Among the most recent breeds of felines is the Lykoi cat, whose initial registration as a unique breed happened in 2011. The striking look of the Lykoi breed takes the credit for its nickname of little wolf cats. The Greek translation of Lykoi means “wolf,” and the cat is known to live up to the name by exhibiting a remarkably strong prey drive. However, they also display exceptional loyalty. And as a result, they usually forge amazingly strong and unbreakable bonds with their adopters. If you are in the market to own one of these unique cats, continue reading for further information on their characteristics and background.
History of the Lykoi Cat
The Lykoi is relatively new, founded as a distinct breed in 2011 by three individuals, named Brittney Gobble, Johnny Gobble, and Patti Thomas. Their discovery of the breed occurred after receiving a few unrelated kittens sporting unique appearances. After conducting profound research into the health of those kittens in a bid to establish whether they were actually suffering from any disease or other health conditions, the founders came to the conclusion that the unique appearance of the Lykoi was a result of a natural genetic mutation. Later on, Johnny Gobble proceeded to deliberately breed the first Lykoi.
The female that was used in producing one of the litter was a domestic feline with a black color; as a result, they had to undertake more outcrossing. With the passage of time, the proof finally came to light that the responsible gene for the appearance of the Lykoi was actually a recessive one. A decision was later taken to introduce more of these domestic black kitties, which was targeted at reducing the risks inherent in genetic inbreeding.
Even until the present time, the feral feline population still breeds more Lykoi kittens – these wild cats also come in handy in the ongoing breeding programs. There is hope that with time, and with required outcrossing, they will be able to keep inbreeding to the barest minimum – this is all in line to ensure that the werewolf cat gains Championship Status with all the international cat associations, though the GCCF already recognized them in October 2017.
Quick Facts About the Lykoi Cat
- The Lykoi cat breed is quite rare, with very few bred in the United Kingdom. Thus, the cat commands a handsome amount of money as the purchasing price. Also, the Lykoi is currently creating a fanbase in the United Kingdom and other places, thanks to their unique appearance and sweet nature.
- The breed is not man made; neither is it a designer cat; rather, the Lykoi is a product of natural mutation known to randomly occur among the feral felines.
- The most remarkable character trait of the cat is its unique and distinctive facial masks.
- The cat sports a slender body which shape can best be described as semi-foreign – the females come slightly smaller than the males. Moderately long necks are evident, not thin or overly muscular. Sporting sparse hairs, the legs are reasonable long as well as slender. Their feet come in oval shapes with nice long toes. Tapering to a point at its hip is a tail quite shorter than the feline’s entire body.
- The kittens come in black coats that change color between the 1st and 2nd week, which is precisely when you will start seeing the hairlessness as well as the roan color. Roan is a term that describes the varying coloring evident in horses and dogs.
- A Lykoi that has molted becomes nearly hairless, but off-shedding period, they have some parts of their bodies covered in hair while some will remain bare.
- It is thanks to the cat’s partial hairlessness and the roan color that it earned the alias “werewolf cat”.
- Though their coats are known to be sparsely populated, there are some Lykoi that come sporting more hair than the others. Its wild looks, overall wispy appearance, and the facial skin patches are as a result of the hairlessness.
- Though it may appear as coarse, the coat of a Lykoi is quite silky and extremely soft.
- A female Lykoi cat can weigh between 2 – 3.2 kg and the males may weigh exactly the same or slightly larger. Three traits distinguish the cat from other breeds – roan coloring, sparse hair, and lack of undercoat, all of which contribute to bestowing the breed with the looks of a werewolf.
- It sports moderately long muzzles, bald whisker pads with specific whisker breaks. Also nicely aligned to the nose is a well-developed chin, slightly rounded and the cat’s unique facial mask is created by their chins, noises, and hairlessness around the eyes.
- Their coloring is realized as one solid color, which consists of amelanistic hairs in white scattered throughout the coat – each hair comes in white color or solid from the root to the tip. The range of color percentage that is generally accepted is 30% to 70%, but the ideal is pegged at 50%. Solid colors can come intermingled with sepia/mink as well as point patterns – This is quite acceptable under the breed standard, equally all patterns, and colors including bicolor, tortoiseshell, cream/blue are acceptable. Belly spots, white lockets, and buttons are also possible in the cat’s coat.
- The cat gains a silver-tone from the white hairs scattered across its body – these white hairs are known to be totally devoid of pigment. The bright white hairs are also referred to as melanin free or melanistic.
- Other physical characteristics of the breed include large bright eyes shaped like walnuts. They sport very sparse hair along their noses, eyes, chin, and muzzles. The nicely rounded contoured ears come with a triangular shape and set rather high and erect on a kitty’s’ head.
- The werewolf appearance of the Lykoi is further enhanced by the eyes that are yellow in color, shining against the feline’s disheveled hairless face. It is the only member of the feline population sporting this kind of telltale patterning.
- The cat is a known thinker that does not hesitate to study new people and situations before moving in.
- People love to refer to the Lykoi as a feline/canine hybrid because of its looks – but this is far from the truth.
Things You Should Know About the Lykoi
Averagely, life expectancy in this wolf cat ranges from 12 to 15 years when they receive proper care and nutrition according to their ages. The Lykoi cat breed is known to be quite healthy, devoid of many of the congenital and hereditary health conditions that ail so many other feline breeds. However, the breed is still at the infancy stage; thus, experts need more time to gather necessary info on the kind of health problems that the werewolf cat is likely to suffer in the future.
Nonetheless, the sparse coat off the cat makes them susceptible to hypothermia, in the same way, sunburn becomes a big issue during the hot seasons, which underscores the need to always keep your Lykoi as an indoor-only cat.
When you acquire your Lykoi kitten from a reputable breeder, their services will come equipped with a feeding schedule. It will be your responsibility to maintain that routine to prevent any possible tummy upset. This does not mean that you cannot change the wolf kitten’s diet, rather, new foods need to be introduced gradually, and you should be on the lookout for digestive upset. You should waste no time in returning the kitty to its original diet once you observe any sign of indigestion. However, the best option is to discuss it with the vet before commencing any change of diet.
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As they grow older, these werewolf cats become fussy with their choice of food, but you must be sure to feed them with quality food divided into several meals. The food you choose needs to meet their nutritional requirements, while you also keep an eye on their weight. What’s more, the Lykoi needs constant access to clean fresh water.
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Below is a Lykoi feeding schedule from two months to adulthood (for 24 hours). The frequency should be as often as possible, and a little at a time.
- From two to three months, a werewolf kitten will need 12g/45g kibble or 40g/69g kibble, and depending on body mass, you can mix the dry cat food with a half sachet of wet cat food.
- From four to six months, their intake will be increased to 34g/56g kibble or 55g/77g kibble with a complete sachet of wet food.
- Seven to nine months calls for 32g/45g kibble or 53g/66g kibble and a sachet of wet food.
- Ten to twelve months will require 23g/37g kibble or 44g/58g kibble and a sachet of wet food.
For the adult Lykoi werewolf cat, you will feed 12g/20g of kibble or 30g/40g of kibble for the kitties weighing 2 kg. However, the food should be mixed with a sachet of wet food, but it all depends on the feline’s activity level. Those weighing 3.2 kg can take 18g/26g of kibble or 35g/45g of kibble with the same sachet of wet food, activity level also comes to play here.
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This werewolf cat breed is clean by nature and coupled with their high intelligence, litter training is relatively easy. Be sure to keep their litter trays constantly clean as they are averse to dirty litter, and may prefer to do their business somewhere else. Avoid clumping their litter as they are likely to result in a blockage if ingested by a kitten.
Avoid telling your kitten off for not using the litter box when necessary, just pick them up and return them to the cat litter box when they do things the wrong way – this will remind them that it is better to excrete in their litter box.
Always keep your Lykoi kitten indoors as they have no road sense; besides, they need to be fully vaccinated before you can even think of taking them out. The reason is to avoid any feline infections that might be making the rounds.
Baths are unnecessary for Lyoki’s as it may lead to skin damage; however, if you must bathe your feline friend, be sure to only use shampoo exclusively formulated for kitties and a cleaning cloth can be thrown into the mix. Also, the cat’s extra-large ears and eyes get dirty frequently, try cleaning them up with a moist cloth or cotton bud.
Additionally, brushing for the Lykoi needs to be done gently since the skin is susceptible to sunburn – frequency should be once or twice weekly except in situations where the cat is undergoing a molt. What’s more, daily grooming is fine for a molting Lykoi. And if the cat must be outdoors under the scorching sun, then rubbing sunblock on the bald parts of the body becomes necessary to avoid sunburn. Recommendations are that a Lykoi needs to be an indoor-only cat because of the sparse coat. Also, the feline may require a weekly pedicure because of excess oils that may cause brittle claws.
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Talking about the Lykoi cat personality, the breed is of high intelligence, and are renowned as extraordinary “problem solvers”. They are at home with participating in interactive games and enjoy human company. However, the cat is equally content, playing with toys to entertain itself. They still take joy in the company of other felines, be it their fellow Lykoi or any other breed. Some of the kitty’s behaviors are quite dog-like, and they can easily learn to play fetch just like the canines.
Though the cat loves to cuddle up on the parent’s lap and loves attention, it is naturally active, and loves to be engaged with one activity or the other – that is when the cat is not sleeping. The energy level is obviously high and the Lykoi is naturally sociable, but are cautious with new people and situations. They prefer to monitor strangers and new developments from a safe distance to ensure that no threat is involved.
- Lykoi Breed – TICA