A Peterbald is a breed of hairless cats. These are a new breed founded in the end of 1995.
They are unrelated to the Sphynx, as the gene that causes the hairlessness is different. The peterbald gene is a dominant gene not recessive. They are found in a wide range of colours and patterns, including colourpoint and bi-colour.
The peterbald cats head is wedge-shaped with oval eyes and high cheekbones. The whiskers are wavy or broken off near the skin. The body is slightly wrinkled and is long and lean with strong fine bones. The tail is long and straight. The pointed ears are large, broad at the base and set straight. The peterbalds skin is soft like a chamois cloth or a peach. The peterbald cat comes in several different coat types.
The peterbald kitten can be born bald or with a little hair. Those born with hair will normally loose the hair between the ages of 1 to 2 years old.
Peterbald coats are divided. Bald and Hairy. Bald is further divided into Ultra Bald, Flock or Chamois and Velvet. Hairy into Brush and Straight.
Ultra Bald kittens are born without hair and never grow any. Their soft skin is warm and sticky to the touch with no Whiskers or eyebrows.
Flock or Chamois peterbalds are 90% hairless with no visible hair and feel smooth to the touch. These silken-skinned cats have no coat resistance when you stroke them and no sense of stickiness. They may have down on the extremities while their whiskers and eyebrows will be kinked, curled and/or broken.
The Velvet cat is 70% hairless with a coat up to 1mm in length. It looks completely hairless from a distance but has some resistance when stroked. When sparse, the skin is clearly visible but if dense, the coat shines giving the cat a sleek look. As these cats age, the velvet coat may change to a Flock/Chamois coat.
Brush coats have wiry hair ranging from barely wavy to almost curly with an irregular texture and are up to 5mm long. A kitten with a light brush may change to a bald coat by age 2 but kittens with a heavy, dense brush will always have a brush coat. The whiskers are always curled or kinked.
Straight (non standard) coated peterbalds do not have the hair loss gene and have short close-lying and normal straight whiskers and cannot be shown at the present time in Champion classes.
The FIFe breed standard is available here
Alistair & Debbie Downham
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