When it comes to bald cats, public opinion is quite divided. Some cat owners feel icky about them, while others think they are beautiful. I can understand both sides, as I genuinely believe that every cat is beautiful, but on the other hand, I see how feline baldness can be off-putting for some.
Still, regardless of the controversy that surrounds bald cats, they are becoming increasingly popular. It is obvious that bald cats are starting to rule social networks, and that’s a good reference for their popularity. After all, there is something cute about those cats, wearing tiny sweaters to stay warm while participating in typical cat shenanigans.
However, despite their popularity being at an all-time high, there are some common misconceptions about bald cats. For example, most people think that all bald cats belong to the Sphynx breed, while in reality, there are several different bald cat breeds.
You might think that since they don’t have fur to distinguish them, all bald cat breeds should be basically the same. In that case, you are wrong, as each one of those breeds is specific and unique, both in looks and personality. That’s why I’d like to talk more about one bald breed that’s relatively new and rare – the Peterbald cat.
Peterbald Cat Characteristics
|When there is fur, it can be white, black, orange, gray, silver, fawn, and lilac.
|When there is fur, it can be solid, bi-color, color-point, or tabby.
|No fur at all or really short
|Eye color & shape
|Walnut-shaped, slightly slanted, and large eyes that can be blue, green, yellow, amber, copper, etc.
|Males 6-12 lbs
Females 4-10 lbs
|Affectionate, vocal, playful, friendly, intelligent, loyal, curious, energetic, and sweet.
|Kids and other pets
|Friendly towards children and other pets.
|Sociable and cuddly
|Friendly and outgoing cats that like to be petted, even by strangers
Requirements & Traits
|Meet-based cat food in wet and dry form. Consult your vet for the exact portion size and frequency of feeding.
|Low-maintenance cats need to be bathed frequently to prevent oil buildup on their skin. Ear cleaning, eye cleaning, dental hygiene, and nail trimming are also important for Peterbald’s health.
|Minimal due to lack of fur
|No, even though they often lack fur, Peterbald cats still produce proteins responsible for allergic reactions.
History and Origins
This is a relatively new breed that was created in 1994 by a Russian breeder named Olga S. Mironova. As part of an experiment, Mironova crossed Oriental Shorthairs with Donskoy cats. The first four kittens born this way were named Muscat iz Murino, Mandarin iz Murino, Nocturne iz Murino, and Nezhenka iz Murino.
These four kittens were the founding specimens of the Peterbald cat breed. In 1996, the new breed was recognized by the Russian Selectional Feline Federation (SFF). The next year, The International Cat Association (TICA) also recognized Peterbalds as a new cat breed, and in 2003, the World Cat Federation (WCF) also recognized this interesting breed.
In 2008, the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) accepted Peterbald cats for the Championship class competition. By 2005, Balinese and Javanese cats were removed from the acceptable outcross list, which left only the Exotic Shorthairs and Siamese cats as acceptable breeds for outcrossing.
Peterbald Cat Personality
If you are looking for a cat that has a beautiful and easygoing personality, look no further than Peterbald cats. They are sweet, affectionate, playful, loyal, gentle, and intelligent. once it bonds with you, your Peterbald cat will follow you around in an attempt to spend as much time with you as possible.
These cats are vocal and communicative, so if you need a talking buddy, that’s another reason to get one. When it comes to children, other cats, and other pets, Peterbald cats are friendly towards them, and they really get along with both children and other animals.
Peterbald cats aren’t shy when it comes to strangers, either. They will quickly make new friends and cuddle with new people in your home. Of course, early and adequate socialization will play a crucial role in how your Petrbald behaves around other people, children, and animals.
Peterbald Cat Appearance
As already mentioned, Peterbald cats are one of those cat breeds that are memorable for their hairless bodies. This feature makes them stand out among “normal” cats. However, this feature also gets Peterbald cats confused with other bald cat breeds, such as Sphynx and Donskoy cats.
Still, there are some features that can help you whether your hairless cat is a Peterbald or some other hairless cat breed.
Not every Peterbald cat is completely hairless, even though many are. There are actually several types of Peterbald coats:
- Naked – Obviously, naked Peterbald cats have no fur at all, or they have several fine hairs on their toes, tail, and face. There is even an ultra-bald subgroup of Peterbald cats. Cats that belong to this subgroup have no body hair at all, and they even lack eyelashes and whiskers.
- Chamois – This is only one step away from being completely hairless. Peterbald cats with chamois fur have bodies covered in fine, silky soft fur. This fur can cover the whole body or just some parts of it, usually around limbs and the tail.
- Flock – This fur type is similar to chamois in terms of softness. However, it is denser, and it usually covers the whole body. Flock fur can vary in length, and it is the most similar to the undercoat of long-haired cat breeds.
- Brush – Peterbald cats can also have coarser fur. A brush coat is made entirely of coarse, wiry hairs of various lengths. When touched, this fur is stiff and not as fine and soft as previous fur types.
- Straight – Some Peterbald cats have furs that resemble ordinary furs in short-haired cats. These Peterbalds don’t look at all like their bald cousins and/or siblings, but they share the same genetic makeup. As such, they are still considered Peterbald cats, but they can’t compete in championships.
Another interesting thing about Peterbald cat furs is that one cat can have two different fur types growing on separate parts of its body. This means that it is possible to have a Peterbald cat that has both chamois and brush fur on its body.
Peterbald cats have large walnut-shaped eyes that are slightly slanted. The eye color may vary from blue and green to yellow, amber, and copper, but most Peterbalds have green eyes.
These cats are medium-sized, lean, and muscular cats. Males tend to be larger than females, and they are usually 12-17 inches long, with a body weight of 6-12 pounds. On the other hand, female Peterbalds are usually 10-15 inches long, with their body weight ranging between 4 and 10 pounds.
Other Body Characteristics
Peterbalds have long and slender but muscular bodies. Their hind legs are a bit longer than the front legs. So far, nothing unusual, right? Well, let’s take a look at Peterbald’s toes. There is a webbing between the front toes, which is quite unusual for a cat.
Another interesting body characteristic is Peterbald’s large ears. They are cartoonishly large, especially in comparison with the relatively small and wedge-shaped heads of these cats. Their tails are also interesting since they aren’t covered in furs. Instead, they are long and whippy.
Daily Life With a Peterbald Cat
Peterbald cats are fairly easy to take care of, and there are no special requirements for keeping them as your pets. Still, a little bit of common sense is always welcome, especially since Peterbald cats have little or no fur.
As such, they aren’t so well protected against harsh weather conditions as other cats that have furs. If you live in cold climates, keep your Peterbald inside. Also, consider getting them some clothes and little sweaters to provide additional warmth.
If, however, you live in a hot climate with a lot of sun, your Peterbald will also be prone to sunburns, and you need to prevent it from happening. There are summer cat clothes that will keep your Peterbald’s skin protected from sunlight. Additionally, consult your vet to see if there are some sun creams suitable for cats.
Just like other cats, Peterbalds are carnivores, which means they need to eat meat-based foods only. Their food should be rich in animal protein, with only a little bit of animal fat. Avoid feeding your Peterbald with dairy products, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and sweets.
Both wet and dry commercial cat foods are good choices. You should feed your Peterbald cat with both options, as they have their unique benefits. Wet commercial cat food is great because it keeps cats hydrated, especially since most cats don’t drink as much water as they should.
On the other hand, dry food is more caloric, and it has a longer shelf life, especially once you open it. Additionally, dry food is good for your cat’s dental health, as it cleans the teeth while being chewed.
When it comes to portion size and frequency of feeding, that depends on several factors, including the cat’s age, size, gender, and activity level. In general, kittens need to eat more often than adults because they are still growing. This means you will have to feed them 3-4 times a day, while the adult Peterbalds require 2-3 meals a day.
The portion size depends on the size of the cat, as well as on its gender and activity level. Larger Peterbalds, especially males, will need more food than the smaller females. Of course, if your Peterbald is active, it will require enough food to support those activity levels regardless of its gender. Additionally, Peterbald cats have faster metabolisms to stay warm, and they will need more food in general than those cats that have fur.
For the exact portion size and the number of calories that your cat needs daily, it is best to consult your vet. This way, you will make sure that you aren’t overfeeding or starving your precious pet.
Since they have little to no fur, Peterbald cats are known as low-maintenance pets. Unless they have unusual amounts of fur, you won’t have to brush them. However, there still might be some oil buildup on your Peterbald’s skin. That’s why you need to bathe or wipe your Peterbald’s skin occasionally to keep its skin clean and healthy.
Dental hygiene is another important aspect of your cat’s hygiene. If possible, teach your Peterbald kitten to put up with teeth brushing. But, since it is oftentimes an impossible task, you can offer some teeth-cleaning snacks to your cat. This is not as good as teeth brushing, but it is better than nothing.
Don’t forget about nail trimming. Every two weeks, you should trim your Peterbald cat’s nails. Apart from protecting your furniture this way, regular nail trimming is good for your cat because it prevents ingrown nails.
Finally, use a wet cotton cloth to clean Peterbald’s eyes and ears. Try to be as gentle as possible, as these are sensitive body parts. If you notice any unusual discharge, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Peterbald cats are highly active and athletic cats. You will have to make sure they have enough playtime to stay happy and healthy. Bored cats can easily become depressed and even destructive, and you don’t want that to happen to your Peterbald.
Apart from the psychological effects of inactivity, there are also negative physical effects. Cats that aren’t active enough lose their muscle tone and can become obese because they don’t spend all the calories they get with food.
To avoid this from happening, get your Peterbald some interesting toys. Since they are quite intelligent cats, it would be perfect if you could find some interactive and puzzle toys. A cat-scratching tree and a climbing tree are also must-haves.
Apart from buying them toys, make sure you spend some time every day playing with your cat. Toys can’t compete with your attention, and your Peterbald will certainly enjoy every minute spent playing with you. You can play fetch and hide and seek, or you can come up with your games.
If you don’t have time or energy to play with your Peterbald often enough, consider getting one more cat. Also, if you have small children, they will be perfect play buddies to your Peterbald, but you need to supervise them because Peterbalds can be easily hurt if things become rough.
When it comes to outside activities, you should only let your Peterbald outside if the weather conditions are mild and if you are constantly supervising it. It would be great if you could leash train your Peterbald cat so that you can easily control it while going for a walk.
Still, these cats aren’t made for the outside world, and you should keep them inside.
Most Common Peterbald Cat Health Issues
Peterbald cats are quite healthy, but they do have some weaknesses. Since their skin isn’t covered with fur, it is prone to sunburns, injuries, scratches, and other skin-related conditions. Of course, they can also suffer from some other conditions that are characteristic of every cat breed.
In the animal world, fur is much more than a cosmetic trait. It provides protection against rain, cold, sunlight, and predators, and it also collects dirt and excess oils from the skin. Hairless cats such as Peterbalds don’t have that protection, which can lead to numerous issues.
As part of being completely exposed to cold and heat, Peterbald’s skin is prone to sunburns and even frostbite. Peterbald’s skin is easily scratched or bruised, which can be quite frustrating. Additionally, when there is no fur, the skin isn’t protected from the dirt.
The excess oils that the skin produces have nowhere to go. As a result, such skin can become covered in oil/dirt buildup, which leads to various skin conditions, such as fungal and other infections. To prevent that, make sure to protect your Peterbald cat from the elements and wash/wipe it regularly.
If, however, you notice any changes on the skin, such as rash, redness, swelling, etc., make sure to take your cat to the vet. The vet will be able to diagnose and treat the condition.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is a genetic disease that affects the retina, resulting in progressive vision loss. It is most commonly seen in cats over six years of age and is usually inherited from one or both parents. Symptoms include dilated pupils, decreased night vision, cloudy eyes, and eventually blindness.
There is no known cure for this condition, but owners can manage their cat’s health through regular veterinary visits and by providing supportive care at home to ensure their pet maintains its quality of life for as long as possible. Some treatments are available to help slow the progression of the disease and improve vision, such as laser therapy or certain medications.
Additionally, it’s important to provide your cat with plenty of stimulation through playtime activities so that it doesn’t become bored or depressed as its vision deteriorates. With early diagnosis and proper care, cats with this condition can enjoy a full life despite their condition.
Obesity and Diabetes
Cat obesity is a growing problem among cats worldwide. Overfeeding, lack of exercise, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles have all contributed to the rise in obese cats. Cats can easily become overweight if they are not given proper nutrition or enough exercise.
Peterbald cats aren’t really capable o self-control when it comes to food. No matter how much food you offer them, they will gulp it like they never ate before. This can easily lead to overfeeding, which, in turn, causes obesity.
Feline obesity is a serious issue that can drastically decrease your cat’s life quality. It can trigger numerous other conditions, such as cardiovascular issues, reduced mobility, joint issues, and even diabetes.
If left untreated, diabetes will further lower your cat’s quality of life, and it will damage its internal organs, which can ultimately lead to death.
If your cat is obese and eats too much, it is time to visit a vet. They will be able to help you improve your cat’s diet. Additionally, they will run a series of diagnostic tests that will determine if your cat’s health was affected by its obesity.
Feline Ectodermal Dysplasia
Studies have shown that the genes responsible for the hairless feature are also closely connected to the occurrence of a condition called feline ectodermal dysplasia. This means that your Peterbald cat might be prone to developing this condition.
Feline ectodermal dysplasia is a rare and inherited disorder that affects the coat, teeth, nails, and sweat glands of cats. This condition leads to a reduction in the amount of fur on the cat’s body, as well as thinning or lack of teeth. The nails may also be unusually short, brittle, and prone to breaking.
Additionally, the cat may have an absence or reduced number of sweat glands which can cause them to overheat easily in warmer climates. Treatment for this disorder includes supplementing their diet with vitamins and minerals specifically created for cats with feline ectodermal dysplasia.
Also, there are other things you could do for your cat suffering from feline ectodermal dysplasia. This includes trimming the claws regularly so they don’t become too long or uncomfortable, providing a cooler environment with good air circulation, and making sure the cat gets plenty of water in order to counterbalance the lack of sweat glands.
Of course, regular vet visits are necessary to keep this condition under control.
This is one of the most common conditions among cats, especially older ones. This is a serious condition that can be fatal. It is caused by the kidneys not being able to filter waste products from the body effectively.
This leads to toxins building up in the blood, which can cause organ damage and eventually death if not treated quickly enough. Symptoms of renal failure include weight loss, dehydration, vomiting, lack of appetite, and increased thirst. In more extreme cases, there may be seizures or comas.
Feline renal failure is usually treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and medications to control electrolyte levels such as potassium and phosphorus. Special diets low in phosphorus are often recommended for cats with renal failure since this mineral can build up in their bodies more easily than in other animals due to their smaller size.
Peterbald Cat Name Suggestions
Let’s move on to a more pleasant subject now. Now that you learned about the living needs and common health conditions of these cats, it is time to think of some cool names. Finding a good name for your Peterbald can be fun, but it can also be stressful if you are out of ideas.
If that’s the case, take a look at some of my top picksfor Peterbald cat names:
Buying or Adopting a Peterbald Cat
This breed is quite rare, so it is almost impossible to find it in a shelter. This is why buying is the only option, and even then, you will have to be patient and persistent until you find a Peterbald breeder in the US.
Once you finally find the breeder, you will have to pay between $1700 and $3000 to take one Peterbald kitten to your home. However, be prepared for some additional costs, especially in the first few months, when you will have to give approx. $1000 a month for toys, vet care, and food.
Peterbald Cat Alternatives
Peterbald cats aren’t that common in the US, so it is understandable if you want to find a similar but more common cat instead. As you probably guessed, you will have much more luck finding a Sphynx cat, who is also hairless just like the Peterbald, but it is much more common in the US.
You can also try and look for Donskoy cats, as they are also hairless, and they look quite similar to Peterbalds. Cornish Rex or Oriental Shorthairs are also great choices, and even though these breeds have fur, they remind me of Peterbalds a lot, probably because they all share that elvish-like appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Peterbald cats are quite rare.
Both breeds are known for their hairless bodies, but they are two different breeds. Peterbalds are more slender and elongated than Sphynx cats, and their gene for hairlessness is dominant, while Sphynx hairless gene is recessive.
No cat breed is truly hypoallergenic because the proteins responsible for the allergic reactions are produced in the skin, not in the fur. Still, cats with fewer hairs, such as Peterbald, are definitely less allergenic than long-haired breeds.
Peterbald cats are medium-sized cats, which means you can expect your male Peterbald to weigh 6-12 pounds, and if you have a female Peterbald, expect it to weigh 4-10 pounds.
With proper care and no underlying health conditions, your Peterbald can live up to 12-15 years.
Peterbald Cat Fun Facts
- I already mentioned that there are five different types of Peterbald cat’s furs and that one cat can have two types of fur on its body. Well, a Peterbald cat can also have one type of fur, and then lose that fur and grow new fur of a different type. How cool is that!
- Peterbald cats and other hairless cat breeds are known to be extremely friendly. Some cat experts explain this by the breeder’s tendency to choose only the friendliest cats for breeding. Another, more interesting explanation says that hairless cats are so friendly because they want to borrow a little bit of your body’s warmth!
- Another interesting thing about Peterbald and hairless cat breeds is that they need to eat a bit more than cats that have furs. This is because hairless cats have faster metabolisms that enable them to stay warm even without fur. That’s why these cats need to eat a bit more than the “regular” cats.
Peterbald cats are fascinating yet less known than other hairless breeds. Still, their popularity will only grow because they are perfect pets. So, if you want an affectionate, loving, and intelligent cat, consider getting yourself a Peterbald cat!
Featured Image Credit: peterbalds.spb