Donskoy vs Sphynx Cat: A Comprehensive Comparison

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

donskoy vs sphynx cat

Fur is among the first things people look at when getting a cat. But while some like their pets with long, luscious coats, others want them hairless.

Not only are hairless felines attention-grabbing, but they also have fantastic qualities that make them a great addition to any home. For one, shedding won’t be an issue with hairless felines.

If the thought of caring for a hairless cat tickles your fancy, this article will compare Donskoy vs Sphynx cats.


Donskoy Cats

Sphynx Cat



Toronto, Canada

Coat Pattern

Can be hairless or have patches of hair

Completely hairless


Length: 8-11 inches

Weight: 4 to 12 pounds

Length: 7-10 inches

Weight: 6 to 12 pounds. More muscular

Eye Color

Usually black, blue, grey, and cream

Typically blue, gold, copper, green, yellow, red, and orange


Weather sensitive, prone to sunburn, and may experience skin-related health conditions

Susceptible to sunburn, hum disorders, thickening of the heart, and muscle weakness

Breed History of Donskoy Cats


Donskoy, or the Russian Sphynx, is a feline breed that originated in Russia in 1987. The first Donskoy kitten was discovered on the banks of the Don River in the city of Rostov-on-Don by Elena Kovaleva.

The said feline found on the river banks had a genetic mutation, which caused it not to develop hair. To recreate its hairless features, the cat was bred with other felines.

Breeders initially faced feline health issues and skepticism while developing the Donskoy cat. But once the breed’s health and appearance have been improved, The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized it in 2005.

That said, there still exist registries that don’t recognize the Donskoy because they’re not convinced the breed is in good health.

Sphynx Cat and Its History


In 1966, a female domestic shorthair kitten from Toronto, Canada, gave birth to a litter of kittens, which included a hairless one. This hairless kitten was the beginning of the Sphynx breed.

The said Canadian Sphynx became hairless due to a genetic mutation. When it became an adult, the owner bred it with other cats through selective breeding.

Sphynx cats got their name from the Great Sphinx Of Giza, which they greatly resemble. Due to this resemblance, some people call the Sphynx cat the Egyptian hairless cat.

In 2002, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognized the Sphynx as an official feline breed. Since then, it has gained fame for its unique features and affectionate nature.

Donskoy and Sphynx Cats: Similarities


1. Coat

Donskoy and Sphynx cats are naked cats. They lack fur and have wrinkled skin, which makes their appearance striking. It’s due to their hairless bodies that these cats have high metabolisms, making diets high in protein and fat necessary for keeping them in good shape.

Both felines also have sleek and muscular bodies. Despite their size, these cats are dense and heavy.

2. Personality

Both cats are active, friendly, and affectionate. They are social felines, so they enjoy interacting with their human companions.

Donskoy and Sphynx cats are good with children and other pets if trained and introduced properly. So, if you live in a multi-pet home, these felines are a great addition.

In addition, both cats are intelligent, so you can teach them various tricks.

3. Energy

Donskoy and Sphynx are excellent choices if you are looking for energetic cats. The Sphynx cat is a bit less energetic than the Donskoy hairless cat, but it still requires a lot of mental stimulation.

Meanwhile, Donskoy cats are full of energy. They love jumping from one piece of furniture to another as if showing off for attention.

Differences Between Donskoy and Sphynx Cats


1. Origin

As mentioned, Donskoy cats came from Russia. It is a relatively new breed developed when State Pedagogical Institute professor Elena Kovaleva found an abandoned hairless cat in Rostov-on-Don.

Meanwhile, Sphynx cats came from Toronto, Canada. Due to its place of discovery, Sphynx felines were once called the Canadian hairless cat.

2. Coat Pattern

Donskoy cats come in four coat patterns:

  • Rubber bald Donskoys. Born with no hair at all and remain bald throughout their lives.
  • Flocked Donskoys. Born with a bit of fur that somewhat resembles soft fuzz. As they grow, their fur may either fall off or remain intact.
  • Velour Donskoys. Born with fur but usually have bald spots on their heads. Their short fur will either remain or fall off as they grow into adulthood.
  • Brush Donskoys. Have the most amount of hair on their bodies. Their fur is wiry and short and will remain the same throughout their lives.

Meanwhile, Sphynx cats are completely bald, but their skin comes in solid and patterned colors.

As the name suggests, solid-colored Sphynx cats have only one hue throughout their bodies. They can be black, bluish, grey, cream, or more.

Patterned Sphyxes have various pigmentation. They have many color patterns, but the most popular are:

  • Has two color patterns mixed
  • Resembles Siamese cats
  • A rare pattern that is usually composed of white, black, and red or brown spots.

3. Size

Donskoy is a medium-sized cat that usually measures 8 to 11 inches. Female Donskoys weigh around 4 to 10 lbs, while males weigh 6 to 12 lbs.

Sphynx cats are large hairless cats that measure 7 to 10 inches long. While the Russian hairless cat is longer, Sphynx cats are more muscular.

Male Sphynxes weigh about 8 to 12 lbs, while females weigh approximately 6 to 9 lbs.

4. Eye Color

Donskoy felines have eyes that come in various colors, including green, blue, orange, brown, amber, green, or mixed. Sphynxes, on the other hand, typically have vivid blue, gold, copper, green, yellow, red, and orange.

Sphynx felines may also have a rare condition called heterochromia, causing their eyes to have different colors.

5. Health

These felines’ hairless bodies make them susceptible to sunburn. Apart from sun sensitivity, the Russian cat breed can quickly acquire skin-related conditions, such as infections and itching.

Meanwhile, Sphynxes are prone to hereditary myopathy (muscle weakness), gum disorders, and thickening of the heart’s muscles. It’s essential to keep these cats active to minimize the chances of these illnesses developing.

6. Cost Comparison

Donskoy felines usually cost around $500 to $2000, depending on where you are getting them from. If you don’t want to spend a lot on your cat, you may consider adoption.

However, Donskoys are rare, so it can take a while before you can finally adopt one.

Sphynx cats cost around $1800 to $3000. Similar to Donskoys, you can try your luck in adoption centers to get a lower cat price, but it may take a while to get your hands on one.

Which Breed Should You Choose?

Whether you’ll get a Donskoy or a Sphynx depend on your personal preference. Regardless of your choice, it is important to note that both cats need a lot of time and attention.

Both breeds are affectionate, social, and playful. So, you need to a generous amount of time to spend with them to keep them happy.

If you cannot decide which breed to get, it is helpful to spend time with both felines and see which one you can connect with more.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Donskoy Cat



  • Donskoy cats are hypoallergenic.
  • They have playful personalities
  • You can train Donskoys to do tricks or use a potty trainer, so you don’t have to take care of their bodily wastes.


  • Requires a particular diet consisting of protein and fats.
  • Some cat registries don’t recognize Donskoys, as they have concerns about the breed’s genetic health.

Pros and Cons of Caring for Sphynxes



  • Sphynx cats are hairless, so there is little chance for them to trigger your allergies.
  • They only require frequent skin wiping and occasional bathing.
  • These felines thrive on human companionship.


  • Also require a special diet high in protein and fats
  • Requires frequent excercises

Caring Tips For Donskoy And Sphynx Cats


As both breeds are hairless, they need special care to keep their bodies warm and their skin healthy. Below are some tips for caring for your hairless cat:

  • Bath

Donskoys and Sphynx don’t have furs to absorb the oils their skin makes. So, you need to wipe their skin frequently to get rid of the oil.

You also need to bathe your pet regularly using a feline-friendly shampoo and warm water.

  • Moisturize

Regular moisturization is crucial to prevent skin dryness in hairless cats. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer that is perfectly safe for your Sphynx and Donskoy.

  • Keep Your Cat Out Of Direct Sunlight

Keeping your pet indoors is ideal. In the event that you need to bring it out, you can use a pet-safe sunscreen to protect your pet’s skin.

  • Temperature Control

Donskoys and Sphynx get cold easily. So, give them warm bedding to prevent them from feeling cold.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you crossbreed a Donskoy and Sphynx?

You cannot create a Donskoy-Sphynx mix due to their genetic differences. Donskoys carry dominant genes, while Sphynx has recessive genes.

Are Donskoy cats good pets?

Donskoys are good felines that adapt well to almost all environments. They also tolerate kids and other pets, thus making them good pets.


Donskoy vs Sphynx cats – after this comparison, it is evident that the two breeds have a lot of similarities. However, they still have some differences.

For one, Donskoys are more active than Sphynxes. Therefore, they require more attention.

Once you have brought home your breed of choice, keeping them in perfect condition is crucial. The reason is that they are prone to various skin health conditions.

If you are not sure whether your pet is healthy or unhealthy, you need to bring it to a veterinarian for a checkup.

5/5 - (2 votes)