The Newest Breed of Hairless Cats


The present day Peterbald originated in Russia in 1988.  The cat was first thought to have a fungal infection and was treated.  It soon became obvious that this was a hairless cat.   After genetic testing, it was found to be a total different gene than what is found in the Sphynx.  The Peterbald carries a dominant gene meaning that if a Peterbald was mated with a normal coated cat, bald kittens could be expected in the first generation, whereas in the Sphynx which is a recessive gene, the same mating would produce all normal coated kittens.  The first cat discovered was a blue tortie cat and is the foundation cat of the Peterbald Breed.  This cat was rescued by Irina Kovalyova. 

These cats were first called Don Hairless and was mated to European Shorthairs and domestic shorthairs.  In 1993, an oriental looking brown mackerel tabby was bred with a oriental female.  This occurred in St. Petersburg, Russia.  These latter cats became very popular in St. Petersburg, but the Don Hairless remained popular in Moscow.

To this date, both the Don Hairless and the Peterbalds can be found in the United States.  The Peterbald gained acceptance in The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1997.  It is currently in the Preliminary New Breed Status. 

The Peterbalds of today, has a graceful body, with fine boning.  This is a lean, muscular cat that has large ears set lower than an Orientals or a Siamese.  Although, they look similar to an Oriental and a Siamese, they are there own unique breed.  

The Peterbald appears hairless, though they are not truly hairless.  The skin is wrinkled, elastic and loose and feels like warm chamois cloth or the skin of a peach.  Some kittens have a fine soft down.  The degree of hairlessness can vary from full nakedness to a "brush" coat to a "flocked" or a straight coat.  More of a soft coat can appear on the ears, muzzle, tail and feet. All of this depends on the genes that is carried by the parents.  Flocked is more of a velour and brush is partially bald but covered with curly, rigid residual hairs.


Peterbald Factoids:

  • Keep kittens out of drafts and all Peterbalds need warm little houses to sleep in during the cold months.

  • Because of their high metabolism, the Peterbald supports a higher body temperature (about 40-41 degrees).  This allows them to adapt easily to changing conditions in the environment.

  • Because of this same metabolism, Peterbalds eat more than other breeds of cats.

  • It is recommended that their diet contains some raw meats. 

  • Wounds and scratches heal a lot easier and quicker which is connected to the raised metabolism.

  • For most people sensitive to cat fur, the Peterbald may be the best choice, however, most people are allergic to a cats saliva, so the Peterbald or any hairless cat cannot be classified as "hypo allergic".

  • Peterbalds can understand words and communicating with them is quite easy. 

  • Peterbalds make wonderful companions because of they are:  gentle, non-aggressive, sweet, loving, intelligent, playful, bold, friendly and can be quite adaptable.

  • Kittens open their eyes between two and four days.



Click on Cat to Go Back to the Peterbald Main Page