Peterbald cat breed: feels like you are petting a peach; but he can go completely bald in his lifetime

László Enikő

2023. February 24 - Source: Photos by Getty Images Hungary

It is no accident that Peterbald is often confused with the Sphinx. But in addition to these, there are also five other hairless or almost bald cats in the cat world, and they are all a delight! Now you can get to know the relatively new Russian breed, the Peterbald.


The Peterbald’s coat, which comes in a variety of colours and patterns, can be short, peachy or non-existent. And all this may change in the cat’s lifetime! But if we look beyond the exterior, we find a very loving, affectionate and loyal family cat. The Peterbald forms strong bonds with its owners and other animals.


The first recognised Peterbald was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the end of 1994. A Donskoy, named Afinguen Myth and an Oriental cat, Radma Vöm Jagerhof, were mated for experimental purposes by cat breeder Olga S. Mironova. From the first two litters four Peterbald kittens were born: Mandarin iz Murino, Muscat iz Murino, Nezhenka iz Murino and Nocturne iz Murino. These four Peterbald were the founders of the breed. Due to cross-breeding, straight-haired individuals are sometimes confused with Siamese cats and the completely hairless are often with the Sphynx. But the Peterbald is now a genetically distinct breed. In its name, Peter refers to St Petersburg.

While the gene that causes baldness appears to be the Mendel’s genetics, experts currently do not know why some individuals go bald during their lifetime if they are born with hair. Baldness is dominantly inherited, and hairless individuals sometimes have very sparse whiskers.

The Peterbald was accepted for Championship class in 1997 by the International Cat Association (TICA) and in 2008 by the American Cat Fanciers Association.

Breed standard

A Peterbald is a medium sized cat breed with a long, muscular yet graceful build. It has a wedge-shaped head with a flat forehead and an almost perfectly straight nose. The nose is long and straight. The moustache can be straight or curly, or even patchy. Ears large, pointed, broad at the base. The eyes are medium large, almond shaped, and the colour is in harmony with the coat or skin colour, but mostly greenish gold or blue. The neck is slender, long and straight upwards. Its limbs are long and finely boned. Its paws are small and oval with long fingers. Tail long, whip-like. Skin thin, moderately wrinkled. Short, soft, fine hairs are found on the muzzle, ears, legs and tail. Velvety to the touch. There are completely hairless individuals; individuals with a maximum of 2 mm of hair (flock); and cats with a wiry, wavy coat longer than 2 mm (brush). All colours and patterns are allowed for the Peterbald. Expected lifetime 12-15 years.


The Peterbald has a very sweet disposition and is known to be affectionate, quiet, yet very curious. It is a highly intelligent creature that is very attached to its owner. He’s also very energetic, so it’s important for him to keep his wits sharp and his agile body limber. Likes to use their voice and often lets people know their current feelings, such as satisfaction by purring loudly, but will also give signals of displeasure.
Often follows its owner
to different parts of the home, always monitoring what his beloved two-legged friend is doing.

Ideal environment

He can only be kept as an indoor cat, as his bald body catches cold easily. Inside, you should also make sure that it is not too cold for him. And in the summer, he likes to bask in the sun, so if he’s resting on an enclosed patio, he needs to be covered in a cat-safe sunscreen. He gets along well with children and other pets, and typically bonds closely with them. Ideal family cat if you are looking for a lifelong companion!


As a hairless (or almost hairless) breed, the Peterbald also needs to be washed occasionally, it depends on the individual and how often this is necessary. It’s a good idea to choose a moisturising, sensitive shampoo for this so that it doesn’t irritate your cat’s skin. Bathing is necessary because, unlike a normal cat, he does not have a thick coat, which helps to distribute the oils evenly. So they typically accumulate in the ears and claw area, but to a lesser extent in other parts of the body. Dirty ears should be wiped with a damp, soft cloth, and a gentle cotton swab can be used on folds for easier access. Skin oils can also accumulate on the claws, so it’s a good idea to wipe the fingers with a damp cloth from time to time. Claws should be cut if they are too long and not wearing at the right pace on the scraper.

In the summer, make sure your cat doesn’t get sunburned, as he loves to sunbathe. Because he is hairless, he requires more warmth and therefore slightly more food than an average cat. It’s important to keep the room warm in winter, but small sweaters can also keep chilly cats warm. Because his skin is oily, his bed, blanket and all similar personal belongings should be washed often.

Common health problems

The sunburn is already mentioned several times in this article. This is harmful not only because it is unpleasant to the touch, but also because cats can get skin cancer in the same way as humans. The Peterbald does not have any health problems typical of the breed. With regular veterinary visits and the administration of recommended vaccinations, this cat will be very healthy.

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