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The Donskoy is a hairless cat breed of Russian origin. This breed started in 1987 with the discovery of a hairless cat in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don by cat breeder Elena Kovaleva. It is not related to the better known hairless breed of cat the Sphynx, also known as the Canadian hairless, whose characteristic hairlessness is caused by a recessive gene, whereas the Don hairlessness is caused by a dominant gene.
The Donskoy was first officially recognized by World Cat Federation (WCF) in 1997, and by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2005. The standard of points describes the cat as being medium sized and muscular, with large ears, almond shaped eyes and distinctive long, webbed toes. They require frequent grooming, in spite of their lack of coat. Over-bathing can cause the skin to become very oily.
The Peterbald breed was originally created by crossing Donskoy with Siamese and Oriental cats to create a hairless cat of Oriental type. Mating between Donskoys and Peterbalds are no longer permitted.
Other Names:Russian Sphynx ,Don Hairless, Russian Hairless Cat, Hairless Rex
Not all cat registries recognize the Donskoy and there are some concerns about the genetic health of the breed. Some people suspect that the dominant genetic mutation causing hairlessness in Peterbalds and Donskoys could cause feline ectodermal dysplasia in its homozygous form, causing problems including poor dentition and compromised ability to lactate.