Donskoy Cat Breed

The striking-looking Donskoy is a usually hairless breed that originated in Russia.
By: PawCulture Editors
Donskoy Cat Breed

About the Donskoy Cat Breed

The striking-looking Donskoy is a usually hairless breed that originated in Russia and is known for its affectionate, playful nature. 

Donskoy Physical Characteristics


All colors are allowed. 


The Donskoy can have one of four types of coats: rubber bald, flocked, velour, and brush. The Donskoy also can grow a winter coat and then lose it when the weather warms, says Kathryn Eden, owner of the DonEden Cattery in Providence, R.I., and Working Breed Chairperson for both TICA and the Cat Fanciers Federation. 

Eden explains that cats with the rubber bald coat are born completely bald and remain so throughout their lives. The flocked coat has the look and feel of chamois. Although the cat appears hairless, the hair is actually very short and fine. 

Cats with the velour coat are born with a bald patch on the top of the head and a wavy coat covering the rest of the body, says Eden. The hair gradually disappears over the next two years, although some hair may remain on the cat’s legs, tail and face. The brush coat has wavy, wiry fur over the cat’s entire body. Bald areas are visible on the back, upper part of the neck and the head. 

Although the Donskoy has some similarities to the hairless Sphynx breed, the two breeds are genetically diverse and have differently shaped eyes, head, body, and paws, says Eden. 

Donskoy Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

High to medium 


The Donskoy are affectionate, intelligent, and easy-going. The breed loves to play and is very sociable. The Donskoy also gets along well with other pets.  

Things to Consider

The Donskoy does not do well if left alone for long periods. Having a second pet in the house would provide companionship. 

Donskoy Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Donskoy loves to be around people and would benefit from having another pet in the house for companionship. 

Special Requirements 

Donskoys should be kept indoors because their exposed skin can get sunburned. The cats are also very vulnerable to hot and cold temperatures. 

Because the Donskoy has no fur to absorb the natural oils of their skin, the cat should be wiped once a day with a cloth and bathed weekly. They should also have their ears cleaned regularly.

Donskoy Health

The Donskoy tends to be very healthy other than being sensitive to temperature and sun exposure. 

Donskoy History and Background

The Donskoy is a medium-sized cat breed with wrinkled skin that is usually hairless. The Donskoy descends from a hairless cat rescued by breeder Elena Kovalena in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in 1987, according to The International Cat Association (TICA). The cat, named Varvara, gave birth to kittens that lost their hair, too. Kovalena and other breeders realized the cats’ baldness was a natural gene mutation and eventually established the Donskoy breed, also known as the Don-Sphynx. The World Cat Federation recognized the Donskoy/Don-Sphynx in 1997 and TICA in 2005.