The Donskoy, also known as the Don Sphynx, Russian Donskoy, Don Hairless, and Russian Hairless, is a medium-sized, muscular cat with little (or no) hair and wrinkled skin that mimics human skin. These sociable, lively cats are recognized for being extremely loyal—indeed, their loyalty is frequently compared to that of dogs—as well as being quite bright and affectionate.
Elena Kovaleva, a professor at the State Pedagogical Institute in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, discovered Donskoy cats in 1987. When Kovaleva saw a gang of lads mistreating a kitten, she decided to take the kitten home and name her Varvara. Varvara began to lose her hair after a few months, and Kovaleva tried a variety of therapies on her kitten’s skin.
Varvara married with a local tomcat a few years later and had a litter of kittens with both hairless and haired offspring—however, the kittens with hair ultimately began to lose it, leading people to believe that their hair loss was caused by some form of illness.
The cats drew little attention, and others advised Kovaleva to get rid of them because they appeared to be ill. These kittens, however, were the Donskoy breed’s original stock and were later outcrossed with European Shorthair cats.
When a professional breeder named Irina Nemikina rescued one of the kittens and began a breeding programme, the hairless coats persisted in consecutive litters, and it was conclude that the coats were produced by a gene. Nemikina’s breeding efforts resulted in the creation of a new cat breed, which she dubbed Don Sphynx. Don for the adjacent Don River and Sphynx for the appearance!
The World Cat Federation recognized the breed in 1987, and the International Cat Association recognized the Donsky in 2005. According to the breed standard, these cats are medium-sized and muscular, with huge ears, long, webbed toes, and almond-shaped eyes. Their heads are wedge-shaped, and their eyes can be any color.
These cats have soft, warm skin, but they do need to be covered from excessive sunshine, and they will benefit from extra warmth when the temperature drops in the winter. Donskoy cats were once referred to as Don Sphynx, however they are not related to the Sphynx breed.
This kitty, for example, has elastic skin, and you can see significant creases under the chin, cheeks, and jowls. The breed also has long, narrow toes with skin webs separating each toe, giving its feet a distinct appearance. These cats are medium in stature, with a lot of muscle and a strong backbone. They also have a pronounced pear-shaped, flabby stomach.
Velour kittens are born with what’s referred to as a Monk’s cap, which is a bald spot on the top of their heads. They have a coat that feels like wool but becomes wiry and gradually disappears, usually within the first year. There may be some hair remaining on the legs, tail, and face, but these cats can lose their entire coat and become totally bald over time. Rubber Bald kittens are born bald and stay that way through life.
Brush Donskoy cats will lose only a part of their fur over time. The fur can be soft, bristly, and wavy, though it’s often wiry in texture throughout the body, along with bald areas on the upper neck, back, or head. Finally, the Flock Donskoy cat will appear hairless and have the soft texture of chamois. The coat could fall out, leaving the kitty bald.
Despite its lack of hair, the Donskoy requires maintenance on a regular basis. The oil on this cat’s skin will build up and attract a lot of filth. A weekly bath is required, and you should pay special attention to the nail beds, nose, and ears, which can also gather dirt. This breed comes in all colors.
- Weight: 3 to 6 kg
- Coat length: Velour, rubber bald, brush and flock
- Amount of shedding: Low
- Color: Variety
- Pattern: Variety
Because it is energetic and lively, the Donskoy is well-known for being an excellent family pet. It’s a curious, social breed that’s kind, intelligent, and affectionate. These cats are very gentle, making them simple to handle and groom, and they enjoy company, so they should not be kept as a lonely pet.
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: Medium
Sunburn, vulnerability to hot and cold temperatures, and other skin disorders are potential concerns because many Donskoy cats are hairless. Their sensitive skin is also readily harmed, like when they play with a cat partner or roughhousing with toddlers. Aside from that, these cats have a relatively low number of breed-related health concerns (provided they are properly cared for).
Visit Our Instagram Page for daily fun facts!