Peterbald Breed HistorySponsored Links:
A Peterbald is a breed of hairless cats, the most rare in the world and very recently developed, Peterbalds usually have sweet temper and they are peaceful, curious, smart and energetic cats. Peterbalds have some Oriental blood in their veins and they inherited from Orientals dog-like attachment to their owners. They love to communicate with people and do not belong to an independent kind of cats.
In 1988, Irena Kovalyova rescued a cat that appeared to have some type of disease. The cat was losing its hair. No matter how much she was treated with anti‑fungal medications, she continued to lose her hair. It was soon very obvious that this cat was meant to be hairless and was not ill at all. This cat was named Varya.Varya was soon to become the foundation cat of a new, wonderful breed.
The first thought, of course, was that this mutation was the same gene that caused the hairlessness in the Sphinx. For that reason, you will see the name “Don Sphinx” used in some descriptions. That proved to be untrue and it was soon discovered that these were two totally different breeds.
The Sphinx gene is a recessive gene. After breeding the “Don Sphinx” the gene was found to be dominant. The difference in these types of genes means the following:If you breed a Sphinx to a normal coated cat, you will get normal coated cats in the first generation. If you breed a cat with a dominant gene for hairlessness, you will get hairless kittens in the first generation.
Varya went on to be the foundation cat for two wonderful, but different breeds. Some of Varyas kittens were bred to European and Domestic Shorthairs. This produced a very stocky built cat. This breed became known as the “Don Hairless” or what is now called the “Donsky”. In 1993 a very oriental looking brown mackerel tabby Don Hairless male, Afinguen Myth, was mated to a tortie Oriental female, Radma Von Jagerhof.
These oriental type hairless cats were called Peterbalds. They were unpopular in Moscow, but became very popular among St. Petersburg breeders. In January of 1994, this new more refined look of the Don Hairless became known as the Russian Peterbald.Breeders from the United States have increasingly become very interested in the Peterbald.
Several were shipped over from Russia to be used in breeding programs including NW Wedgies Cattery whose very first Peterbald was a beautiful Queen who came from Mercuryhold Cattery owned by Olga Shidlovskaya in Russia. Both Olga and Alexy (also from Russia) were some of the very first people to bring the Peterbald cats to the states and to help American breeders start a Peterbald program.
While there are still a few breeders that were involved back then, there has been an increase of breeders over the last 10 years to over 40 registered breeders (and more than likely many more unregistered breeders) as well as hundreds of Peterbald owners world wide. Olga Shidlovskaya is still breeding and showing in both the United States and Russia, and Alexis is also a Judge for TICA, one of many of the cat organizations world wide that recognize Peterbald cats as a breed.
Many American catterys’ starting queens and sires came from Russia – like Neva’s Wonderful Wedgies Cattery, owned by Neva Barker in Hammond, Oregon, who owns Mercuryhold Zodiaque Precious Onyz of Ritz a.k.a. Heckle. She was our very first Queen, and she has produced several kittens that, in turn, are still producing beautiful Peterbald kittens that are being used in several breeding programs around the United States.There are still allowable out crosses to the Peterbald at this time.
The Oriental Shorthair and the Siamese are the only 2 breeds allowed in the breeding of the Peterbald cats. This is done in order to increase the gene pool, help get the cats to breed standard, and assist in maintaining the intended look of the breed.
TICA, as well as several other registration organizations world wide, have accepted registration of the Peterbald cats, and many have chosen to accept the Peterbald into Championship status. Breeders in the United States are working toward full championship status of this breed at this time. ~ Neva Barker.