Peterbald Cat: Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care

Appearance, Personality, History, Care, & Helpful Information for Pet Owners

peterbald cat

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The Peterbald cat is a loyal and affectionate feline companion. What it lacks in hair it makes up for in affection, playfulness, and loyalty, earning it the compliment of being a "dog-like" cat. A product of Russian breeding, Peterbalds are always eager to interact with their human owners and get involved in daily household activities. Plus, shedding is never a problem with Peterbalds—they are either bald or covered in velvety fuzz that is delightful to touch.

Breed Overview

Personality: Friendly, affectionate, interactive, outgoing, intelligent

Weight: Up to 14 pounds

Length: Up to 17 inches

Coat Length: Hairless, flock, chamois, brush, or straight

Coat Colors: White, black, red/orange, gray, fawn, or lilac

Coat Patterns: Solid, bicolor, tabby, or color point

Eye Color: Gold, green, or blue

Lifespan: Up to 15 years

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Origin: Russia

Peterbald Cat Characteristics

This medium to large-sized cat is fully grown within two years, but it is ready and willing to be an active member of the family as soon as you bring it home as a kitten. A Peterbald is naturally outgoing and friendly, and it wants to be involved in any activities that might be happening around the house. When everyone settles down, this kitty is happy to nestle onto a lap for quiet cuddles.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Peterbald Cat

A newer cat breed, the Peterbald was first developed in 1994 when a Russian breeder named Olga S. Mironova crossed an Oriental shorthair cat with a Don Sphynx cat. The resulting breed is now called the Peterbald after its popularity among cat enthusiasts of St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Peterbald breed was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1997 and was recognized for championship status in 2005. TICA accepted the breed's brush coat variety for championship status in May 2008; one of the first brush coat Peterbald cats to achieve championship status was named Blue Belle.

Today, though relatively rare, the breed is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA).

peterbald cats
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peterbald cat
 
peterbald cat
 

Peterbald Cat Care

The Peterbald cat is generally considered to be a low-maintenance breed. Potential Peterbald owners won't need to worry much about shedding, but the hairless varieties benefit from an occasional bath or wipe-down so that skin oils don't build up and cause irritation. These cats should be kept indoors because their lack of hair causes them to get cold very easily.

Peterbalds are very intelligent and can learn tricks like dogs. These active and highly athletic cats love nothing more than to spend their time playing with their humans, and they're eager to participate in games with toys or puzzles.

Because the Peterbald is so active and playful—and craves interaction with its family—it makes an excellent family pet. However, playtime with children or other pets should generally be supervised, as the cat's lack of fur means that it is vulnerable to injury.

Common Health Problems

Because many Peterbald cats are hairless, sunburn, sensitivity to hot and cold weather, and other skin issues are potential concerns. Their delicate skin can also be easily injured, such as when playing with a cat companion or roughhousing with children.

Otherwise, these cats are associated with surprisingly few breed-related health issues, provided they are properly cared for and receive scheduled vaccinations.

Appearance

The Peterbald’s hair varies in type, from a fuzzy velour coat to a completely “nude,” hairless body. There’s even an “ultra-bald” type that doesn’t even have whiskers or eyebrows (and their skin often feels sticky to the touch).

Interestingly, a Peterbald's coat at birth may not represent its adult appearance. Peterbalds' coats can change significantly throughout the first two years of life. Their hair texture can change, or they may grow or lose hair.

The Peterbald retains distinct characteristics from its ancestry. It owes its variable hair, dexterous front paws, and wrinkly skin to the Don Sphynx, while its long, lithe body and oblong head shape can be attributed to the Oriental shorthair.

One unique feature about Peterbalds is that they have long front toes with webbing, which allows them to hold and manipulate toys and other items.

Diet and Nutrition

Like all breeds, the Peterbald cat can be susceptible to weight-related issues such as obesity or heart disease, so they should be fed a high-protein, high-quality diet and receive plenty of exercise in the form of playtime with their families.

The good news is that, also due to their lack of fur, Peterbalds typically have a faster metabolism than cats with full coats, which means that they have healthy appetites; their high metabolism also helps them heal faster than fully-coated kitties when it comes to wounds or scratches.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Peterbald Cat

Peterbald cats are still somewhat rare, so it may be difficult to find a breeder for a Peterbald kitten; additionally, hairless cats are often sold for high prices. If possible, talk to other Peterbald cat owners, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to learn more about locating this particular breed.

Peterbald Cat Overview

Peterbald cats are exceptionally outgoing and energetic. They are a smart and independent breed that will form strong bonds with their family members, including other cats (and even dogs). These energetic cats are actually considered to be rather "dog-like" in that they are affectionate and cuddly while also wanting to be involved in the day-to-day activities of the household. In addition, like some dogs, they tend to use their voices to communicate with their owners.

Pros
  • Social and affectionate

  • Generally healthy

  • Fun to play or just interact with

Cons
  • Highly sensitive to temperature extremes

  • Susceptible to injury

  • Difficult to find and expensive

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed profiles.

FAQ
  • How much does a Peterbald cat cost?

    They can cost up to $2,000 due to their rarity and popularity.

  • Are Peterbald cats friendly?

    These cats are exceptionally friendly and eager to play or cuddle with their families.

  • Are Peterbald cats hairless?

    Some Peterbalds are completely bald, while others have velvety soft fuzz. The character of their coats can also change throughout the first two years of life.