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The Russian Peterbald cat is the result of experimental breeding in St Petersburg. The Peterbald is most similar to the Sphynx and the Oriental shorthair and is a relatively new breed, created in 1994. The Peterbalds’ ancestors are the Donskoy and Oriental Shorthair. However, most recently, Siamese cats have also been used in mating.
This eye-catching feline has extra-large ears and can be bald, partially bald, or have ultra-short hair. Peterbald cats are incredibly loyal and affectionate with a dog-like nature. Moreover, they are full of energy, intelligent and playful.
Meet the Peterbald cat
The Peterbald is a medium sized cat that will weigh between 7 and 14 pounds when fully grown. They have slim, muscular bodies with defined abdomens, webbed feet, and long whip-like tails. They usually have wedge-shaped heads and oversized ears that look a bit over the top. Their ears are large and almond-shaped, and the colour is most often green.
There are five variations when it comes to their coats. Many Peterbalds carry the hair-losing gene, but their level of baldness varies. Some are “ultra bald,” meaning they have no hair, eyelashes or whiskers at all, and others are bald but have eyelashes and whiskers.
Then, some are partly bald, with fine short hair on the face, paws, and tail only. Alternatively, they may have a short coat of fuzzy fur all over that looks and feels like velour. Finally, it’s also possible for them to not have the “Peterbald trait” and have a standard fur coat instead. This variation is known as “straight coat.”
It isn’t easy to know what a Peterbald cat will look like as an adult. Some may be born with fur but then lose it over time. Alternatively, nude Peterbald kittens can later grow a full coat of hair! Furthermore, their whiskers can be straight, curled, or crinkled.
Because they have little to no fur, Peterbalds struggle to regulate their temperature. They are sensitive to both cold climates and sunlight, so because of this, they should stay indoor-only pets. In terms of grooming, they are pretty low maintenance if they have fur. However, they will need weekly baths if they are fully or partially bald.
The temperament of a Peterbald
Peterbalds are sweet and affectionate cats that develop deep bonds with their humans. They will likely follow you around the house and stay under your feet. They are pretty smart and are in touch with their owners’ emotions. Their high intelligence also means that they are easy to train, with many Peterbalds learning commands and tricks.
Peterbalds are active but easy-going, meaning that they are happy to play independently. Therefore, they must have lots of toys, including challenging puzzles. You should also enrich their space with cat trees, towers and climbing areas, where they can release their pent up energy.
They are cuddly cats, too. They will likely climb under the covers and snuggle with you in bed or curl up next to you on the couch. They will also show their love vocally. Peterbalds can be pretty loud and love to communicate through their raspy meows.
10 reasons to add a Peterbald to your family
- They are incredibly loyal - Peterbald cats love attention and will follow you everywhere. One thing is for sure when you live with a Peterbald cat; you will never feel lonely!
- They are playful and entertaining - Peterbald cats give their owners hours of entertainment with their playful antics and love of climbing.
- Their coat can be one of five different variations - Peterbald cats can be hairless, partly bald, or have ultra-short fur or a standard short coat. So whether you prefer bald or furry cats, there is a Peterbald for everyone!
- Their coats can change as they grow - In many cases, a Peterbald’s coat will change throughout kittenhood, meaning their adult appearance will be a surprise.
- They can have curly whiskers - Another unique aspect of these intriguing kitties is their whiskers. They can be straight, curly, crinkled, or even non-existent.
- You can dress them in sweaters - Unlike other breeds, Peterbalds cannot keep themselves warm. Therefore, you can dress them in super cute sweaters in the winter.
- They make excellent additions to multi-pet households - Peterbalds love being around other animals. So if you’re looking to add to your existing fur children, a Peterbald is an ideal choice.
- They are less prone to obesity - Peterbalds have high energy levels and fast metabolisms. Because of this, they are not as susceptible to obesity as other breeds. Thus, it’s OK to feed them more often.
- They are super clever - Your Peterbald will show off their cleverness with their puzzle toys and by opening the cupboards. So, their high IQ also means you can teach them an array of tricks.
- They have huge bat-like ears - And of course, most Peterbald owners adore this breed because of their distinctive and comical ear size.
Best homes for a Peterbald cat
Peterbalds get along with everyone, including children and other animals. Therefore, they make an excellent family pet and are ideal for those looking for an alternative to a dog. They seriously enjoy human company and are friendly towards everyone they meet. However, this does mean that they are not particularly fond of being left alone. That being said, if they have some furry friends around to play with, they won’t mind too much.
If you are considering getting a Peterbald kitten, you should commit to keeping them indoors. Peterbalds are sensitive to the sun and cold temperature, so you should not allow them to roam. Therefore, you’ll need to enrich their environment, ensuring they have plenty of places to run around and high platforms to climb and perch on.