Donskoy Sphinx

Don Sphynx
Other names: donchak

The Don Sphinx is a breed of hairless cats from Rostov-on-Don. Distinctive features: large ears, warm to the touch, folded skin and strong attachment to a person.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Donskoy Sphinx
  • Country of Origin: Russia
  • The time of the birth of the breed: 1986
  • Weight: cats 4-5.5 kg, cats 2.7-4.5 kg


  • Despite the outward pretentiousness and somewhat detached look, the Don sphinxes are considered to be perhaps the most good-natured and peace-loving creatures on the planet.
  • The body of representatives of this breed is always warm, if not hot, so if you urgently needed a live hot water bottle, the Don Sphinx is happy to offer its services.
  • Don sphinxes eat much more than average cats. The increased appetite is explained by the intensive metabolism inherent in all hairless purrs.
  • The breed is not hypoallergenic in the full sense of the word. Nevertheless, the absence of wool makes it possible for its representatives to peacefully coexist with people with allergic reactions to the Fel D1 protein.
  • Most of the Don sphinxes discover an almost canine attachment to one owner and are hard pressed by the need to move to another family.
  • In terms of care and maintenance, the breed needs increased attention, including taking care of the temperature regime of the room in which the animal lives.
  • Don sphinxes are typical kinesthetics who cannot live without touching a person once again. That is why they are often called "kissing" cats.
  • These hairless earwigs love warmth and adore sunbathing. But since the excess of ultraviolet light does not have the best effect on the skin of exotic pets, their exposure to sunlight must be carefully dosed.

Donskoy Sphinx is a bright, extraordinary appearance combined with an atypical softness of character for a cat family and a strong dependence on the owner. Most representatives of the breed are real "cats" who can simultaneously act as a cozy sofa pet and as an inquisitive companion who willingly shares leisure time with the owner. In addition, these sophisticated creatures make excellent physiotherapists who masterfully deal with the consequences of neuroses and other unpleasant ailments.

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Affectionate ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Molt ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Health ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Sociability ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Playfulness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
*Characteristics of the Don Sphinx breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the Don Sphinx breed

The Don sphinxes owe their origin to His Majesty chance. In 1986, a resident of Rostov-on-Don, Elena Kovaleva, picked up an exhausted homeless kitten on the street, which was thoroughly mocked by local schoolchildren. The tiny creature, which turned out to be a cat, was emaciated, and besides, had a somewhat shabby appearance, which the new owner attributed to the action of lichen. At first, Varvara – the so-called whiskered–purring creature - did not get out of the veterinarians' offices. But since the strange baldness stubbornly refused to be treated, the animal was left alone, and was not interested in the amazing mutation that awarded the kitty with a hairless back. However, one specialist still showed attention to the mongrel foundling, and it turned out to be Irina Nemykina. For several years, the breeder maintained a close relationship with Elena Kovaleva and her ward, and when in 1990 Varvara got an even more bald offspring than herself, Irina took one of the kittens, which she later named Chita.

When Chita reached puberty, she was immediately tied up with a European shorthair cat to get even more spectacular offspring. The fact is that Varvara's daughter was not completely devoid of wool and had curly hair on her paws, as well as, though rarely, but still a pubescent tail. Her kittens were born the same way, which did not prevent them from finding their fans and successfully traveling around exhibitions. Soon, the desire to get a completely hairless purr pushed Irina Nemykina to inbreeding, that is, at some point the breeder simply tied a Cheat with her son Hannibal. The experiment went off with a bang, and in due time the cat brought several babies, one of whom turned out to be completely bald and received the nickname Basia Myth.

In 1997, the WCF recognized the Don Sphinxes, after which the breed began to gain popularity outside of Russia. At the same time, the gene pool of Rostov cats still left much to be desired. Moreover, the hapless feline family had to be pumped regularly, involving "third-party manufacturers" in the case, which usually became short-haired European mousers. It was only in the early 2000s that the crossing of Don sphinxes with other breeds began to gradually come to naught, as the number of healthy breeding individuals in domestic nurseries increased markedly.

Interesting fact: as a result of mating the Don sphinx with Siamese , russian blue and turkish angora an independent branch of the breed was born – peterbold .

Video: Donskoy Sphinx

Appearance of the Don Sphinx

The appearance of the Don Sphinx evokes strong associations with the Nile Valley, pyramids and pets of the pharaohs. And indeed, outwardly these big-eared purrs, dotted with elegant folds, almost do not differ from the images of the first mousers found in Egyptian tombs. People who have an insufficient understanding of the breed, the cosmic image of Rostov cats is often confusing, forcing them to classify the animals as a family of Canadian sphinxes. In fact, the relationship between the breeds is zero point one thousandth, but there are much more differences. Take, for example, the fact that the hairlessness gene in the "Donetsk people" was and remains dominant, which allows breeders to get bald offspring even when one of the parents has a full-fledged coat. In addition, unlike "Canadians" , Rostov sphinxes are already born completely undressed, while their overseas counterparts come to this world dressed in though short, but still "fur coats".


Cats of the Don Sphinx breed have a wedge-shaped skull with a wrinkled forehead, prominent cheekbones and a convex brow. Muzzle of moderate length, slightly rounded.


The straight nose of the Don sphinx connects to the forehead by means of a not very sharp, but rather pronounced transition.


All representatives of the breed have wide-open, almond-shaped eyes, set somewhat obliquely.


Large, wide and high postage, with a pronounced forward tilt. The tip of the ear cloth is rounded, while its outer edge does not extend beyond the animal's cheeks.


The vibrissae (whiskers) of the Don sphinxes are thick, curling. In some animals, the hair often breaks off at the root, which makes the cat look completely beardless.


The Don sphinx has a not too long, muscular-dense body, somewhat wide in the croup zone.


Paws of cats of medium length, with straight forearms and noticeably elongated fingers.


Don sphinxes have very flexible and long tails without creases.


A distinctive feature of the breed is the skin, which in sphinxes is almost hot, elastic, gathering into folds on the forehead, armpits and groin.


According to the type and structure of the coat of the Don sphinxes, they are divided into four main types:

  • naked ("rubber") – the animal is completely devoid of wool, its skin is hot, heavily wrinkled, slightly sticky;
  • flock – there is a very short and thin coat on the skin, resembling peach fuzz, which disappears over time;
  • velour – the pet's fur reaches a length of 2-3 mm, but as the animal grows up, it falls out, completely revealing the body;
  • brush is the most hairy type of the Don sphinx, characterized by a long, but rare, stiff and curled coat. Such cats are not allowed to the exhibitions, but they are quite suitable for breeding. Usually, by the age of two, the brush hair falls out, although not always completely.


Don sphinxes have the right to have any color, that is, they can be snow-white, black, smoky, red, blue and pinkish-red. Individuals of tabby color are also considered full-fledged representatives of the breed, although they are united in a separate group.

Defects and defects of the breed

The most common reasons for lowering the rating of an exhibition animal are too narrow, rounded or short head, weak type of constitution, too short tail and small ears. Serious defects are considered malocclusion (undershot by more than 2 mm) and inversion of the eyelids.

The character of the Don Sphinx

There is a very vulnerable soul hiding in the body of this alien creature, longing for close emotional contact with its own owner. So the correct Don sphinx is unusually soft (as soft as a representative of the feline family can be at all), absolutely not jealous and absolutely not prone to aggression. Everyone can offend this good-natured earwigs, but no one will be able to get him out of himself, which makes the "Donetsk people" ideal pets for families where young tomboys grow up.

Gentle and loving, the Don sphinx is always happy to "calf tenderness", but if the owner is not yet ready for an open display of feelings, it is not a sin to push him a little. There are a lot of ways to do this, and Rostov Kotofei have mastered almost all of them. In particular, any unoccupied knees in the house will certainly be tested by the "Donetsk people" for softness and elasticity, and their owner will be caressed to a semi-conscious state. At the same time, bald purrs do not suffer from excessive stickiness and do not try to impose their society on someone who does not need it.

In general, Don sphinxes are moderately lazy creatures, equally willing to devote their free time to both standard cat pranks and lying on heating batteries. In childhood, they show strong curiosity and activity, but as they grow up, they become somewhat fed up with new impressions and look at life with a slight indifference. Peacefulness and non–conflict of the breed is already a cliche, so feel free to release parrots, hamsters, guinea pigs and other representatives of the feathery-fluffy world from the cages – the Don sphinx does not care about them.

It is generally believed that in intellectual terms, the "Donetsk people" somewhat rise above their "woolly" relatives. Indeed, they are incredibly smart and savvy. For example, almost any adult cat knows how to handle a door latch (long fingers, like an alien from an American blockbuster, are most welcome here). In addition, they have excellent intuition: the Don Sphinx is always aware of when it is possible to play hugs with the owner, and when it is better to move away so as not to provoke the two-legged lord to anger.

Education and training

For all its softness and compliance, the Don Sphinx is no stranger to aristocratic manners. Moreover, these cats consider themselves equal to man, so it is a vain effort to force the sphinx to do anything against his will. Yes, bald earwigs have a penchant for learning and are even able to put simple acrobatic sketches, but only when they themselves want to.

Not the most pleasant feature of the breed is problems with the toilet. It's not that the Don Sphinx is unable to learn the rules of using the tray, it's just that sometimes ancient feline instincts wake up in it, requiring immediate "marking" of the territory. By the way, most often the owner's bed suffers from the expansion of the Donetsk citizen. There is no single way to combat this behavior, but since you simply have to demonstrate dissatisfaction with your pet, pull the cat with a shout or direct a stream of water from a spray gun into it. The usual oilcloth thrown over the bedspread slightly reduces interest in the master's bed: the Don sphinxes do not favor pronounced chemical odors and the "aroma" of polyethylene.

Properly educated Don sphinxes are not prone to aggression, but kittens have not yet formed a behavior model, so during the game they often release claws, spoiling surrounding objects, and sometimes plunging them into someone's legs. To wean the baby from such an ignoble occupation, buy more cat toys and slip them to him every time a tiny bald man starts tearing the wallpaper. Often the cat spoils the interior from banal boredom and lack of attention, in this case, try to give your pet more time or get a second hairless purr so that the animals can play together. It is also not forbidden to sprinkle water on a raging bully: it does not hurt, and it is effective.

The Don sphinxes do not really respect hygienic procedures, so it will take time to eradicate the innate dislike of cutting claws and bathing. To speed up the habituation process, take the space cat in your arms more often, otherwise you will have to arrange a real roundup for the pet to take it to the bathroom. A good result is also brought by the usual threatening hissing: the animal immediately quiets down and stops pumping the rights. In fact, fear is one of the most effective methods of influencing the Don sphinxes. A strict tone, a sudden sharp sound (clap of hands) – and the bald limitless man instantly forgets about his own privilege.

It is relatively easy to instill in the Don sphinx the skills of proper use of the tray. Moreover, with a certain persistence, representatives of this breed can be taught to use the toilet. At first, a separate toilet seat is bought for the cat, which is placed on top of the tray, and the tray itself is placed on a pile of magazines corresponding to the height of the toilet bowl level. After the animal gets used to doing its business, leaning on the seat, which can take from a few days to a couple of weeks, the bulky structure is removed, providing the cat with a standard toilet.

Maintenance and care

The lack of wool does not yet make the Don Sphinx a comfortable pet. Firstly, the breed has the peculiarity of sweating – yes, yes, these pseudo-Egyptians also smell. In addition, the skin of animals secretes a brownish substance that will have to be removed in time. It is recommended to bathe cats at least once every two weeks using a special shampoo for hairless pets. And since the breed is prone to skin rashes, it is useful to add decoctions of herbs (a series, chamomile) to the bath. By the way, the temperature of the washing water should be at 39-40 ° C. In the intervals between bath days, the discharge and brownish plaque from the skin of the Don sphinx is removed with a soft cloth soaked in warm water or alcohol-free wet wipes.

The tail and spine area of the "Donetsk people" are places of acne, pimples and boils, so they are wiped with a ph–neutral lotion. Just do not forget to rinse the treated areas of the skin with water afterwards, so that the cat will not be tempted to lick the "cosmetics". In general, there are a lot of sebaceous glands on the tail of the Don sphinx, which begin to work in an enhanced mode during puberty of the animal. So even if, despite your efforts, this part of the pet's body is covered with black dots (comedones), they will have to be squeezed out. Yes, it's unpleasant for both the owner and the cat, but necessary.

The eyes of the Don sphinxes are quite vulnerable due to the lack of eyelashes, so experts recommend washing them once a day, and without using cotton swabs and discs, the fibers of which can get stuck on the mucous membrane. By the way, if even with systematic care transparent or brownish secretions accumulate in the corners, this is normal. But if the nitrous oxide in the eyes of the "Donetsk citizen" has acquired a greenish or yellowish hue – you have a serious reason to look into the vet.

The large, fan-shaped ears of the Don sphinxes are quickly filled with sulfur secretions, so they will have to be cleaned every week. If you prefer to remove sulfur with a lotion, it is better, after instilling it inside, to massage the ear cloth a little – so the dirt will move away from the inner walls faster. Do not fall into perfectionism and do not try to clean the cat's ear by all 200%, thrusting a cotton swab deeper, otherwise you risk rewarding the animal with sudden deafness.

The claws of bald kittens are long, not fully retracting into the pads of the fingers, so no matter how hard the purrer tries, he will not be able to completely grind them off. Arm yourself with a claw cutter and take the initiative into your own hands, remembering the safety measures and carefully bypassing the area where the nerve endings are located. The claw bed also needs to be regularly wiped with a cloth soaked in lotion, as fat grease accumulates in it. A couple of times a month, the Don sphinx is brushed with veterinary paste with fish flavor or, if your pet is very patient, soda mixed with a drop of the cheapest red wine.

Don sphinxes have a warm relationship with the sun: bald purrs love to arrange a solarium on the windowsill, as a result of which their skin changes color. Sometimes it comes to a real overdose of ultraviolet light, so if the pet is overusing sunbathing, drive him off the windowsill or take him into the shade. Otherwise, you will get an infernal creature with burnt skin, which will come off in rags for several more days. And the Don sphinxes often freeze, so they highly respect any warm places. So if you are tired of watching a bald charmer hugging a battery for days, sew him a warm pajama or jumpsuit – patterns can be found on the forums of fans of the breed.


Accelerated metabolism and increased heat transfer, characteristic of the Don sphinx organism, require the same increased attention to the animal's diet. Keep in mind that two meals a day will not be enough for a representative of this breed, so treat the cat at least three or four times a day. An adult cat should consume 150 g of lean meat (beef, veal) per day, which will be successfully replaced by offal a couple of times a week. Fish plays a secondary role in the diet of the Don sphinx. Several times a month, the earwigs can be treated to boiled fish fillets, but it is definitely not worth completely replacing meat with them.

Otherwise, the "Donetsk people" can do everything that other cats can. In particular, fermented dairy products with a low percentage of fat content, cereals in the form of cereals and vegetables in the form of salads. Raw egg yolk is very useful for hairless purrs, but because of the not too positive effect on the liver, it can be given no more than four times a month. Keeping Don sphinxes on "drying" is also quite acceptable, but if you have spent money on such an exotic pet, forget about saving on industrial feed. The best option for "drying" for a bald cat will be holistic-varieties that do not include synthetic preservatives. If such expenses do not correspond well with your budget, lower the bar to premium-class feed, but never condescend to economy options.

Health and diseases of the Don Sphinxes

The Don Sphinx is a relatively young and not the healthiest breed. Predisposition to diseases in cats, as a rule, is hereditary and caused by errors in breeding. For example, various kinds of eczema and microphthalmos (abnormal development of the eyeball), which are often diagnosed in representatives of this family, passed to them from the cats born in the early 90s, when the gene pool of the breed was unstable. Another "family" defect that can seriously spoil the "Donetsk" life is the congenital inversion of the eyelids.

Breeders who commit inbreeding often have kittens with a curved tail spine. At first glance, the disadvantage does not seem so significant, but if you tie a crooked-tailed purr with a normal cat, you can get a whole brood of real bald freaks. Nipple hyperplasia and breast cyst are diseases typical only for cats, and the latter ailment most often makes itself felt in individuals of tortoiseshell color. The so–called shortening of the lower jaw (carp bite) is also a fairly common defect among the Don sphinxes. Animals with a similar developmental anomaly cannot fully eat and often injure their own palate with their teeth.

How to choose a kitten

  • Kittens of the Don sphinx are fragile, painful creatures and often leave this mortal world in infancy. So buying a baby who is under 12 weeks old is a big and unjustified risk.
  • Most parents transmit their temperament and character to their offspring, so before you take a kitten, talk to his dad and mom. What if they are not charmers at all, but evil misanthropes?
  • Be sure to ask the owner of the kennel for a kitten's vet passport. The Don Sphinx, which is being taken to a new home, must receive a full package of vaccinations.
  • Carefully examine every square centimeter of a potential pet's skin. If peeling is found on it, or even worse, traces of eczema, this is an excuse to leave the nursery and never return to it.
  • Female and male kittens of the Don sphinx differ in character. Cats are more independent and curious, and their skin and fur have a stronger smell. Kitties are more affectionate, enterprising and more attuned to close contact with the owner.
  • The appearance of a young "Donetsk citizen" is far from the last selection criterion. The right kitten when examined should give the impression of a healthy and neat creature. As far as possible, avoid babies with swollen bellies, traces of diarrhea and suppurating eyes, since the consequences of poor care in childhood accompany the animal for the rest of his life.

The price of the Don Sphinx

Average cost of the Don sphinx without serious malformations – $150 - $350 (depending on the class of the animal). At the same time, virtual bulletin boards are oversaturated with messages about the sale at absolutely fabulous prices: within $30-$50. Usually, such "profitable" offers hide sick animals with fake pedigrees, whose owners are just looking for an easy way to earn extra money.

Add cuteness to your feed. Share photo collections and send photos of your favorite pets
2023 © «». Made with for animals. Copying materials with a link to the source.