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Is the Peterbald right for you?

The basics:
If the Peterbald’s over-sized satellite –like ears, bold nose, and regal Russian bearing don’t win you over, this cat’s over-the-top affection is sure to steal your heart. Perhaps best known for their hairlessness, the Peterbald’s coat actually has a full range of possibilities, from naked to short and a variety in-between. They’re an unusual cat to say the least, and even those who find them somewhat strange and alien have to admit that this people-loving cat has a lot of love to offer – a LOT of love to offer: the Peterbald can be somewhat clingy and will expect you to reciprocate the unyielding devotion they have for you.

Though you may think a lack of a full coat would make the Peterbald easy to care for, the opposite is actually true. The less hair they have, the more often they are likely to require baths as without hair to absorb the oils from the skin, hairless cats can get a little grimy. Their nails should be trimmed regularly to protect delicate skin, and their ears can develop a waxy build-up. Though the Peterbald is NOT hypoallergenic, frequent bathing may be a factor in limiting your exposure to dander and saliva proteins. The good news is that if you’ve ever wanted to dress your cat up in little sweaters, the Peterbald is your chance to do so: their lack of fur can make them particularly susceptible to cold temperatures, and even in the summer a highly air-conditioned environment could leave them a little chill.

The Peterbald is a relatively new cat, developed in Russia in 1994. They’re the result of cross-breeding the Russian Donskoy with an Oriental Shorthair – so be prepared for a bit of the chattiness the Siamese breeds are famous for!

Appearance / health:
The Peterbald is best known as a hairless cat, although different varieties of Peterbald’s exist, including those with short coats. This is a medium-sized cat, long and graceful, medium-to-fine boned with a firm and well-developed body. Elegant long legs lead to medium-sized feet with webbing and prominent toes. The tail is long and whip-like.

Atop a long and slender neck sits a triangular wedge-shaped head with a flat forehead and high cheekbones. The ears are considerably oversized, broad at the base and narrowing to a point, and slightly flared. The muzzle is slightly blunt but not narrow, and the nose broad, flat, and straight. Whiskers, if present, may appear broken or kinked.

The Peterbald’s coat is the most significant feature of the breed, and can actually come in 5 varieties, including combinations of hair-types. They may be born bald, or they may be born with varying coat types that they gradually lose. Some of these kittens will then regrow and lose a coat several times during the first years of their life. The coat types are:

  • Naked – this Peterbald is truly hairless with soft and warm skin. Texture may be silky or even feel a little sticky.
  • Chamois – this coat is sometimes described as peach fuzz or suede-like, and has a soft texture.
  • Flock – this coat consists of a fine undercoat with no guard hair, soft like velour or velvet.
  • Brush – This Peterbald has a sparse and wiry textured coat. Hair length ranges from 5mm and longer, and may be dense, wiry, short, wavy, or kinky. The skin may be easily visible through this coat.
  • Straight – this Peterbald was essentially born with a full “head” of hair, and feature a short, normal coat. This variety is born without the gene for hair loss.

The Peterbald can come in all variety of colors and patterns and even Peterbald’s of the naked coat variety may have skin pigmentation.

Behavior / temperament:
The Peterbald is truly an affectionate cat who craves the companionship of people. Friendly and curious, they are likely to greet you and your guests at the door. The Peterbald is the ultimate lap cat, and they’ll delight in sharing your body heat for as long as you’ll let them. You’ll never be lonely with a Peterbald in your life: they’ll sleep on your bed (preferably curled up toasty warm next to you), follow you to the bathroom, out to the kitchen, and keep you company throughout your morning routine. This is also a chatty cat who will eagerly hold conversations. This is not a cat for the casual cat owner, and you should be prepared to devote a decent chunk of time to your Peterbald, even if it’s just quietly watching tv with one another. Do not choose a Peterbald if you find yourself away from home for large portions of the day.

The Peterbald is also smart, playful, active, and athletic. They’ll explore your house from top to bottom and will make good use of “found” toys if you don’t provide them any. Their feet are particularly good at grasping and manipulating objects, so don’t be surprised if your Peterbald learns how to open doors. They enjoy the company of other cats particularly if the other cat is also fond of snuggling, and two Peterbalds tend to get along perfectly. Similarly, they do well with dogs and other household pets who behave in a friendly manner towards them.

The Peterbald is not a low maintenance cat. They will need regular bathing and ear cleaning, and their nails should be kept short. They should also be kept exclusively indoors as their lack of full coat makes them susceptible to temperature extremes and sunburns!


quiet animal, graceful cat, apartment, happiest cat, sweet purrsonality


guests, water, surprises


rarity, fast metabolism, strong hunting instinct, baby wipes, mild baby shampoo

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