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Donskoy (Don Sphynx)
Federations: LOOF, TICA, FIFé, WCF

The Donskoy they are very loyal; in fact, their loyalty is often compared to that of dogs.

Don Sphynx


Characteristics "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a cat of the breed "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)" you know certain factors. You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.


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Activity level

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Friendliness to other pets

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Friendliness to children

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Grooming requirements

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Need for attention

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Affection towards its owners

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Until the end of the years 80, the Canadian sphynx era el único gato sin pelo conocido. The discovery of Donskoy in Russia this situation changed. This cat is also known as Don Sphynx or Don Hairless, in reference to the place where it first appeared and its resemblance to the Sphynx cat.

The history of the appearance of Donskoy It is worthy of a children's story: in 1987, in the city of Rostov-on-Don, located in southwestern Russia, near the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea, una profesora llamada Elena Kovaleva acogió a un gatito que había sido maltratado por unos niños que lo habían utilizado como balón de fútbol. Called her Varvara. A medida que el gatito crecía, he started to lose his hair, suggesting skin diseases or parasitic infections such as ringworm. Various treatments were administered to try to fix the problem, But it was in vain. When Varvara gave birth to her first litter of kittens a few years later, some were born with hair and others without hair.

A medida que los gatitos crecían, those born with hair also began to lose it, como había hecho su madre. This particularity caused a strong rejection by its owners, que en su mayoría decidieron abandonarlos por considerar que estaban mal de salud. It was then that a breeder named Irina Nemikina, seduced by these original looking cats, decidió recuperar uno de ellos y poner en marcha un programa de cría para convertirlo en una raza por derecho propio. The cat in question and its descendants then interbred with the Persian cat, European shorthair cat and the Siberian cat to expand the range.

The gene responsible for the hairlessness of Donskoy (Don Sphynx) is dominant, meaning both parents don't have to be hairless for their offspring to be. For this reason, the cats obtained from these crosses kept the particularity of their ancestor Varvara, aunque también tenían en sus venas sangre de razas de gatos de pelo largo, like persian. Esta característica genética distingue al Donskoy of the Sphynx, que sólo puede transmitir su aspecto sin pelo a su descendencia si ambos padres tienen esta característica: en el Donskoy, el gen que causa esta característica morfológica es recesivo.

The Donskoy also crossed with him Oriental shorthair cat to create a hairless oriental: así nació el Peterbald cat in 1994 in St. Petersburg, the city that gave it its name.

The Don Hairless It was recognized in 1997 by the World Cat Federation (WCF), and then in 2005 by the The International Cat Association (TICA). However, was not up 2016 cuando esta última le permitió participar en exposiciones felinas organizadas bajo sus auspicios. The International Feline Federation (FIFé) also recognized the breed in 2011. On the other hand, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) y el Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) aún no han dado el paso.

Hereinafter, algunas organizaciones no permitirán ningún cruce del Donskoy con otras razas. This is the case of the WCF and the Livre Officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF) French. The TICA allows crossing with street cats.

Despite its recognition by some leading organizations, the Don Sphynx still one of the rarest cat breeds. For example, in France, only 126 cats have registered in the LOOF between 2003 and 2019. More broadly, worldwide, currently there are only about fifty breeders of Donskoy (Don Sphynx), while there are more than 1500 for him Sphynx.

Donskoy – Nickolas Titkov from Moscow, Russian Federation, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Physical characteristics

The Donskoy (Don Sphynx) es un gato de línea media con un subtipo semi-foreal. Tiene un físico atípico, compact, elegant and athletic. His muscular form, strong bone structure and relatively broad torso and rump give an impression of strength. Groin area and abdomen are well defined, so that the abdomen resembles a “stomach” where fat is stored during winter. In fact, despite the impression of vulnerability given by the absence of fur, the Don Sphynx is actually a robust breed.

They have a skin dotted with “wrinkles”, but very pleasant to the touch, as it is warm and velvety. Estas numerosas arrugas son características de la raza y se deben a su gran elasticidad. They are mostly seen on the head, cheeks, the double chin and under the chin, así como en la parte superior de la cabeza, with vertical pleats on the forehead, that separate the ears and then spread out in horizontal folds around the eyes. In the body, hug the base of the neck, the chest, the base of the tail, the back and the side of the legs, and then they go from the flanks to the lower abdomen and groin.

There are four varieties of Donskoys: one is born and remains hairless (the Rubber Bald), another is born with hair that is losing as it grows (the Flocked), a third keeps hair only in some places on the body (the Velour), y el último conserva gran parte de su fino pelaje cuando es adulto (the Brush).

In all four cases, the lightest coat of the Donskoy (Don Sphynx) makes it a hypoallergenic cat breed, which means that the risk of cat allergy is much lower than with other breeds. However, you have to know that there is no zero risk and that all cats can cause an allergic reaction, even the ones who are completely naked.

It also, es la única raza que potencialmente adquiere pelaje de invierno. During this time of year, a soft fur may appear on the chest, así como pelo en las puntas de las patas. When the weather heats up, this fur disappears again, and the cat returns to its usual appearance.

Además de esta característica, the skin of the Don Hairless has original similarities with that of humans: sweat in hot weather and can even tan in the sun.

Their Paws they are shorter than the rear ones, but they are still well proportioned to the rest of the body. At the end of the Paws there are surprisingly long fingers separated by membranes, with large inward curved foot pads. The set does not differ from the fingers of a monkey. The tail is moderately long, fine and sharp from base to tip.

The head is V-shaped and angular. The eyes are almond-shaped and the ears they are very big.

Last, this breed is characterized by a certain sexual dimorphism. Males tend to be longer and more muscular than females. It also, have stronger cheeks and a neck, wider shoulders and head.

Size and weight

  • Male size: 20-25 cm.
  • female size: 20-23 cm.
  • Male weight: 3-7 kg
  • female weight: 3-7 kg

Varieties of "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)"

Contrariamente a lo que su falta de pelo una vez adulto podría hacer creer, actually exist 4 varieties of Donskoy (Don Sphynx), 3 of which have fur at birth, before it disappears totally or partially:

  • The Donskoy Rubber Bald carece completamente de pelo desde su nacimiento y permanece así durante toda su vida;
  • The Donskoy Flocked is born with a light down that is similar to that of a Siamese cat touch. This may go away over time and the cat may bald.;
  • The Donskoy Velour is usually born bald on the top of the head and with a soft, wavy coat all over the body. During the first year of life, el pelo se vuelve progresivamente más rígido y desaparece, except for the hair on the head, legs and tail. Some individuals lose their hair completely and go hairless like the Donskoy Rubber Bald;
  • The Donskoy Brush retains part of its fur as an adult. The coat is usually smooth, but it can also be wavy. Baldness usually appears on the head, upper neck and back.
Cat Sphynx
Cat Sphynx – Dmitry Makeev, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Character and skills

If the appearance of Don Sphynx can arouse surprise, and even some negative preconceptions for their originality, worth going further. In fact, this cat is not only distinguished by its appearance: he is also endowed with immense qualities that make him an especially appreciated life partner.

The Don Sphynx not only is he a smart cat, but also has a temperate and affectionate character. The absence of fur does not prevent him from enjoying the caresses. It also, its soft and warm fur is very pleasant to the touch. It also, with his good character, grooming your cat will not become a test of strength, since it is easy to handle.

Being active, especially curious and lively, explora su entorno con entusiasmo y es muy proclive a inventar todo tipo de juegos en busca de nuevos estímulos.

The Donskoy it is also a very sociable breed of cat. Disfruta de la compañía de sus dueños y de los visitantes que pasan por allí, cuya atención le gustaría tener.

His sociability is not limited to humans, since he is also willing to share his space and time with other animals. It is, Therefore, of a breed of cat suitable to live with a dog or other pet, which may simply be one of your companions. It is even especially advisable to offer him a playmate in case of long and frequent absences, to avoid being isolated at home too often and for too long. In the end, está muy necesitado de compañía, whatever form it takes.

It must be said that this cat has plenty of affection, and is particularly loyal to its owners. He deserves the nickname of “cat dog”, since it likes to follow its owners in all their daily activities. Esta cercanía a su dueño también significa que es posible enseñarle a su gato órdenes o trucos, that you will probably gladly carry out.

La otra cara de la moneda de su amabilidad y su total falta de agresividad es que no es muy receloso del peligro que podrían representar los posibles ataques de otros gatos u otros animales. For this reason, it is a recommended cat for life in a flat rather than for life outdoors.

Care "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)"

Due to the lack of hair, the care of Donskoy they are somewhat more complex. Se recomienda bañar a los animales cada quince días aproximadamente. There is no consensus on the exact procedure for bathing. The use of a mild body soap or mild facial soap is often recommended.. It is important to use a neutral pH soap. Too frequent baths should be avoided. If the correct pH is not respected, skin problems may occur.

With the time, se forma una fina película de sebo en la piel porque no hay pelaje que absorba la grasa producida. La película proporciona cierta protección, but it looks unsightly. Puede limpiarse en la ducha o con la ayuda de un paño húmedo. If a cloth is used, cleaning is done quickly. However, the effect is less durable than in the shower. You can use a microfiber cloth and water to clean. Soap should not be used. How animals are used to bathing from an early age, showering is usually not a problem. The water should be lukewarm.

You can place your Donskoy in the shower tray and have a towel spread out. Spread some washing lotion on the cat's back. Now you have to run a little water down your back and then you can massage the lotion. Avoid getting water into the nose, mouth, los oídos o los ojos. Rinse the water well and place the cat on the prepared towel. It is important that you dry the cat well.

It also, as with any other race, it is important to check the condition of your ears at least once a week. La suciedad o el exceso de cera en los oídos pueden acumularse en los pliegues del cartílago y causar molestias o incluso infecciones. Cleaning your cat's ears whenever they look dirty will go a long way in preventing this from happening..

In the same way, es conveniente revisar los ojos de su gato una vez a la semana para detectar cualquier anomalía o infección, and clean them when necessary.

Male donskoy/don sphynx – ooznu, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Indoor or outdoor cat?

Keep your Don Sphynx inside. These cats are not only susceptible to problems with extreme temperatures, but also, because they are rare, someone may be tempted to steal them.

It also, la naturaleza amistosa de su gato significa que es posible que no evalúe los peligros adecuadamente.

How much activity does he need? "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)"?

To the Donskoy they love to be manipulated by humans and will always want to be the center of attention when you are at home. Es vital entender que la raza necesita compañía, por lo que este no es el mejor gato para adoptar si estás fuera durante largos períodos del día debido a compromisos laborales o si viajas mucho.

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

Health and nutrition

The Donskoy have an elevated body temperature and, Therefore, is better protected against infection.

The Donskoy adults are relatively immune to many diseases. However, make sure that the cat does not stay in a drafty place. Sufren mucho menos de enfermedades cardíacas que sus congéneres. The heart is healthy and strong in many representatives of the breed.

People with allergies to cats or cat hair do not usually react allergic to it. Donskoy. However, se ha observado que personas que antes no tenían alergia pueden tener reacciones alérgicas específicamente al Don Sphynx.

Since when buying a cat you commit to the animal, you must exclude the possibility that it is allergic. Quizá conozcas a algún gato de esta raza de tu círculo de conocidos y puedas intentar ponerte en contacto con él. Or you can ask a breeder or animal shelter to check the cat's reaction..

The Donskoy they have no eyelashes, so dust can quickly build up around the eyes. Suele ser descargado a través del líquido lagrimal, which is present in large quantities. In cats of this breed, eye slits are narrower, lo que significa que el líquido lagrimal puede acumularse en las esquinas de los ojos.

Donskoy Sphinx
Kitty of the sort Donskoy Sphinx – Alex Rave, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Life expectancy

Of 12 to 15 years


The Donskoy has no particular sensitivity to food: is quite happy with industrial cat food.

However, due to its lack of fur, has more difficulty than other breeds in regulating its body temperature and, Therefore, you should eat more at low temperatures to compensate. Therefore, your diet should not only be of good quality, but also rich. Having said that, despite your greed, it is not a breed of cat with a pronounced risk of being overweight.

For sale "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)"

The price of a kitten Donskoy ranges between 1200 and 1500 EUR. Este elevado precio en comparación con la mayoría de las otras razas se debe en gran medida a su gran rareza.

There does not appear to be any significant price difference between the two breeds, nor between males and females. However, el número de representantes de la raza y las transacciones es reducido, so it remains uncertain to extract any general rule.

Videos "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)"

Cats 101 Animal Planet – Donskoy
Donskoy cat or Don Sphynx or Russian Hairless.

Alternative names:

  • Don Hairless, Don Sphynx, Russian Hairless, Donskoy
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2 thoughts on "Donskoy (Don Sphynx)”

  1. This cat is frankly scary. It embodies an Egyptian curse, non? Personally, I do not think that this breed of cat can coexist with me one day. J’aurai surement peur de rentrer chez moi.


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