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The Don Sphynx Cat

Don Sphynx portraitPortrait of a Don Sphynx Cat

The Don Sphynx cat, also known as the Donskoy cat, is a completely separate breed from the Sphynx cat oalso known as the Canadian Sphynx.

For starters, the Don Sphynx is from Russia, not Canada. It is a very new breed originating in the Russian city of Rostov, on the Don river.

In 1987 a bald stray female cat was taken in by a woman who thought the cat must be ill to have lost all its hair. The cat, named Varvara, actually proved to be rather healthy, and later had a litter of hairless kittens.

The kittens were not only unique to look at, but were lovely, friendly little characters as well.

The Don Sphynx is a mutation caused by a dominant gene, so the hairless quality is passed easily to offspring.

But not all are hairless, in fact there are three distinct hair types.

Completely hairless individuals are referred to as “Suede” or “Nude”, those with velvety fuzz are called “Velour”, and cat with a fine, wiry texture are called “Brush”.

All the hair types may become completely bald over time.

Also unique to the Don Sphynx are unique paws which are very long-toed, webbed and somewhat dexterous, allowing these cats to grasp and hold things as if they had little hands!


Don Sphynx cat descriptive wordsHow Do You Describe a Don Sphynx Cat?

Don Sphynx Cat-Stats


Don Sphynx holding mouse toyDon Sphynx holding mouse toy

Though they are usually completely bald with furrows of wrinkles, hooded eyes and odd toes, the personality of the Don Sphinx cat is excitingly opposite their almost E.T.ish appearance.

These cats are very active, friendly, loving and delightful to the touch. The lack of fur allows the body heat to be conveyed, and the skin is usually smoth and silky to the touch.

These are very active and playful cats, extremely curious and helpful with everyday tasks.

Champion shoulder-riders and pretty good at fetch, they are often a delightful combination of both dog and cat character traits.

This breed is not a good choice for those who want some alone time, or plan to leave the cat alone. They can get along with other family members but like to be the center of attention.

Don Sphynx cats like the outdoors, but need to be protected from the elements. Teaching them to walk in harness is a great plan they usually take to.

The Don Sphynx cat is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world’s largest cat organization.

It is a very rare pure-bred or “pedigreed” domestic cat breed.

Regular, careful bathing is necessary so that oils don’t build up and cause skin irritation. Don Sphynx must be protected from extreme temperatures, and too much sunlight can cause sunburn.

These are muscular, medium-sized cats that surprisingly have few breed-related health issues when simple precautions are taken.

Because it is active and desires interaction the Don Sphynx can make a nice family cat, but children must be very considerate because the lack of fur leaves these cats somewhat vulnerable if handled roughly.  

A very intelligent, and stunning breed, sweet-natured, friendly, and loving..-Don Sphynx Cat Facts

Don Sphynx mother and babiesDon Sphynx mother and babies
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Don Sphynx Kitten!Don Sphynx Kitten!

Don Sphynx kittens are very athletic and bold.

They may be likely to put themselves in precarious positions until they learn their limits, so kitten-proofing is an absolute must.

Blocking off access to high areas like door tops and refrigerators is very important with a Donskoy kitten. They are great climbers and little dare-devils.

These kittens train quickly and adapt well to new environments. They are much tougher than they look, and very tractable. This is a breed that adapts well to travel if introduced to it at a young age.

Baby Don Sphynx cats look very much like adults. They grow quickly and require a high-quality kitten food.

Whatever hairstyle a Donskoy kitten starts off with, most are bald before their third birthday. They will often spend those first couple of years with a tuft of wiry hair on their heads.

Don Sphynx cats are a rare breed and not often available, so if you’re looking for a pure bred kitten to buy, you may have to search a bit to find a breeder. The cost can be remarkably high for a quality kitten.

Make sure the breeder is open to frequent inquiries from you as there is a bit of a learning curve with these high-maintenance cats. No fur, but the skin must be cared for correctly from an early age.

Troop of Don Sphynx KittensTroop of Don Sphynx Kittens

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Don Sphynx face

Head Shape: The head is a modified wedge shape, longer than wide, with flat forehead and prominent cheekbones. There should be a slight, thumb-print size indentation above the eyes that is a unique characteristic of the breed. The chin and muzzle are well developed but there may be  pinched look to the lips and mouth. The ears are large, wide at the base, and well-furled. They should be wide-set, tall, and rounded at the tip. The eyes should be almond-shaped, slanted and medium in size. They should not be round or bug-eyed, slightly hooded is typical. Any eye color is advisable. Eyebrows and whiskers may be curly, broken, or completely absent.

Body and Tail: The body is medium in size but wide and with a barrel like chest. No tuck-up of the belly. Wide, firm chest and torso. Legs are wide-set and medium in length.  The feet are unique in design, oval in shape and with long, maneuverable toes. There is a webbing between the toes, and the paw pads are thick. The tail is very thin and whip-like. 

Don Sphynx StandingDon Sphynx Standing

Coat: The cat should be completely bald. Many individuals are born with varying degrees of fur but should be bald by their second birthday. The skin should be loose and well-wrinkled. Heavy wrinkles are desirable.

Pattern: All colors are allowed.

Overall Appearance: This is a medium size, broadly built cat with good bone. Stocky is preferred over fine. They should be bald and wrinkled, and the body should be very warm with a feel of velvet. A friendly, active and intelligent cat of stunningly unique appearance.


Don Sphynx loungingDon Sphynx lounging
  • Don Sphynx kittens may have a patch of wiry hair on their heads until they are 2 or 3 years old, then most of them go completely bald!

Beautiful Don Sphynx CatBeautiful Don Sphynx Cat
Don Sphynx posing

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