Donskoy Sphynx

Country of origin:
Soviet Union
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
Hair length:
Recognized by:
all colours and patterns
Affectionate with family:
Good with kids:
Good with pets:


The Donskoy is a medium-sized hairless cat with its homeland in Russia. This breed owes its appearance to a pure luck and takes its lineage from a stray female cat. Its prominent features also include quick-wittedness, affable nature and endless devotion to its masters.

Photo: © cattery Pixy Sphynx (


The development of the Donskoy began with the foundational cat, which was found out in the Russian city Rostov-on-Don in 1987. Elena Kovaleva, a lecturer of the State Pedagogical Institute, came across several young ruffians who stuffed a little kitten in the bag and used it to play soccer. Professor took away the bag with the terrified animal and brought it to her apartment. She granted the kitten with the name Varvara. From the outset Varvara had very sparse coat but Elena thought that this problem was caused by malnutrition and mistreatment. However in times the feline lost the remnants of its hair and no amount of vitamins and food supplements were able to fix this situation.

Several years later Varvara produced a litter, which contained both coated and completely bald kittens. Soon the kittens with ordinary coats started to lose it in the same manner as it happened with their mother. This made people to suggest that these cats were infected with some awful disease and must be put down. Irina Nemikina who specialised in cat breeding saved one kitten from this sad fate and gradually realised the real possibility of creating a brand-new breed of a Russian cat. The breeding process was also facilitated by the fact that the absence of hair in this breed was the result of influence of a dominant gene.

Nemikina named her breed «Don» in honour of the place where Elena Kovaleva saved its first member from hooligans. The World Cat Federation registered the first Donskoy in 1997. The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 2005.


The Donskoy is a feline variety, which wants nothing more than to share its affection with its favourite people. It’s always thirsty for knowledge and will indefatigably explore every corner of your dwelling. The breeds’ baldness explains well its fondness of warm places so except to find your Donskoy snuggling cosily under your blanket every single night. This energetic cat is praised for its exceptional friendliness so it gets on perfectly fine with other non-feline pets and likes playing with familiar dogs.

The specimen of the Donskoy is also very trustful of strangers and usually welcomes petting from them. This breed will become an excellent member of the family with kids as it’s extremely tolerant of their pranks and likes being engaged in their exuberant activities. Take into account though that it abhors being left alone for long time and may act out its frustration in destructive deeds. That’s why it’s very advisable to provide this cat with the constant company of one or several other felines.

On the whole the Donskoy is a calm and quite cat, which will voice its opinions and wishes only if its master doesn’t understand its body language. This undemanding cat will make an avid learner because of its ever-curious nature and strong desire to please its owner. The Donskoy’s training is usually an easy thing and it can be taught even advanced tricks if its efforts are rewarded with tasty kibbles. It’s a good idea to choose this breed for the role of a feline companion if you are ready to dedicate to your pet sufficient time and attention.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy;

· hereditary myopathy;

· urticaria pigmentosa;

· cutaneous mastocytosis;

· periodontal disease.


The Donskoy is a comparatively unpretentious breed as far as it concerns its maintenance. Naturally it doesn’t need any brushing but regular bathing is a must because natural oils quickly plugged pores and the cat’s skin acquires greasy feel to it. Start training your pet to bathing as early as possible and it will look forward to this procedure instead of dreading it.

Like any other feline variety the Donskoy requires systematic nail clipping, ear and eye cleaning. Because of its predisposition to periodontal disease it’s also highly essential to invest several minutes of each and every day into proper dental care.