‘Werewolf cat’: What is the lykoi?

The Lykoi is a new breed of cat that resembles a werewolf.

Breeders based in Virginia and Tennessee developed the breed from black shorthair cats with a mutation associated with reduced hair covering or patchy coat.

Individuals with reduced or sparse hair cover also have bald patches around the eyes, ears, and muzzles.

The Lykoi’s patchy and sometimes nearly bald but dark coat skin gives it a spooky, wolfish, or werewolf-like appearance.

The Lykoi is a werewolf-like cat with dog-like characteristics

The name, Lykoi, is from a Greek word meaning “wolf” or “werewolf.” Thus, the name means a wolf- or werewolf-like cat.

The breed also shows unique dog-like behavioral characteristics. Unlike many other cat breeds, it is said to be friendly, playful, and loyal.

It has strong predatory instincts

The Lykoi has pronounced dog-like behavioral characteristics.

It also behaves like a feral cat and shows pronounced predatory instincts. It will stalk and pounce on any animal that looks like potential prey.

The predatory behavior is also similar to that of hounds or hunting dogs. They behave like hunting dogs trying to track down prey.

However, despite their ominous appearance, the Lykoi is a friendly, amiable, loving, and warm cat. They make good companions. Although they may be wary of strangers, they warm up quickly to new acquaintances.

Patti Thomas and Johnny Gobbles discovered the first Lykoi kittens

The International Cat Association (TICA) has recognized the Lykoi as a championship cat breed. The organization allows it to compete at the championships. However, there are only a few officially recognized breeders from different countries.

The breed originators developed it by selecting black shorthair cat individuals with a naturally occurring mutation that conferred reduced or patchy hair cover.

Although they have less hair and are often bald around the eyes, nose, ears, and muzzle, they are not entirely bald like the Canadian Sphynx cat.

The Lykoi usually has some fur.

The black fur is often mixed with white. However, individuals may molt (shed hair) and become temporarily bald. The temporary baldness could be partial or complete.

But some individuals naturally have very sparse fur that is nearly bald.

The reduced hair gives the breed a wolf-like appearance.

Breed’s appearance is due to a genetic mutation

Tennessee and Virginia-based breeders developed the Lykoi. Patti Thomas from Vonore, Tennesee, and Johnny and Brittney Gobble produced the first kittens.

Thomas discovered the first set of shorthair cats with the genetic mutation of the Lykoi breed in 2010. Johnny and Brittney Gobble found another in Tennessee in 2011.

Experts tested the first Lykoi cats to ensure the patchy fur was not due to skin disease or a known health condition.

Tests confirmed that the individuals were entirely healthy and that their patchy fur was due to a genetic mutation that created unique hair follicles.

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