Often mistaken as a hairless sphynx, the Peterbald cat is a loving and charming feline with Russian origin. It is loyal and usually found underfoot of its favorite human. While it may have an almost non-existent coat, its affection is never missing, following its family around throughout the day, and never shy in engaging in chatty conversations. It is exceptionally devoted, even said to act more like a trusted dog than a typical cat.
Origin of the Peterbald Cat
The Peterbald is a relatively new cat breed, tracing its history only in 1993. After breeding the Donskoy with the Oriental Shorthair, the hairless feline was brought into existence. Its name was derived from the city of Saint Petersburg, where the breed became extremely popular.
However, across time, some Peterbald litters sported a very short coat at birth, which is why this feline isn’t always glabrous. Twelve years later, the breed entered its first championship competition under The International Cat Association (TICA) for championship competition in 2005.
Physical Characteristics of the Peterbald Cat
Height: 8 to 12 inches
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds (Males), 6 to 8 pounds (Females)
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Coat Color: All colors and markings
Type of Coat: Hairless
Eye Color: Any color
Peterbald cats have a slender, muscular build, often described as elegant or graceful in the cat fancy. Their “bat-like” ears are large and wide-set, placed atop their narrow head. Due to a hair-losing gene, these felines can be entirely bald, or be 90% bald with a velour, flocked, or straight coat. However, even those born with few hairs can lose their fur through time. Hairless or not, these can be born in any color and markings.
Peterbald Cat Personality
Peterbald cats are incredibly affectionate felines. They relish human companionship and get along well with people regardless of age. Often compared to dogs, they would build strong bonds with their families and follow them from room to room as they go about their day.
With such a loving demeanor, these pets can make good friends with children and other cat-friendly pets. However, these cats need their families’ time in return as they don’t like being left alone for extended periods in a day.
With their Siamese ancestry, Peterbalds are also energetic and playful and will very much enjoy play sessions. Expect them to be vocal and never timid in engaging in chatty conversations with their owners. They will not be hard to find around the house. These felines would prefer to be on their master’s lap whenever possible, describing how their day went by through their own cat talk.
Caring for the Peterbald Cat
Peterbald cats’ grooming requirements vary depending on their coat. If the feline has fur, maintenance can be relatively easier. For finer hair, a weekly rubdown using gloves or a chamois cloth is enough to keep it in its tip-top condition. For cats with straight coats, weekly brushing would also suffice.
However, if the Peterbald is entirely bald or has hairless patches, these cats will require extra effort from their owners. While natural skin oils and saliva can help keep them moisturized, weekly bathing is necessary to prevent oil build-ups and certain skin conditions.
Peterbald cats also have large bat-like ears, more significant in size than other feline breeds. With that, they are more vulnerable to infection and accumulation of dirt. Regular examination and clean-up are excellent ways of keeping their ears healthy.
As with other cat breeds, it is essential to get regular wellness visits to the vet to detect and prevent any disease or condition. The vet can also devise a specific routine that will ensure these felines’ long and happy life.
When it comes to energy level, Peterbals are deemed to “dog-like,” they are highly athletic and vigorous and crave attention and interaction from their families. These cats would love to spend extended periods of playing time, from different games to puzzle toys.
However, playtime should be supervised or passively monitored. The lack of hair exposes the Peterbalds’ skin, making them more vulnerable to scratches, cuts, and other injuries. Moreover, these cats should serve as indoor-only cats to keep them from harsh external elements for their protections.
Peterbald cats may lack fur, but they are never meager in playfulness and affection. These felines will be happiest in families that would love them unconditionally and stay by their side always, which in return, they would repay with their astounding loyalty and devotion.