lykoi cat breed

Is the Lykoi cat part wolf or werewolf? No, just a random genetic mutation. Some think they’re ugly and others believe them to be cute. Whatever the case, everyone can agree this cat breed is quite unique.

Aside from their appearance, the Lykoi is highly intelligent, perpetually inquisitive, always enthusiastic, and truly entertaining. Those who own one can’t help but fall madly in love with their little ball of fire.

If you have the time to devote to them, you won’t regret your choice to bring this utterly fascinating cat into your family.

lykoi cat facts

Lykoi Cat Facts

  • The Lykoi cat officially started life in the Fall of 2011 after development with five foundation cats. They were hand-picked strays, feral cats, and from shelters as well. Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian in Tennessee, and his wife Brittney, found the genetic mutation. They decided to prove these cats were a unique breed.
  • Kittens are born with a full coat of fur however, after a week or two the hair begins to fall out either partially or completely. Within three to four months the hair grows back and the kitten has a full Lykoi appearance.
  • The Lykoi cat is still incredibly rare with roughly 150 in existence today but breeders have kittens available. Unfortunately there are waiting lists.
  • The name Lykoi is Greek in origin and loosely translated it means wolf. Along with the appearance, this is why it’s often referred to as the wolf cat or werewolf cat.
  • Their skin is normally pink but if they are exposed to sunlight, it will begin to change to black in color. It should return to the normal shade of pink with some recuperation time after the exposure duration has ended.
  • Because Lykois have no undercoat to keep them warm in the winter and exposed skin in the summer, which can cause a condition similar to a sunburn, they need to be kept indoors.
lykoi features

Physical Features

  • Lifespan: The breed is only 11 years old so not enough information is available.
  • Weight: Average is 6-8 lbs for females and 8-10 lbs for males to date.
  • Body Type: Rather slender with an athletic build.
  • Eye Color: Mostly yellow with some having a slightly greenish hue.
  • Coat Color: Comes in various colors but only black roan (black with white) is officially recognized by TICA.
  • Shedding: Yes, but periodically. They go through molting stages twice a year where they lose part or all of their hair. It eventually grows back in a few months.
lykoi personality

Personality Traits

  • Activity Level: Lykoi cats are very energetic and playful. They will investigate anything and everything as well as catch all the insects that may find there way into your home. Their feral backgrounds make them great hunters.
  • Breed Intellect: Being very curious and highly intelligent makes this cat a great problem solver. When there are a few Lykois in the same room, you will see them play together and coordinate there attacks like a pack of wild animals.
  • Temperament: For the most part, this breed is happy-go-lucky and somewhat rambunctious in a quiet way. If you look into their eyes, you can actually see them plotting their next move, which is typically whimsical and entertaining.
  • Attention Needs: While they like time with their humans, these cats can entertain themselves, however, if left alone too long, they will definitely get into trouble whenever possible. This comes from their constant curiosity.
  • Caring Nature: The Lykoi cat is incredibly amiable and loving with their owners. Once they finally run out of energy, they’ll snuggle up close and look for your attention. Unfortunately, if you want a lap cat, you may need to look elsewhere.
  • Vocal Tendency: They tend to stay rather quiet compared to other cat breeds with the occasional chirping to say hello, chattering when they see an insect or bird outside, and purring when they’re content.
  • Kids Compatible: This breed does very well with children because they are quite active however, keep an eye on any younger kids that aren’t familiar with cats.
  • Tolerates Pets: They interact well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs but please introduce it gradually. This should keep the conflicts to a minimum. Because the Lykoi still retains much of its predatory instincts from its feral roots, you should keep it away from any pet birds or small rodents just to be safe.
  • Stranger-Friendly: Lykois are very social and should be fine with family or friends coming from outside the home. They may take a bit to warm up to them.

Health and Well-Being

Ideal Living Situation

This breed is recommended for active families, and especially those with children. While they should be fine in smaller apartments, they typically do need more room to roam around in order to be comfortable.

Those who live alone better have plenty of time to dedicate to this little ball of energy. If you work all day, you should most likely look for another breed of cat.

Possible Health Problems

The Lykoi has proven to be a very healthy cat with no hereditary diseases so far but, you would be wise to make sure the breeder conducts genetic tests just to be on the safe side.

Annual Vaccinations

There are four core vaccines and one non-core option available for all cats.

The first essential vaccine would be Rabies which is a fatal disease if exposed to it.

The second inoculation (FVRCP) is a combination of the remaining three core vaccines in one. This covers Feline Herpesvirus 1 or FHV-1 which is an upper respiratory infection, Feline Calicivirus or FCV which attacks the upper respiratory tract, and the final is Feline Panleukopenia Virus or FPV (also known as Feline Distemper) which is life threatening and extremely dangerous for young cats and kittens.

You can get the optional non-core vaccine Feline Leukemia Virus or FeLV. This is considered a core vaccine for every kitten. Make an appointment with your local vet to discuss and schedule all these vaccinations.

Grooming Routine

When caring for cats, there are four specific areas which need regular attention.

Weekly brushing is the minimum required to keep their fur healthy and shiny. This also helps distribute natural body oils, remove dead hair, and eliminate matted fur.

When the nails are getting a little too sharp and ripping furniture or carpet, it’s time to trim them. Be sure not to trim off too much of each nail as this can cause pain.

Cats are prone to periodontal disease and gingivitus so brushing their teeth with veterinarian-approved toothpaste once or twice a week should suffice. You can also give them dental treats to clean their teeth in between brushing.

Finally, you’ll want to address the ears. While cats have a built-in mechanism for cleansing their inner ear canals, the visible portion of their ears should occasionally be very gently swabbed to remove foreign matter.

Please consult a veterinarian for the proper procedures when grooming your cat.

Feeding Advice

Cats are known as obligate carnivores or strict meat eaters. Their diets should primarily consist of high protein and a few fats.

While carbohydrates are not usually a part of feline nutrition, scientists have concluded they are able to be used for energy in small amounts. On the other hand, if a cat is continuously fed too many carbs, diabetes can actually develop later in their life.

When choosing a wet or dry food, you need to read the caloric information labels to ensure your cat is being fed the appropriate nutrient levels.

Normally, wet foods should contain around 70% to 80% moisture as cats from past feral generations obtained most of their liquids from the animals they killed and ate.

Proteins are ideal when they’re between 10% and 20% in grain-free wet food. Seafood varieties are typically the highest in protein.

Two of the best dry food formulas on the market would be Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet with High Protein and Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food. These specially made dry food products include healthy amounts of prepared raw meats, some needed fats, and minimal carbohydrates.

Exercise Tips

You should plan to play with your cat at least 15 minutes everyday, although, more is encouraged with certain active breeds.

Feather toys and laser pointers are a great choice to keep them moving. This helps relieve their boredom and reduces the chance for depression as well.

For a really cheap play session, simply buy a ball of string. Cut off a ten foot section at a time and drag it around the house behind you. Your kitties will love attacking the end of the string! Big fun for a small price.

Catnip is another way to offer an edible distraction in their lives. Don’t worry, the effects typically wear off in about 15 minutes or so.

One of the best items you can acquire for exercise would be a cat tree or cat condo. This is basically a jungle gym for cats which provides a place for climbing, relaxing, and sharpening their claws instead of using your furniture.

There are a couple other alternatives including an exercise wheel, which can be somewhat expensive, and a simple body harness with a leash for outdoor walks. Your cat may or may not like this option but, you can give it a try.

lykoi cat price

Lykoi Cat Price

The Lykoi price for pure black pedigree cats start around $1400 and go up to $2500 depending on the breeder.

Those kittens with show potential and superior appearance can be quite expensive costing up to $4000 and possibly even more.

While it would be very rare to find a Lykoi in an adoption center, you may be able take home a mixed breed. This choice would be best for those on a budget as the service fees are only $30 to $175.

lykoi breeders

Registered Lykoi Breeders

Bare Enough Cattery – California

Nada Catz – Florida

Beeblebrox Cattery – Michigan

Nevada Lykoi – Nevada

Exotic Lykoi – Oklahoma

Yella Lykoi – Oklahoma

Alison’s Cheshires – Utah

Atreyukatz Cattery – Virginia

Browncoats Lykoi Cattery – Wisconsin

Faolan Lykoi Cattery – Wisconsin

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