The Lykoi is a breed of cat that is the result of a natural mutation in domestic short-haired cats. As this is a relatively new cat breed, it is one that people know very little about. However, it is an interesting breed to find out more about. Here are ten interesting things that you probably didn’t know about Lykoi cats.
1. Their Name and Appearance is Linked to Wolves
The word Lykoi is the Greek word for wolves. The founders of the breed gave the cats this name because of their appearance. The lack of hair on their faces gives them the appearance of werewolves. It is for this reason that Lykoi cats are often referred to as Werewolf Cats.
2. They Are Partially Hairless
Although they are not completely hairless, this cat breed is considered partially hairless. They have some bald patches and the hair that they do have on some parts of their bodies is very fine. Strangely, older Lykoi develop a shedding problem.
3. Lykoi Were First Bred in 2010
The Lykoi cat is a very new breed as they were not officially bred until 2010. Patti Thomas adopted two domestic shorthairs from a rescue center in Virginia and they both carried the Lykoi gene. It was Thomas who then began breeding the cats and gave them their name. A second pair was found in Tennessee by veterinarian Johnny Gobble.
4. They Were First Accepted by The International Cat Association in 2012
The Lykoi cats were given registration only status by The International Cat Association in 2012. They have since been granted the status of ‘Advanced New Breed’. This means that they are now officially a Championship Breed and have competed against other Championship Breeds in events organized by The International Cat Association since May 2017.
5. It is Not a Cross Breed
The Lykoi is not a cross breed and nor is it a designer breed. The breed’s founders have been very clear in making these points to people who want to learn more about Lykoi cats. They are a breed that was caused by a natural gene mutation that occurred in domestic cats. The breed has been continued by breeding only carriers of the Lykoi gene with each other. There are no genes from any other cat breed in this breed and that is what differentiates it from cross breeds and designer breeds.
6. They Are Not Recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association
The Cat Fanciers’ Association has a very specific set of requirements before they will accept a cat for registry as a provisional breed. Unfortunately, Lykoi cats do not meet the required standard. For that reason, the Lykoi cat is still not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
7. They Are Not Related to Devon or Sphynx Cats
Due to the partial baldness of the Lykoi cats, many people mistakenly believe that they are genetically linked to the Devon and Sphynx cat breeds. However, Lykoi cats are not related to these breeds in any way. This has been proven by genetic testing of all three cat breeds.
8. Most Cats Used in the Breeding Program Were Strays
The original cats used for breeding came from a rescue center. Since then, the majority of the cats used in the breeding program have come from stray litters that have been discovered. The breeders are very strict about avoiding adding to the stray cat population and work closely with rescue centers to find the right cats for the program.
9. They Are Very Rare
The Lykoi is still an extremely rare cat breed. At this time, there are approximately show standard Lykoi in the world. There are also 25 non-standard Lykoi cats registered. The breeding program intends to increase these figures over the next decade.
10. Feline Geneticists Are Involved in Developing This Breed
The founders of the breed are continuing to develop the Lykoi. In this breeding program, they are having each and every cat used for breeding tested for a wide range of genetic conditions. They are doing this in collaboration with feline geneticists. Some of the conditions for which they are tested include heart problems and thyroid disorders. They also have their blood type tested and are screened for infectious diseases. This thorough screening is done to make sure the breed is as healthy as possible in the future.