Atticus at Ferndale Wa Show. The older he gets, 9 mos here, the better he looks. Love his markings. Tica Quadruple Grand Championship TICA AWARD: YR 2015-2016 BEST PETERBALD IN THE PACIFIC NW REGION. Photo: Heavenly Hairless Cats – taken by Helmi Flick. The photo is copyright protected. Thanks.


Flashy

*Kahlua*

Buggsey

All the Peterbald studio photographs on this page are by Helmi Flick © copyright Helmi Flickplease 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).

Contents:

Introduction

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.

Above: Peterbald cat Photo : © copyright Helmi Flick

Origin

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.

Character and Appearance

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 world 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 more hairy:

  1. Bald
  2. Flock
  3. Velour
  4. Brush

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.

Above: Peterbald cat Photo © copyright Helmi Flick

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.

Care

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.

Hypoallergenic?

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

History

DateEvent
1994Breed created
?Breed accepted for championship status in Russia
1997TICA recognize the breed (currently under New Breed and Color status)
2003WCF recognize breed
2006Current TICA breed standard
FutureThe 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.
CurrentThey 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)

Breeders

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.

Atlantis Cats
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

Magnoliachat Cattery
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).

Shamira Cattery
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…”

Bemisu Cattery
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.

My brief interpretation of the breed standard. See TICA’s breed standard.

Source:

  • 1. Virginia Mannino – Atlantis CATS!
  • Breedlist
  • Wikipedia
  • Messybeast
  • Link broken 19th Jan 2013 – Sorry.
  • http://www.smoothcats.com

Return to Different Cat Breeds

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • What an extraordinary selection of cats.

    Can anyone tell me what drives breeders to produce cats that have such important, functional items such as hair, missing?

    Could the production of such breeds be the point when humans stop and ask themselves "ok, we can do this, but should we be doing it?"

    • Hi Everyone, I am Virginia from Atlantis Cats. I read some of the objections above & I will respond. Although Peterbalds can be "naked" AND indeed that IS a flaw of nature. Nature has many flaws & when you see one on the outside it can hide other flaws on the inside of any animal breed. That said, we can breed healthy, long-lived Peterbalds (I do it). This takes some dedication, education, vet assistance, honesty and the reason WHY you breed. I breed the PD (Peterbald) because it is one of the most beautiful cats out there. When Jane above ask "should we do it?" Well, the answer to that is what my vet taught me, you either do it right or do not do it at all. Never pass heartbreak down the line to another person. That is rude & just nasty. The PD is more like a little dog actually, they are so smart & loving. Mine are mostly hairless & it is pretty cold here in Georgia, but it doesn't bother the cats. They do have sweaters (but mostly they like being naked). Like with any animal you have to provide it with living conditions that are healthy. A lot of dogs are "naked" but we wouldn't get rid of them. Now, when it comes to EXTREME breeding, yes, I'm against that. When you push a face in too much (like the Persian) it has trouble breathing. When you make cats or dogs too small & their health suffers that is horrid. The PD is a breed unto itself, it is not the Sphynx breed. Now, I'll get a lot of complaints when I say the Sphynx breed got away from the good breeders & now everyone is breeding it, damn the PCR test or going to the vet. They only care about the money with few exceptions. They have heart issues & are greasy. The PD does not have those issues. I could go on about how to breed & what to look for when becoming a breeder, but it isn't "pet ownership", it's not about making money. A good breeder does it so others can enjoy the breed. Before you buy any rare breed, ask the breeder if you can speak directly to their vet, ask if they PCR each litter. If you get any hesitation from that breeder DO NOT BUY THERE. I'm very happy to let anyone speak to my vet, I want them to. But then, I'm honest & very few breeders are honest. And just a side note, the OSH (oriental short hair) and the Siamese now have been infested with amyloids. There is no test at this time & no cure. They die at the 2 & 5-6 yr. mark. So just because it's a known breed doesn't make you safe. They spread that amyloids worldwide now. There are way to protect yourself, nothing is perfect, but before you buy, know what to look for. Again, speak to the vet, PCR testing, how many were in the litter, how many lived, did the mother have milk. Failure to any of those questions, don't buy there.

    • The motive is 'dominion over animals' :)

      It is playing God. I dislike cat breeding. To create a hairless cat for the pleasure of it looks wrong to me but maybe it's just me. The Peterbald is a rare cat breed. Semi-hairless, something like the Sphynx but with sparse hair and a slender frame.

  • I would like to know if you can sell me a little Peterbald like of 3 to 6 months.
    Really I want one becuase Im allergic to the hair of the cats.
    I really need it and want it.
    PLEASE help me find one
    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jorge, you WILL still be allergic to any hairless cat. I've seen people have even worse reactions because the cats are naked. It's the saliva that causes people the allergy, not the hair exactly. Cats like their skin, you come in contact & it's just not fun. I'm sorry. They are working on an injection for people who are allergic so they can own cats, but I'm not sure if it is ready for humans yet.

    • Hi Jorge, I don't sell Peterbald cats or indeed any cat. Sorry. But thanks for visiting and asking. Just a quick reminder, by the way, that if you are allergic to cats it is not an allergy to the cat's hair but the Fel D1 allergen in the cat's saliva that is on the fur and skin. A Peterbald won't help you I am afraid.

  • Hi Michael,

    Always good to see a page about a hairless cat breed :)

    Good and thorough run down and beautiful pictures.

    Provided you bathe them once a week combined with the fact that they shed less hair can make them relatively hypoallergenic. Otherwise it's as you say - the allergic reaction comes from the saliva and all cats groom themselves, which puts saliva on their skin cells. That in turn gets on their hair like dandruff does on human scalps.

    Less hair (and less shed hair) means that it doesn't get on furniture, clothing, and human skin quite as much.

    So in that way they CAN be relatively hypoallergenic. Same is true with other breeds of hairless cats. I know others might argue otherwise but that's my belief.

    I might add that all Peterbald and Donskoy cats are descendents of a cat names Varya.

    I also might add that like all oriental short hairs - due to their build, these cats are more agile than the average cat.

    Nice read,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

    • You shouldn't have to give a Peterbald a bath once a week. I'm OCD about them being clean, and mine don't need a bath except maybe every 4 - 6 months. They are not greasy at all.

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