Donskoy Cat

Compare Breed
Gentle, sociable, smart, trainable
Other Names
Don Hairless, Russian Hairless
8-15 pounds
Life Expectancy
12-15 years
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Donskoy Personality and Temperament

Also known as the Russian Hairless or Don Sphynx, the Donskoy cat is a playful, affectionate companion with a reputation for cuddling up with family members - particularly during the cooler months!

Donskoy cats are even-tempered individuals, well-known for their ability to make friends with anyone who seems interested. Their sociable, friendly nature makes them ideal for families with kids and other pets.

The Don Sphynx / Donskoy cat comes with a mischievous side and a built-in sense of curiosity. Climbing, opening cupboards, and investigating the contents of bags and boxes are just a few special talents displayed by these adorable, intelligent felines that resemble Sphynx.

About the Donskoy Cat


Donskoy Cat Care









The Donskoy cat has no special nutritional requirements; however, they do need high-quality food and will benefit from additional omega-3 fatty acid to promote healthy skin.

Even though Donskoy cats are nearly free of hair, they're not without maintenance. They require bathing to prevent excess oil buildup, and they may require occasional ear cleaning. In addition, you'll want to teach your cat to accept tooth brushing and nail trimming from a young age.

These kitties are muscular and athletic, with a strong desire to jump and run. A cat tree is a must-have! In addition, Donskoy cats love their toys and appreciate interactive play sessions with their people.

Donskoy cats are robust and healthy, but there are concerns over the dominant genetic mutation that causes the breed's lack of hair. It is sometimes associated with poor dentition and a rare condition called feline ectodermal dysplasia.

If you bring a Don Sphynx into your family, you'll want to watch for issues with skin - usually, problems are caused by bathing too often or not frequently enough.

These Russian hairless cats (and all other hairless breeds) need to be protected from the elements as they are prone to sunburn. They cannot tolerate cold temperatures.


The first foundation member of this rare cat breed was first encountered in Russia in 1987 when a professor named Elena Kovaleva rescued a kitten that was being mistreated by a group of boys.

The kitten was partially hairless, leading Elena to attempt all kinds of treatments in an effort to restore it's coat - but to no avail. After some time, the cat, now named Varvara, had a litter of kittens that included some with hair and some without hair. Those born with hair soon lost part or all of their coats, and it was determined that Varvara had a genetic mutation rather than a skin disease.

One of Varvara’s hairless kittens was adopted by a professional breeder named Irina Nemikina, who is credited with creating the Donskoy cat breed as we know it today.

The World Cat Federation (WCF) granted their official recognition in 1997 and The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized the Don Sphynx cat breed in 2005, registering it under the name ‘Donskoy.’

Donskoy Cat History

Did You Know?

The Peterbald cat breed was created by crossing a Don Sphynx cat with an oriental shorthair. This combination is no longer accepted.

Donskoy cats may only be outcrossed with domestic shorthair cats. No other outcrossing is permitted.

The Don Sphynx cat is named in honor of Russia's Don River and its similarity to the Sphynx cat breed.

The Breed Standard

About the Donskoy Cat


Donskoy cats should have medium sized eyes with an almond shape and a slight slant. All eye colors are permitted.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be muscular, and should be of medium links. The paws should have a slightly rounded shape and the toes should be long.


The tail should be long and straight, and should have a rounded tip.


The body should be solid and muscular, with a straight back and shoulders that are narrower than the rump.


The head displays a wedge shape, with well-developed cheekbones and eyebrows. The forehead should be flat, and there should be several vertical wrinkles between the ears. The nose should be straight with a medium length and a noticeable transition to the forehead. The muzzle should be rounded, and should be of medium length.


The Don Sphynx cat should have large ears that are set high on its head, with a slight forward tilt and rounded tips. The outer edge of the ears should continue the vertical lines created by the head. There should be no more than one ear's width between the ears.


These cats should be either completely hairless or covered with a slight, downy coat. The skin should display prominent wrinkling on the neck, head, legs, and belly. Whiskers are desirable. Although the tail, paws, muzzle, and legs may have hair up to 2 mm long, completely hairless cats are preferred for breeding and show.


All colors and patterns are permitted. In patterns that include white, there is no minimum or maximum allowance for the amount of white to be displayed.


How much does a Donskoy cat cost?

Donskoy cats cost between $500-$2,500.

How big do Donskoy cats get?

Donskoy cats tend to be medium in size. A fully grown Donskoy cat might weigh between 8-15 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 12"-14" inches tall.

How long do Donskoy cats live?

The Average lifespan for Donskoy is 12-15 years.

Do Donskoy cats shed?

Donskoy cats are considered a hairless cat breed, they lack a coat to shed or groom.

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