If you've ever wanted to own a feline version of a werewolf, then the Lykoi is for you! Known for its sparse, grayish-black coat and hairless face and muzzle often referred to as a mask, the Lykoi is one of the most easily recognizable advanced new breeds that remains very popular on social media.
Known as the "Werewolf" cat, the Lykoi has a uniquely wild appearance. They are partially hairless, with a hairless area around their eyes, nose, and mouth that contributes to a mask-like feature on their face. They known to be highly intelligent and playful with a strong prey drive, so they are not suitable for households with smaller pets that may resemble rodents or similar prey in the wild.
Founded in 2011, the Lykoi is a breed that occurred as a result of a natural mutation among domestic cats. The first appearance of this unusual looking cat puzzled geneticists and veterinarians alike, prompting them to more deeply examine the cat in order to rule out skin abnormalities or disease. In the end, all test confirmed that these cats were perfectly healthy. As a natural and normal part of the growth cycle of their hair, this breed sheds its coat almost entirely, regrowing it years later.
The Lykoi is known not only for its unusual werewolf appearance, but also for its loyal dog-like behavior. These cats enjoy being active, and tend to keep busy by engaging in hunting, climbing, exploring, and even playing fetch. The Lykoi is an intelligent breed and can easily learn tricks and loves to show them off. When encountering strangers, your Lykoi may be very cautious and on guard at first, sizing up the situation before warming up to the person. They can also be territorial, and aren't quick to share their space, toys, or friends.
As a fairly new breed, the Lykoi is considered to be one of the healthiest cat breeds available. However, due to the rather small size of their gene pool, more research is needed, as very little is known about the breed's possible predisposition to inherited diseases. Their coat requires weekly bathing to manage oily skin and prevent blockage of pores. Lykoi coats can range from hairless to full, and regular brushing supports the health of their skin and coats (the latter when they actually have one). They typically molt at least twice per year, shedding their entire coat.
Lykoi is derived from the Greek word "lykos" or "likos" (pronounced as LEE-kohs), which translates into "wolf'.
Some believe that the Lykoi is a hypoallergenic cat due to its relatively sparse coat, but this is not the case. It may seem counterintuitive, but Lykoi cats actually shed quite a lot throughout the year.
The Lykoi was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2017, making them one of the newest breeds to receive this honor. Out of the wide range of colors and patterns that the Lykoi can exhibit, the black roan coat pattern is the only color accepted for TICA Championship status.