Donskoy or Don sphynx - Origin, Character and Care

Donskoy or Don sphynx: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Don sphynx cat, also known as the Donskoy cat,...

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The Don sphynx cat, also known as the Donskoy cat, comes from Russia and was discovered in the 80s. The discovery happened when a kitten was found that was gradually losing hair and had a litter of kittens who ended up losing them too. These cats were he althy, the only thing that had happened was a dominant trait mutation, which is easily transmitted to offspring. This is what clearly differentiates them from the sphynx, whose lack of hair is due to a recessive mutation.He is a medium-sized, slender, affectionate, friendly and intelligent cat. Due to the lack of hair, special care should be taken with these cats.

Read on to learn more about the characteristics of the Donskoy, its origin, character, care, he alth and where to adopt one!


  • Europe
  • Russia

FIFe Rating

  • Category IV

Physical Characteristics

  • Thin tail
  • Big ears
  • End


  • Average

Average Weight

  • 3-5

Life expectancy

  • 10-15


  • Extrovert
  • Affectionate
  • Smart
  • Curious

Hair type

  • Hairless

Origin of Donskoy

The Donskoy is a breed originating from Rostov, more precisely from Rostov-on-Don, hence its name. The cat appeared in 1987 following the discovery by Elena Kovaleva of a kitten from a litter she had picked up a few days before that was losing its fur. This news reached a cat breeder who began to study the cat and came to the conclusion that it did not suffer from any endocrine or dermatological disease, but that it was a perfectly he althy cat that was losing her hair due to a genetic mutation. When this cat had her first litter, many of her kittens were hairless and those that had hair lost it over the weeks.It was therefore deduced that it was a dominant mutation and not a recessive mutation as is the case in sphynxes.

This cat breed was recognized in 1997 by WCF, in 2005 by TICA and in 2011 by FIFE.

Physical characteristics of the Donskoy or Don sphynx

The Donskoy is medium-sized, with a height of 25-35 cm and a weight of 4-5 kg for males and 2-3 kg for females. His body is muscular, although he appears thin and delicate due to the lack of hair. In fact, the folds of the skin are well marked and his toes are long and well differentiated. Its legs are long and strong and its tail is thin and long.

The Donskoy's head is wedge-shaped, his cheek bones are well developed, with a strong chin and a very wrinkled flat forehead. The ears of these cats are large, wide and set slightly forward. The eyes of this breed of cat are almond-shaped and have a serious yet calm expression.As for color, their eyes can be any shade, but always bright and clear, depending on the color of their skin or how little hair they have.

Donskoy colors

The Donskoy is a cat of the hairless cat group, although the fur can come in different colors and patterns. Depending on the amount of hairs and the time they last until they become hairless, we can distinguish 4 varieties of don sphynx:

  • Donskoy brush: they have the most hair, because they are born with it but gradually lose it on the head, neck and upper back.
  • Donskoy Velvet: They are born with a woolly coat that eventually sheds during their first year of life, leaving a few short hairs on their tail, legs and face.
  • Donskoy flock: they are born without hair, but with a kind of hair that gives them a soft touch that can disappear over time.
  • Donskoy Rubber bald: these cats are born hairless.

Character of Donskoy

The Donskoy has an affectionate, friendly and loyal temperament. They are very sociable cats, so they tend to get along well with other animals, strangers, and people of all ages, especially if they are willing to play with them, as they are very playful cats. They are also very active so they need constant movement, climbing, jumping and running around the house.

One thing to note about this breed is that they don't like to be left home alone, they are dependent and loyal to their caregivers, so they tend to suffer in their absence, especially if it lacks environmental enrichment.

Donskoy cat care

Regarding the hygienic care of Donskoy cats, due to the amount of sebaceous secretion they produce daily on their skin, which is not distributed through the coat, it will be necessary to clean with damp cloths or specially formulated, non-irritating wipes.Bathing can also be done with a mild shampoo for cats if it is well tolerated. Hygiene of the eyes, ears and teeth is essential to prevent diseases and infections that can affect these body structures.

Due to the lack of fur, these cats have very sensitive skin to the sun's UV rays, so they should be protected with sunscreen. They are also sensitive to low temperatures, so the house should always be heated. Also, in very cold climates, it is a good idea to use cat coats or blankets to help keep them warm.

His diet must be complete, balanced and adapted to the feline species. Donskoy cats have a fast metabolism, so they need to eat a little more each day than other cat breeds that are calmer and have a slower metabolism. However, the quantity should always be adapted to each sphynx gift and its individual characteristics.Water should always be available and food should be divided into several small daily meals.

They should have interactive toys and other environmental enrichment measures, especially when they are home alone. In addition to the scratching posts, you should provide a good litter box with litter to their liking, non-irritating to their skin and preferably unscented.

Donskoy He alth

The Donskoy's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years. They are strong, he althy cats that are not predisposed to any particular disease. However, due to their lack of fur, they can suffer from sunburn in the summer, are more prone to skin infections due to scratches or trauma, allergies and other dermatological problems. Discover the most common skin diseases in cats in this other article.

Without a doubt, what will determine if a cat has a good life expectancy and if it is happy and he althy, it is the care provided and good preventive medicine.To prevent infectious and parasitic diseases, it is advisable to go to the veterinary clinic to establish a vaccination and deworming schedule. It is also important that they are castrated to prevent diseases and tumors of the reproductive tract in male and female donated sphynx.

Where to adopt a Donskoy?

Adopting a Donskoy can be difficult, as they are often in high demand by breeders. However, it is possible to find a don sphynx cat in a shelter. If not, you can also search for sphynx rescue associations, which may also include donated sphynx due to their look-alike.

Pictures of Donskoy or Don sphynx

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