.

Photograph: ©



The Donskoy (or Don Sphinx) is a highly intelligent, beautiful and friendly cat breed type which originated in southern Russia in the city of Rostov-on-Don (near the Sea of Azov) in 1987.

Cat of the Month ~ October 2012

A young Donskoy ~ not always bald at birth

The story goes that Elena Kovaleva, a professor of the nearby State Pedagogical Institute, saw some young boys playing with a bag. When she heard a kitten inside the bag squealing in fear and pain, Elena took the bag from the boys and brought the young kitten home. She named the kitten Varvara, but over the following months the kitten grew up like no other cat she had seen. It lost its hair and was treated (in vain) for this seemingly fatal condition. The cat thrived however and a few years later gave birth to both haired and completely hairless kittens. Strangely those kittens with hair also began to lose it, just as their mother had done years before.

Many thought that these hairless kittens were unhealthy and should be gotton rid of. However, a local enthusiast and professional cat breeder by the name of Irina Nemikina, rescued one of these kittens and in several years had managed to breed a completely new type of Russian cat (a hairless one) which she named the ‘Don Sphynx’. ‘Don’ after the river which Varvara was found beside and ‘Sphynx’ because it was hairless just like the sphynx breed. It was The International Cat Association which gave this unique cat type the name of ‘Donskoy’.

An adult Donskoy, a loyal and good-natured companion
Photograph: unknown

The Donskoy is a very elegant, highly inquisitive, and social cat. They are also very active and almost always extremely friendly. For owners the Donskoy is very loyal, good-natured, gentle, and easy to groom and handle. Their coats are warm and soft to the touch making then wonderful to hold and cuddle. They have a well balanced personality, show a lively interest in their surroundings, and enjoy making up & playing games. Donskoy are extremely affectionate and they have an irrepressible curiosity (even more evident than in other cats). Their social skills are also transferred to other animals to which they will offer companionship. It is recommended that these highly sociable cats are found companion pets and should not be kept in isolation with just humans. Owning a Donskoy you will find they will love to be a part of all your activities and they will be easy to train to follow your voice commands.

A young Donskoy will have a coat of one of four types in a range of colours. All but one of these coats usually results in hairlessness in later life. This is due to the Donskoy carrying a dominant hair loss gene that causes their birth coat to fall out (if they have one) in later life.

Their coats are:
Rubber Bald — The rubber bald is born bald and remains that way throughout its life.

Flocked – The Flock coat appears to be hairless and has the texture of soft chamois leather. The Flock coat can sometimes disappear and the cat can sometimes become bald.

Velour – The velour coated kittens are born with a bald spot or Monk’s cap on the top of the head. Their wool-like coat becomes wiry and disappears gradually within the first year or so with some residual hair remaining on the face, legs and tail. The Velour can also completely lose their coat and become bald over time.

Brush – Brush type coats lose only a portion of their coat over time. Their coat can be bristly, soft, wavy, and often wiry on their whole body with bald areas on the head, upper part of neck or on the back.

The Donskoy is further unique in that it can grow a winter coat (fine wool on the chest and hairs on the end of the tail) which it will lose when the weather warms. Their skin is similar to human: it sweats when it is hot and it can also become tanned by the summer sun.

Donskoy’s have a marvellous appearance wouldn’t you agree?
Photograph: unknown

Donskoy are elegant, sturdy and muscular with strong boning. They are a medium-sized cat with soft hairless wrinkled skin that feels hot and velvety to the touch. Their skin is excessively elastic, with pronounced wrinkles on the cheeks, jowls and under the chin with vertical wrinkles separating their ears and running down the forehead, spreading into a series of lines above the eyes. Wrinkles are also found at the base of the neck, in the breast area, at the base of the tail, on the front and undersides of the legs, down the sides of the body to the underbelly and groin.
Males as a rule are generally larger than females. The Donskoy is medium to medium-long in length, dense, muscular, strong-boned, with wide breast and croup. They have a deep groin-line with a well-rounded abdomen called a fatty belly where fat accumulates in the winter. Their body is almost pear shaped.

The male has stud jowls, a thicker neck, wider shoulders, and a broader head than the female. The male is more muscular and gets significantly larger than the female. The front legs are shorter than their back legs yet are in proportion with their body. They have oval feet with long slender toes. Toes are very long, slim and distinguished with thumbs that bend inward rather than downward on the front paws giving the appearance of slender hands (like monkey fingers). Webs separate the long toes. Their tail is medium long, straight and tapers from body to rounded tip.

The Donskoy was first officially recognized by World Cat Federation (WCF) in 1997, and by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2005. The standard of points describes the cat as being medium sized and muscular, with large ears, almond shaped eyes and distinctive long, webbed toes. They require frequent grooming, in spite of their lack of coat. Also over-bathing can cause the skin to become very oily.

The Peterbald breed was originally created by crossing Donskoy with Siamese and Oriental cats to create a hairless cat of Oriental type. Matings between Donskoy and Peterbald are no longer permitted however.

[sources: The TICA website and]