Donskoy Cat Breed Information

Donskoy, also known as Don Sphynx, Don Hairless, Russian Donskoy and Russian Hairless, are known for their affectionate, playful and friendly nature. They are also very sociable and enjoy being around their human companion and other cats. They blossom into a happy and content feline companion through companionship, quality time spent and interaction. Aside from being amicable and good-natured felines, they are also clever, curious, and high-spirited who spend most of their time constantly moving. Donskoy does best in a household where they can discover and explore their surroundings and have adventures independently.

Donskoys are a Russian cat breed whose history began in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia. These cats are very sophisticated and sweet. These gorgeous hairless cats remind you of the extraterrestrials coming from outer space. Their appearance is characterized by their wrinkles give them a distinctive old and wrinkly look. Due to their hairless characteristics, these cats need regular grooming. This gentle cat breed is considered hairless. Although, some Donskoys have either very short peach-fuzz fur or patchy fur. Some Donskoy kittens are born entirely hairless. Others lose their hair gradually. A hair losing gene is the one that controls the coat in a Donskoy.

Donskoy thrives on companionship, and they are best suited for those who love spending time and interacting with them regularly rather than being left alone for long periods. Their friendliness and social nature make them ideal pet for young children and companions for other pets. 

Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

20-30 cm
2.7-4.6 kg
Life Span:
12-15 years
Friendly, Active, Loyal, Social, Gentle, Sweet
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Everyday 10/10
  • Shedding: Low 2/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Medium 6/10
  • Activity Level: High 10/10
  • Playfulness: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to children: High 10/10
  • Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
  • Vocality: Medium 6/10
  • Intelligence: High 10/10
  • Independence: Low 2/10


Donskoys are a Russian cat breed whose history began in 1987 with the founder cat discovered in Rostov-on-Don in Russia. Elena Kovaleva, a State Pedagogical Institute professor, met young boys playing soccer carrying a bag. Inside that bag was a kitten crying of pain and fear. Elena took the bag and brought the poor kitten home. She then named the kitten she brought home Varvara.

Varvara grew up losing her hair. As she grew, she was treated for this condition in vain. Years later, Varvara gave birth to both haired and totally hairless kittens. The adorable kittens with hair started losing it just as their mother did. However, some people decided that these kittens were unhealthy and decided to get rid of them. Good thing, an enthusiast and professional cat breeder, Irina Nemikina, rescued a kitten. Several years later, she generated an entirely new breed of Russian cat, a hairless one named the Don Sphynx. The name Don was after the river Varvara was found and Sphynx because it was hairless.

Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Donskoys have four different coats types in an assortment of colours. All but one coat typically results in hairlessness. Donskoys carry a dominant hair loss gene that causes their birth coat to fall out if they have one. Their coats include the following:

  • Rubber Bald – cats that are born bald and remain that way throughout their life.
  • Flock – cats appears hairless and has the texture of a soft chamois. This coat can disappear, and eventually, the cat can become bald.
  • Velour – cats born with a bald spot or Monk's cap on the top of their head. Their wool-like coat can turn wiry and vanishes slowly within their first year or so with some remaining hair on their face, legs and tail.
  • Brush – it is where only a portion of their coat is lost over time. This coat can be coarse, soft, curly, and frequently wiry on their whole body with bald areas on their head, the upper part of their neck or their back.

Donskoy can grow a winter coat characterized as fine wool on their chest and hairs on the end of their tail but will lose it again when the warm months begin. Their skin is comparable to humans: it produces sweats when it is hot and gets sun-tanned.

This cat breed is sophisticated yet strong and well-boned. They are medium-sized cats with soft hairless, wrinkled skin that feels hot and silky to the touch. Their skin is remarkably elastic with noticeable wrinkles on their cheeks, jowls and under their chin. It also has vertical wrinkles that separate their ears and running down their forehead, spreading into horizontal lines above their eyes. Wrinkles can also be found at the base of their neck, in their breast area, at the base of their tail, on the front and undersides of their legs, down the sides of their body to their underbelly and groin.

Generally, male Donskoy, as a rule, are larger than their female counterpart. This cat breed is medium to medium-long, thin, well-muscled, strong-boned, with broad breast and croup. They have a profound groin-line with a well-rounded abdomen called a fatty belly, where their fat accumulates in winter. Their body is nearly pear-shaped. Their front legs are shorter compared to their back legs yet are well-proportioned with their body. Their oval-shaped feet have long slender toes. Their toes are very long, slender and distinguished with thumbs that bend inward rather than downward on the front paws. Their medium tail is straight and tapers from their body to a rounded tip.


Donskoys are a fascinating, sophisticated, unique, curious, soft-hearted and friendly cat. They are very energetic, extremely welcoming, highly intelligent, very affectionate and amiable. They have a well-balanced personality. This cat breed shows a lively interest in their environment and enjoys playing games. Donskoys are extremely loving with a playful nature and curious about everything.

They are very approachable and are under the impression that every guest that enters their home is there to see them. Their social skills extend to other pets and animals to which they will also offer companionship. They are devoted and dedicated to their human companion. These highly amicable cats require companionship and should not be without a companion pet, especially if left for long periods. Donskoy cats love to be a part of all your activities and are easily trained to obey voice commands.

Aside from being amicable and good-natured felines, they are also clever, curious, and high-spirited who spend most of their time constantly moving. Donskoy does best in a household where they can discover and explore their surroundings and have adventures independently. Provide them plenty of interactive and puzzle toys that they can play alternately to help keep them contented and mentally stimulated.

Donskoy succeeds in companionship. They are best matched to those who love spending quality time and interacting with them frequently rather than being left alone for long periods of time. Their outgoingness and easygoing nature make them the perfect family pet for young children and companions for other pets.

Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Because of their intelligence and curious personality, Donskoys are easy to train. They can start their training at an early age by teaching them simple tasks like using the litter box and the scratching post. As they mature and progress, teach your Donskoys more challenging games, tricks and commands, such as playing a game of fetch and retrieving. It is vital for Donskoys to play with puzzle and interactive toys to encourage their smart minds regularly. Don’t forget to reward them treats when they completed a trick, follow a command or just by merely behaving throughout the training session.

When a Donskoy is aptly familiarized and trained at kittenhood, they will thrive into being a well-behaved and versatile family pet.

Coat & Care

Donskoys are considered a hairless cat breed. And because of this, they have unique needs in the grooming department. Keep in mind that this cat breed does not need to be brushed. What they need is a daily wipe down whenever possible. Donskoy’s body produces oils, and they don’t have hair to absorb them. That’s why you need to check on your cat regularly to make sure that oils are not accumulated on the folds of their skin. Bathing your Donskoy can be given approximately once a month. Donskoys are prone to skin issues – due to their hairlessness. So, make sure that daily wipe-downs and bathing is done to help prevent it. However, be careful not to over-bathe them as this may also lead to their skin becoming excessively oily.

Be careful of the ever-changing weather. This cat breed can sweat through their skin and develop a tan, just like humans, with sunlight exposure. So, make sure to ask for your vet’s advice about sunscreen. While Donskoy cats may grow their winter coat, it is frequently fine and still unsuitable for freezing winters.

Keep their ears away from infections by checking their ears once a week for dirt or any buildup. Observe your Donskoy for any foul odour, especially if it is coming from their ears, as it may be a sign of an ear infection. Clean them using a fresh cotton ball or a soft cloth with a vet-approved ear cleanser. To efficiently clean their ears, inquire for tips from your vet on how to clean them correctly. Just like their ears, it is crucial to recurrently check their eyes to keep them clean and healthy. You can use a clean, soft cloth to eliminate any eye discharge or dirt. Make sure to use a different part of the clean cloth to prevent the spread of eye infection.

Weekly brushing is sufficient to maintain your Donskoy’s teeth healthy and away from any tooth and gum diseases. In maintaining their nails, you can trim them twice a month or when it is needed. Make sure that you keep their litter boxes clean. Donskoys, like many other cat breeds, are particular about their bathroom hygiene. Clumped litter may cling to their coat and may result in mats and tangles. Also, it is left soiled all the time; this cat breed may tend to use other areas of the house to do their business.

Due to their lack of hair and the inability to adapt to weather and temperature changes, it is recommended to keep your Donskoy as an indoor cat. Not only that, it will keep them protected from the changes of temperature, as well as being attacked by other feral cats and wild animals. It will also protect them from diseases that they can get from free-roaming animals. Also, remember that your Donskoy is rare and frequently stolen. For thieves, they are an easy target because of their friendliness.

Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Donskoys are considered an overall healthy cat breed. However, it is best that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are up to date. Because of their hairlessness, it is vital to check for skin issues and make sure they do not get sunburn. Regular vet visits are also recommended to make sure that they are always in tip-top condition. 

Children & Other Pets

Donskoy are good-natured, intelligent and friendly cats. They are very outgoing and playful. This is one of the reasons why many families with children pick a Donskoy to bring home for a family pet. While they are friendly, it is still best to supervise your children when interacting with a Donskoy or any other cat breeds. This is to prevent any accidents or any tail pulling or scratching incident that may happen because of mishandling.

Living under one roof with other pets such as cats and cat-friendly dogs is easy with a Donskoy. Because of their gentle and adaptable personality, this cat breed can live amicably with other pets in the same household. However, keep in mind that not all cat breeds are the same; always socialize your pets gradually and in controlled areas to guarantee that they learn to get along well together. 

Donskoy Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

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