Peterbalds are friendly, sweet-tempered, and incredibly rare cats. They make loyal pets and form deep attachments to their people. Alone time is wishful thinking when a Peterbald is in the house. These social kitties want to be involved in every moment of family life.
Siamese and oriental
In 1993, a Russian breeder in St. Petersburg crossed a Donskoy with a prize-winning Oriental Shorthair. (Donskoys are famous for their unusual trait of either being born hairless or losing their coats as they grow.) The resulting litter produced four kittens—one of which became the foundation stud of the Peterbald breed.
Peterbalds can have several different coat types, ranging from completely bald to a regular short coat. One coat type even changes several times throughout the cat's life. The breed is in high demand, at least among people who know about it. Yet, it remains rather rare.
The International Cat Association granted the Peterbald Championship status in 2005.
Peterbalds are elegant cats with long, lean bodies. They have distinctive coats and are known for their striking beauty.
Coat and Coloring
The Peterbald comes in five coat types: naked, chamois, flock, brush, and straight. All can come in any combination of colors and patterns.
Naked Peterbalds are totally bald. Their skin is soft and warm, with a sticky, elastic feel. Chamois cats have a peach fuzz texture that's very soft. Flock cats have fine, velvety coats. Peterbalds with brush coats have sparse, wiry hair. And those with straight coats have normal, short coats that don't change over time.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Other distinguishing features of the Peterbald include a long, triangular head with a blunt muzzle, extra-large, pointed ears, almond-shaped eyes, and long, whippy tails.
Peterbalds are among the most social and interactive cat breeds. They become very attached to their humans (often picking one as their favorite) and are the ultimate lap cat.
These curious, outgoing kitties want to be involved in everything. They follow their family members around the house, usually talking to them as they go. And if they aren't trailing closely behind, it's probably because they are hitching a ride on someone's shoulders or are curled up next to them in bed.
Peterbalds are playful cats that enjoy entertaining their people with silly antics. They're incredibly friendly and get along well with dogs, other pets, and kids. They thrive on daily attention and interaction and don't like to be left alone for long periods.
Peterbalds require a high-quality diet. Because nutritional needs vary for kittens, adults, and senior cats, opt for a formula that's age-appropriate for your pet.
To help Peterbalds maintain their slender body condition, monitor their food intake, and reduce portions if they start to gain excess weight. And don't forget to account for treats. As a guideline, they should make up no more than 10% of a cat's calories.
Finally, all cats need access to fresh, clean water around the clock.
The Peterbald's grooming routine varies based on their coat type. Hairless Peterbalds don't require brushing, but they do need baths every other week to remove excess oil from their skin. If spending time outdoors in the summer, they also must wear pet-safe sunscreen to protect their skin from sunburn. And in the winter, they may require a (fashionable) sweater to keep them warm. Peterbalds with any of the other coat types need only weekly brushing with a fine-tooth comb to remove loose hair.
Most cats' nails require monthly trimming to prevent them from getting too long. Long nails are more likely to snag on something and become torn or damaged. They can even grow into your cat's paw pads, leading to pain or infection. In addition to clipping, providing a scratching post will allow your cat to do some nail maintenance themselves (thanks to their instinct to scratch).
No grooming routine is complete without a little dental hygiene. To support your Peterbald's overall health, brush their teeth daily and schedule visits with your veterinarian for professional dental cleanings and exams.
Roughly one out of every three cats in the United States is overweight or obese. And those extra pounds can contribute to other health risks—such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems. Your veterinarian is the best resource for tips on managing your cat's weight.
Peterbald Genetic Health Conditions
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Discovered in the Abyssinian)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Discovered in the Abyssinian) is a disorder that causes degeneration of the light sensing retina at the back of the eye, resulting in vision loss.
With more than 45 health tests, Wisdom Panel™ Complete for Cats screens for these and other important genetic conditions—allowing you to better plan for your cat's lifelong care.
Reviewed February 23, 2021 by Annette Louviere, DVM