Lykoi: The Moon-Mad Meower

Origin and History of the Lykoi Cat Breed

The Lykoi’s origins are as a mutation within domestic cats that was initially discovered amongst two unrelated pairs of domestic shorthairs:

  • One pair, adopted by one Patti Thomas from a rescue after being found within the state of Virginia in 2010.
  • The second pair, was found within neighboring Tennessee a year later by veterinarian Johnny Gobble.

After initial and rigorous testing proved that these cats were truly unique, they were named Lykoi after Thomas’s remarks upon it being the Greek word for wolf-an apt description of their appearance.

In 2012, the Lykoi was submitted to The International Cat Association (TICA) and was unanimously passed on to “Registration Only” status. The breed was recognized as a “Championship breed” several years later and started competition against other similar breeds within TICA as early as May of 2017. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) has regarded Lykoi, regardless of coloration, as a Provisional breed since 2022.

Types and Varieties of Lykoi Cats

The Lykoi is too young a breed to have many varieties like the Rex enjoys. Currently, any variation in Lykoi appearances are strictly limited to individual Lykoi.

Physical Appearance of the Lykoi

This werewolf-like cat is a medium-sized breed with a slender but fit body and wedged head that displays a trademark “mask” of bare skin around the face and rear of its ears. Standards are measured against a roan coat, meaning any color, though black is the most prominent. Furthermore, the coat should be fine, short and soft, with no undercoat.

Although named for a wolfish appearance, some Lykoi are overall hairless, rather than just devoid of hair around the face they bring the Canadian Sphinx to mind. Their coat has been compared to an opossum.

Personality and Major Habits of the Lykoi

This is a relatively friendly breed that is easy to get along with; Dr. Gobble likened them to well-behaved dogs. While they can initially be quite aloof around strangers, they soon turn affectionate and sweet.

Longevity of the Lykoi

The Lykoi is such a relatively young breed that their true longevity remains to be seen, leaving owners to regard them as just as healthy and long-lived as most other cat breeds. While kidney disease is a notable concern, that particular malady is common among all cat breeds.

Interesting Facts About Lykoi

  • This breed sheds often with age but can regrow hair based on the seasons.
  • Dermatologists at the University of Tennessee analyzed the initial Lykoi and they discovered that the Lykoi’s natural mutation means that not all of its hair follicles are equipped to create hair. Furthermore, follicles that could produce hair lacked a balance in the necessary components for maintaining hair; hence why they molt and can become temporarily hairless.
  • The CFA considers Lykoi to be exclusively indoor cats due to their coat’s impaired resistance to heat and cold.


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