Peterbald cat outside on a leash
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Peterbald Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 6 min.

If you are looking for a unique cat with a big personality, then let us introduce you to the Peterbald. With their smooth skin, large ears, and strong bodies, these cats will have you doing a double take and asking about their breed.

Peterbalds are relatively small but very capable of making their presence known. They resemble Oriental Shorthairs very closely, with their almond-shaped eyes, large, pointed ears, and slim, muscular bodies. 

Not only are they unique-looking, but they have great personalities and temperaments, making them an excellent companion overall. To learn more about these hairless beauties, read on.

Peterbald cat a glance
Personality Loving, intelligent, devoted
Life expectancy 10-15 years
Weight 6-14 lbs
Coat & colors Hairless, flock, brush, velour, or short; various colors & patterns
Energy level High
Affection level High
Friendliness High
Shedding level Low
Required grooming Low to Medium

Overview of the Peterbald cat

hairless Peterbald cat

Peterbalds seem like they always have an eye on you and are constantly listening—likely because they are. 

These large-eared, wide-eyed sweethearts are very attentive and involved in their human’s life. But can you blame them? You are likely the most important thing to your Peterbald, so you have to get used to all eyes (and ears) being on you. 

As small- to medium-sized cats, you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space. They’re also adaptable to new places. 


Peterbalds typically weigh between 6 and 14 pounds. Without dense fur to give them more mass, they may feel heavier than they appear. You’ll be able to tell if your Peterbald is gaining too much weight, as they won’t be able to hide it under their coat!


These cats are lanky for their size, and though rather compact, they can reach up to 17 inches in length. This is measured from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. 


A Peterbald’s coat is arguably the feature that stands out the most (even though their eyes and ears are vying for that title). Peterbalds are known for their lack of fur, giving them a bald appearance. However, some Peterbalds actually have a velvety fuzz covering their body that may not be completely visible at first glance, or even a very short fur coat. 

A Peterbald that does have fuzz or fur can come in any color or pattern, including white, black, lilac, fawn, red, and grey, or solid, bicolor, tabby, and colorpoint patterns.

Coat Types

The Peterbald can have one of the following coat types:

  • Bald/Naked: They are completely hairless.
  • Flock: Peach-like fuzz covers the body.
  • Brush Coat: Hair is wiry or wavy, ranging from 5 to 15 millimeters in length; often white.
  • Velour: Very short hairs that range from 1 to 5 millimeters in length.
  • Straight Coat: Normal coat of hair, usually very short. 

Life expectancy

With love, a well-rounded diet, regular exercise, and regular trips to the vet, your Peterbald could live 10 to 15 years with you. To give your cat the best life possible and prolong their days with you, keep track of their health. 

History of the Peterbald

Peterbald cat lying on side

Peterbalds are considered a newer breed, as they only made a name for themselves in 1994. This breed originated in St. Petersburg, Russia, when breeder Olga S. Mironova mated a female Oriental Shorthair with a male Don Sphynx cat. 

The first two litters had two bald kittens each that were then used to begin the foundation for the Peterbald cat. The gene that is responsible for hairlessness in the Peterbald is dominant, meaning that only one parent needs to have it to pass it on to their offspring. 

This made it easier to continue breeding to get the desired traits until the Peterbald breed was officially accepted by TICA in 1997. At first, Peterbalds were mainly popular in St. Petersburg, but they soon captured the hearts of many people around the world.

Peterbald cat characteristics

Peterbalds are known for their odd, alien-like, large features. For such a small body, they carry a lot when it comes to their proportions. Their ears are almost as big as their face, and they are alert and pointed. Their skin is soft and bare, their tail long and whip-like, and their faces very serious.

They have retained many of these distinct characteristics from their parent breeds. You can attribute their coats and wrinkly skin to the Don Sphynx, and their oblong faces and lithe body type to the Oriental Shorthair. 

Interestingly, Peterbalds have long, webbed front feet compared to their back feet, which helps them pick up and hold items. This might surprise you the first time, but once your Peterbald learns they can manipulate their toys, they might never stop. 

Personality and behavior

Peterbald cat on leash outside

Peterbalds are often compared to dogs in the way that they act toward their family. They are very driven to impress their beloved humans and like to spend as much time with them as possible. These cats are so friendly and loving, they’ve even been called “aggressively affectionate.” Much like the Oriental Shorthair, they can be quite talkative.

This breed typically warms up quickly to strangers, but it might take a bit of time. Through play and a few treats, you’ll be sure to get them on your side. And once they are, they literally will not leave your side. They really do like to be with their humans as much as possible. 

Caring for a Peterbald cat

Peterbald cats are considered relatively easy to care for. They will require a lot of affection and attention from you, but keeping up with their grooming and exercise needs likely won’t be a problem. 

If you keep them entertained and fed, they will be very content. They do enjoy a clean space to use the bathroom because they can be a little high-maintenance. If you use a self-cleaning litter box, you’ll not only make their life easier but yours as well. 


When it comes to grooming, Peterbalds either have no fur or peach fuzz. You won’t have to worry about shedding, and if they do shed the little fur that they have, it won’t be highly visible or overwhelming. 

If your Peterbald is hairless, they will benefit from a nice wipe-down or the occasional sponge bath. This is because oils can build up, leading to skin problems. In the summer months, direct sunlight can burn your Peterbald’s skin, so keep an eye out for how often they’re lying in in the sun.


Peterbalds typically do not have fur, so these little cuties can get cold quickly. It might not be your style (yet), but having a few cozy sweaters around for your Peterbald will help them in the winter months. Ask your vet or fellow cat parents how they keep their kitties warm; a cat sweater or cozy cat bed may be in order. You might find them snuggled up in your blankets or trying to climb onto your lap to steal your body heat.

Because of their short or non-existent fur, these cats should be kept indoors except if you're taking them on a short leashed walk. Even in the summertime, when the sun goes down, the chilly air might negatively impact your Peterbald.

Peterbald cat curled up in bowl


Peterbalds are very intelligent, so physical exercise isn’t going to cut it. Your Peterbald is going to want to be entertained and interacted with throughout the day. They will learn tricks, play puzzle games, and do their best to both entertain and impress you. 

One great thing about their activity levels is that they make fabulous family pets. They love to have multiple options to choose from when it comes to playing so as to avoid getting bored.

They will get along well with other cats and dogs when introduced properly and tolerate children relatively well. Just make sure your children know the best way to interact with cats so that you can avoid any mishaps. Their lack of fur can make them more prone to superficial injuries. Accidents can happen, but less so when interactions are being properly supervised!

Health-related issues

While Peterbalds are generally considered healthy, there are some situational and genetic medical issues that could pop up. For instance, the Peterbald is prone to progressive retinal atrophy (a type of late-onset blindness). 

All cats, especially hairless ones, can develop squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Sun protection (including staying inside) is essential. 

Lastly, keep up with brushing their teeth to prevent periodontal disease, and take them to the vet regularly to stay on top of their health. 

Loving a Peterbald at home

Peterbalds need a lot from their humans, so be prepared to give a lot to yours. Knowing what kind of breed is right for you can help make the decision to adopt a cat a lot easier. Peterbalds are known to be very dependent on their humans, so if that sounds like a life you are willing to take on, we encourage you to do so!


Photo credits:

  • © Atlantiscats / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
  • © Acracrabe / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0