Graceful tortoise (torty) donskoy cat in studio on black background
(Picture Credit: Svetlanistaya/Getty Images)


The Donskoy cat was developed in Russia during the 1980s as a totally new breed. These felines are known for being friendly, playful, and affectionate.

The Donskoy is also sometimes known as the Don Sphynx. You may find these purebred cats in shelters and breed specific rescues, so remember to always adopt! Don’t shop if you’re looking to add one of these kitties to your home!

Cats of this breed may get a lot of curious looks from strangers, as these felines are hairless. Some of the breed’s kittens are born totally hairless, while others lose their hair over time. With their distinctive look, the breed has gained a reputation for being an eye-catching family pet. But remember that you’ll need to exercise a little extra care and maintenance due to the breed’s hairless nature.

See all Donskoy cat breed characteristics below!

Donskoy Cat Breed Pictures

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Donskoy History

The story of the Donskoy begins in 1987 in Russia when a professor named Elena Kovaleva noticed some kids playing soccer with a bag. When Kovaleva heard the sound of meowing coming from inside the bag, she discovered that a kitten was being kicked around.

After Kovaleva rescued the kitten, she noticed that the animal began to lose their hair as they grew older. Later on, the cat gave birth to more kittens who also lost their hair or were born bald! One of these kittens was adopted by a breeder named Irina Nemikina, who began to develop the Donskoy.

The Donskoy was officially recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1987.

These days, you may find Donskoys in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the breed for you!

Donskoy Size

The Donskoy is a medium-sized cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most Donskoys weigh in at six to 15 pounds.

Donskoy Personality

The Donskoy has a reputation as one of the gentlest cat breeds around. They are loving and sociable and enjoy being around both humans and other cats, so if you already have a feline-friendly household, definitely consider the Donskoy if you’re looking to add more cats to the homestead.

Donskoys love to be handled by humans and will always want to be the center of attention when you’re at home. It’s vital to understand that the breed needs companionship, so this is not the best cat to adopt if you’re away for long periods of the day due to work commitments or if you travel a lot.

The Donskoy is an intelligent and inquisitive cat, so you’ll also want to provide an environment where the breed can explore and seek out new adventures on their own. Strategic use of smart and interactive toys can help keep your cat stimulated and satisfied.

Donskoy Health

Donskoys are generally considered to be healthy cats; although, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet.

Some of the more common health problems Donskoys suffer from include:

  • Sunburn
  • Skin issues
  • Tooth decay

Donskoy Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your Donskoy’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, you’ll definitely want to add a scratching post to your living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition.

The Donskoy’s ears should also be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection. It’s advisable to talk with your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your Donskoy, especially as the breed is prone to suffering from tooth and gum issues. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques.

Donskoy Coat Color And Grooming

The Donskoy’s coat comes in four different types that can be many different colors. These coats are known as rubber bald, flocked, velour, and brush. Rubber bald cats are bald and remain that way for life. Flocked coats are yellowish and may disappear as the baldness gene takes over. Velour kittens have a bald spot on their heads with wiry, woolly hair on the body that disappears after their first year, though some of the coat can remain. Brush coats cover the whole body except for patches on the head and neck or back.

When it comes to grooming, the Donskoy is a hairless cat so you’ll need to wipe the breed down daily. This is to get rid of oils that the skin produces–as a hairless cat, there is no hair to absorb the oils. You’ll also need to instigate a bathing routine, ideally once a week but definitely at least twice a month.

Climate is also an issue to keep an eye on: The Donskoy does not fair well in extreme temperatures. Speak to your vet about applying a suitable sunscreen to the cat, and also consider a cat coat during the colder months. While Donskoys may grow a winter coat, it is often fine and not suited for very cold winters.

Interestingly, cats of this breed can sweat through their skin and even get tan with exposure to sunlight, much like humans. That said, protection from the elements is a must, so talk to your vet.

Children And Other Pets

The Donskoy is a friendly and social cat who does well with young children. Just be sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides–and supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the Donskoy fares well with many domestic animals. Although, you’ll want to supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets.

Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your Donskoy for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

Donskoy Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Donskoy cats because they are a somewhat rare. However, you may want to try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including Donskoys, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:

You can also try CatTime’s adoption page that lets you search for adoptable cats by breed and zip code!


Life Span
12 to 15 years
6 to 15 pounds
Country Of Origin


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