Striking – Playful – Loyal
A fearsome name and striking looks are tell-tail traits of the Lykoi cat, otherwise known as werewolf cats. Derived from the Greek name for werewolf, Lykoi cats earned their name due to the mask like appearance on their faces where they grow little to no fur and the fact they are known to “transform” throughout their life. However, these unusual, but adorable felines share little else with their namesake and are known to be affectionate, playful souls and loyal companions.
Lykoi Cat Breed Basics:
Average Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Average Weight: 4 to 6kg
Colours: Roan, Partially hairless
A history of the Lykoi cat
Although only recently recognised as a breed in 2011, the Lykoi has been observed amongst feral cat populations for many years. When first discovered, it was feared that their unusual appearance may indicate a health problem but on examination it was found that the cats are healthy, and their curious coat is simply a result of natural genetic mutation.
Despite being partially hairless, they are not related to the Sphynx as appearance may suggest and are actually descended from domestic shorthairs.
Lykoi cat personality
Lykoi cats have wonderful playful temperaments. Inquisitive and intelligent by nature they are keen hunters and even known to play fetch. They are found of company and bond well with their owns, although they may be wary of new people and pets until they get to know them. These affectionate kitties make for loving companions.
How big are Lykoi cats
Lykoi are a medium sized cat, with lean but muscular bodies and slender limbs. Males are typically much larger than their female counterparts.
Lykoi cat coats, grooming and do Lykoi cats shed?
The Lykoi’s signature “roan” coat is truly unique and not known to any other breed. Made up of a mix of black and amelanistic (colourless) hairs and without an undercoat their unusual coat is soft to the touch. The absence of hair around their eyes, ears and muzzle gives them the distinctive wolf-like look they are famed for.
As kittens they are born with full fluffy black coats, and they typically “transform” at around five days old (no full moon required ?)
Despite being partially hairless, Lykoi cats moult typically twice yearly and can even shed their entire coat occasionally leaving them completely bald but this varies amongst the breed and can grow back. During the period of shedding and regrowth the Lykoi can transform their appearance as their coat regrows in different shades.
Their lack of coat means they don’t require huge amount of grooming, although being partially hairless does make them more vulnerable to the cold and sunlight. Their pink skin will darken or tan in the sun and owners should take care to protect them from the extreme sunlight and keep them warm at winter.
Are Lykoi cats hypoallergenic?
Sadly due to their tendency to shed, these kitties are not classed as hypoallergenic.
Special thanks to Mrs Alexander who helped us get to know these rare, loveable cats. The owner of Shalnavazz Teddy Lupin, photographed below, the first Lykoi born in the UK.