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Donskoy Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Donskoy cat on rock

Height: 11 – 12 inches
Weight: 6 – 12 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Skin color can vary, hairless
Suitable for: Families, couples with other cats
Temperament: Sweet, friendly, active, social

The Donskoy cat is a relatively rare breed that originated in Russia in the 1980s. These hairless cats are known for their energy, playfulness, and sweet disposition. They do well in families with or without children, as long as someone will be around to play with them and give them the attention they crave! Read on to learn more about the Donskoy and if it is the right cat for you.

Donskoy Kittens


Donskoy kittens are somewhat rare and, therefore, can be expensive. The average price will vary depending on the breeder you decide to purchase your kitten from and your location. It is very important to make sure you work with a reputable breeder. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions about the kitten’s parents and their health, temperament, and other characteristics.

There aren’t any breed-specific rescues for the Donskoy since they are not very common. However, you may come across one of these cats at a shelter or rescue in your area. It’s always a good idea to adopt whenever possible. You will be saving lots of money and you can change a cat’s life for the best.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Donskoy Cat

Donskoy cat
Image Credit: Viachaslau Herostratos, Shutterstock

1. The Donskoy breed can be traced back to one kitten.

The original Donskoy was an abandoned kitten found in a bag in Russia in 1987. The kitten lost all of its hair as it grew up. The cat later gave birth to both hairless kittens and kittens that later lost all their hair. These kittens were determined to have a genetic mutation that caused them to be born without hair or to lose their hair as they got older. The gene is believed to be a dominant gene which is why a Donskoy bred with a non-Donskoy can still produce hairless kittens.

2. They may need an extra layer or two.

Because they are mostly or completely hairless, the Donskoy needs help keeping warm when the temperatures drop. They should always be kept indoors for their safety and love to snuggle when it gets cold outside. Some may even benefit from a sweater to help warm them up.

3. The Donskoy loves activity.

Donskoys are active and curious cats that love to play. They spend more time moving around when they are awake than the average cat. If you have a Donskoy, make sure to provide them with plenty of engaging toys to keep them busy.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Donskoy Cat

donskoy cat
Image Credit: YARTSEVA, Shutterstock

Donskoys are very intelligent and love to play. They are active, curious, and like most people and other animals. Unlike some other cat breeds, the Donskoy is very social and needs plenty of attention from their families. Interactive toys and plenty of space to explore will help keep your Donsky entertained and happy.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Donskoys are great family pets. Their social nature makes them wonderful companions for families, even those with young children, provided the children have been taught how to properly play with and treat a cat. The Donskoy does not do well if they are left alone for long periods, so they are better suited for a family in which someone is usually home.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Donskoys usually get along just fine with other cats, especially other playful cats. Their curiosity and activity levels might be too much for an older cat, but otherwise, most Donskoys don’t have problems with other cats. They can also get along with dogs if they are properly introduced and monitored when they are young.

Things to Know When Owning a Donskoy Cat:

Donskoys make great family pets but there are some special requirements you should be aware of before bringing a Donskoy into your home. Doing your homework will ensure a happy and healthy cat and years of joy for your family.

Food & Diet Requirements

Donskoy cat tri color
Image Credit: borisenkoket, Shuttterstock

The Donskoy is a medium-sized cat and generally will not have any special food requirements. However, you should always talk with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is getting the right nutrition for their needs. High-quality canned and dry cat food are ideal as they contain less oil than cheaper foods. It’s important for the Donskoy’s skin health that they do not consume too much oil. The only other thing to be aware of with a Donskoy is that it might need to eat a little more in winter to maintain its body temperature. And don’t forget about keeping it out of direct sunlight for long stretches as its skin is sensitive.

Exercise 🐈

Donskoys love to play, so be prepared for an active, fun-loving cat. They enjoy playing with any toys including feather sticks, balls, soft mice, and treat toys. They also love to explore, so make sure that they have safe places to climb and perch on. If you have another active kitty, your Donskoy will try to engage them in play too.

Training 🧶

Donskoys are very intelligent, so it is possible to train them to do certain tricks. A popular trick is to have the Donskoy give you their paw, like a dog. Treats are a good way to interest your cat in learning and following commands, just be careful not to overdo the treats.

Grooming ✂️

Even though they are considered hairless cats, Donskoys actually can have one of four different coat types:

  • Rubber Bald – The kitten is born bald and remains bald throughout its entire life.
  • Flocked – The kitten is born with a soft fuzz for a coat, which might remain or fall out as it grows older.
  • Velour – The kitten is born with a bald spot on its head; it will either retain a short, wiry coat throughout its life, have patches of hair and bald areas, or become completely hairless.
  • Brush – The brush kitten has the most hair of any Donskoy variety with a short, wiry coat that it will keep, at least in patches, throughout its life.

All Donskoys, regardless of coat type, need daily care to keep their skin healthy. A daily wiping is necessary to control the oil from the skin. Donskoys need a full bath at least twice each month as well.

They are prone to sunburn and should not be kept outdoors. Cold weather is also problematic for the Donskoy. You will need to provide extra blankets, cozy sleeping spots, and maybe even a sweater in the colder months to keep your cat warm.

Donskoy cat
Image Credit: BLACKDAY, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Donskoy is considered a pretty healthy breed and does not suffer from too many serious health conditions. There are a few things to look out for, though, to ensure that you have a healthy cat.

Minor Conditions
  • Skin problems
Serious Conditions
  • Tooth and gum issues

Minor Conditions:

  • Skin problems – Due to their hairless nature, the Donskoy has sensitive skin that can be prone to itching and infections if not properly cared for. Regular bathing and wiping to remove excess oils will help keep your cat’s skin in good condition.

Serious Conditions:

  • Tooth and gum issues – These can become serious if not properly treated. Make sure you are brushing your cat’s teeth regularly and watching for any signs of mouth pain such as redness, swelling, and excessive chewing.

Male vs. Female

There aren’t any recognizable differences in the temperament or behavior of male and female Donskoys. Both are generally social, friendly, affectionate, and playful. Males do tend to be slightly larger than females.

Final Thoughts

If your family is looking for a cat that loves to be cuddled and always wants to be the center of attention, then the Donskoy might be a good choice for you. Although this breed is rare, the lucky family that owns a Donskoy will have a loyal friend for life. These great cats love people and other animals so they make a great fit with families.

If you can provide them with the care they need, perhaps you should consider getting a Donskoy!

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Featured Image Credit: Kekyalyaynen, Shutterstock

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