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Sphynx vs. Peterbald

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This is just a start. I hope others will chime in and add information. I am going to try to divide this up into logical sections.

Of course, this is the biggest difference. Both the Sphynx and the Peterbald are natural mutations of a hairless cat. The Sphynx gene is recessive. The Peterbald gene is dominant. This means that if you breed a Sphynx to a regular coated cat, you will get all regular coated cats in the litter of kittens. If you breed a Peterbald to a regular coated cat, you will likely get some hairless kittens (or what we call brush coats) in the litter of kittens.

Peterbald History:
A hairless cat (actually, a hair losing cat that eventually ended up hairless) was discovered in Moscow, Russia in the late 80's. Moscow breeders thought it was a Sphynx, but the genetic make-up turned out to be different. They bred the cat to a Domestic Shorthair and called the cat a Donskoy (also, called a Don Hairless). Some breeders from St. Petersburg, Russia decided to go another route. They breed the Donskoy to a Oriental Shorthair. The result of that breeding, of course, led to a very Oriental body type on a hairless cat. This, being a different breed, was called the Peterbald (name derived from the name of St. Petersburg). The Peterbald went on to be more popular and was accepted in TICA. I have the daughter of the first Peterbald here at Magnoliachat. She was the first one in the U.S. Getting a little older now, but still doing wonderful and healthy. The Peterblad is now accepted for championship status in TICA.

The looks:
I, usually, refer to the Sphynx as the "cute one" and the Peterbald as the "elegant one". The Sphynx is a little smaller, has a more elf like face, and should have a little bit of a pot belly. The Peterbald is long and lean. There are some differences in the Peterbald body type and an Oriental Shorthair or Siamese, but you can definitely see the influence.

Every cat is different, of course, but Peterbalds tend to be more active and athletic than the Sphynx. They are a little more demanding and vocal - but not near as vocal as a Siamese. They like to be cuddled - just like the Sphynx, but are more likely to fetch and are totally attentive to humans. The Sphynx is, also, attentive to humans, but I have found that they are not as "dog like" in their quickness to respond. Both are like full of antics and make a presence in any home. Most of my Peterbalds will walk on a leash and want to go with me when I leave the house.

The Care:
Both these breeds are completely indoor cats. They don't get cold like people think they would. They do like a nice blanket to sleep under, though. Similar to how we, as humans, like to sleep at night. They don't have to wear a sweater around either, although some owners like to dress them up, which they are fine with. The Sphynx tends to produce more oil on the skin. Don't know what this is, but it is definitely there. My Sphynx (I just have 2 pet Sphynx now) will leave a dark grease spot on my bed or clothes if they go too long without a bath. I bathe my Sphynx every month. I only bathe the Peterbalds once every 4 or 5 months. The needed bathing interval depends on the specific line of cats, though. Some require more and some even less - same with the Sphynx. Other than that, keeping the ears clean is the only other grooming needed (besides nail clipping). Since they do not have hair protecting the ears, that can need cleaning a little more than other breeds.

The bathing and ear cleaning is pretty easy, though. It is like bathing a human baby. It takes me about 5 minutes to do it. All of mine tolerate bathing and, even, like it. Quick shampoo up and rinse off. Dry off with a towel and you are done. No hair to worry about.

There are different coat types to the Peterbald that you should be aware of:
Ultra Hairless - a very bald cat with no sign of any hair at all. Feels like a very soft leather.
Suede and Chamous - appears hairless, but has a very soft feel. There is hair, but don't perceive it when looking at the cat. The Suede has a tiny tiny bit more hair (rub backwards and you can notice it) than the chamous.
Brush coat - Varying lengths of wiry coat.
Straight coat - regular coated cat and doesn't carry the gene. These will look a lot like an OSH. We use outcrosses of the OSH and Siamese, so we still get these.
Fur Point - tiny bit of hair on extremities - face, feet, and tail.

For showing, the cat can be brush up through the kitten class. After that, the Peterbald must be Suede, Chamous, or fur point.

One other difference:
The Sphynx can have a tendency to gain hair as they get older. The Peterbald is opposite. The Peterbald will tend to lose hair as they age. There is, actually, a hairlosing gene with the Peterbald. Some are born with a brush type coat and lose it. That is why the brush coat is allowed in the kitten class.

This is an example of a Fur point Peterbald adult: Magnoliachat' ReRe

This is a show quality kitten from Magnoliachat that had a little brush coat on him. He will lose this and be hairless by adulthood:

This is a born hairless kitten from Magnoliachat with fur points:

Hope this helped some. There is SO much more information, but it will be easier to answer questions than to just keep typing. I hope a Sphynx breeder will post some pictures and write some things, as well.
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
Since I mentioned a "Straight coat" Peterbald above, I thought I would post a picture of one of those as well. These are 2 straight coat kittens that I have (available, by the way). As you can see, they have normal short hair. These are all 5 weeks old in the picture.

This is a litter mate of the two above that is hairless:
post #3 of 18
Thanks for the lesson
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I was hoping some Sphynx breeders would chime in with some pictures for comparison. I asked a friend of mine that shows Sphnyx for this picture to use in the mean time. This is a Sphynx from Emily at Citizen Kat Cattery.

You can get a little bit of an idea of the different smaller size and length of the body and the different head type from this picture. It makes it very apparent of the Oriental roots of the Peterbaldin the pictures that I posted in posts above this.
post #5 of 18
Thanks, The Peterbald reminds me of a hairless oriental in type

And the Sphynx I've seen are a little heavier built then your picture - with a distintive pot belly - more rounded then the one you show - is that one a young Sphynx?
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, the Sphynx is usually heavier (more stocky) than the one pictured. I borrowed that picture from a Sphynx breeder and it is a younger cat - 8 months, I believe.
post #7 of 18
Thank you for posting that, I've never really known the difference.

Just as a side note, I'm a hairless cat lover, and am always on the look out for one. Perhaps one day my kitty dream will come true.
post #8 of 18
I've seen some 8-10 month old sphynx at shows - that one looks younger to me or its a pet quality
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Thank you for posting that, I've never really known the difference.

Just as a side note, I'm a hairless cat lover, and am always on the look out for one. Perhaps one day my kitty dream will come true.
I certainly have kittens right now. Plus, I have one adult that I need to place. Email me when you get a chance. We could probably work out something. I have an application that I could send you.
post #10 of 18
Thanks for another lesson. It really is so confusing to a generally breed uneducated person such as myself. I always enjoy reading the breeders threads for knowledge and just to enjoy the beautiful cats!
post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Thank you for posting that, I've never really known the difference.

Just as a side note, I'm a hairless cat lover, and am always on the look out for one. Perhaps one day my kitty dream will come true.

Don't say that too loudly around Dr. Claw - he just might try to oblige you.
post #12 of 18
I own a Sphynx. Thanks for taking the time to write that out and share your experiences and thoughts
post #13 of 18
Can you please post a pic cococat, I'd love to see your baby.
post #14 of 18
I am not so good at posting pictures. I tried to put her in my avatar, it kept saying too big, so I re-sized it and hope it works now.
post #15 of 18
Well I guess it is my profile picture? for some reason it won't let me make an avatar.
post #16 of 18
Thanks, she's lovely
post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Thanks, she's lovely
Thank you! We love her so much
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
She looks wonderful, Cococat. The hairless breeds are so great. I think people are sometimes turned off when they hear "hairless", but once they are around one and pet one, they change their minds quickly.
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