The Don Sphinx cat, also called Donskoy, is a cat originating from Russia and as is often the case it came out of a stray cat. This cat, who was called Varya, was taken in by a lady and treated by her for all kinds of dermatitis as her hair was almost non-existent, but the problem was not solved. When this kitten had her first litter, the kittens that had been born with a slight down, had already lost it all after the first year of life, so it was understood that the gene of these naked cats was not recessive like that of the Sphinx, but dominant. This was the discovery of another breed of naked cats. A kitten daughter of Varya was adopted by a breeder Irina Nemykina, who mated her with several stray cats and started a selection process that led to the present Don Sphinx cat.
It was named Don Sphinx because the history of this cat started in the city of Rostov on the river Don.
Character of the Don Sphinx cat
The Don Sphinx cat is one of the most affectionate cat breeds. Very attached to its owner, whom it follows like a shadow, it is also affectionate with other family members. It loves to lie on its lap or crawl into its owner’s bed, both for affection and because, as it is hairless, it constantly seeks a source of warmth. It is, in fact, a very cold animal and needs warm places to stay when it sleeps but also when it is awake.
However, it also has a feline characteristic, which is that it decides when it wants to be cuddled, in which respect it has a fairly independent character. However, he loves being an integral part of the family and, above all, he does not like being alone. If you are not able to stay at home for a long time, it is advisable to take two Don Sphinx cats, especially as he does not suffer from loneliness. He also gets along well with cats of other breeds and even with dogs.
With strangers he is rather shy, but after an initial period, he will not deny a rubbing with his head and even jumping on his legs.
It is, however, to be considered as the classic flat cat, cold by nature, it does not like the open air, on the other hand, in the home it is good to provide it with games and ways to discharge its vitality, being a very active cat.
To date, this breed is still very rare in Italy, unlike the Sphynx which is much more widespread, while it is much bred in Russia and in many countries in North-Eastern Europe.
Appearance of the Don Sphinx cat
The main characteristic of the Don Sphinx cat is the absence of hair, so this cat may or may not appeal to everyone because of its very curious appearance. Not all cats of this species are completely naked, some have a very sparse hair that feels like a peach. As soon as it is born it has a lot of wrinkles which gradually decrease as it grows, although a certain amount of wrinkles remain forever.
It is a medium-sized cat, agile and supple, the body is strong and muscular, especially in the chest and back, the hind legs are longer than the front ones, the feet are oval with long prominent toes.
The tail is broad at the base and gradually tapers to the tip, which sometimes has a fine layer of curly hair. The head is very distinctive, wedge-shaped, slightly longer than it is wide, with large ears placed well upright on the head and well spaced from each other. The eyes are almond-shaped, large, very bright and blue, aquamarine, gold, yellow and green in colour.
As far as the skin is concerned, this breed can have complete nudity, such as a slight down which it loses around the age of two, sometimes there are short, hard hairs on the paws, muzzle and ears.
Health and care of the Don Sphinx cat
This cat has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Its health is excellent and no particular pathologies have been detected. It is particularly sensitive to changes in temperature. However, its skin must be cleaned regularly, as it is often greasy due to the sweat that is not retained by the hair, as is the case with other breeds of cat, which is why it should be bathed at least 3 to 4 times a year.
It tends to eat a lot, as it is a naked cat with a metabolism aimed at maintaining a high body temperature. This translates into a natural tendency to gain weight which could compromise its state of health, therefore the diet of the Don Sphynx must be taken care of down to the last detail, the meals must be regular but never too abundant and above all prepared with top quality ingredients.