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The Lykoi is an extremely rare cat breed caused by a natural mutation from a domestic shorthair. This exclusive feline intrigues cat lovers worldwide because of its werewolf-like looks, with the appropriately given nickname “the wolf cat.”
Luckily though, the Lykoi does not have the personality of a werewolf. Instead, this unique kitty is intelligent, curious and extremely loving. The breed has been around for less than 20 years, so while their numbers remain very low, the wolf cat breed is slowly growing.
Meet the Lykoi cat
The Lykoi is a medium sized cat, weighing 6 to 12 pounds. They have slender, toned bodies and wedge-shaped heads. When you look at their face, you’ll notice hairless patches around their eyes, nose and backs of the ears. These areas will have a leather texture and will be a shade of pink. Another distinctive facial feature is their large ears, pointed and set wide on their heads.
Lykoi cats can have a full coat of fur on their body or be partially hairless with patches of missing hair on their belly, legs, or paws. Although this makes them look similar to other hairless breeds, like the Sphynx and Devon Rex, DNA testing confirms Lykoi cats do not carry the Sphynx/Devon Rex gene.
Most Lykois will have black fur, which will feel fine, short, and coarse. Those with full coats may have some white hair too, which makes them appear silver. Moreover, because they have no undercoat, where their hair is patchy, they can look like they have mange, but this is not the case.
Lykoi cats are certainly not fluffy kitties and don’t win awards for the most aesthetically beautiful breed. Even so, if you can see the uniqueness of this wolf cat, you’ll see past their superficial appearance.
The temperament of a Lykoi
While Lykois are a domestic cat breed, they originated from feral cats and have solid hunting instincts. They are pretty playful, but they are happy to play on their own. They are most content as indoor-outdoor kittens due to their feral heritage. Still, as they lack a warm coat, keeping them inside during the winter is essential.
At first, Lykois can seem aloof, but that is not the case at all. The truth is Lykois just take a little while to warm up to new people. But once they accept a human, they will quickly build a solid, lasting bond with them.
They are too busy being on the lookout for prey to follow you around as some breeds do, but they will show you affection nonetheless. They will happily sit on your lap or curl up by your feet, and when they’re in a relaxed mood, they will welcome petting.
They display a good amount of independence, and they are happy to stay at home during the day while you are out working. Compared to many other domestic cat breeds, they don’t have high social needs, making them easy-going companions. However, as they are very playful and intelligent, make sure you have plenty of toys, cat trees, and cardboard boxes around to keep them entertained.
10 reasons to add a Lykoi to your family
- They can stay home alone - If you dream of having a feline companion but have a demanding full-time job, a Lykoi could be a good option. While they are affectionate kitties, they don’t have a strong need for social interaction and don’t get stressed when left alone.
- They like to cuddle - Despite their feral instincts, they develop deep bonds with their owners and will often spend the night sleeping by their feet.
- They are excellent problem solvers - Something you’ll discover when you live with a Lykoi cat is how smart they are. They are great at solving problems and cracking puzzle games, as well as playing fetch.
- Some have silver fur - Black roan Lykoi cats have white hairs that give their coat a shiny grey appearance.
- Every Lykoi is unique - Some Lykois have a full coat, others are almost entirely hairless, and some have a few bald patches. Plus, as their fur colour and thickness change throughout kittenhood, how a Lykoi kitten turns out is always a surprise.
- They make unique sounds - Lykois don’t have the standard feline meow. Instead, when they vocalise, it’s usually a cute chirp-like sound.
- They are easy going - Lykois are easy cats to look after. While they are pretty playful and active, they will entertain themselves and never demand attention from you.
- They are new and exclusive - They were only registered as a breed by TICA in 2012, making them one of the most recent and rarest breeds today.
- They have no health concerns - Although it’s still too early to tell, it does seem that Lykois do not have any breed specific health problems.
- They are mini werewolves - Lastly, let’s face it, there is no other cat breed that looks like a werewolf.
Best homes for a Lykoi cat
A Lykoi cat will do best in a predictable home and peaceful environment as they do not handle change very well. Lykoi owners should establish and stick to a regime and honour their need for space and alone time. Therefore, they are more suited to young working couples or older retirees rather than a family with young, loud kids. That being said, they are very friendly towards children once they get to know them.
Lokis will stay away from strangers as they size them up from a distance, so if many new people come in and out of your house, this could stress out your wolf cat. However, it’s not a problem with friends and family as once they meet someone a few times and realise they are not a threat, they will let their guard down.
The same goes for animals. While they can become friends with other cats and dogs, a slow introduction is vital for success. However, if you introduce them to other pets from a very young age, creating a multi-pet household will rarely be a problem.