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17 Surprising Lykoi (Wolf Cat) Facts: Origin, Appearance, Traits & More

Jeff Weishaupt

By Jeff Weishaupt

black lykoi werewolf cat

What comes to your mind when you first hear about a werewolf cat? A myth or a character from a story, right? But to your surprise, a wolf cat breed called the Lykoi is a reality!

Lykoi cats get their name because of their coat that resembles a werewolf’s. They have a unique color and a build, characterized by a distinct hair pattern. These adorable kitties can also sometimes seem mysterious, mainly because they can change their skin color. Yes, really!

If you are mesmerized by Lykoi and want to know more, here are 17 amazing facts about this lesser-known wolf cat breed.


The 17 Facts About Lykois (Wolf Cats)

1. They Have an Interesting Background

These cats have been spotted many times in the last 15 years, but no one has given them much attention. However, only some time ago (2010) when two litters were found in Tennessee and Virginia, a few motivated scientists conducted extensive testing and started a breeding program. Hence, it is clear that this is an experimental breed.

These litters were named Lykoi, which stands for “wolf cat” in Greek. The name fits perfectly with the cat’s distinct appearance.

lykoi cat sitting outdoor
Image Credit: danilobiancalana, Shutterstock

2. This Cat Is Popularly Known as the Second Chance Breed

A Lykoi was initially founded as a stray cat. This is why most of them are spotted on the road or in shelters. These cats weren’t in demand or loved by people many years ago, but now they have been accepted and are owned by many. Therefore, the key investigator and discoverer of Lykoi cats, John Gobble, gave them the title of “the second chance” breed.

3. Lykoi Cats Are Not Greek

Many people consider these cats Greek due to their name. However, these kitties are the natives of the USA, where they were first found and investigated after many years.

These cats have been spotted in many areas of the USA in the last 20 years. Most people have located them with numerous other feral cats. In fact, a Lykoi is now officially recognized and accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association.

4. They Are Sort of Hairless Cats

While Lykoi cats are not entirely hairless, they have very thin hair. The hair is also severely patched, making them look like a werewolf.

Due to their thin hair, these kitties look bristled. However, when you touch them, they feel quite soft. You may also perceive their furs as stiff and mated due to their wild appearance, but that’s not true. Instead, the indoor Lykoi feels pretty much like any other cat.

Lykoi cat
Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

5. These Cats Change Colors

Have you heard of a cat that changes colors? If not, a Lykoi may surprise you. This cat usually has pink skin. But when exposed to sunlight, the skin turns dark and almost black at times. This is one of the rarest characteristics found in mammals.

6. They Have a Unique Physical Appearance

When you spot a classic Lykoi, the first thing you may notice is their rare combination of fur colors. Most cats have partly melanistic and partly black hair. This implies that some hair on the cat’s body has no melanin. Therefore, they are colorless. The balance of both colors may vary in most Lykoi cats. Some of these may have a silver appearance due to more melanistic hair.

The degree of hairlessness may also vary in different Lykoi cats. For instance, some may have more hair than others, making them look well-covered.

That said, all Lykoi cats don’t have hair around their eyes or at the back of their ears. This characteristic is what makes them look quite like a werewolf.

7. A Lykoi Is a Great Cat to Own

While you might find this cat’s physical appearance a little intimidating and unusual, owning a Lykoi will give you immense pleasure. This is an easygoing cat with an affable nature. They easily get along with humans and other pets in your house.

What’s more, they are quite playful. However, you may find your cat escaping your place and wandering off on their own for some time. You should always keep the doors shut to prevent this from happening.

Lykoi cats are also full of energy. When meeting a stranger for the first time, the cat may act shy at first but does act playful to give the guests some good company. The cats are low maintenance due to their short coat. So, keeping them indoors is quite convenient.

A Lykoi has much more oily skin than most other cats. So, it becomes necessary to give your pet a proper bath at least once every 2 weeks.

black lykoi cat in white background
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

8. This Cat Is Pretty Adaptable

One of the best things about these cats is that they are adaptable. Whether you keep them in a small space or a big room, they get used to the environment without acting fussy. Additionally, they don’t hide away or climb on things unnecessarily. With a few toys around, you can keep your cat busy and happy for long.

With that said, a Lykoi requires extra attention when it comes to the changing weather. Since this cat doesn’t have a thick coat, winter can be quite harsh for the poor kitty. So, keep your cat warm and secure with a heated bed or clothes.

9. Lykoi Cats Shed a Lot

Lykoi cats have less hair, but unfortunately, they shed more than most other breeds. These cats tend to lose a lot of hair in one go. This means that these cats are not hypoallergenic. So, if you are allergic to cat hair, know that a Lykoi may not be a suitable option for your pet.

But does that mean that your Lykoi may get bald sooner than expected? This cat naturally has less hair than other breeds. Moreover, most hair grows back after shedding, so you won’t necessarily get a completely bald cat to pet.

You can brush the coat regularly to prevent your cat from shedding excessively. Besides, frequent bathing may help remove excess oil and reduce hair fall.

10. They’re Naturally Slender

When it comes to Lykoi’s appearance, the weight and size of this kitty do make it stand out. This medium-sized cat has a height of around 8 to 10 inches and 6 to 8 inches for the male and female sex, respectively.

A Lykoi has a slender body, which makes this cat weigh less than most short-haired kitties of the same height. The average weight of this breed is around 8 pounds, and the males are much heavier than female cats.

Lykoi werewolf cat inside a blanket
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

11. They’re Not a Designer Breed

Most people confuse a Lykoi as a designer breed. This cat belongs to a natural breed, which has only been discovered and recognized recently. Designer breeds are those which are intentionally bred to combine certain traits. But in the case of a Lykoi, this cat proudly owns their genes.

12. Lykoi Cats Suffer Certain Health Issues

Since this cat has been recently recognized, it is hard to be clear about all the health problems they usually go through. However, certain Lykoi cats have been investigated for a few health issues:

  • Skin Allergies
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  • Kidney Problems and Heart Issues
  • Arthritis
  • Hyperthyroidism

13. Training a Lykoi Cat Is Hassle-free

Since a Lykoi cat is adaptable, training this pet is quite effortless. It is imperative to make the cat socialize early to help them get along with other pets in the house.

When training your cat, remember that a Lykoi usually develops their own preference for mingling or playing with other cats and dogs. So, instead of ordering them to follow you, allow them complete freedom.

You can encourage them to take the lead, so they can trust you and stay affectionate and obedient. Keep an eye on a Lykoi cat if you have animals like small rabbits and guinea pigs around. Some cats have a high prey drive, making them dangerous among small animals.

Through regular training, you can teach these cats to maintain peace around other pets. However, ensure to supervise them properly until they understand the concept of co-existence properly.

Lykoi kitten
Image Credit by: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

14. Lykoi Cats Love Children

If you want to bring a children-friendly cat to your home, a Lykoi might be a great option. This cat might be shy during the first meeting but gradually becomes friendly.

These cats get very playful among small kids. They may also exhibit a guarding behavior for people they may love and consider their own. However, it is imperative to keep the cat away from aggressive children. A Lykoi might scratch the child in response if a kid misbehaves with the kitty. Therefore, strict supervision in the early stages is important.

15. The Lykoi Has Adorable Kittens

The litter size of this car can range from two to ten kittens. Lykoi babies are born with no eyesight and full hair on their bodies. One of the most important foods for these small kitties is their mother’s milk, especially for a few first days.

The kittens consume their mother’s milk for 6 to 8 weeks before starting solids. It is imperative to get them checked now and then before feeding them various food products.

16. Lykoi Cats Are Good Eaters

Lykoi cats aren’t fussy when it comes to food. They can easily consume any type of cat food that you may present to them.

Food options low in carbs and high in fiber are also safe and healthy. Too many carbs may make them gain unhealthy weight. Also, ensure that your cat drinks a good amount of water daily.

17. Lykoi Cats Are Rare

A Lykoi is a rare breed, and there are only less than 100 show-standard Lykoi cats in the world. Most of these cats have pink skin that turns black under sunlight. But many people have documented and seen the same breed of cats in 25 different colors.

female owner hugging lykoi cat
Image Credit by: Jaroslaw Kurek, Shutterstock



Now that you know what a Lykoi cat is, will you like to keep one as a pet?

The Lykoi is one of the rare breeds with unique genetics and a werewolf-like appearance. They look like a little friendly monster that can be your best companion on your worst days.

If you plan to give shelter to a Lykoi, look for different local adoption centers. With luck on your side, you may find this feral lookalike cat somewhere in the corner just waiting for you to take them home.

Featured Image Credit: danilobiancalana, Shutterstock

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