Beautiful & bald Peterbalds

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Peterbalds are an exciting and relatively new breed to the cat fancy and as a breeder of these cats, the question I am most frequently met with is “Are they Sphynx?” and the answer is a resounding NO! Here’s more on Peterbalds.

Susanna Shon

Like several other breeds, Peterbalds are the result of crossing two breeds, in this case, the two parent breeds were the Donskoy and the Oriental Shorthair. The Donskoy is a Russian breed and it is believed that in1987 a Russian woman found a tortoiseshell kitten crying in a bag, this kitten had what she considered to be a unique coat that began to change when she was around four months old. Oriental Shorthairs are a man-made breed and came from England in the 1950s. During the World War II, many breeding programmes were lost and in rebuilding after the war, breeders wanted a more colourful version of the Siamese. Several breeds were crossed with the Siamese in order to accomplish this (Abyssinians, Russian Blues, British Shorthairs and some Domestic Shorthairs).

Hairy tale
Peterbalds have a unique hair losing gene which means they are not always naked and come in a variety of coat types. Peterbald kittens may be born hairless and if they are, they generally stay that way. I have had several born curly coated who lose most of that coat by the time they are 12 weeks old and end up
with a fine dusting of coat that is suede like to the touch, these are called ‘flock’ or ‘velour’ coated. Those left with a slightly longer and more wiry feeling are called ‘brush’ coated. Kittens born with perfectly normal coats are called ‘straight coated’ and not often used in breeding programmes. All kittens born with the Peterbald (hair losing) gene will have some amount of balding on the top of their head referred to as a ‘cap’ at birth

Breed standard
At present in North America, the breed is accepted for Championship (competitive) status with TICA (The International Cat Association) with ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association) as well as with FIFE and WCF in Europe. The TICA standard calls for a medium-boned cat with firm musculature, high on their legs with a long triangular head and a more blunt muzzle than their Oriental/Siamese relatives have. Ears are large, flared and may fall below the wedge of the head, eyes are medium in size and described as almost almond in shape. Judges look for a long straight profile that may be two planed and a strong chin is a must.

Outgoing nature
When you see a Peterbald in motion you should be looking at a very agile, elegant and long-bodied graceful cat. By nature they are highly intelligent and can be vocal like their Oriental/Siamese relatives. They have been described as being very dog-like in nature, they love to fetch and play and are extremely people oriented therefore making fantastic lifelong companions.
Day-to-day life with a Peterbald is nothing short of entertaining, they are interactive, extremely outgoing, loving, playful, loyal and intelligent. They are social and love to be around people, their inquisitive nature makes them intriguing and entertaining. Their charming nature has captured the hearts of many in the short time that they have been recognised as a breed and more are seen in cat shows around the world
each year

Nothing cautious
Peterbalds are not hypo allergenic, they have dander just like any other cat, certainly the lack of hair floating around the air lends nicely to those who are sensitive to this but if you are allergic to cats, you will be allergic to Peterbalds.
(Susanna Shon owns Purrsia Cattery located in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been breeding cats since 1981 beginning with Siamese/Orientals and presently only breeding Peterbalds).

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