Appearance and features:

Donskoy have an extra terrestrial appearance to them.  Their appearance is characterized by magic harmony and their wrinkles give them an extraordinary old wizened look.  They are strong-boned, muscular, medium-sized cats with soft, wrinkled skin. Their kittens may be born with a light coat that will typically fall out sometime between two months and 2 years of age.


This is a medium-size cat weighing 7-15 pounds.


This breed started in 1987 with the discovery of a hairless cat in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don by cat breeder Elena Kovaleva. She had rescued a blue tortoiseshell kitten, which she named Varvara. At around four months of age, the cat began to lose fur. Varvara mated with a local tomcat and produced a litter of kittens; these kittens are the founding stock of the Donskoy breed and were later outcrossed with European Shorthair cats.[1]

Donskoy cats are 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. Over-bathing can cause the skin to become very oily.

The Peterbald breed was originally created by crossing Donskoy with Oriental Shorthair cats to create a hairless cat of Oriental-type.  Matings between the Donskoy and the Peterbald are no longer permitted since 2000, and outcrossing is not permitted, except with the domestic shorthair, due to the effect of the Donskoy’s dominant hairless mutation.


Donskoy do have colors that they are registered by.  They are the Rubber Bald, Flocked, Velour and Brush. The Rubber Bald is born bald and remains that way throughout its life. The Flock coat appears hairless and has the texture of a soft chamois. The Flock coat can disappear and the cat can become bald. Velour-coated kittens are born with a bald spot or Monk’s cap on the top of the head.


The Donskoy cat, also known as Don Sphynx or Russian Hairless, is a hairless cat breed of Russian origin.[1] It is not related to the better-known mostly hairless breed of cat, the Sphynx cat, also known as the Canadian Hairless, whose characteristic hairlessness is caused by a recessive mutation in the keratin 71 gene, whereas the Donskoy’s hairlessness is caused by a dominant mutation.[2]


Donskoy are intelligent, friendly, loving, and loyal cats. They are active, playful, and highly social, as well as trainable.

Health concerns:

There are some concerns about the genetic health of the Donskoy breed. The dominant genetic mutation causing hairlessness in Peterbalds and Donskoys[9] could cause feline ectodermal dysplasia in its homozygous form, causing problems including poor dentition and compromised ability to lactate or sweat.[10]

Breed Characteristics

Here is a helpful guide for the different characteristics of the breed.  On a Scale of 1-5.  1 being very low level to 5 being high level.

Energy Level
Extra Grooming
Affection Level
Social Needs
Kid Friendly
Friendly to Strangers
Health Concerns
Dog Friendly

Hypoallergenic: Yes

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