An affectionate and chatty ball of energy, this Russian breed wins hearts and minds with their Oriental faces and their almost non-existent coat. A Peterbald’s coat at birth does not represent their fur forever, in fact their coat changes constantly throughout the first two years of their lives.
Key facts about the Peterbald
- Life expectancy : Between 10 and 13 years
- Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
- Type of coat : Naked, Short
- Price : Around £750
Physical characteristics of the Peterbald
|Female cat||Between 12 and 14 in|
|Male cat||Between 12 and 14 in|
They reach full size between 18 and 24 months.
|Female cat||Between 4 and 9 lb|
|Male cat||Between 7 and 11 lb|
Black / seal, blue / grey-slate, chocolate, lilac / lilac, cinnamon / cinnamon, fawn / fawn, red, white
Peterbalds come in any colour, however their coat patterns are more limited.
Solid / plain, tabby / striped, colourpoint, bicolour, mink / sepia
Type of coat
Blue, aquamarine, green
An Oriental-type cat, Peterbalds are long and slim. Their heads are shaped like elongated triangles, accentuated by their large ears and almond-shaped eyes. They have a long and elegant neckline and their tubular bodies are muscular. Their legs are thin and slender and their tail resembles a long whip.
But it is this Russian cat’s coat that distinguishes it from other breeds! It varies hugely depending on the individual, as well as varying throughout the life of an individual cat. They can be completely naked (Naked or bald). They can be covered with a fine down of hair, resembling a fuzzy peach skin (Chamois or Flock). They can have a coat of short fine/fluffy hairs (known as Velour). Another possibility is a harder hair which is curly and shaggy but still quite patchy and sparse (Brush). Finally, some members of this breed have standard hair as they lack the bald genes (Straight).
Peterbald kittens start their lives with fur, however they will begin to lose their hair around 2 months, and will constantly transition between the different hair types until approximately the age of 2.
They are very clingy cats! Perhaps their lack of fur makes them a little more vulnerable to the cold? Or maybe it’s just their sociable nature that makes them always want to be near their owners.
Curious and hyperactive, these cats absolutely love to play! They need a lot of environmental stimuli, as well as daily play sessions.
Although there are always exceptions to the rule, this cat is more often than not the polar opposite of calm.
Peterbalds are astonishingly sharp.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Generally a sociable breed, nevertheless some individuals are a more suspicious of strangers than others.
These cats love company, especially that of their owners.
Behaviour of the Peterbald
This little Russian cats is very chatty.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Peterbalds are very active cats. Their constant need to play could be a problem for some people.
Tendency to run away
This Russian cats’ curiosity means they love to wander and roam.
Greedy / Gluttony
They can be a bit greedier than the average cat, because they don’t have as much fur to maintain their body temperature.
Peterbald and cats
Although it varies from cat to cat, in general, a proper introduction will help to form the basis of a strong relationship between two or more cats.
Peterbald and dogs
They usually get on really well with dogs, you just have to make sure to introduce them properly!
Peterbald and children
This cat gets on very well with children.
Peterbald and the elderly
Due to this breed’s high energy levels, elderly people may find them quite a handful.
The average price for a Peterbald is approximately £750. Their price varies depending on their hair type, lineage (parental pedigree) and age.
It costs on average £30/ month to provide for their needs, in order to purchase quality bedding and food.
Although one might think that an almost naked cat does not require any grooming, the Peterbald tends to sweat a lot and may therefore require a weekly bath.
This almost hairless cat does not lose much hair.
Nutrition of the Peterbald
As they are very active and lose more heat than a cat with fur, it may be necessary to feed the Peterbald slightly more than a normal cat. But be careful, don’t feed them too much!
Health of the Peterbald
Life expectancy of 10-13 years
Strong / robust
As with most naked cats, they tolerate the cold or extreme heat poorly and must be protected from the sun.
Tendency to put on weight
The breed isn’t known for being overweight, however there can be exceptions to the rule.
Progressive retinal atrophy: This causes a loss of vision that can lead to complete blindness. (There is a screening test that can be done.)
Periodontal diseases, often related to lack of dental care.
They can also develop common diseases and infections that affect all cats, and are slightly more susceptible to skin problems.
A Peterbald may be crossbred with another Peterbald, an Oriental or a Siamese. In all these cases, the kittens are recognised as Peterbalds and most will have the typical traits of the breed.
Good to know
The gene responsible for the hair loss in Peterbalds is a dominant gene with variable penetrance. It is still yet to be identified. It is known that completely naked individuals are homozygous and therefore possess the gene on both alleles (they do not have a normal coat gene and can only pass the Peterbald trait onto their offspring.) Heterozygote kittens will always have an altered coat that they can lose and regain during the first few years of their lives. Finally, two heterozygous parents could breed normal furred kittens. The latter do not have the gene that modifies their hair and thus can not pass it on.
Origins and history
Derived from the crossbreeding of a Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair, the Peterbald was created in 1994 by Olga S. Mironova, a Russian breeder living in St. Petersburg. She wanted to create a cat whose oriental traits could be emphasised by a lack of fur. The breed was named after its hometown. Although cross breeding between Donskoy and Orientals is now banned, the Don's Sphynx is now a well established new naked breed.
Good names for a Peterbald: Betty, Justin, Sully, Xylo