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Descriptions of the Donskoy & Peterbald Coat Types

| December 26, 2011
Brown tortie tabby brush coat Peterbald

Abrodiel 2 hot for u. Peterbald, Brown tortie tabby brush coat. Breeder: christina Schroede, Owner: Roeleen bloemohf

Hair types:

Born Bald {BB} – Born bald, total hairlessness, rubber feel -Show coat

Flocks {BF}- Feels soft to the touch, full hairlessness by 2 yrs of age- Show coat

Velour {BV}- Velour = crush velvet hair coat, residue remaining on face, legs and tail called points. Some may go full hairlessness by 2 yrs of age. – Show coat

Brush {bb}- “Brush” variety retains hair on the whole body, which is wavy, often harsh, except for several bald spots on head, upper side of neck or back. Admissible as a stud animal and for judging at cat shows, but can’t compete for the Championship Certificates.

A Born Bald is a cat that was born hairless and stayed forever hairless. In general, there are two types of Born Bald Peterbald, the Ultra-Bald and some of the Shami (see definitions below).

The Ultra Bald by definition is a Born Bald-it’s a cat that never has any hair throughout his lifetime. Shami cats can sometimes be Born-Balds as well. If a kitten is born Shami and stays Shami throughout all seasons and throughout his life, he is considered a Born Bald. If he grows hair at any point during his lifetime, even if he later looses the hair, then he is not considered a Born Bald.

The distinction is important only for breeding purposes since at this time it is not a good practice to mate Born Balds to each other. For Show, Pet or any other purposes, it is irrelevant whether the Peterbald gained or lost hair during the first few years of his life.

Ultra Bald

An Ultra Bald is a completely hairless cat. They are also known as Rubber Cat or Sticky Bald. An Ultra Bald is a special type of Born Bald kitten that does not ever grow any hair during any season or during any period of his life. They are born bald and they stay forever bald. Ultra Bald kittens are born with their eyes open. They are born without whiskers and eyebrows. Their skin is thick, warm and sticky to the touch with more than average wrinkling on the head and body. You can’t really run your hand down the back of an Ultra Bald when you pet them because the stickiness of the skin will stop your hand. You have to just pat them on the head or the back.

Often the Ultra Bald are much smaller at birth than the other kittens and can have a less well-developed immune system. Often the Ultra Bald are less active and less playful with a more introverted personality when compared to the other kittens. The Ultra Bald is extremely useful in a breeding program because he is capable of producing only brush coated or bald kittens.


A Shami coat is fur so short that you can not see or feel it. The skin is very thin, soft and warm but not sticky to the touch. You can run your hand down the back of a shami from his head to his tail when you pet him without getting “stuck”.

(Pictured above are 3 different cats)

The Shami coated cats have broken curled or bent whiskers as well as eyebrows. If a kitten is born Shami and never grows any hair during any season or point in his life, then he is considered a Born-Bald. A kitten that is born Shami may later grow hair to become a brush coat.

Or a kitten that is born Shami may later grow hair and then loose it, becoming Shami again.

(Pictured above is one cat from birth to 2 years)

A kitten that is born brush or suede may later loze the hair and become a Shami.

(Pictured above is one cat from kitten age to 2 years)

It can often take a Peterbald up to two years to reach his final coat. Many kittens with heavy thick brush coats can become Shami after a couple of years. Other kittens with short suede coats may never become Shami. There is no way to predict with absolute certainty if a kitten born with hair will become a Shami over the next couple of years. The coat type of the kitten is stated in terms of the amount of hair he currently has. If he was born Shami but has grown a Brush coat now, he is not a Shami. If he was born a Brush Coat but has lost it down to a Shami now, then he’s considered a Shami.


A Suede coat is composed of extremely short, fine hairs. When you look at a suede coat from a distance, you don’t see the hair but if you pet the kitten, it will feel like you are petting fur. When you closely examine the skin of a Suede coated cat, you can see fine downy or short hairs. The Suede coated cats have broken curled or bent whiskers as well as eyebrows. If a kitten is born with a suede coat, he may loose it later to become a shami or he may grow a brush coat. The suede coat is considered a bald cat for Show/Pet purposes even though there are short hairs. For purposes of mating, a suede coat is not considered a Born Bald. There would be no reservations about mating a suede coat with a Born Bald.


A Velvet coat is a very short, thick, soft coat of fur. You can both see and feel the Velvet coat. It is not considered a bald cat for Show or Mating purposes. A thinner version of the Velvet coat is sometimes called the Velour coat by some Breeders..


Often a cat that is born Brush or Velvet coated can loose all of his hair except for velvet points (velvet on the face, ears, feet and tail). Sometimes cats are born with no hair except for velvet points. These cats are considered Bald with Fur Points for Show purposes.


A Brush coat can range from short to medium length. Often it is comprised of coarse, kinky hairs comparable to a “Brillo” in texture.

Sometimes the hairs are a rough texture made of looser waves. The coat can be so thin you can see the skin thru it or it can be very thick.

Sometimes a Brush coat may appear to be mostly straight but will stick out all over due to the rough texture and frizziness. Some Brush coats are almost similar to a Straight coat except for the rough coarse texture in the last third of the hairs.

Over time, a Brush coat can grow longer, become thinner or become thicker, or it can be lost entirely. Usually if a cat is going to loose a Brush coat, it will gradually occur by the time he is two years old. Some Breeders, for simplicity, will refer to any coat type other than Straight or Bald as a Brush.


A Straight coat is a regular textured and length coat similar to what an Oriental Shorthair would have. The straight-coated cat will have long straight whiskers and eyebrows. This is a non-standard coat type and these cats cannot be shown at Cat Shows. At this time while the breed is still in such a developmental stage, it is often necessary to keep a Straight coat in a breeding program so that specific desirable traits can be incorporated into the existing lines. Straight coats will never loose hair.

Sometimes a brush coated Peterbald may be referred to as “hair-loosing”. If a particular cat or kitten is called “hair-loosing”, it means that at this specific current time, if you pull lightly on a clump of hair, it will easily fall out into your fingers. The kitten or cat is loosing its coat at this exact current time and appears to be going hairless. A cat or kitten is not “hair-loosing” just because it has a thin or short brush coat or because someone thinks that it might loose its hair. A cat or kitten is not “hair-loosing” just because it was born with a bald spot on top of its head or because it has lost hair in the past. The hair has to be actually falling out at this immediate exact specific current point in time for the cat to be classified as “hair-loosing”.

European Terms
Flocked is a European type term that some Breeders use to designate the soft short coats of the Shami and Suede. Undressed refers to a cat that has lost a brush coat. Undressing refers to a cat that is “hair-loosing”. Naked means that the cat is bald or hairless. Hopefully these terms are just poor electronic translations from Russia to English and not an attempt to give the Peterbald a pornographic association thru inappropriate words and phrases.

Copyright & Credit:
Sherri Mossop at Possoms cattery:  Home of the: Donskoy, Peterbald & Savannah “Possoms Cattery & rescue”
Linda Usher at Cowboy Claws Cattery:

Photo copyright and courtesy:  Roeleen Bloemhof ,  Mistbesque Cattery

Category: Breeding and Genetics, Feline Health and Care, Feline Resources

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