Physical characteristicsThe Peterbald is a small to medium cat with a svelte and graceful appearance. One of its most recognizable features is wrinkled skin all over the body including the head, neck, the base of the tail, the top of the legs, and underbelly. In fact, nearly all domestic cats have such wrinkles, but the fur hides it usually. Since Peterbalds have little fur, the wrinkles become easily spotted. The body of Peterbalds is long and athletic, with fine boning. The legs are long too. The oval feet with long prominent toes are neat and agile. The tail is long and straight. The head is triangle-shaped, with very large pointed ears and expressive eyes. The chin is strong. The whiskers and eyebrows are usually wavy, sometimes they are broken or don't exist at all.
TemperamentSince this is a relatively new breed, the personality of Peterbalds can vary a lot. However, there are some common traits to mention. Peterbald cats are playful, curious, active, and friendly. They have a very trustful nature, and may easily become friends with any strangers. For this reason, they had better be kept as indoor cats only. If proper introductions are made, Peterbalds get along well with other pets in the house, including cat-friendly dogs. They also get on well with children and elderly people. Highly affectionate and people-oriented, Peterbalds will love to follow you everywhere and participate in everything you do. Even if you aren't doing anything, they'll gladly share this idleness sitting on your lap. Peterbalds are quite vocal and will often want to tell you how their day has passed. They will mope without lots of attention, so if you are not disposed to giving it, consider getting another breed.
Photo of Peterbald kitten by © kis37
Coat and groomingPeterbalds appear to be hairless, but actually they have short and fine down. It is more plentiful in some individuals, and less in others. Some Peterbalds lose their coat with age. Even though their coat is short, Peterbalds do need regular grooming to remove the sebaceous oils collected on their skin. Also, wipe them down regularly with water or cat-safe wipes, otherwise the cat may become sticky to the touch. Weekly bathing with a kitty-safe shampoo is recommended. These oily secretions are absolutely normal and typical for cats. However, Peterbalds don't have enough fur to absorb the oils, hence the additional care is required. Peterbalds are known to be little shedding cats.
All colours are patterns are possible.
HealthSo far, no breed-specific health problems have been found. However, since Peterbalds have Oriental Shorthair, Don Sphynx and Siamese heritage, they may inherit some diseases specific to those breeds, such as liver amyloidosis and dilated cardiomyopathy.
Other interesting factsPeterbald kittens are usually born with hair. They lose the coat as they mature, which can take up to two years.
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