Not as Scary as They Look! Meet the Lykoi Cat aka the Werewolf Cat!

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portrait of a black Lykoi Werewolf catThe Lykoi cat derives its name from the Greek word meaning Werewolf: Lykoi! Their werewolf appearance is owing to a mutation quite common in domestic shorthair cats, which does not allow for the growth of the usual undercoat. Having their beginnings mostly as rescue cats, they also carry the nickname of the “second chance breed”.

Meet the Lykoi Cat aka the Werewolf Cat!

This breed is by no means a freak of nature. Much like other hairless breeds of cat including the Sphynx, the Peterbald , and the Dwelf cat, this pure breed was purposefully bred as such. On first introduction, one would not be faulted for looking over one’s should in expectation of finding other werewolf-types such as the Tamaskan dog to complete the fantasy.

Indeed, to witness these out of the ordinary cats win cat-loathers over, will have you believing in magic and mystical worlds, whether or not you want to.

The Gobbles Family: The Creator of the Fearless Werewolf Cat

Mrs. Thomas in Virginia was presented with a litter in July 2010 of a black domestic shorthair which showed a possible Sphynx mutation, but this was disproved with DNA testing.

Dr. Leslie Lyons confirmed through DNA tests that they were neither Sphynx nor Devon. Enter Johnny and Brittney Gobble who in 2011 capitalized on this recessive mutation common in shorthair cats, to produce the first Lykoi kitten. The origin of this somewhat bizarre feline is not at all outlandish, however, and the birth of the breed actually has a most ordinary and down to earth explanation.

Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian, ran tests on cats from unrelated litters across America to determine whether their scraggly coats were due to disease or underlying conditions. More tests ruled out cardiac and dermatological factors, and the cats were pronounced healthy. Their hair pattern was simply a natural mutation, and no sinister issues were at work, and so began the Gobble’s breeding program.

All sinisterness aside, the Gobbles focused breeding with black cats because in them the mutation was just more prominent. Johnny and Brittney sourced feral cats with this mutation from across America including from a colony in Vermont. Along with Cheryl Kerr, they also helped spay, neuter and vaccinate cats in this colony.

Lyoki kitten stalking prey

On 14th September 2014 the first Lykoi cat was born! In 2014 The International Cat Association (TICA) Board passed the Lykoi to “Preliminary New Breed” status. In September 2015 the TICA board in Austria passed them to Advanced New Breed and a year later the breed was passed to Championship status.

The Appearance of the Fierce Lykoi Kitty!

Scary as they might be, their appearance is really just down to the breed not having an undercoat, and beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Lykois have the roan pattern, which is an intermix of normal color hair with white hair, and the mandatory balding of the hair coat. Kittens appear quite normal at birth and only begin to lose their coats a week or two after birth when they start to look fluffy. At three to four month, the kitten will have the Lykoi appearance.

Although the coat appears stiff or bristly, it is actually soft and silky. The entire hair coat may shed and be replaced with a new, more or less coated one. This molt could alter the roan coloring too, leaving them more black to more white. more naked or almost completely coated.

The masks also vary as does the thickness of the coat, but ears and nose are always hairless, the coat is roan, and the feet are sparsely haired. Black is the standard color, but they can be every color normal cats come in, but always roan.

Werewolf Cats: Despite their Name, they Have a Lovely Personality

Behavior-wise, they are more dog-like than other cat breeds, but cats they are, and they behave as typical housecats. They love attention and play interaction with people, but are not always a lap cat and are extremely energetic.

Curiosity gets the better of them and they will leave you and set off to explore. Lykoi show guarding behavior over children and other cats, as if it is their duty to watch over the home, much like royalty might. These kitties play fetch, stand on their hind legs, learn to use a toilet, and reach out with their front paws as if they were hands. Several Lykoi together in a room have tendencies to track like a pack.

Cats that act like dogs, the lykois serious face ponders

A Lycan Cat! Is the Lykoi a Healthy Cat Breed

Being a new breed, breed specific health issues are not yet determined. They do have special requirements, though. The partial hairless coat causes oil to accumulate on the nails and inside the ears which require regular cleaning with a soft cloth. Lykoi needs protection from the sun and the cold, although their skin does tan in the summer and the hair coat does thicken in the winter. Stray and feral Lykoi handle the outside weather conditions very well.

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Wolf Cat

  1. Breeding cats cost between $3000 and $5000
  2. Their hunter instinct and distrust of strangers does still allow them to make friends very quickly once they get to know someone
  3. There is no way to tell if a black cat carries the Lykoi gene. Hair loss is not a sign.
  4. Even countries like South Africa now have registered Lykoi breeders
  5. Lykoi cats do suntan and their coats become a darker black after exposure, returning again to a pinkish color

Werewolf Cat Breeders Near Me!

Acquiring a Lykoi is easier than before as most breeders will now have kittens available for pet homes, although availability is still very limited since only 150 standard Lykoi exist worldwide.

Lykoi Cat For Sale

The Gobbles’ Lykoi website will point you in the direction of a breeder near you.

Lykoi Cat Cost

$1800 will cover adoption from a breeder, TICA registration paper, spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations, and Health Guarantee/Contract.

Lykoi cat aka the wolf cat sitting

The Wolf Cat! Who Wouldn’t Want One!

If the second chance breed has proven anything, it’s that this odd looking cat can win over even the hardest heart. All who meet them, fall in love. Unfortunately, not many Lykoi are bred, and so only the fortunate get to own one.

Common Questions on the Lykoi Cat

Is the Lykoi a crossbreed of the Sphynx?

Is the mutation recessive or dominant?

Does the breed have specific genetic health issues?

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