Learn About Lykoi Cats, The New Natural Feline Breed

Have you heard of this new breed? The Lykoi, a natural mutation from a domestic shorthair, has the appearance of a werewolf; hence the “werewolf cat” nickname. If you, like me, did not know about Lykoi cats, read on to learn more.

How This Breed Got Started

This breed was developed in Vonora, Tennessee. The name “Lykoi” means “wolf cat” in Greek. Its creation arose from a mutation in feral litters. Examined to see if the strange look came from health problems, they discovered, with time and testing, that the cause came from a recessive gene.

Breeders have chosen to outcross these cats with domestic black cats. The purpose: To preserve that unusual appearance, as well as to help prevent inbreeding and subsequent health problems.

Brittney and Johnny Gobble founded this breed, which is now recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association.) The breed line started in 2011.

Lykoi cat

These cats come from interbreeding a shorthair variety carrying the same natural mutation. When expanding the breed, the Gobbles pair them with domestic black cats, since these animals carry a similar gene. Thus, most Lykois keep a black fur color. Other colors are available, but the most common one is the black “roan” cat.

The Lykoi Coat

These cats do not have an undercoat and most never grow hair around the eyes, nose, and toes. The genetic mutation that creates them makes them partially hairless. Also, they shed a lot. Because of the shedding, the Lykoi will not do if you have a cat allergy.

The black roan coat is unique. The cat at birth is solid black, and within a few weeks, the hairlessness and roan coat appears. The “roan coat” comes from a combination of amelanistic (pigmentless) hair mixed with solid black hair.

These kittens have large eyes that have a luminous yellow color. They have a long nose with a black tip — like a wolf.

Personality And Intelligence

Lykoi cats love to play and prove quite active. They love to chase toys and might even chase other pets (once they become friends.) Since they have a relationship to feral cats, they have retained a strong prey drive. They tend to size up a new situation and then will jump into the activity of the day.

Though high energy, the Lykoi likes to be petted and scratched, but they might also be too busy with their activities and prefer not to sit quietly on a lap. Wear them out with play first. Then they will be happy to cuddle.

You can teach your Lykoi many things, for example, to play fetch. To bring out the best in this cat, keep him mentally stimulated. Keep plenty of interactive toys around to give him something to do. Rotate toys so he does not get bored with the selection. Puzzle feeders furnish an excellent way to keep kitty entertained.

Two Lykoi kittens, bathing
Bath Time

You would find it a good idea to have a cat tree for this cat, as he will certainly put it to good use.

Do introduce your new Lykoi to other pets gradually, to allow all parties to accept each other.


Your Lykoi offers proof that good things (and smart cats) can come in small packages. This cat is small to medium-sized. Most Lykois weigh from four to seven pounds. That’s just the average, but as you can see, he does not come in a large size.


Generally, Lykoi cats are considered healthy animals. However, you will still find it important to schedule regular vet visits, to ensure that all goes well with your kitty.

The vet can help you plan a routine of care to keep your cat healthy. Thus far, no breed-specific health problems have emerged, but watch for any signs of distress or pain.

One important thing to do: Examine kitty’s ears regularly for signs of dirt build-up or any infection. You can also get advice on a tooth brushing schedule suitable to your cat.

Check out this video of the Lykoi to get an idea of how this cat behaves.

Grooming And Care

Even though their fur is coarse, this cat sheds a lot. In fact, at times it can result in partial baldness.

The cat will also molt. When they do, they may lose all their fur, and for a time will look like the Sphynx cats. However, molting is seasonal and will probably only occur twice a year. Don’t worry — the fur will grow back.

Oil tends to accumulate in ears and claws, due to their sparse coat. Clean ears and claws regularly with a safe cleaner — check with your vet for a suggested type. Also, if the oil seems excessive, it’s time to ask the vet to make sure there is no underlying medical condition.

Two Lykoi kittens, embracing

A weekly brushing session will do for your Lykoi. Do make sure you brush gently so you don’t irritate the cat’s skin. Also, because of the lack of hair, you need to bathe a Lykoi regularly to keep oils in check.

This cat is an indoor cat. Because of the sparse coat, he does not do well in cool climates. Keep him warm.

What About Children And Other Pets?

The Lykoi does well with youngsters. What child wouldn’t enjoy forming bonds and playing with a cat that looks like a werewolf? Just make sure to supervise early interactions to see that the child recognizes behavior boundaries, and cat and child interact well together.

The Lykoi, a good-natured kitty, also would do well with other pets. However, supervise early interactions, just as with children, as sometimes the personalities of other pets can lead to problems.

Reward your cat and other pets for good behavior.

Cost And Availability

These cats cost a lot, because of the rareness of the breed. If you must have one, be prepared to pay from $1,500 to $2,500 for a Lykoi kitten.

If you wish to buy one, contact the Breed Committee Chairman at the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA.org).

8-month old Lykoi cat

Choose a breeder

with a good reputation who takes the time to socialize the kittens as infants and as they develop in the first months, so you will receive a well-adjusted kitten or adult cat.

References I used for this post:


2 thoughts on “Learn About Lykoi Cats, The New Natural Feline Breed”

  1. How adorable! Thank you for expanding my knowledge of cat breeds. (But I think if I had a Lykoi, I might keep the windows closed and locked during the full moon.)


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