One look at a Lykoi cat and you’ll understand why it’s named after the Greek word for “werewolf.” This nearly hairless, energetic cat is a very new breed that has some peculiar quirks.
Weight: 5-8 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Temperament: lively, intelligent, devoted
Ease of Training:
If the first thing you thought about the Lykoi cat is that it looks wild, your instincts would be correct. This breed was brought to us via a genetic mutation that was discovered in feral cats, and in 2011 they were purposefully bred for this recessive gene by veterinarian Johnny Gobble and his wife, Brittney.
Before breeding, the couple ran medical tests on unrelated litters across the United States to ensure that the gene wasn’t associated with illness or defects. They were happy to determine that the Lykoi’s striking appearance wasn’t anything more than a physical anomaly.
Regarding their physical appearance, the Lykoi tends to be black or gray, but is sometimes white. Whatever the color, it’s almost completely hairless and usually has no hair around its nose, mouth, ears, and feet. The hair they do have looks wiry but is surprisingly soft. Though strong and lean, Lykois run on the small side.
Because they’ve only recently been domesticated, this breed still retains a number of “wild” traits, including its hunter instincts, high energy level, deep curiosity, and protective tendencies. They prefer to be moving over lounging around and will happily play with their owners or entertain themselves with toys. They’re incredibly smart, as well, which makes them surprisingly easy to train. You can teach them how to use the toilet, play fetch, and even hunt.
This breed is loyal and affectionate with its owners, but it does take time and patience for it to warm up. For that reason, they’re a bit shy and standoffish with strangers. Once they get to know you, though, they’ll happily sit in your lap and will even go so far as to protect you. They’re especially protective of other cats and children. Though it isn’t a very chatty cat, the Lykoi is known for its very loud purr.
As you might imagine given its newness and striking features, the Lykoi cat is pretty hard to come by. Breeders do exist, but you can expect to pay between $1500 to $5000 to get one of your own.
Lykois have very sparse fur without an undercoat. Despite this, they tend to shed quite a bit, especially during the spring and fall when they essentially become bald. During this time, their skin is prone to getting very oily, so weekly baths are recommended.
The majority of health concerns surrounding Lykois is due to their lack of hair. They accumulate oil quickly, their exposure to the sun puts them at risk for burns and cancer, and they tend to get cold. Like any cat, they should also visit the veterinarian at least once per year to ensure good health. Having pet insurance can provide peace of mind in the case of unexpected illness.