Let's talk Peterbald cats

The hairless Peterbald hails from Russia and makes for a distinctive-looking feline. They share “family” genes with two other Russian breeds, the Donskoy and the Oriental. The Peterbald is a hyperactive cat that sticks like glue to their humans, and is very vocal. Both their appearance and personality means that the Peterbald is a unique cat for a unique owner. With early socialisation they fit very well into a household composed of children, other cats and dogs, and show immense loyalty to their humans.     

Official name: Peterbald

Other names: The Russian Peterbald

Origins: Russia

Peterbald bundled in a striped blanket peering out

 

Shedding level

Very low

Warm weather? Very low
Energy level * High Family pet ? * High
Compatibility with other pets
High


* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.
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Illustration of a Peterbald
Male
30 - 35 cm Height
3 - 4 kg Weight
Female
30 - 35 cm Height
2 - 3 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to one month
 Kitten age  1-12 months
 Adult age  1-7 years
 Mature age  7-12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

Peterbald stood looking to the side

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Get to know the Peterbald

All you need to know about the breed

The Peterbald is a unique breed that needs a lot of attention and care, so is best suited to experienced cat-owners. If you do welcome one into your life, expect endless devotion in return. The Peterbald is a sociable cat, often selecting one favourite human and then following them around the house. Part of their social temperament means that the Peterbald will vocalise almost constantly, mostly through meowing.

When they’re not trying to be the centre of your universe, the Peterbald is likely to be found playing - preferably with children, cats or dogs. This is a lively cat with plenty of energy to burn, which helps to keep them in shape.

Most Peterbald cats are completely hairless, although some have a very short layer of fur. This makes them sensitive to both hot and cold weather, requiring pet-safe sunscreen for the first, and a warm feline jumper for the second. If your Peterbald is hairless, they will require either regular bathing or daily wipe downs, to remove excess oil.

“Independence” and the Peterbald have yet to be introduced, so if you’re often away from home then this is not the breed for you. But with their sweet temperament and tendency to snuggle on your lap, it’s hard to tear yourself away from a Peterbald.

Peterbald sat paws crossed on a bed

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2 facts about Peterbald cats

1. Quack quack

When it comes to being unique, the Peterbald has it nailed. On top of their hairless coat, huge ears and tiny face, they also have very long toes that are webbed. It’s a cool party trick, as they can actually “hold” their toys, or any other small household items they may get their feet on!  

2. Prefers life indoors

Because the hairless Peterbald is sensitive to both warm and cold temperatures, it is wise to treat them as an indoor cat. This will help keep your Peterbald’s health issues to a minimum. If you do venture outside with them, be sure to apply pet-safe sunscreen or a woolly knit, weather depending.            

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History of the breed

Dating all the way back to...1994, the Peterbald is a newcomer to the feline scene. They hail from Russia, and are the result of cross-breeding between the Donskoy and the Oriental. The Russian breeder Olga S. Mironova specifically wanted to create an elegant-looking cat (like the Oriental) with the unique hairless skin of a Donskoy. Olga was based in St. Petersburg, contributing to the name of “Peterbald”.

Regarding the Peterbald’s coat, five different possibilities exist and range from completely hairless to a normal short coat. Most Peterbalds either lose or gain hair throughout their lifetime. Recognised as a breed by the International Cat Association in 1997, the Peterbald has had championship rights since 2005. The Peterbald is in high demand - by those who are aware of its existence - and thus remains rare throughout Europe, with a particularly high price tag.

Black and white portrait of a Peterbald

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Peterbald cats

1. Ears

Ears are very large, triangular in shape and pointed tips.

2. Body

A long, slim body, giving an overall elegant appearance.

3. Coat

Five types of coat: hairless, chamois, flock, brush and straight.

Peterbald in a bed

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Peterbald
Peterbald standing up on hind legs

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Caring for your Peterbald

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your hairless Peterbald is easier to groom than a more furry feline. The Peterbald sweats moderately thanks to their lively nature, so a weekly bath is essential to keep them clean, as well as a daily wipedown with a damp washcloth. Check their eyes, ears and skin folds weekly, and trim nails on a regular basis. The Peterbald is a naturally energetic cat, content to play with anyone who is available. Indulge them with toys that will keep their mind sharp and maintain their slim build. Just don’t forget the vet-prescribed sunscreen if you head outdoors for playtime. Start training your Peterbald as soon as possible to bring out their adorable, loyal nature, and keep any stubbornness to a minimum. Use those afore-mentioned toys to make training more fun, less boring, but know that the Peterbald is eager to please their humans.

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All about Peterbald cats

Sorry, but no. People with animal allergies may think that hairless cat breeds, such as the Peterbald, are safe for them.  But in fact, allergies are not just triggered by the animal’s coat, but also by proteins found in their saliva and skin cells. Therefore, no cat is truly hypoallergenic. 

The average life expectancy of a Peterbald is 10-12 years, which is just a bit shorter than most felines. Due to their hairlessness, the Peterbald needs handling with even more care than other cat breeds out there. They are therefore best suited to confident or experienced cat owners, with whom they can lead a long and healthy life. And give plenty of snuggles. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book