Federation Internationale Feline World Cat Federation
In 1987, the breed started for the first time after it was discovered by one Russian breeder Elena Kovaleva in Rostov-on-Don (USSR).
Later, the breed of the Peterbalds was developed by crossing these cats with the Siamese and the Oriental cats. The aim was to create a hairless cat of Oriental type. However, in recent times, mating between the Donskoy and the Peterbald is not permitted any more.
In 1997, this breed was officially recognized for the first time by World Cat Federation (WCF), and later on, in 2005, by The International Cat Association (TICA).
The Donskoy is in a class of its own. It is a highly intelligent, beautiful loving cat that looks directly into your eyes and seems to penetrate your very soul. These beautiful hairless cats remind you of extra terrestrials coming from the outer universe. Their appearance is characterized by magic harmony and their wrinkles give them an extraordinary old wizened look. If you can imagine the head of ET with long shell type ears, almond-shaped eyes that make you believe in the transmigration of a Bastet Goddess Ghost, the scruff of a giraffe, a small belly of a piglet, the tail of the Rats` King from The Nutcracker, small webbed toys of a monkey all wrapped up in into a leather or suede vestment with numerous wrinkles - you willl get the surrealistic image of the enigmatic Donskoy.
Shape: Medium sized modified wedge with flat forehead and finely outlined cheek-bones and eyebrows. The head is approximately 1/3 longer than it is wide. Just above and between the eyes is a palpable indentation.
Ears: Large, wide open, wide at the base, set upright and tilted slightly forward, neither low nor on top of the head. Set wide apart, about the width of the ear base. Outer edges of the ears continue the line of the head. Ear tips are rounded.
Eyes: Medium to large size in proportion to head size, almond-shaped, set slanted toward outer corner of ear. Not wide open. No relationship between eye color and coat color. Eyebrows may be whole, broken or totally absent.
Muzzle/chin: The muzzle is clearly defined, of medium length in proportion to head size, slightly rounded, with a slight pinch. Canine teeth are long, may be protruding from behind the upper lip. Chin and jaws are well-developed. Whiskers may be curly, thick, broken, long or short, sparse or appear to be completely absent from breakage.
Profile: Shows a definite curve to the straight nose of medium length, similar to a roman profile.
Neck: Medium in length in proportion to body size, rounded and well muscled. The neck arches from the base of the skull and is well set into angulated shoulders. Powerful, especially in males.
Torso: Medium in size. Medium to medium-long in length, dense, muscular, strong-boned, with wide breast and croup. Deep groin-line. The abdomen is wellrounded, having the appearance of recently eaten a large meal, but not fat. Medium boning. Hard and muscular, not delicate. The male has stud jowls, a thicker neck, wider shoulders, and a broader head than the female. The male is more muscular and gets significantly larger than the female.
Legs: Length in proportion with body, with medium boning and firm musculature. Hind legs slightly longer than front. Front legs widely set. Females may have slightly finer boning.
Feet: Medium in size, oval with long slender toes. Toes are very long, slim and distinguished with thumbs that bend inward rather than downward on the front paws giving the appearance of slender hands (monkey fingers). Webs separate the long toes. Paw pads are thick and cushion-like giving the appearance of walking on clouds.
Tail: Whippy. Medium long, straight, tapering from body to tip. Length in proportion to body size. Young cats can have hair on their tails disappearing by the age of two. Older cats may have some residual fluff-hairs on the tail tip which is allowable although bald is preferred.
Skin is elastic,”excessive”, with pronounced wrinkles on the cheeks, jowls and under the chin. Vertical wrinkles separate the ears and run down the forehead and spread into horizontal lines above the eyes. Wrinkles are also found at the base of the neck, in the breast area, at the base of the tail, on the front and undersides of the legs, down the sides of the body to the underbelly and groin; the more wrinkles the better. Adults should retain as many wrinkles as possible, although wrinkling should not be so pronounced that it affects normal functions. Allowable residual flock coat on the whole body as well as short sparse fur on the muzzle, ear and legs. Allowance is to be made for residual fur on the “points” - muzzle, ears, legs and tail. The residual fur must fully disappear from adult cats by two years of age. Allowance will be made for sparse furnishing of fur trimming the whole body in winter. Slight down hair is tolerated. Full hairlessness is preferable. The texture of the bald and some of the flock coated cats offers resistance when their skin is stroked; it is similar to stroking a chamois. The texture of the velour is smooth and soft, offering no resistance.
Free and graceful.
Weight — 5-7 kg.
The loyalty of the Dons are only comparable to the dogs. They very obedient, smart and gentle, making them great family pets. They are curious and inquisitive, constantly following their maters from room to room.
The Donskoys are not at all aggressive, but would only scratch or bite, if provoked, or for defense. The cats are active and can pick up voice commands easily. They are lively and love attention. They are social and are good with kids, and would even greet strangers visiting their homes.
Many individuals of the breed are extremely vocal. This vocalizing tendency might at times lead to excessive and undesirable crying or meowing, especially during the night.
These cats love creative games and toys. They make great companions for both young and old people, and are perfect for apartment life.
Because they lack fur to keep them warm, Donskoys shouldn’t live in draughty places. They can also scratch their skin on rough objects more easily than other cats because they don’t have a protective coat.
Donskoys enjoy lying in the sun and can actually get a tan, but they’re at risk for sunburn on their exposed skin. Given their vulnerability to sunshine and chilly temperatures, Donskoys should be indoor cats.
Other than the cold and sun sensitivity associated with hairlessness, Donskoys tend to be robustly healthy and there are not any serious health problems associated with the breed. A couple of websites suggest that ectodermal dysplasia (a condition causing abnormal tooth development) may be more prevalent in Donskoys, but thus far there appears to be little solid evidence to support this speculation.
Donskoys do require some special grooming due to their hairlessness. Because they have no fur to absorb the natural oils of their skin, they should be wiped once a day with a cloth and bathed weekly. They should also have their ears cleaned regularly.
Lifespan — 12-15 years.
Good with children, good with household cats and dogs, no shedding, medium sociability with strangers.
Sweat a lot.
The Dons are generally healthy. But there are certain concerns about the breed’s genetic health. Some are of the opinion that, the dominant genetic mutation causing hairlessness in these cats might as well cause feline ectodermal dysplasia in its homozygous form. This, in turn, might trigger issues like poor dentition and insufficient lactation.
Also be aware that the hairless breed has no outer protection. Hairlessness might easily get them chill and sunburn, or dermatological issues associated with excessive weather conditions.