Monday, September 28, 2015

Cat Breeds: Peterbald

If you cross a Donskoy with an Oriental Shorthair, as was done in 1993, you will get what is now know as a Peterbald. A brown tabby Donskoy male was bred to a tortoiseshell Oriental Shorthair female in St. Petersburg. The resulting offspring would eventually become the Peterbald. To keep the breed healthy, cross breeding with Donskoy, Siamese, and Oriental Shorthair cats became common, at least at first.

With the elegance of three Siamese and the Oriental Shorthair and the baldness of the Donskoy, the Peterbald couldn't help but attract cat fanciers from around the world. In 1997 this unique breed was accepted into the new breed program established by TICA (The International Cat Association) and in 2005 it was granted championship status. Today, it competes as any other breed.

The Appearance of the Peterbald

If you took an Oriental Shorthair and shaved him completely, you'd have something that sort of resembles the Peterbald cat. They are long, graceful, and dainty with whip-like tails and slender necks. They are also bald in a cute sort of way. As opposed to the Creepy, I've just been shaved by a psychopath, sort of way.

But they're not all totally bald. They have different types of Peterbalds out there. First are the ultra bald cats. These guys are born with no hair and they never get any hair. Bald cat. Really bald cat. No hair here. No whiskers. No eyebrows. Bald. They feel warm and almost sticky to the touch.

Next is the flock or chamois cat. These Peterbalds appear hairless but aren't. Not really, though they are 90% hairless. They have a smoothness to them and are not at all sticky. Look for a down-like hair on the extremities in this coat type. Flocked cats also have whiskers and eyebrows, those these will be kinked, curled, or broken entirely.

Velour Peterbalds are 70% hairless. They can have hair, but that hair should never be more than a single millimeter in length. The coat may be sparse, leaving the skin clearly visible, or it may be dense, giving the cat a sleek and shiny look. Sometimes velour cats mature to be flocked cats.

Brush Peterbald cats have wavy hair, sometimes even curly hair, that is quite wires in texture. Hair can be 5 mm long, bit keep in mind that kittens with a brush coat may mature to an ultra bald by the age of 2. Or they may not. The denser the coat, the less likely the cat is to shed out as he grows older.

The final coat type is straight, and these are the only Peterbalds that always lack the bald gene. A straight-coated Peterbald will always be a straight-coated Peterbald. Whiskers will be normal and the hair will lie close to the body.

All Peterbalds, regardless of cost type, need special skin care. Regular bathing to remove dirt and grease and a buff with a chamois cloth once a week is usually sufficient.

These cats need sunblock in summer and a sweater in the winter. Other than all that, they're pretty normal cats.

The Personality of the Peterbald

Highly intelligent and quite affectionate, the Peterbald will investigate anything and play until you run mad. They are active and independent, so they are okay left alone for a few hours, but they also love a rousing game of fetch, so be prepared for your feline friend to engage you at a moment's notice.

These inquisitive cats do well with children and other animals as long as they are given an escape route. They probably won't need it, but if they do jump on top of a bookcase to get away from your dog, leave them be until they come down on their own.

If you're looking for a unique cat who will play in the evenings but not destroy the house when you to to work for a few hours, the Peterbald might be for you.