About the Russian Donskoy Cat Breed

The striking-looking Donskoy is a usually hairless breed that originated in Russia and is known for its affectionate, playful nature.



All colours are allowed.

Coat Types

The Donskoy can have one of four types of coats:

  • Rubber bald
  • Flocked
  • Velour
  • Brush

The Donskoy also can grow a winter coat and then lose it when the weather becomes warmer.

  • Cats with the rubber bald coat are born completely bald and remain so throughout their lives.
  • The flocked coat has the look and feel of chamois. Although the cat appears hairless, the hair is actually very short and fine.
  • Cats with the velour coat are born with a bald patch on the top of the head and a wavy coat covering the rest of the body. The hair gradually disappears over the next two years, although some hair may remain on the cat’s legs, tail and face.
  • The brush coat has wavy, wiry fur over the cat’s entire body. Some of this coat can disappear over the first two years but most will remain. Bald areas are visible on the back, upper part of the neck and the head. (This coat type is the only one to be excluded from showing)

Although the Donskoy has some similarities to the hairless Sphynx breed, the two breeds are genetically diverse and have differently shaped eyes, head, body, and paws.

Donskoy Personality and Temperament

Activity level is high to medium


Donskoy cats are affectionate, intelligent, and easy-going. The breed loves to play and is very sociable. The Donskoy also gets along well with other pets. 

Things to Consider

The Donskoy does not do well if left alone for long periods. Having a second pet in the house would provide companionship.

Donskoy Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Donskoy loves to be around people and would benefit from having another pet in the house for companionship.

Special Requirements

Donskoys should be kept indoors. Their exposed skin can get sunburned and the cats are also very vulnerable to hot and cold temperatures.

Because the Donskoy has no fur to absorb the natural oils of their skin, the cat should be wiped once a day with a cloth and bathed twice a month. Brush coated Donskoys do not require as much bathing and only require wiping once every 2-3 days.  They should also have their ears cleaned regularly.

Donskoy Health

The Donskoy tends to be healthy other than being sensitive to temperature and sun exposure.

Donskoy History and Background

The Donskoy is a medium-sized cat breed with wrinkled skin that is usually hairless with the exception of the brush coated type.

The Donskoy descends from a hairless cat rescued by breeder Elena Kovalena in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in 1987, according to The International Cat Association (TICA). The cat, named Varvara, gave birth to kittens that lost their hair, too. Kovalena and other breeders realised the cats’ baldness was a natural gene mutation and eventually established the Donskoy breed, also known as the Don-Sphynx.

The World Cat Federation recognised the Donskoy/Don-Sphynx in 1997 and TICA in 2005. The GCCF currently do not recognise the breed.