Lykoi Cat Breed

The unique and distinctive look of the Lykoi causes different reactions of wonder and admiration whenever people first see them. They are the only cat breed with a fascinating look that has become popular with cat lovers and enthusiasts. Most people concur that they look like little wolf cats – where the name Lykoi is from, a play off the Greek word Lycos which means wolf. Their strong prey drive is evident when they play. This cat will stalk their toys, other pets, and even people before they leap.

Lykois are a very loyal cat breed and tend to bond deeply with their human companion. This cat breed is a highly intelligent cat. They are fantastic problem solvers, and it exhibits when they play. They like to be with their families but can find fulfilment playing alone with any toy or object in the area. When there is more than one Lykoi, these cats interact wonderfully. They sometimes look like they would have a dog-like quality because they will play fetch and chase like a wolf hunt. Lykois love a warm lap but would actively play and hunt with their unlimited supply of energy.

This fun-loving cat breed loves human interaction, as well as other animals such as cats and dogs. Lykois are medium-sized cats with somewhat slender legs and have a muscular bodies. They are known for their facial “mask” and are considered to be their most striking feature. Their coat ranges from nearly coated to nearly hairless, especially during “moulting” that happened twice a year. Lykois will always lack an undercoat, regardless of the density of their coat, giving way only to their top guard hairs. Their coat appears coarse, but it is actually very soft and silky. The most usual and striking colour of their coat is black roan – a mingling of black hairs accented with individual white hairs that gives a very intense appearance of the facial “mask” and colour contract. While Lykois can appear in other colours, black roan is only the accepted colour in The International Cat Association championship status. Although they have very few coats, Lykois are not considered hypoallergenic.

Considered a new breed, Lykois continues to fascinate many cat fanciers and lovers worldwide for their unique appearance. 

Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Breed Information

20-25 cm
2-4.5 kg
Life Span:
12-15 years
Outgoing, Friendly, Active, Loyal, Affectionate,
Energy Level:
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws
  • Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
  • Shedding: Medium 6/10
  • Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
  • Activity Level: High 10/10
  • Playfulness: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
  • Friendliness to children: High 10/10
  • Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
  • Vocality: Low 2/10
  • Intelligence: High 10/10
  • Independence: High 10/10


Lykois are a naturally occurring gene in the feral cat population. In 2011, this cat breed was founded by Brittney Gobble, Johnny Gobble, and Patti Thomas, just after two irrelative litters of kittens were introduced to the founders as unique cats. The Gobbles did careful health assessments to safeguard that any sickness or disease did not cause the cat’s distinctive appearance. Johnny Gobble bred two unrelated felines to produce the first purposefully bred Lykoi kittens to demonstrate it was a gene. Since the mother to this litter was a black domestic cat, comprehensive outcrossing with shorthair black domestic cats started. It was identified that the gene was recessive with time, and to continue to decrease genetic inbreeding, several outcrossing with black domestic cats were done. There are still several Lykoi cats born to the feral cat population. Sometimes these cats can be used in the breeding program.

Lykois were accepted by The International Cat Association for championship competition in 2017. 

Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

The name of Lykoi is an ancient Greek word that means wolf. Lykois come in many colours, but only solid black roan is permitted to show. When one looks straight into their face, Lykoi has the look of a mythical werewolf. They are partially hairless and can be virtually entirely hairless to nearly completely coated, depending on their hair cycle. Their hair coat is unique in appearance in that it looks like the coat of an opossum when mostly coated. This cat breed is a natural mutation that has been reported sporadically over the last few years. The cat breed has been in progress from two distinct sibling litters in 2011. Most people might consider them unappealing when they first see them, but they will change their minds once you hold them.

The number of unpigmented white hairs within their coat varies from cat to cat and throughout their lifetime – ranging from 30% to 70%, with around 50% being the ideal. Their hairs appear a little longer compared to a normal shorthaired cat. Their gene also causes a reduction in their coat volume, so they would have a little undercoat, and only sparse down is seen in specific areas like around their eyes, muzzle or on their feet, which contributes to their werewolf-like appearance. Lykois have an agile moderate foreign type of built. Their head has a modified wedge shape with rounded contours, large, high-set, vertical ears, and beautiful gold oval-shaped eyes. The unique pattern of reduced hair and roan pigmentation gives the Lykoi’s unique look. 


When you are living with a Lykoi, you will instantly notice just how intelligent these cats are. As a cat breed, they are very curious and great problem solvers. So, you may want to guarantee that you have a lot of interactive cat toys available, plus a set of play items that are rotated frequently. Keeping your Lykoi mentally stimulated will bring out the best in this cat breed's personality.

Lykois’ lineage comes from feral cats. And because of this, they have retained their strong prey drive. They enjoy staling cat toys, other pets and people. So, keep in mind if you are an owner of small pets like birds, rodents or rabbit. You might want to reconsider owning a Lykoi.

This cat breed, like other breeds, are not fond of changes. Lykois are get nervous and cautious when they are in a new situation, preferring to distance and observe before immersing. But because of their natural loving nature, they quickly warm up with new people and other pets. Lykois are open to strangers but at the same time remain reserved because they prefer the company of their human companion.

Along with there being a brilliant feline, you can train them to play games of fetch. Lykois are generally an all-around active cat who loves to stay lively. Make sure you have suitable space and scope for climbing missions if you're considering adopting a Lykoi. Their behaviour is generally playful, but they have the tendency to wander off on their own for some time. Due to being a high energy feline, while they don’t mind being petter and scratched on their chin, they would typically prefer being “busy” doing their things on their own time than just sitting on their human companion’s lap.

At the end of the day, Lykoi cat loves nothing more than to snuggle up with their human companion and enjoy some well-deserved relaxation time. 

Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Lykois are known to be an intelligent and active cat breed. They thrive on an environment where they can roam around freely and keep their active and bright minds stimulated at all times. Start them young. Train your Lykois to use their scratching post and litter boxes. These are simple tasks where they could start and can progress to a more complex training such as learning how to play a game of fetch, and following commands through clicker-training.

Remember, like many other cat breeds, they can quickly adjust to new situations and environments when a Lykoi is appropriately trained and familiarized during their kittenhood. Moreover, Lykois will grow up to be a well-bred and well-rounded feline companion. 

Coat & Care

Lykoi’s coat is thin and may be nearly fully coated as kittens. Their coats shed, so there may be times they may appear near naked. Because they lack a considerable amount of undercoats for weather protection, they should be considered only an indoor cats. If exposed to outdoor weather conditions, Lykois can suffer sunburn or hypothermia.

This cat breed must be washed frequently, but their bathing should be simple as they do not have much hair. Some cats will need more frequent bathing and may have blackheads or other tiny “cystic acne” type issues. Don’t worry; it is not a health problem.

Inspect your Lykoi’s ears and eyes as these can be susceptible to infection. For their ears, keep them clean and healthy by checking them for any debris, dirt or wax buildup. Wipe it out using clean cotton balls with a vet-approved ear cleanser. Never use cotton swabs because they can aggravate or damage your Lykoi’s delicate inner ear structure. If you notice any foul smell coming out of their ears, contact your vet instantly for care and treatment, as this can be a sign of infection. For infection-free eyes, keep it clean by examining it weekly for dirt, stains and discharge. Use a clean, soft cloth with a vet-approved eye cleaner to eliminate any discharge or stains that may result in infection. Just remember to use another part of the fabric to avoid any risk of eye infection.

For their dental health, brush your Lykoi’s teeth weekly to prevent tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. You can use a pet toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth and mouth well. To keep their nails clean, trim them often as twice a month or as needed. Examine their paws as well to see if it is healthy, dirt and injury-free.

Give extra care to their unique coat. Ensure that their litter boxes are clean at all times as dirt, debris, and clumped litter can stick to their fur and might be hard to remove. Also, while grooming themselves, they may ingest some of this dirty litter and cause irritation and blockage on their digestive system. Moreover, dirty litter boxes will encourage your Lykoi to use other parts of the house for their bathroom business.

Lastly, it is best to keep your Lykoi as an indoor pet. As mentioned, this cat breed is prone to hypothermia or sunburn is exposed to weather conditions outdoors. Moreover, it will keep them safe from any cat diseases they may get outdoors or other unfriendly circumstances like accidents and animal attacks. Keeping them as an indoor pet will keep them off from wandering outside and may intentionally or unintentionally be taken by bystanders whose unique beauty might enchant. 

Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws


Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Lykois have been proven to be a robust, healthy cat breed with no predominant hereditary diseases; however, the The International Cat Association Lykoi Breed Committee endorses genetic testing for all cats.

Keep your Lykoi’s vaccines and shots up-to-date. Regular vet checkups will also help in keeping your cat health in tip-top condition. 

Children & Other Pets

Because of their high energy and intelligence, Lykois are ideal for families with children. They are affectionate, playful and active, which is an excellent match for children. They can be trained to play a game of fetch. Just remember to oversee every interaction between a child and a Lykoi to prevent any unwanted circumstances from occurring, such as hurting the child or mishandling the cat. Also, remember to give your Lykoi their own space and time to make them happy and content.

Lykois can live harmoniously with other pets such as cats and cat-friendly dogs. Be mindful, though, because of their strong prey drive, be cautious in showing these cats any small animals such as birds, pet rodents and small rabbits. As recommended, introduce your pets gradually if meeting for the first time in controlled environments to make sure that they learn to go well together. 

Lykoi Cat Breed Information | The Pedigree Paws

Available Lykoi Kittens