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14 Ways the Donskoy Cat Breed Makes People Say “What?!”

The hairless breed from Russia has great big ears, a loving disposition -- and hot skin.

Melissa L. Kauffman  |  Oct 6th 2015


Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the May/June 2015 issue of Catster print magazine. Click here to subscribe to Catster magazine.

The Donskoy is a breed so rare it’s not yet in Catster’s Cat Breeds section. The Donskoy looks like the Sphynx, but sources say the two breeds are not related. It’s hairless like the Sphynx, and it has a number of surprising personality traits. Here’s why people are often quite surprised at the Donskoy. We found the photos below on Instagram accounts jully_po and darius_cattus.

1. The name — Donskoy

How do you pronounce it? How do you spell that again? The name may seem hard to get at first for Americans because it is Russian. This unusual cat hails from Russia, discovered by cat breeder Elena Kovaleva in the city of Rostov-on-Don in 1987.

Одели ребенка ??

A photo posted by JuliaPo (@jully_po) on

2. Where is the fur?

There is none. the Donskoy’s baldness is caused by a natural gene mutation.

#Donskoy #Vivienne ❤️ Обожаю

A photo posted by JuliaPo (@jully_po) on

3. Those ears!

Dumbo the elephant flew into our hearts, and the spectacularly large, shell-type ears make the Donskoy endearing.

4. Oh, so these cats do have a … coat?

Yep, although they are hairless, they still have coats: velour, flocked, rubber bald, and brush — though the brush coat isn’t considered hairless.

donskoy-cat-alex-rave

Donskoy cat by Alex Rave / Creative Commons License

5. Is it a cat? Or is it a dog?

No, it’s a cat with a personality that dog lovers will embrace. These cats are trainable, just like dogs. they will even come when you call them by name.

6. This is no delicate kitty

You see the Donskoy and ask, “Does that cat work out?” Muscular and strong- boned, the Donskoy is a beauty.

7. Are those paws or monkey fingers?

Donskoys have quite distinctive paws. Their thumbs actually bend inward and allow them to grab things. Their toes are webbed.

8. Donskoys are hot

No, really. I mean the Donskoy’s skin is hot to the touch. You’ll want to cuddle up with this breed on a chilly night.

9. They get a medal for loyalty

Looking for a cat who won’t betray you at the first sign of catnip? You’ll want the Donskoy.

10. Donskoys display no anxiety over strangers

The Donskoy is known for being extremely friendly.

11 Solo? Oh, no

These social cats need friends. They shouldn’t be the only furry family members, especially if you travel and work a lot.

12. The Donskoy is smart

Want a cat who is more than just stunning looks? These kitties have brains.

13. Just like humans, Donskoys get a belly

And just like us, this fatty belly comes in with the cold and leaves when it gets warm again.

14. The Donskoy is a love cat

Their affection is just like the rest of them — extraordinary.

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About the author: Melissa L. Kauffman is senior editorial director of Catster Magazine.