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Donskoy at a GlanceNorwegian Forest  Breed Full Body copy

The Donskoy is a Russian breed whose history starts in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia. They are a very elegant and sweet cat. These beautiful hairless cats remind you of extraterrestrials coming from the outer universe. Their appearance is characterized by magic harmony and their wrinkles give them an extraordinary old and wizened look. Due to their hairless nature, these cats require regular grooming. Find out more about this breed and if the Donskoy is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Elegant, Social, Gentle

  • Size: Medium-sized cat

  • Colors: The Donskoy sports 4 different coats types in a variety of colors. All but one coat usually results in hairlessness. Their coats include Rubber Bald, Flocked, Velour and Brush. The Rubber Bald is born bald and remains that way throughout its life. The Flock coat appears hairless and has the texture of a soft chamois. The Flock coat can disappear and the cat can become bald. Cats born with velour coat has a head with bald spot. Their hair will gradually disappear but hair on face, legs and tail might remain. While Brush coat retains more hair but bald spots may occur. Their hair can be either hairy or soft.

  • Life Expectancy: 12-15+ years

About the Donskoy Breed

The Donskoy is considered a hairless cat breed, though some Donskoys have either patchy fur or very short peach-fuzz fur. Some kittens are born completely hairless, while others lose their hair over time. The gene that controls the coat in the Donskoy is considered a hair losing gene.

Known for being friendly, playful and affectionate, they are very sociable and enjoy being around both humans and other cats, but always want to be the center of attention. They thrive on companionship and are best suited for those who enjoy spending time and interacting with them on a regular basis rather than being left alone for long periods of time.

Activity Level:
Donskoys tend to be friendly and good-natured. They are also clever, inquisitive, active cats that spend much of their waking time on the move. They do best in an environment where they can explore and seek out new adventures on their own. Strategic use of smart and interactive toys can help keep them stimulated and satisfied.

They are friendly and social cats that do well with young children and other pets that provide companionship. 

TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 


Find a Kitten: Donskoy TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Donskoy Kittens.

Toyger Breed Head ShotCare

Donskoy that are hairless cats should be wiped down daily to get rid of oils that the skin produces. They should be bathed once a week or twice a month.

Be careful of extreme weather. They can sweat through their skin and develop a tan with exposure to sunlight so be sure to consult your vet about a suitable sunscreen. While Donskoys may grow a winter coat, it is often fine and not suited for very cold winters.

As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.


Donskoy cats do not have any particular nutritional needs other than good, quality, dry kibble and canned food.

As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - Place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.


The Donskoy is considered an overall healthy breed. However, it is recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are kept to date. Due to their hairlessness it is important to check for skin issues and be careful to make sure they don’t get sunburn.


The Donskoy is a Russian breed whose history starts with the foundational cat being discovered in the city Rostov-on-Don in Russia in 1987. Elena Kovaleva, a professor of the State Pedagogical Institute, encountered young boys playing soccer with a bag--inside the bag was a kitten squalling of fear and pain. Elena took the bag and brought the kitten home. She named the kitten Varvara. Varvara grew up losing her hair for which she was treated for in vain.A couple of years later Varvara gave birth to both haired and completely hairless kittens. The kittens with hair began to lose it just as their mother did. People decided that the kittens were unhealthy and decided to get rid of them. Irina Nemikina, enthusiast and professional cat breeder rescued a kitten and in several years generated a completely new breed of Russian cat, a hairless one which she named--the Don Sphynx. Don after the river Varvara was found beside and Sphynx because it was hairless. In TICA it is known as the Donskoy.

Similar Breeds


The Breed Standard

The Donskoy is the result of a spontaneous mutation that originated in the city of Rostov-on-Don in Russia in 1987. The gene occurring from this spontaneous mutation is dominant and resulted in the first truly hairless cat. Donskoys are quite elegant and sturdy with strong boning. Males as a rule are generally larger than females. The Donskoy is a very intriguing, unique, soft-hearted and social cat of medium size with soft hairless wrinkled skin that feels hot and velvety to the touch. The Donskoy is very active, friendly and highly intelligent. The Donskoy is very good-natured and gentle, easy to groom and handle as a result of their loving and amiable disposition.

Click here to read the full TICA Donskoy Breed Standard.

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