Lykoi Breed at A Glance
Known for the appearance of a little wolf cat, the Lykoi is one of the newest breeds to the TICA family. They are partially hairless with a mix of hair that can vary from being almost black to almost white. Lykoi’s are very loyal and tend to bond well with people, making them the ideal choice for many families. Find out more about this breed and if the Lykoi is right for you and your family.
- Temperament: Outgoing, Friendly
- Size: A small to medium breed. Males can weigh up to 7-12 pounds, while females generally weigh 6-9 pounds.
- Colors: Black Roan is the only color accepted for TICA Championship, but Lykoi’s occur in all colors and patterns.
- Life Expectancy: The Lykoi has been in existence for quite some time, but has only recently been recognized by TICA as a breed. Lykoi’s have been known to live well into their late teens.
About the Lykoi
The unique look of the Lykoi causes reactions of amazement and excitement whenever people first see them. They are the only cat breed that has the shocking appearance that has become so popular with cat enthusiasts. Most people agree that they look like little wolf cats – hence the name Lykoi is a play off the Greek word Lycos meaning wolf. Their strong prey drive is apparent when they play. Lykoi will stalk their toys, other pets, and even people before they pounce.
The Lykoi is a very loyal breed and tends to bond well with people.
The Lykoi is a very intelligent cat. They are great problem solvers and it shows when they play. They like to be with people, but can find satisfaction playing alone with any toy or object in the room. When there is more than one Lykoi, they interact very well. They sometimes appear to have dog-like attributes because they will fetch and chase as a wolf would on the hunt. Lykoi love a warm lap, but prefer to be actively playing and searching with their limitless supply of energy.
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The coat of a Lykoi is sparse and may be almost fully coated as kittens. Their coats molt, so at times they may be near naked.
They must be washed often, but bathing is simple as they do not have much hair. Some members of the breed will require more frequent bathing and may have blackheads or other small “cystic acne” type issues. This is not a health problem.
As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned, and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.
The Lykoi Breed Committee recommends never free feeding your cat. As obligate carnivores, they must be fed a diet consisting of almost all protein. Most dry food is not recommended as most brands contain too many carbohydrates for the Lykoi to process and can lead to diabetes later in life.
Fresh water should be available at all times. Water bowls should be washed and refilled with fresh water daily. As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so they don’t hesitate to drink. Water containers can be non-tipping bowls, towers or fountains in plastic, glass, ceramic or stainless steel. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some cat behaviorists: place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less.
Lykoi’s have proven to be a hardy, healthy breed with no prevalent genetic diseases however, the TICA Lykoi Breed Committee recommends genetic testing for all cats.
The Lykoi is a naturally occurring gene in the feral cat population. The Lykoi breed was founded in 2011 by Johnny Gobble, Brittney Gobble, and Patti Thomas when two unrelated litters of kittens were presented to the founders as unique cats. The Gobbles did careful health evaluations to ensure that the cat’s unusual appearance was not caused by sickness or disease. To prove it was a gene, Johnny Gobble bred two of the unrelated cats to produce the first intentionally bred Lykoi. Since the mother to one litter was a black domestic, extensive outcrossing with shorthair black domestic cats began. With time, it was determined that the gene was recessive, and to continue to reduce genetic inbreeding, more outcrossing with the black domestic cats was done. There are still Lykoi cats born to the feral cat population, and sometimes they can be used in the breeding program. One of the newest breeds to join the TICA family, Lykoi’s were accepted by TICA for championship competition in 2017.
Did You Know?
The name Lykoi, roughly translated, means “wolf cat” in Greek. This is a fitting name for these cats, which many describe as a feline werewolf.
While the Lykoi breed was founded in 2011, the first known instance of this breed was well over 40 years ago.
From the Breed Standard
The Lykoi is an ancient Greek word that means wolf. Lykoi come in many colors, but only solid black roan is allowed to show. When one looks straight into the face, the cat has the appearance of the mythical werewolf. The Lykoi is a partially hairless cat that can be almost entirely hairless to almost completely coated, depending on the cycle of hair. The hair coat is unique in appearance in that it resembles the coat of an opossum when mostly coated. The Lykoi is a natural mutation that has been reported intermittently over the past few years. The Breed has been started from two separate sibling litters in 2011. The Lykoi is a very friendly cat and demands attention from people. Most people consider them unattractive when they first see them, but then want to do nothing but hold them when they recover from the first impressions. Some people, after seeing them, want a little wolf.
Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.