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Want a unique pet? The Lykoi cat (pronounced “lie-koi”) might be the perfect match for you. Also known as the Werewolf Cat, this feline has distinctive, wolf-like features and is partially hairless, depending on the season. Either way, the Lykoi cat breed certainly stands out from the crowd. Affectionate and loyal companions, these cats are one of a kind in so many ways and can be a brilliant addition to your family.
Thinking about adopting a cat? With details on everything from the Lykoi cat’s history and origin, all the way through to its personality and genetic health risks, this article is a one-stop-shop for all you need to know about this adorable and fascinating breed.
- History & Origin of the Lykoi Cat
- Physical Attributes of Lykoi Cats
- Behavioral Characteristics of Lykois
- Lykoi Breed Health Risks
- Caring for a Lykoi
- Final Notes
History & Origin of Lykoi Cats
Lykoi roughly translates to “wolf” in Greek - the perfect name for this eccentric breed.1 Unlike other breeds, the Lykoi formed from natural mutations through feral cats, rather than through controlled breeding.1 The first Lykoi was discovered only recently in 2010 and officially established as a breed in 2011.1
Physical Attributes of Lykois
Prepare for everyone to be amazed if you adopt a Lykoi cat. Their coat molts dramatically twice every year, meaning the Lykoi can go from a near-full coat, to nearly completely hairless.1 Regardless of the condition of their coat, Lykoi cats do not have an undercoat, meaning their fur always look tufty.1 Although it may appear as if the fur would be coarse, it is actually very soft and can come in a range of colors, the most common being the black range - a black coat with white flecks.1
With a wedge-shaped head, pointy ears and large eyes, they capture the essence of a wolf and have a striking look that makes people stop and stare.2 Their tail is similarly unique - very short and pointed towards the end.2 They are medium sized cats spanning between 8 and 10 inches in length, with slender bodies and lean muscle and tend to weigh between 6 - 12 pounds.
Behavioral Characteristics of Lykois
The Lykoi cat breed is often full of energy.2 Playtime all day, every day is the way to a Lykoi’s heart, with many preferring to play rather than to sit still.2 However, human companionship is very important to Lykoi cats as they are often very social and enjoy spending lots of time around their owners no matter what.2 This sociability also extends to other breeds of cat and even dogs, with many Lykois enjoying any type of company. Having said this, the Lykoi is generally very independent and is more than happy to entertain itself by playing with a toy when no one is home.2
These cats are also incredibly intelligent due to their natural instincts from their origins as a feral breed and their subsequent high prey drive.3 Their playing style reflects this innate hunting - some Lykois even enjoy playing fetch!3 These instincts can also make them slightly reserved with strangers, although they will often warm up to them once they have deemed them trustworthy. Many Lykois enjoy relaxing on their owner’s lap from time to time, as well as stretching out and relaxing in the sun.
Lykoi Breed Health Risks
Healthy Lykois have an average life span of 12 to 15 years.2 Cats can live up to their full potential and stay able bodied and healthy when checked up on at least once a year by a licensed veterinarian. Of course, any conditions or illnesses should also be diagnosed and treated in order to promote longevity and wellness.
Due to their lack of coats, Lykois are purely indoor cats. If they spend too much time outdoors, they can be susceptible to sunburn and skin issues. If you find your Lykoi can be frequently found in the garden, speak with your veterinarian about how to find a way to best protect their skin.
Caring for a Lykoi
In order for your cat to grow healthy and strong, you should feed your cat high quality food that is age appropriate. Keep fresh, clean water available for them to drink whenever necessary. Browse our website for our range of cat foods, recommended by licensed veterinarians, or consult Dutch for more cat nutrition and diet advice.
Having good dental care is also important. Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is essential for your cat’s overall wellbeing. Using a cat-safe toothbrush and a cat-safe toothpaste is the best way to do this, although getting your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned may also be a good option for you.
Other basic cat care essentials that all cats need to keep them healthy and happy is regular ear cleaning and nail trimming. Long nails can get snagged on things, causing pain in the long run or even damage your cat's paws. Scratching posts are another great way to minimize any pain from nails.3
Lykoi cats do not need regular brushing or grooming, especially after the molting season when they are practically hairless. Instead, during these periods, they should have an established skincare routine including baths and a vet recommended moisturizer if necessary. Establish the best plan for your own little Lykoi with your veterinarian.
These little balls of energy also need a lot of playtime and exercise. Getting your Lykoi toys they can play with on their own is always a good idea, but ensure to also interact with them by playing.
Are Lykoi cats good pets?
Yes, Lykoi cats are brilliant pets! They are often loving and affectionate cats who enjoy spending time around their owners and family. With long life spans and strong genetics, these cats make for a really unique pet that provides endless fun for any visitors to your home and your family alike.
Are werewolf cats (Lykois) rare?
Due to their recent emergence in 2010, Lykois are an extremely rare breed. Count yourself lucky if you are able to adopt one!
What is so special about Lykoi cats?
Lykoi cats are special for a number of reasons. Whether it’s their recent discovery, their werewolf-like appearance or their love of playtime, these cats are unique in so many ways. Bound to stand out in a crowd, expect heads to turn when your Lykoi cat is around!
Lykoi cats are loving, affectionate, energetic cats - perfect for anyone who is looking for a pet with some real character and a strong personality. Whether they’re curled up on your lap or running around after a toy, this breed is loyal, loving and downright adorable with their big eyes and wolfish ears. Their fascinating coats make them stand out from the crowd and they make for an undeniably cute companion.
Does the Lykoi sound like the right addition to your household? How exciting, you’re on your first step towards being a pet parent! Use our Dutch page to estimate how much owning a pet will cost, as well as other blogs with more facts about caring for a cat or a dog.
Other services we offer include our telemedicine services, in which you get easy access to a licensed veterinarian where you can voice any pet-related questions or concerns you have. Access our wide variety of advice, vet-recommended products and information blogs and try Dutch today - making caring for your pets easier.
“About the Lykoi” Cat Fanciers Association https://cfa.org/lykoi/
“Lykoi” Wisdom Panel https://www.wisdompanel.com/en-us/cat-breeds/lykoi
“Lykoi Breed” TICA, 13 Aug. 2018 https://tica.org/breeds/browse-all-breeds?view=article&id=852:lykoi-breed&catid=79