All the Peterbald studio photographs on this page are by Helmi Flick © copyright Helmi Flick – please respect copyright. All the smaller photographs, including the three above, are thumbnails leading to great large format photographs – enjoy.
Kahlua the cat in the middle photograph is THE INTERNATIONAL CAT ASSOCIATION’S 2006 “1ST SUPREME GRAND CHAMPION – WORLDWIDE” BEST PETERBALD INTERNATIONALLY IN TICA 2006 – 2007. The Cattery is Klazeekats owned and managed by Gail Becher (see below).
This is a newish cat breed and one of the rare cat breeds coming originally from St. Petersburg in Russia. St. Petersburg was formerly Leningrad until 1991 when communism collapsed. The city was first named St. Petersburg in 1703 after Saint Peter. The name of the breed must be an amalgam of St. Petersburg and bald (hairless or a small amount of hair). Breeders sometimes call this breed a “PD” after the TICA designation.
The allowable outcrosses are the Siamese, OSH (Oriental Short Hair) another Peterbald (and the Donskoy, but no PD breeder would use a Donskoy as that is going backwards)1.
The above photo is copyright Virginia Mannino. See a link to her cattery.
This breed is the result of the hybridization of the Russian Don Hairless (Don Sphynx, Donskoy) and Oriental Shorthair cats in 1994. The breeder who mated these cats either lived or worked in St.Petersburg at the time, hence the name. The mating resulted in four Peterbald cats. These four cats are the founding cats of this breed. This breed was apparently created to be a different version of the Don Sphynx.
The Don Shynx is a cat created as a result of a natural genetic mutation that made the cat hairless. There is no breeding connection between the Don Sphynx and the Sphynx (Canadian Sphynx) but as I understand it, in each case it is different alleles of the same gene that has mutated (see note 1 below).
If you cross a Peterbald with a Canadian Sphynx, kittens with fur result because the mutated gene is different in each parent cat.
Mutations of genes affecting the hair of a cat have happened (and continue to happen) all the over the world and not just in Russia and Canada.
There are numerous examples dating back to the early 1800s from countries such as Mexico, France, Australia, England, Canada, USA, Morocco, the Czech Republic, Russia, Hawaii and Austria. Also LaPerm cats are bald at birth and the Devon Rex’s fragile hair occasionally leads to baldness.
The appearance of this cat is captured in the fine photographs by Helmi Flick on this page.
Perhaps the first point to note is that hairless cats lose a lot of heat through their body as there is no natural barrier, other than the skin, to prevent the loss of heat. This makes them warm to touch. It also means a loss of energy resulting in the need to increase food intake as energy.
The word ‘energy’ in this instance is used in the scientific sense as opposed to the “running around” sense. In short, the Peterbald is a good eater.
The Peterbald is, it seems, a well-balanced and nice cat. There is nothing exceptional to report on character, which is a good thing as normal cats are really nice companionable animals. Provided the cat that you adopt is well socialized, all will be well.
Their skin feels like warm Chamois leather. Peterbald cats look much like hairless Oriental Shorthair cats.
Not all Peterbald cats are completely bald. Although, apparently, when they are bald they are balder than Canadian Sphynx cats.
There is a range of coat types getting progressively hairier:
All are within the breed standard.
Bald (ultra-bald, hairless born) 100% hairless: A bald cat is born with wrinkled, soft, warm skin and without whiskers and eyebrows. They feel like warm rubber apparently and are therefore a little “sticky” to the touch. There is speculation (cat genetics generally is still being researched) that a completely bald cat is homozygous in respect of the mutated hairless gene (see note 2 below). However, there is evidence that suggests otherwise.
Flock (Chamois, Shammy) 90% hairless: short down-like hair and sparse. The feel of flock is smoother than the sticky or gummy hairless Peterbald. This category can be sub-divided into “usual flock” (as described) or “extra short flock” that is a one step up from totally bald.
Velour 70% hairless: The hair is from 1 mm to about 3-5mm long. This fur is more easily seen than flock which is almost invisible at a short distance. You can feel some hair and the light reflects of it, which is not the case for flock length hair.
Brush: Curly wiry hairs and the longest hair length. Hair can be seen and felt. Whiskers are always curly. The cat above has a brush and the photo links to a very large photo – please click on it and see…
The hair varies in length. It is longer than 5mm in length. Cats born with a light brush can lose it over the first 2 years. A light brush is not velour, apparently.
Length of hair: this varies in length over the body. At the points (extremities) and tail the hair is longer. Sometimes there is hair loss over the first 2 years of the cat’s life. You might have brush on the points and velour on the body, for example.
Note: Although the hair lengths have been categorized, the spectrum of various lengths is continuous. Hairlessness is desirable for show purposes (TICA). The brush coat is accepted in all divisions.
The Peterbald is an elegant, slender cat. Note: being hairless, a Peterbald can get sunburned if allowed to go outside. Some catteries may insist that the cat is kept inside.
Here is a note on the care of this rare cat. A good breeder will recommend that you bathe your Peterbald regularly (but they need less bathing than a Canadian Sphynx, for example). Bathing is required more frequently than cats with hair. Their skin becomes dirty if not bathed. The bald variety needs more frequent bathing than a brush haired cat. Ideally bath every 2-8 weeks.
Allergy to cats is caused by the saliva deposited on the cat after grooming so is not strictly dependent on whether the cat has hair or not. However, it seems that bald cats groom themselves less often than haired cats and on this basis they may cause less of a reaction to people who are allergic to the protein in the dried saliva deposits, as there will be less of it.
“Hypoallergenic? NO! There are breeders of the sphynx & PD that claim you will not be allergic or that your allergy will be less. I have found this NOT to be the case. Since it is caused by the saliva, these hairless cats have that right on the skin. This breed is so loving, people sleep with them and they are more hands on with people. They are smart like dogs, they want to sleep with you. So, there is more contact.”1
|?||Breed accepted for championship status in Russia|
|1997||TICA recognize the breed (currently under New Breed and Color status)|
|2003||WCF recognize breed|
|2006||Current TICA breed standard|
|Future||The breed’s future would seem to be towards the Modern Siamese and Oriental appearance. That is slender body and long small head with large ears wide apart. On that basis breeding will be with Modern Siamese and Oriental cats and Balinese and Javanese, which are semi-long haired versions of these two cats.|
|Current||They are accepted in TICA.|
Click on this link to read more about the appearance of this cat in reference to the breed standard.
These are the notes made in reference to the numbered items in the text above:-
1. Wikipedia says that it is the same gene. If so the following must be the scenario. Genes come in pairs. One gene of each pair is called an allele. In the case of the Canadian Sphynx the recessive allele mutated and for the Don Sphynx it was the dominant allele. Messybeast author Sarah Hartwell says that they are different genes that have mutated.
2. Every gene in a cat has two alleles at gene’s locus (position on the chromosome). When a gene’s two alleles are both dominant or both recessive, that specific gene is homozygous. If one allele is dominant and the other is recessive, the gene is heterozygous. (source: Pavel Kirillov)
These are selected on the basis as to how well ranked these websites are in a Google.com search listing as at 2008. Things change of course.
Owned by Virginia Mannino. She has been very helpful in providing information to update this page. I would definitely start here and give her a ring if you are considering a Peterbald. This is what she says:
“I’m in Gainesville, GA U.S.A.. My mentors and breeder cats were all Russian. I hired a driver to get my PD’s from the best breeder in Russia (Del Iris: – see photograph immediately below) The best come from St.Petersberg, Russia. I’d like to point out why people should start with ME. First off, I PCR test all my kittens, I have a vet as my partner, I give 100% money back if there is anything wrong with the animal I sell. I’m not doing this for money, I’m doing this because I actually LOVE this breed.”
See a page on Virginia’s website that contains links to these catteries and more (link opens in a new window).
Anna Mae’s Flower’s Cattery
Owned and managed by Joy. Located at 255880 Tower Road, Jonesburg, MO 63351, USA. Love that, as we know where it is, immediately. She is recommended:
“She (Joy) should also be on your list because she also PCR tests all kittens, she also is honest and not only cares for the PD but people as well.”1
This cattery is run by Gary Bramlett. He is one of the oldest continuous breeders of this cat breed in the US. Gary still lives with “the first Peterbald in the U.S….”. He also breeds the Bramble cat. Gary is a recommended breeder.
Gary runs a Peterbald Breeders Corner Forum on Yahoo (this may have been removed as the link is broken – Jan 2018).
This is a new website replacing an earlier one hence no Google PageRank or Alexa Traffic Rank. These are nice intelligent well informed breeders of this cat, in my considered opinion and on the face of it. I would recommend it as a good start with Klazeekats above. I can’t see where they are located however. USA.
In Germany try Saphir Angels Peterbalds – Nicol owns and manages the cattery.
“We are an exclusive, small Peterbald cattery in Leipzig, Saxony. Our goal is a beautiful and healthy Peterbald, that meets the breed standard…”
Believed located in Allen, Texas, United States although not immediately clear from their website which is listed on first page of Google search.
TICA Peterbald Cat Member Website – broken link Jan 19th 2013. Sorry.
Not a breeder but you may find this link useful.
Breeders want to be listed here? – please tell me.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.
- 1. Virginia Mannino – Atlantis CATS!
- Link broken 19th Jan 2013 – Sorry.