Donskoy Cat Breed Information And Pictures

Russell Cargill

Donskoy Cat Breed

The Donskoy cat breed is affectionate, playful, and stands out from other breeds due to its unique hairlessness and athletic build. Being a hypoallergenic hairless cat breed, they’re ideal for people with allergies to pet hair and dander. 

Donskoy Cat Breed Overview
Height11-12 inches
Weight6-12 lbs
Lifespan12-15 years
ColorsHairless coat, can sometimes have varying hair growth in a variety of colors.
Suitable forFamilies with children, other pets, or singles. 
TemperamentFriendly, affectionate, and playful.
Breed Traits Overview

History Of The Donskoy

Originating from Russia in 1987 the breed is often referred to as the Russian Donskoy. Elena Kovaleva discovered the breed when she rescued a kitten that was being mistreated. As her kitten, Varvara, aged, she started to lose her hair. 

As a hairless adult cat, Varvara was bred with a local mixed breed cat. They produced a litter of kittens that were both hairless and haired. Just like Varvara, the haired offspring started to lose their fur as they got older. 

Breeders later crossed these kittens with European Shorthairs to create the current Donskoy breed. Breeding was continued by a professional cat breeder, Irina Nemikina, who continued experimenting with breed genetics. 

The International Cat Association recognized the breed in 2005. Due to the genetic issues the breed has, not all cat registries recognize the breed today. 

How Much Does A Donskoy Cost?

The Donskoy cat breed will cost between $500 and $2,500, kittens will range on the top end of the average cost, while adult cats will be less expensive. 

This price range depends on the quality of the breeder you’re purchasing from. The breed is relatively rare, so finding a breeder may be challenging.

Many hairless breeds get surrendered due to their physical appearance and can be adopted from shelters. 

Personality Traits Of The Donskoy

donskoy playing

Due to its friendly nature and playfulness, the Donskoy is often compared to a dog and will assume that any visitors in the house are there to spend time with them. 

They’re very adaptable and easy to introduce to new people and animals, making them reasonably low-maintenance pets. 

They are quite playful and intelligent, so having enrichment options will allow their minds and bodies to function at their best. With an athletic breed like the Donskoy, you can get a cat tree, and several cat perches for them to climb and jump. 

Introducing some puzzle toys is a good idea to keep them stimulated. The breed will do well with owners that have time to play during the day since they’re such social cats. If you’re unable to spend time playing, they may get lonely. 

Although they’re medium-sized cats at low risk of predation outside, their skin is too sensitive to spend long periods outdoors. Therefore, going on walks or playing in the yard may result in skin irritation or sunburns that could damage their skin. 

If you’re set on bringing your Donskoy outside, consider buying a cat stroller to ensure their skin stays protected.

The Donskoy loves spending time with their human family and is very trustable around children. They have a hard time regulating heat so they’re likely to stick close to you for body heat during colder months. 

It’s a great idea to get a heated cat bed for your Donskoy to make sure they feel warm enough year-round. If you’re able to keep their body heat high, they’ll be more playful and engaged. 

How To Take Care Of A Donskoy

Taking care of a hairless cat breed can require many different grooming practices to keep their skin healthy and oil-free. The Donskoy also requires a higher baseline body temperature since they don’t have any fur. This alters their dietary needs and the quantity of food they should be receiving. 


Being a hairless breed, the Donskoy requires more food in the colder months of the year to keep their body temperature up. Once the weather starts to warm, they’ll have an easier time maintaining their body heat and will reduce food consumption. 

You won’t need to buy any specialty cat food for them, but you should consistently be feeding a diet high in animal protein with a healthy balance of fats and fiber. 

Always get your cat allergy tested before switching diets to ensure they aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients in the food. You can avoid any potential intolerances by buying grain-free diets as well. 


Many Donskoy cats will never have a coat and therefore don’t need to be brushed. In the case that your feline gets a slight winter coat, you can gently brush through the hair as needed. Keep in mind that this fur will be delicate, so it shouldn’t be overly groomed.

You should get into the routine of wiping your cat’s skin down once per day. This will prevent oil from building up and causing skin irritation. Because they have wrinkled skin that is very similar to human skin, they should be bathed about once a month to reduce oil and dirt buildup. 

Their ears don’t have tufts of fur to protect them and therefore are prone to infection. Dirt and wax buildup can occur quickly in the ear, and mites may easily get into the inner ear. 

Clean their ears about once per week to prevent any infections or discomfort. You can easily clean the ears at home during your normal grooming time. 

You’ll save your furniture some distress by also clipping your cat’s nails when needed. If you train your cat to tolerate their paws being touched, you’ll easily be able to touch their nails every day to see if they’re too long. 


Their energy levels and desire for socialization are high, which makes them an excellent breed for training. It’s important to start training your Donskoy from a young age. Start training when they first enter into a new space before creating bad habits. 

By staying on top of their training from the beginning, they’ll know exactly where their litter box is located, which furniture they can use, and the spaces that are off-limits to them. 

For best results, do short training sessions at least once per day. This will start to get reinforced in your cat’s mind and will help them remember the behaviors. 


Due to their mutation genes, there have always been concerns about their genetic health. The dominant genetic mutation that causes the lack of hair in the breed can also cause feline ectodermal dysplasia in its homozygous form. This can further impact the breed’s ability to sweat and lactate. 

Hairless cat breeds are prone to getting sunburned due to the exposure of their skin so they shouldn’t spend much time outdoors. 

The breed can also be susceptible to dental problems like periodontal disease or tooth decay. This can be managed by getting into the routine of brushing your cat’s teeth with good cat toothpaste.

This will prevent any significant buildup of plaque or bacteria in the mouth and ensure their gums don’t get too sensitive. 

Physical Attributes Of A Donskoy

donskoy kitten

The Donskoy has a unique look due to its lack of fur. This trait makes the breed easy to identify, along with its distinct facial features.

  • Head: They have wedge-shaped heads and large ears coming off of the sides of the face. Many breeders have compared the Donskoys head shape to that of ET. Some individuals may have whiskers, and others won’t ever grow any. 
  • Body: The body of this breed is medium-sized and athletic. They’re muscular and have well-proportioned features on their body. The hairless mutation leaves them free of fur; however, some individuals primarily grow a winter coat that shows up on the chest and tail. 
  • Ears: The ears of the Donskoy are large and long. They’re hairless, like the rest of the cat, and are very prominent on the face. 
  • Eyes: The breed has almond-shaped eyes that can vary in color. Often their eye color is in the green tones. Their eyes are generally wide-set and sit right at the base of their large ears. 
  • Legs and Paws: Legs are proportionally sized to the body and have an athletic look. Paws are entirely bald and are an appropriate size compared to the length of the cat’s legs.
  • Tail: The Donskoy has a skinny tail that progressively gets thinner and comes to a point at the end. If the cat has the dominant mutation to be hairless, the tail will also be entirely hairless. For cats that grow a winter coat, the tail often will grow hair that is then shed in the summer. 
  • Coat: The breed is generally completely hairless. Some may grow coats seasonally, but generally, the cat stays bald year-round. 
  • Color: There are four coat colors that a Donskoy can have, including Rubber Bald, Flocked, Velour, and Brush. The only variety that isn’t wholly bald year-round out of these varieties is the Brush.

Conclusion On The Donskoy Cat Breed

The Donskoy is a very personable breed with high energy levels. They’ll fit nicely into a household that has time to spend with them and plenty of love to offer. 

This breed requires minimal grooming but will thrive when its skin is cared for daily to avoid damage or irritation. 

They love being the center of attention and will easily adapt to your household rules with a little bit of training. 

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